Mongooses Win Top of the Table Clash
By Matt Sabben-Clare
Mongooses 3 - 0 Cranleigh M1
Storm Dennis arrived at Charterhouse as we pushed back for the Mongooses vs Cranleigh top-of-the-table clash. Fittingly, the game was at times tempestuous, with umpire James Hamper digging deep to keep the peace in what turned out to be a tight game in awful weather conditions.
Cranleigh away is always tough, and this was no different, even with Cranleigh a man short. It was a scrappy game, often lacking shape. Cranleigh had one very strong and quick player who threatened to break through whenever he was on the ball. This had the effect of forcing us to defend deep, dragging our midfield back, and limiting our counter-attacking options when we were on the ball. Partly as a result, we ended up playing too narrow for much of the game and didn’t consistently get the ball out wide quickly enough.
But there were lots of excellent things from a Mongoose perspective and we showed character to come away with a vital away win. The three Mongoose goals, from Rich Murray, Michael Quintana and James Evans, were terrific, each well-worked and clinically finished. We passed the ball around well in phases, especially early in the second half, where we looked to be taking the game away from Cranleigh. Latterly, we relied on some very solid and gritty work at the back from Fynn T in goal, Stu Aitken at sweeper and our other defenders to keep a final surge from Cranleigh at bay. Chris Ralphs put his body on the line more than once, to only limited appreciation from the opposition.
Definitely not a beautiful game this one, but a great result for the ‘geese, taking us back to top of the table with a game in hand. Stu A was player of the match, but the handful of loyal supporters who came out to shout for us probably deserved a medal in the conditions and so did Cobra / Mongoose spiritual leader Hamper for umpiring.
We parted company with Cranleigh on friendly terms. Being unusually far from their own club, team tea wasn’t on offer. We looked up whether Godalming has a pub called The Mongoose. It doesn’t, but it does have one that comes close: The Squirrel. So we decamped there for protein shakes and a plate of grilled vegetables. Or something like that.