Men’s 3As Held by Late Eds Equaliser
By Steve Quincey
Men’s 3As 2 – 2 London Edwardians 3s
POM: Steve Crowther
This week the 3As travelled to Battersea Park in the cool winter sunshine to take on London Eds 3 in a battle of second (Eds) vs third (Surbiton) in the league.
An experienced London Eds team started well, transferring the ball well across the back line but with few genuine openings created. Eds then resorted the aerial ‘crash ball’ game plan, however Tom Cronin and Jack Crowther were equal to their cunning plan – controlling the aerials despite close attention from the attackers, with frequent calls of “5 yards”. Surbiton worked their way back into the game with Steve Crowther working tirelessly to press their main defensive distributors and their crash ball tactics were neutralised. Surbiton then began to regain the territorial advantage.
Nic Pilcher continue to boss the midfield, consistently carrying the ball out of defence to start the next Surbiton attack. Pilcher’s passing often fed Conor Tinker, whose skills were on fire, causing confusion for the Eds midfield who could not lay a clean tackle on him during the whole match. Further pressure lead to a Surbiton penalty corner and with Quincey on the bench, Wadders stepped up. A solid flick low to the keeper’s left was met with a smart low save and a scrambled clearance.
Surbiton began to gain the ascendancy and after a couple of near misses, Adam Sloan played a delightfully weighted pass to Quincey, who drove into the D and when about to shoot he got a call for Crowther (S), he slipped the ball across for Crowther (S) to calmly slot the ball home past a floundering keeper. Half time arrived not long after with Surbiton one goal ahead.
The start of the second half and Surbiton continued to have the better of the play, creating chances around the D, a Quincey tomahawk was smartly saved by the Eds keeper with the rebound falling kindly for Eds. The continued pressure lead to Surbiton’s second and last penalty corner of the game. This time Quincey was on the pitch to power home the corner to the mid-right. 2-0 to Surbiton.
The last ten minutes of the game felt like Surbiton were playing uphill. Eds were awarded two penalty corners for accidental foot offences outside the D (albeit very close to the line). Sadly the second corner was converted: 1-2.
Eds continued to have the ascendency for the last ten minutes and with a minute or so remaining, an Eds player kicked the ball onto Conor Tinker’s foot. Surbiton assured of the free hit headed up the pitch. To everyone’s surprise, except an Eds midfield, the free hit went in Eds favour. Just outside the 25 yard line, the alert Eds midfielder crashed into the D and where it was deftly deflected the ball past Adam Wilkinson, who had no chance of making the save.
Despite having lost to Eds in the first game at home, this felt like two points dropped rather than a point gained. However, if the 3As carry that performance to our next game, nothing more can be asked of the team.