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BU16 Coyotes 6 - 2 Old Loughtonians BU16 (A)

18th March 2024

By Will Hayes

To Old Loughtonians for effectively a Tier 1 National Finals eliminator. A few parents reminisced about argy-bargy affairs of yesteryear at Old Loughts with the likes of Nick Thompson and Julian Halls representing the Essex based side; the visitors knew they would have to be on their game. 

Billy, in the coaching role, had seemingly made a trip to the barbers pre game - whilst the cut was neat and trim, he may have to up the product-quotient to keep up with the likes of Surbiton coaching stalwart Fred M. Billy was quick to acknowledge that his prediction of a "high press" was wholly wrong as the Louts side sat off. The tactic worked as the ball was nicked in midfield and the home side took a deserved lead in the 6th minute with an open play goal. The Coyotes seemed to settle and show more patience and whilst not being able to convert a number of PCs, numbers in the D saw an unmarked Dexter slot home a field goal in minute 10. 

The next goal had the hallmarks of a goal scored at one of Surbiton pre-season cup matches - on that occasion, Allsop received an aerial on the back post and forehand smashed it in (a la Federer). In that instance, the goal was given much to the chagrin of the online hockey umpiring community (what time are we next meeting up guys?). History seemed to repeat itself as a good save (amongst a strong collection it has to be said) from the Loughts keeper at a PC went up in the air between the P spot and the centre of the goal. As everyone readied themselves for a re-awarded penalty corner, Toby Thompson readied the Babolat and forehand smashed it in - goal. 2-1 Surbiton at half time. 

In the second half, Loughts continued to prove threatening on the counter attack having a number of highly skilled pacey players. Surbiton in previous games had looked vulnerable to a similar approach, thankfully, if one could produce a love child of  Rodri and Shaquille O’Neill (size 17 feet), it might look a bit like Sammie who used his oversized Adidas trainers and ample derriere to make a tackle/get a foot in the way/some body in to slow down any counters. Meanwhile, Jude was posing a real handful using his pace and silky skills to good effect. 

Coxy was also using his neat skills down the inside left channel which lead to a PC. His drag flick was neatly met by a Cowling deflection - straight off the training ground (actually were they both at training?)  - 3-1. 

Strong play from a number of midfielders meant that Bennett had more space in the midfield area where he then put on the afterburners and hit an-along-the-carpet tomahawk to make it 4-1. 

Old Loughts weren't going to lie down and after a number of PCs, they scored in minute 51 from a corner to make it 4-2. 

Fordy knew from his playing days at Leatherhead FC that a two goal lead is never a comfortable one and an eye of the needle through pass from someone (sorry, I cant recall who) saw Fordy show a good burst of pace to go clear and 1-on-1 with the keeper who he rounded neatly and slotted home from a tight angle. Messrs Hebert and Balls were calmness and low stick tackling personified and the Coyotes weathered any further Loughts attacks well. With five minutes to go, a stroke was awarded after the ball struck a Loughts defender on the line. Toby T finished neatly to leave his dad facing jug evasion penalties. 

To Nottingham then (we think - to be confirmed in due course) on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April for the National Finals. Thanks to Old Loughts for hosting and the umpires.