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BU16 Coyotes 3 - 0 Guildford (A)

5th February 2024

By Will Hayes

In hockey, it's difficult to come up with a like venue to the tough footballing assignment that is a Tuesday evening in Stoke. One can safely assume that it would not be a midday pushback at Cranleigh School: the crunch of gravel beneath the Tesla tyres and a crowd decked out ready to attend a Boxing Day hunt probably wouldn't give you the heebie-jeebies as a visiting player. However, previous Coyote games against Guildford were proof that the hosts had some skilful experienced players.

The Coyotes were missing Housewives-favourite coach Billy Winter who was on Men's 2s playing duties that left Dan Foulger in the coaching role. Whilst Winter stays Mizuno-On-Brand with matching liveried top and tracksuit bottoms, Foulger adopted a more individualistic approach; his get-up featured not one Surbiton badge and a tracksuit and multi-coloured beanie combo that looked as if it had been pilfered from Liselle’s lost property stash at Sugden Road.

To the hockey, Foulger was in Angry-Man-in-Threes mode which was well matched to the Guildford coach who was in South African shouty mode.  The visitors started the stronger with Toby T and Jude bossing matters in midfield. Cowling at right half and Sam A’s pace at right wing was a constant threat and smart use of the aerial by Toby B and James meant Surbiton had many attacking options. A number of Guildford defenders stepped through well and the game was well balanced. The first half saw two goals from Sam and one from Cormac.

The second half saw a rejigging of personnel... the side lost some shape as Toby T was moved out of central midfield into the back. Cormac, a student who would score A* in his further maths/Latin but would struggle to make a D grade for his hockey geography - at one point, from his left half position he went the full Zinchenko - not only did he move centrally, but also to right half, centre back and everywhere in between.

Others who would cause the fines committee some action: Wabi, wearing black TA/Middlesex U13 shorts; Sammie, long flat slap passing straight onto the open stick of the oppo’s centre mid; Dexter - making a meal out of several chances and when faced with a goal having a shot which threatened the side line more than the goal; James A, crown green bowls aerial which was the equivalent of an octogenarian rolling the jack on a late Sunday afternoon; Cormac (late and bib); Sam A (bib); Cowling (choir boy haircut); Isaac (choir boy face).

Final score 3-0 to Surbiton. Thanks to the umps who blew very well and decisively.