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Sparticans 4 - 3 Ashford (Middlesex) 3s (A)

3rd April 2023

By Simon Fitch

Scorers: Ward (2), Grant, K, Iffland

…And, sadly, that’s it for the 2022/23 Sparticans season. We ended on a high in a seven goal thriller packed with incident against a spirited Ashford team.

Skippy had once again brought together a team – no mean feat in a season filled with injury and unavailability. We thank Belly for his hard work this year and hope his next year of captaincy is less eventful. The man himself has sadly been unable to play for weeks owing to a hand injury but once again came along to share his tactical wisdom this week. This was needed as we appeared to have a team with two defenders, and Dan and Gary proved this was enough in a sterling performance throughout the 70 minutes.

We started brightly, and returning hero Wardy scored our first followed by a second from Kev. Ashford came back strongly and halved the deficit following a short corner given away by Mr Utility Lewis, who interestingly also received a yellow card for his efforts. Blows continued to be traded, with the Sparticans being pegged back each time we took the lead, and we finally won it in the last ten minutes.

Over an enjoyable final debrief in Ashford’s well appointed HQ, we reflected on a feisty game and one of our colts’ parents reflected on the vocabulary extensions his son had learnt in the 70 minutes. Moment of The Match was won by the aforementioned Wardy, for either his goals or his heroic shoulder risking challenge. Spartican of The Day was closely fought, and eventually was awarded to Save It Lee for his heroics in the second half. Mrs Creaser has been heard to thank the team for allowing her husband to display said trophy for the whole summer period.

We were then very happy to continue our season’s review over drinks and light bites at the Premier Division play offs, where we tried and largely failed to identify any hockey similar to our more modest efforts. Having been promoted we’re happy with our Champions League qualifying fourth place. We also won the hitherto not mentioned internal league competition with our friends from the 5s and the Cobras. There were certainly ups and downs during the season, but significantly more of the former than the latter. Aside from Skippy, our sincere thanks go to our umpires and our caterers, who have facilitated our fun every week, and also to the many players who filled in (largely at left back) when ailments and availability left us short. Have a nice summer, when it comes…