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Magnets 4 - 3 Spencer (A)

17th March 2024

By Mark Waller

South Masters Men’s O50 Premier League

Scorers: Beaney R 2, Michael, Wingfield

Squad: Andrew, Barnicoat D, Beaney C, Beaney R, Dye, Frost, Green, Hardy, Lane, Michael, Sharpe, Waller, Wingfield

After a couple of losses this was a must-win game to keep the Magnets out of the bottom two relegation slots, being just a point clear of Spencer in the table at the start of the day. Reports from recent opponents suggested that Spencer would be a tough opponent and this seemed borne out when we saw their line up, which included a past Olympian. However, buoyed by the presence of Apples, Ravvers and Noaksy, filling in for unavailable regulars, we felt confident of giving a good account of ourselves.

The match started with Spencer moving the ball around confidently and alarm bells started to ring, suggesting that perhaps we were in for a torrid time. However, the Magnets soon grew into the game and started to put together some good moves of their own. The dirst half was an evenly contested affair and the deadlock was only broken after a mistake allowed Spencer space to break and score. 

Just 1-0 down at half time we resumed the match with purpose, scoring within 45 seconds of the restart, after Luke intercepted a stray pass, tore down the wing and crossed for Richard Beaney to tap in. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Olympian to score with a reverse into the opposite corner after running through the defence - a quality goal. With both sides acutely aware of the consequences of losing there was no let up and the match was played end-to-end with chances at both. 

Our equaliser was scored after good teamwork and movement off the ball. As the defence focused on the most likely pass to the left, a great pass from Greeno picked up a run to his right by Chris Beaney who collected and hit a perfect pass to his brother for another tap in. Further attacking opportunities fell to Spencer and they scored again, this time from a direct PC strike. With their supporters urging them on and time running out, it felt that we might be out for the count. But another well-worked move and exchange of passes saw us awarded a PC of our own. A pass from the top found Luke at the right post who deftly controlled the ball and ignored a clumsy stick challenge to place the ball in the net. Credit to the umpire for playing advantage when many might have been tempted to stop play and award a PS.

So, with the clock ticking and both sides slugging it out, it seemed the match might be destined to be a draw. Spencer might have snuck a winner from one of several late PCs, but these were well-defended. Then with just a few minutes remaining the moment of glory arrived; another move saw Chris Beaney collect the ball on the right and smash a pinpoint cross for Wingers to trap and smash the ball against the backboard. Magnets saw out the remaining time to secure an excellent win.  

This was an excellent team performance and a thoroughly enjoyable game, which could easily have gone either way, well-umpired and played in good spirit. The only downside was an injury sustained by David Barnicoat early on in the game.

Our next match is against top-of-the-table Epsom. With just three games left, our objective remains survival and in all likelihood that means we will need at least a couple more points to be certain of staying up. On this showing we are perfectly capable of achieving this.