Sparticans Take on London Gamblers in Warm Up Game
By Simon Fitch
Surbiton Sparticans 1 – 3 EUHC Gamblers 2s
The Sparticans returned to game action on Saturday in an enjoyable match against the Gamblers, who are playing in the parallel London South East league to us, and so as expected provided a well-matched run out to rid us of the Christmas and New Year cobwebs.
Welcoming back Eugene after his ironman escapades, and Wardy and the Gaffer from injury, we started strongly but were clearly going to have our work cut out against a younger team. The first half was evenly matched, and we took the lead with a great goal by Belly after a strong run. As we reacquainted ourselves with Pitch 1, Gary got Gary’d and knocked over, a rare occurrence, and we had a number of short corners, before the Gamblers equalised from a corner of their own via a neat deflection.
The second half saw the Gamblers gain the ascendency and we conceded two more goals, the first of which was an extremely good team effort. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t pull a goal back and 3-1 it remained.
Over an excellent tea, even by our usual standards, we debriefed and reflected on an enjoyable 70 minutes. There were plenty of nominations for Moment of the Match and Spartican of The Day. The Gaffer almost won it for his unique skill on the right wing, but eventually Double Save It Lee won thanks to his fantastic double save in the first half. The latter award was won by James Robert Andrew for sterling work in defence throughout.
Thanks to Glyn and Alex for umpiring very well and helping the game flow nicely. We hope to play the Gamblers again, and they’re always welcome at Sugden Road, rather than their Crystal Palace home. Kudos to them for getting to us on time with the rail replacement shambles on Saturday and for showing very clearly that they weren’t partaking in dry January as they toasted their well deserved win. We’re back for 2022 and are looking forward to going again next week.