M2 Take Crucial 3 Points at West Hampstead
By Tom Fox
Men’s 2s 1 – 0 West Hampstead 1s
This fixture has become legendary in the 2s after the 3-3 draw during the Covid interrupted season two years ago, and this year did not disappoint. Jamie won the highly competitive contest for latest arrival this week because the usual champion Matty had been called up for the 1s (we’re told he arrived in good time for that game). However despite this, after Jamma’s team talk we were well prepared for any scenario.
This was all well and good until the game actually started. The state-of-the-art facilities at West Hampstead, including metal school benches for dugouts and fence that is about a foot from the pitch, all add to the true ‘away match’ feeling that makes this such a hard fixture. Not to mention their coach who had some choice words for Jamma and apparently said that, “He’s just jealous he’s not good enough to play at this level”. (We all know Jamma has sleepless nights over the fact that Scott, Rhys and Jake steal his midfield spot in the 2s every week!).
Despite all the preparation at training and the team talk, West Hampstead dragged us into a very scrappy game. This was perfect for players like Scott who are willing to put their body on the line - he dominated the midfield with sliding tackles and interceptions. He also did this without getting a card. I don’t know what’s more inevitable these days, one of us getting a card or Jake turning up to matches after a Friday night in Portsmouth. Bean took the instruction of matching their physicality and aggression a bit too seriously when he nailed a half-volley from 5 yards out… straight into their centre back’s face, and after a pretty scary moment the guy got up and luckily seemed to be OK.
The rest of the first half was typical with a lot of chances but no goals. In the second half Jamie made up for his lateness with a neat close-range finish after a goalmouth scramble, putting us 1-0 up. Their striker / the second coming of Anthony Joshua then decided he wasn’t best pleased with my tackle and gave me a shove. (Any spelling mistakes in this match report must be excused as I probably got a severe concussion from the blow). Anyway I returned the favour and so we were both sent off to sit beside each other on the school chairs with yellow cards.
The rest of the match involved some great defending from us and also some problematic attacking short corners. Blamed by Rhys on Beaumont and blamed by Beaumont on the pitch however it was probably just the fact that Shnu hadn’t done anything DOD-worthy which shocked everyone so much they forgot how to do short corners. With Jamma leaving just after half time to prepare for his own game against the other Hampstead side, it was left to Sorsby to organise the troops and get us over the line. We held out in a tense last ten minutes and took home a hard-earned and important three points, putting us in a good position for a huge game against Wimbledon at home next week.