LHC Round-up - 10th February

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With the ladies section and Mens 3 enjoying a week off, it's up to the remaining lads (and mixed team) to bring home the available points! All three teams battled through wind, rain and even snow on Sunday and credit to them all, they well and truly delivered. Here's what the teams had to say: 

MENS 1s

Men's 1's Vs Reigate: it was one of the more unusual sites as I pull up in the car park for the Reigate match, there appeared to be other hockey players there, almost a full and they appeared to be wearing Leatherhead colours. This really set the tone for the game, we turned up as a team, and we played as a team. We had a couple of people helping out, however the overall balance on the pitch seemed to be working well. The game was hard fought with a well drilled Reigate team, who took the lead early on in the game, but we were limiting their chances to set pieces and half chances, all of the open play hockey was being played by Leatherhead and it didn't take us long to pull one back. The first first ended in a statement at 2-2 but Leatherhead had definitely had the better of the play. Second half comes and without any subs we were getting a little tired on the pitch, however we showed that you don't need to run with the ball to play hockey. We passed around Reigate, made the ball do the work and it paid off. We kept the pressure on and secured another 2 goals in the second half, with Reigate only managing to find the net once more with an audacious loft into the D followed by volley baseball bat style into the goal. It was too little too late for Reigate, the final whistle went and Leatherhead could hold their heads up high for a well deserved victory of 4-3.

MENS 2s (Diablos)

And low, it came to pass that another six pointer loomed large on the horizon as Kenley were welcomed to “The Field”, a rather shambolic gathering saw start time arrive with Kenley mustering 9 and Leatherhead’s keeper hot-footing it from from Reigate in Das Bestienwagen.

The game finally got underway and Leatherhead were immediately on the offensive, we knew how important this game was and how we dropped 2 points in the earlier corresponding fixture, however this early dominance did not result in that all important early goal.

The first 15 minutes flew by still at stalemate until a slick move from midfield and the combination of Rory and Shaun B released Harry who casually fired home giving us a much deserved lead. Unfortunately this downturn in fortunes appeared to galvanise Kenley and they began to push us back putting our defence under some strain and the unthinkable happened with the first half nearing its end, Kenley won a penalty corner and the resulting strike deflected off the post man into the net for 1-1, which was to be the half time score line.

The start of the second half was a mirror of the first with Leatherhead doing all the pressing, Kenley restricted to a few parodic breaks that were easily contained by our midfield and defence and with 10 minutes gone of the second period Leatherhead restored their advantage as Richard A swept home at the far post post from close range. This time we were more resolute in defending our lead and Kenley were not being given chance to come back as we were enjoying long periods of possession and it was no surprise when five minutes later we extended our lead when Harry was allowed far too much time by the Kenley defenders allowing him to smartly convert a reverse stick shot to make it 3-1.

With our confidence high we knew we could win this, we calmly repelled to expected late onslaught as Kenley pressed and with time almost up we released the ball early downfield to Harry who easily lost his marker and honed in on goal before rounding the keeper and passing the ball into the empty goal for 4-1 moments before the final whistle.

4-1 and 3 points to pull us a little clearer of the dreaded drop zone.

MotM: Harry Higgs
DotD: No-one

MENS 3s

Our Mens 3s had the week off but are due to take on Addiscombe Herons next week.

LADIES

Due to half term, the ladies section got to leave their gum shields and sticks at home and enjoy a week off hockey. They will return to league matches on the 24th February and have a friendly planned next week! 

MIXED

Although no points were on the table, ten brave LHC players took on Epsom in wind, rain, snow and sleet last Sunday. And despite us being a mismatched of players, we did a quick round of names and that seemed to be enough to help us gel on pitch!

Within the first two minutes of play, the team moved the ball round the back, up through the centre and on to Dan Lambert on the right. He ran it up the wing, straight into the D and throwing himself at the ball, chipped it into the top left hand corner securing the first goal of the game. Now, I'm not sure what order the following three goals happened but what I do remember is that Wizard got hold off the ball close to the goal line, battled against the keeper with his back turned to him and knocked the ball behind his body into the left hand pocket of the goal. Come half time, this second goal meant we were even stevens on a 2-2 draw with everything to play for in the second half. 

This is where the weather started to fluctuate. Already cold and overcast, the snow decided to make two appearances, driving snowflakes into our eyes as we battled forward towards Epsom's goal. After about twenty minutes and a lot of lucky misses from Epsom, LHC managed to secure a short corner which we hoped would tip the score in our favour. Mark took the push in to Ely who after taking a few steps forward, moved the ball around Epsom's first runner and took a strike on goal, nutmegging the goalie and brining the score up to 3-2. With about ten minutes left on the clock, we kept the ball moving to keep it out of our D and managed to successfully pass it through the centre back over to Dan who passed three people and reverse sticked tomahawked it straight at the goalie, marginally missing him and scoring the last goal of the game. 

We left the pitch exhausted but with a 4-2 win and a tub of Percy Pigs and a promise of a beer back at the Epsom clubhouse. Great work team!

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Other exciting news:

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Dinner dance tickets are now available!! Taking place March 24th, the annual LHC Dinner Dance promises to be an evening fun of dancing, eating and generally being merry! It is a great chance to celebrate the season with not only your team but the club as a whole and, if you're extra lucky, to take home a trophy for your contribution to the club! 

All the information you need about the night and who to get your money to can be found here: https://www.leatherheadhockeyclub.co.uk/new-events/2018/3/24/end-of-season-dinner-dance

More to follow next week...