Mixed Score Six Against Sevenoaks
By Andy Powdrell
SHC Mixed XI 6 - 3 Sevenoaks Mixed
‘Shall we go or shall we stay’, decision on play was pending up till 1pm, due to abnormal seasonal ice – in January, unheard of! Decision… Game on! Then the abuse about the old boy starts on whatsapp, good job he’s got thick skin. A beautiful sunny day, bit nippy but nothing a good run around won’t sort out.
First Round of the Tier 2 Mixed Trophy: an away trip to Sevenoaks, who we know nothing about. Some late call ups to apparently strengthen the team, Beans and Theun decided to grace us with their presence.
Starting line up was interesting with the age gap between the youngest (Powders Junior) and the second oldest (Jimmy) being nine years. Apparently some old boy also started in defence, I’m just checking his birth certificate to determine his age as I type.
We started quickly and with a spanking reverse stick shot Beans put us one up. Sevenoaks responded swiftly by bringing on their no. 10, who had obviously decided that he didn’t want to enjoy the game, just wanted to win, and ran around very quickly. Fortunately we had Matt Sheridan shoring up the defence and the little Road Runner was going nowhere. Somehow Sevenoaks managed to equalize, don’t know how so let’s move on!
Young Ciara Aldous decides that one of their chaps is doing far too much work and magnificently takes him out, a tackle that any Vet would be proud of. Surbiton continue to dominate and pressure eventually pays off with Beans again finishing a flowing move with a back post tap in. Somehow Sevenoaks managed to equalize – have I said that already? Then a moment of controversy as Beans beautifully puts away an overhead smash after the keeper had put it in the air – disallowed, either because it was too dangerous or that the umpire couldn’t believe the skill and precision involved in the execution of the move. However, not to be put off, David slips in another to put us 3-2 up and complete his hat trick – we’ll wait for the jug next week. Unfortunately Sevenoaks were being horribly obstinate and got yet another equalizer before half time.
Halftime and time for a serious chat about not trying to walk the ball in the net; and also Millionaire’s Shortbread provided by Powders’ mum.
The second half began and the tempo was increased from the start. Our forward line of Chantelle, Beans, Del were all moving around positively giving the midfield variety of Jimmy, Theun, Powders (J), Lily, Ciara, Rachel, Jess and Sammy plenty of space. The defence of Sherro, Barney, and others from the above remained resolute. Marlijn in goal was shouting orders and marshalling the troops in front of her perfectly. (Please note that not all the above were on the pitch at the same time, just had to get everbody's name in.) Our pressure paid off and a fourth was added – memory fades but I think this was Beanhead’s fourth.
A couple of other talking points during this half, the Sevenoaks no. 10 decides he’s going to try to run through junior Powders, who with her customary private school education tells him where to go; the same person also attempts to put the ball straight through Jess’ leg. Im sure she should have taken a rest at this point, but was told in no uncertain terms by Marlijn to get back on the line, it’s a short to them.
Back at the other end, Theun obviously listened to the half time talk as he entered the D and put a first time shot in – straight at the keeper, rebound – straight at the keeper, and again… words to be had with first team management.
Pitch appears to be icing on the dugout side, a couple of slips from both teams. I’m not sure whether the inch perfect pass from Rachel to the Sevenoaks centre forward had anything to do with ice, and the shout from Beans, ‘We’re playing in white,’ captured the moment perfectly.
Another attack from us, and again another delightful move finished by Del, 5-3 up. No stopping us now. Then the umpires have a conflab in the middle – is the pitch to icy to carry on? Will we have to return to the depths of Kent to replay? They call the captains together, who then call the teams in, what’s the outcome? It’s all about chat – well Del’s chat actually – apparently the oppo started it, ‘No they didn’t,’ Yes they did,’ etc, etc.
With ten to go, Theun again finds himself at the top of the D, this time a clinical well-positioned slap puts us 6-3 up.
Can’t lose now – time for the old boy again. Centre forward this time… last play of the game, Beans plays him in, only a touch needed and it would be seven... Misses! Daughter goes apoplectic, whistle goes, game over, 6-3 win. Onwards and upwards, next round sometime in Feb.
My first time playing for this mixed team, an absolute pleasure. The group plays as a team, works together, enjoys it, plenty of good banter and mickey taking all done in the right manner. What I didn’t know about was the post match analysis, POM, DOD – this doesn’t happen at Vets, we normally just go to the bar and drink. Also delighted to have at last played a competitive game with my delightful daughter.
Player of the Match was deservedly won by Matt for an outstanding display in defence, he was closely followed by Powders (J) for her work in midfield, Beans also got a decent shout for his four goals.
DOD, what can I say, I thought it was automatic that Del always got this, but no – a vote! How dare people suggest that I fell over late in the game – it was an attempted tackle, and yes my shoe lace was undone, but I’ll take it on the chin. Hopeful of selection for next round.
By the way, found birth certificate. 42 years between youngest and oldest on the pitch.
By Powders (Senior) aged 58 and 10 months