Tricky Start for SHC Jokers
By James "JJ" Draper
SHC Jokers 1 – 2 Epsom Embers
The Jokers had a tricky start to the season playing last year's league champions. The warm-up dealt a final blow to Tom B-W who was unable to play.
In the first half the Jokers played some surprisingly good hockey. Sustained pressure produced multiple chances and short corners that we were unable to convert. Tom B-W masterminded seamless changes from the bench. The Jokers used the space well and worked hard off the ball, however there was still some rusty play. A particular highlight was when I managed to pick out the opposition centre forward from the top of the D. It’s more difficult than it looks!
Half time led to the usual Joker conference. Epsom scored a goal against the run of play. Luke converted at the other end. I was looking at the bench at the time and missed it. I'm sure that in weeks to come Luke will have built it up to him walking around four defenders and slotting it in the top corner. The reality was probably less glamorous.
The game at this point got a bit scrappy with both teams trying to force their game to gain the winner. In the end Epsom scored a goal in the last two minutes that we were unable to equal.
Some notable mentions go to the new recruits, Jim Seyer who rolled back the years with probing runs along the baseline, Ben Newton for a big shift in midfield and Jimmy Culnane for an excellent display in the centre of the park.
Whilst disappointing to lose in a game we should have got more from, if we play that way for the rest of the season we will win a lot of games.
In other news Jabba has finally retired his socks that he got free from the first XI circa 2001. Jabba kit is available at www.tacklebag.co.uk