This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept

BU16 Coyotes Lose to Canterbury on Shoot Outs

3rd March 2024

By Will Hayes

Having only faced defeat against Canterbury over the last few years, the Coyotes knew they were in for a stiff test against the well-organised Kent outfit. 

It was fair to say that Bennett coming in for the injured Sammie was an upgrade; but the latter provided support from the bench albeit his mufti combo of Palace, grey tracksuit bottoms and Air Max had the look and feel of menacing-teenager-hanging-outside-Londis. 

Trips to Polo Farm in previous years had seen the classic umpiring combo of bright polyester umpiring tops, Farah slacks and hard blowing of the whistle at the sign of any physicality. No repeat at Sugden Road - sun's out - guns outs/shorts-on. 

Neither side really managed to get much control in the midfield area - close marking from the visitors prevented much flow in the Surbiton play although corners were won - one memorably by Dexter appealing with the same eyes-on-stalks vigour that Ian Poulter would show when draining a Ryder Cup putt. Whilst the PC routine seemed to be working okay, what Surbiton hadn't factored in was that the Canterbury post-man's winter training. On the face of it, it appeared that the player had spent the last four months in an indoor cricket school facing rapid throw-downs; so, when faced by an Allsop drag flick around the chest, just a short transfer of weight onto the back foot and old school pull shot, rolled wrists behind square. Next, a Bennett drag flick at shin high, I’ll paddle sweep that for one. 

Canterbury looked quite threatening on the counter attack and scored from a field goal towards the end of the first half making use of an overload. Half time allowed Bennett to take on board smelling salts after he had taken a blow a-mid-ships which seemed to take effect with him making a few bursting runs. Wabi managed to get some change down the right hand side with some pace and Jude was using his drag backs to good effect and winning corners - but the Canterbury defence and keeper held firm. Hebert worked tirelessly in midfield and tackled well to prevent time and space for his counterparts. 

In the end it was left to Geering to take matters into his own hands. A missive had been sent midweek that the classic Geering combo of blue Canterbury undershirt with white Mizuno top was not to be repeated. Whilst there was progress on the one hand (no coloured undershirt), his parents saw that he was the only player (on either side) to not have a number on his shirt. Anyway, the numberless player, took the ball into the inside right channel and with a wristy upright forehand hit beat the keeper on the near post. 1-1 with about 15 minutes to go. 

Surbiton had a few more PCs, but as the minutes ticked on there were a few hairy moments as the ball was coughed up cheaply during the transfer phase - no harm done. Scores level at 70 minutes meant shuffles. Geering dispatched his shuffle with calm, but not with quite the same elan as Bennett; his shoulder-shimmy to beat the keeper having been taught by his father Wayne, his party-piece on the dance floors of Croydon nightclubs in the mid 90's. However, despite one smart save from Isaac the remaining Surbiton players didn’t score (fair play for having the cajones to put yourselves forward ) which left Canterbury taking the bonus point.

So, Sunday 17th March at Old Loughts is likely to see both sides dukeing it out for second place in the group. A Surbiton win or draw plus shoot-out win would get it done. A loss or a draw plus shoot-out loss would see Old Louts make it through to the National Finals.