What a week! All five teams were battling in the Surrey League yesterday with the Mens' teams securing 3 wins! Sadly it wasn't meant to be this weekend for the ladies but there is everything still to play for. Here's what the teams had to say:
Men's 1's Vs Kenley, 2-0 win for Leatherhead!
A rare week with 10 confirmed players and an umpire secured before Wednesday training, was a good sign, throw in a first call up to the 1's for Freddie and we had a squad worthy of a result. First half started well with lots of pressure on the opposition defense, whilst our defense were solid and not allowing Kenley any clear cut chances. First goal came from an a great peace of skill from Harry working his way through a couple of players into the D before crossing the ball on his reverse only to get deflected into the goal by the oppo. It wasn't long before 1 nil became 2 nil and it was Shaun's time to produce a moment of skill, taking on a couple of players down the right before becoming free and being given time to slot the ball into the bottom corner. Second half was more of a story of missed chances with lots of short corners and a couple of great saves by the oppo keeper. Great team performance and looking forward to similar results in the season.
"M1 win two nil against Kenley 2s. Oppo we’re denied any shooting opportunities by a superb defensive display!"
MENS 2s (Diablos)
Another game another challenge, getting 11 bodies to the game had been proving a headache all week so it was no surprise come start time that we had 9 men, no keeper and no umpire. Capt Beast decided to umpire so 8 men and still no keeper. Harry managed to make a trip from Leatherhead to Epsom take over 30 minutes, Paul DP had been press ganged from the 3s game but was AWOL so we had to start short handed.
Epsom started brightly enough with a 3 man advantage, Harry soon joined the affray having finally found someone to tie his laces but even with a 9 men it soon became clear that we had a good chance in this game if we could keep Epsom out of the area. Leatherhead even created the better breakaways in the opening salvos but neither team had a real opening. Then, with 7 minutes of stalemate already elapsed, from the car park our keeper appeared. As he raced leisurely to the pitch we lost focus and Epsom broke 2 on 1 only to be thwarted, no more than a stick length from goal, by a last ditch intervention from Graeme “Strictly” Williamson, him with the dancing feet.
With a keeper in place we rejigged our formation and began to take a hold on the game and when our 11th man arrived with 15 mins gone our transformation was complete. Our attacks were pushing Epsom further and further back, their attacks were parodic as we snuffed out the midfield. All this pressure gained us a PC, the deliberately slow injection lulling the defence into a false sense of success allowing Harry to casually flick the ball into the backboard twixt goalkeeper and left post man. Despite more pressure that was the end of the scoring and the half came to an end with the words of Joe B “They’ve got nothing” reverberating around the pitch.
After what was described as “a frank assessment” by acting capt Laptop we started the 2nd half positively conceding an equaliser from a PC after a few minutes, 1-1 and all to play for. This appeared to galvanise us and we put a long sustained period of pressure on which appeared to sap all the energy from a flagging opposition and with better final passes we would have increased our lead. The deadlock was finally broken with a swift break down the right the ball ending up with Billy Whizz who cut in from the right before slotting a reverse stick finish past a wrong footed goalkeeper.
Epsom spirit was broken and we went on the rampage scoring a 3rd goal as we passed clinically through Epsom’s midfield and defence for Stu T to slot home from a rebound off the keeper then with the game into the final 5 minutes another sweeping move down the right across to the left, a perfect pass fell to Lewis H-S to finish first time reverse stick, 4-1.
The contest was over and we calmly saw the game through to it’s conclusion.
Next week top of the table Cranleigh with a deserter.
Men's 3s vs Kenley Men's 4s, 2-1 win for Leatherhead!
Match Report pending but we know the boys survived and were in good spirits as the Ladies 1's caught them eating sandwiches back at the club house!
L1 lost 3-1 to the very skilled Old Kingstonian Ladies' 2s. Although being well matched for the majority of the game, we were unfortunately a little slow off the mark and whilst still trying to find our feet, OK scored two goals in the first ten minutes. Their first official goal came moments after a contested goal – contested because it was scored shortly after the opposition ref blow the whistle for a Leatherhead ball which OK failed to stop for. After winning the challenge, OK were awarded the ball (still trying to work that one out) and unluckily for us, drove the ball straight into our defence feet, awarding themselves a short corner. Despite our best efforts, OK moved the ball around our players and secured their first goal.
We pulled our socks up and battled on, only to find them back in our D once again, landing a top corner goal. 2-0.
After a quick roll of subs to feed in some new energy, we managed to keep on top of OK for the remaining time in the 1st half, deflecting the cheeky ones that managed to sneak their way into our defence line - great work defence and goalie Jo! With an extra boost, our forwards played some beautiful hockey, feeding the ball through OK's players and straight into their D. With a couple of well-executed manvouers, Cathy moved the ball round the goalie (who at present was on the floor) and secured our first goal of the game, bringing the scoreline up to 2-1.
Moving into the second half, we pulled together much better as a team, making advances harder for OK and securing ourselves plenty of shots on goal and 3 or 4 short corners. Sadly it wasn't meant to be, as no matter how many opportunities we created, their goalie always seemed to be standing in the way (not that we blame her). After some time, OK worked their way back into our half and secured their third goal. 3-1. We battled on for a final 10mins but alas, we were out of time to make up the goal difference.
Despite the final score, it was a beautiful day for a competitive game of hockey. We have lots to practice at training and have seen the importance of a proper warm up before the games to ensure morales are boosted and our heads are switched on before the first whistle. Although it isn't the score we wanted, we have previously won against OK in a friendly so know we have everything to play for in the rematch next year!
In the words of the Captain: "We'll go on the B of the Bang next time out ;-) Well played everyone. Many, many thanks to Shaun Hurman for umpiring for us"
Ladies 2s came a very close second against Horley today. 😂 Beaten by a lucky number 7. By far the best goal of the day came from Lucy Dorrington with an impressive deflection in to the top corner! Not sure who the GK was but she needs to learn to stay on her feet and maybe grow a bit! Well done for battling hard everyone - good morale, good running and thanks to Martin for umpiring.