Sparticans 1 - 0 Men’s 5s (H)
By Simon Fitch
Goals: K Grant
The Sparticans upset the form book on Saturday with a closely fought win against our friends from the Men’s 5s, in a close game on the show pitch in perfect hockey weather.
Helped by an unusual amount of social media frenzy by our standards, the game attracted more spectators than is normally the case in London Div 5 and the match started in a lively fashion. After a couple of chances went astray for both teams, the 5s won a penalty stroke after a foot on the line. Up came Creaser junior, one of five Sparticans alumni featuring in the 5s, whose great flick… was kept out by an equally great stop from his Dad Save It Lee. Saturday night dinner must indeed have been interesting at chez Creaser…
After this drama, the game settled into an exciting end to end contest. Both teams had a number of corners, and the 5s will count themselves unlucky to have had the ball in the net twice, but on occasions having offences spotted by our umpiring team of Andy and Dawn, who rearranged other commitments and contributed significantly to the quality of the game, thank you.
Half time came, with a clear message from Skippy to keep doing what we had started, within his 4-5-1 (or is it 4-2-3-1, we don’t know) formation. Slightly surprisingly we then took about two minutes to restart the game as nobody knew where they were playing. Once things got underway, again we took the game to the 5s, but found a defence marshalled very strongly by Peter and William to be hard to penetrate.
With just under 15 to go, after a number of promising moves had resulted in some near misses, once again Steve ran onto one of Fitchy’s weighted passes, and won a corner. Once he’d recovered from his exhaustion, and after Skippy put in a sighter shot winning a further short, cometh the hour cometh the Golden Stick holder Kev who rifled home a trademark shot into the backboard.
As you’d predict, the older Sparticans – in some cases giving away 40 years to their opposition – tired and defending became a little more frenetic. We held our ground though, even after we went down to 10 players for the final five minutes after an interesting challenge led to a yellow for Jimmer.
The last 15 minutes overall were very exciting, with chances at both ends, and featured Richard the Gaffer Curtis playing up front in his last game for the team, and against his boy Lewis, before his multi-million (Italian lira) move to the Mongooses. It was fitting that this victory featured the Gaffer’s silky skills, as Richard has done more than anyone to bring the Sparticans together. Thank you.
After a mercifully shorter on-pitch review from Skippy than after last week’s day out, we retired for a farewell photo for the Gaffer, with Uncle Albert Ronnie Whelan – the founder of the Sparticans – and then to a fantastic match tea, even by Surbiton standards.
Moment of The Match went to Creaser Snr, and Spartican of The Day deservedly to Steve who covered every part of the pitch relentlessly. It was, though, a memorable performance all round and we look forward to the rematch, against a team we hope will all of their matches in between, later in the season. All in all a great day all round…