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Magnets 2 - 3 Indian Gymkhana Tigers (H)

25th September 2023

By Mark Waller

Scorers: Green, Waller

Squad: Frost, Foster, Todd, Sharpe, Barnicoat, Dowthwaite, Beaney R, Laws, Green, Jackson, Wingfield, Waller

This was our first match in the South Premier MO50s League and we might perhaps have wished for a gentler start rather than face IGT, an always tough and skilful opponent. Missing one or two players we had just 12 available but it was good to welcome new signing, Chris Laws, back playing after an injury layoff.

IGT were very quick off the mark, with their star striker scoring in the opening minutes after they intercepted a loose pass. We had barely got going and it felt like it could be a long and difficult afternoon. IGT had the better of the early exchanges and always looked threatening on the break, whilst we struggled to connect in the final third of the pitch. Still, after Greeno tapped in from close range we went into half-time just 2-1 down, with our heads held high and feeling optimistic.

The second half was more open as we exploited gaps on both flanks and created more promising moves, although I don’t recall us winning any PCs. IGT started to rely more and more on their key three or four players but some staunch and sometimes brave defending - notably from Matt Foster and David Barnicoat - managed to keep them at bay. Then, in the closing minutes, an attack down the right saw Jacko hit a pass into the circle which Waldo swept home first time to make it 2-2. Unfortunately, IGT were not going to be denied, and whilst we were down to ten men following a suspension their star player managed to slalom his way through the otherwise solid defence to create a chance which was taken much to the relief of IGT and our disappointment.

Overall, this was a decent showing. Just a pity that we weren’t rewarded with at least a point for our hard work and perseverance. A huge thank you to Helen and Ray for umpiring with authority which helped the flow of the game and meant that tempers remained largely unfrayed.

No match next week, but we look forward to the derby match against OCs on 7 October.