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Sages 0 - 2 Epsom O45s (A)
Tier 1 Cup, Round 1

6th November 2023

By Sinead Goodden

It boded well for the inaugural game for the Surbiton Sages – we had 13 players, the sun was shining and Debs was early – a shame we had drawn multiple past winners Epsom O45s.

Despite the fact the opposition were clearly used to playing together with clear communication and slick passing, we acquitted ourselves well in the first half, only conceding one goal from a short corner. As the Sages got used to playing together they began to grow in confidence. Despite coming under immense pressure during the first half the defenders stood firm. Emma and Debs put in critical tackles keeping their attackers wide and Ellie cleared the ball as only Ellie can do. The play wasn’t all one end and there were some chances in the attacking D coming from some quick passing between midfielders and forwards.

With wise words at half time from Fee and Charlotte and only 1-0 down the Sages took to the field believing they could get a goal back and make Epsom nervous. Fee held the middle distributing the ball in all directions. Val – fuelled by sweets - worked her butt off winning fouls all over the pitch. Philippa made some penetrating drives down the wing before giving the pass. Ruth Banks held up the ball waiting for back-up before passing to a teammate. Ruth Fraser tracked backwards and forwards making the Epsom defenders dizzy. Annie saved the shorts being fired at her from all directions keeping us in the game.

Unfortunately we succumbed to a well-worked second goal from a short corner with 15 minutes to go. Despite losing 2-0 there are lots of positives we can take from this inaugural match:

1. We all enjoyed it.

2. Confidence grew as we got used to playing together.

3. The standard of the hockey was good.

4. It didn’t rain.

5. We are now into the Tier 2 competition on 26th November!