With the ladies section enjoying their second week off league hockey, it was up to the men to bag those three points and bring home the bacon. Here's what the teams had to say:
What sounded like a winning match was sadly snatched in the final five minutes when Addiscombe Men's 2s potted their second goal bringing the final score line to 2-2. One point bagged and a pulled pork teas to finish the morning.
MENS 2s (Diablos)
The sun setting over the crematorium signalled the commencement of hostilities against a useful Guildford outfit, one we had lost to narrowly in the corresponding fixture despite only having 9 men.
Joe B had volunteered to go between the sticks in our lovely new kit, not as new as it was when his christened it against Cranleigh, but new nonetheless and this kit doesn’t smell like the walking dead. We also welcomed Dan back from injury, scar and all & We James “Bob Sikorsky” Hancox, oh how we have missed his air shots and head high crosses at fines.
This was always going to be a close I contest, Guildford being a well drilled unit but Leatherhead having that Maverick element. Early exchanges went Leatherhead’s way, their attacks, whilst not as structured as Guildford’s, were certainly more creative but alas no goals manifested from our assaults.
It was a surprise when Guildford took the lead on 12 minutes, not least to their young goal scorer who attempted an optimistic reverse stick shot from a very narrow angle which he misfit with such disguise that it ballooned up and looped over Joe at full stretch but just under the crossbar at the far post and nestled on the side netting, 1-0.
Again I will say this team has more resilience than the past few seasons and surely enough back we came, Shaun B mesmerising runs and Dan’s sublime control bossing midfield but it was a Guildford defensive error that lead to the equaliser. An aerial down the line missed by the rendered allowing James “Bob Sikorsky” Hancox to slot home on his return to the fold, 1-1.
Both sides had chances to get their noses in front, from open play and penalty corners but with these chances spurned the half time whistle went with the scores even.
The second half began much as the first had ended, Guildford playing the pretty passing Hockey but with no penetration, Leatherhead running through their midfield but without finding an end product, 15 minutes of quite enthralling nip and tuck ensued until the game was turned on it’s head by a series on controversial decisions.
Guildford were awarded an penalty corner, the subsequent attempted was lifted sister high into the first runner, another pc. On field captain hit the post in defiance and was shown a green card, from the retake the initial shot was blocked but the rebound fell to the shooter who lined up the corner and fired the ball dead centre and through Joe B’s legs as he stretched to where he and everyone else thought the ball was going.
We recommenced knowing this was now an uphill battle but as I have stated before this team does not roll over so easily now, sure enough, once we were back to a full 11 we stared to impose ourselves against, penalty corners were won but not converted, even with a well crafted move leaving a 2 on 1 we still didn’t get a shot off as the defender intercepted the pass. However, from the turnover the resulting Guildford attack ended in a controversial in a pc, one umpire seeing it as backing in but the umpire by the D where the offence took place saw feet. With the corner awarded we prepared, blissfully unaware of what was about to unfold.
The pc was defended but only at the expense of another, then another until I lost count at 6 and it is rare indeed if you can defend that many on the bounce and sure enough Guildford finally converting the 6th (possibly more) with a fine drag flick into to the top left corner, 3-1.
We still fought on, won a couple of ps’s but alas no conversion, Shaun B got a yellow card for kicking the ball away and the game ended fairly acrimoniously unfortunately as we have played 2 fine games against Guildford this season but taken 0 points.
DotD: No comment
Our Mens 3s took on Addiscombe Herons this week but sadly came away with a 2-4 loss. They are clinging on in 10th place out of 12 teams with three games left to play. Hang in there boys!
This week saw our ladies section come together for a very spirited friendly game. With eight aside, one umpire and one goalie to share, we opted for half pitch with four quarters (2x15mins and 2x7mins) so we could share Emma!
Non-bibs got first dibs of the keeper and managed to pot three goals in the empty box at the other end of the pitch. Although slightly exhausted, this did not deter the bibs from fighting back and bringing the score up to 3-2 in the next quarter. Although that quickly turned to 4-2 when Liz Carleton pulled off a cheeky shot past Emma's foot.
Not giving up just yet – and fuelled up on halftime sweets – the bibs kept their goal empty for the next seven minutes, before gaining Emma back for the last minutes of the game. It was in those final moments that they secured their 3rd goal and even set up two promising shots, but it sadly wasn't meant to be.
It was a 4-3 victory to the non-bibs and one tired umpire who did a cracking job on the pitch and also grabbed teas for everyone – thanks Kat!
Other exciting news:
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