This week's weekly round up is dedicated to the amazing goalies we have in the club! All of them helped saved our bacon this weekend: pulling off superb dives, boosting team morale and keeping final scores in single figures! This is what the teams had to say:
Men's 1's Vs Chertsey Thames Valley. To be honest this is one of those match reports I don't really want to write. But even after the usual squad troubles (12 declines 11 accepts including call ups for Paul D P and Lewis Harvey Samuel.) The squad was looking decent. The first half, and the first 10mins and we had decent possession and one great chance only foiled by the pace of one of their defenders. This is where the good news ends and the bad begins. A quick counter and two quick goals for Chertsey meant they went in at half time 2-0 up. And Leatherhead let it get to them. Frustration set in, mistakes were made, positions were no longer a standard structure and it all went a bit wrong. Chertsey score another 5? (I think) in the second half, mostly through two on one's against Paul D P who stood no chance. We need to learn to play our game, our way, and keep our heads up. Final score 7-0 to Chertsey.
MENS 2s (Diablos)
A glorious day, we had 11 men, including a keeper, on the pitch for push back with a 12th on his way, ignoring his injury, delayed by a puncture.
We knew OCs are a solid, well drilled unit and so it proved, they ran midfield pinning us in our half for long periods but we defended resolutely and did have the odd foray to the other end, Shaun Burchell utilising his pace, Freddie Field, Ben Bavin and Richard Ashurst utilising pace and youthful exuberance. Alas we were undone after 15 mins, overwhelmed by numbers resulting in a tap in for 1-0.
Five minutes later OCs won a PC, the strike striking Graeme Williamson just under the knee as he raced out (the resulting lump evidence enough). The resulting PC was deflected high into the roof of the net from the Postman Matt Gumpert’s stick. The rest of the half saw us repel everything OCs threw at us and half time was reached with us just 2-0 down.
With the captain umpiring the vice left his position in the crowd to take the team talk, a little reorganisation in midfield to disrupt OCs plans. As with all these things it was no surprise when 2-0 became 3-0 shortly after the restart. We are more resilient this season and we started to negate OCs and push them back, it had became a great fast flowing game.
With 5 minutes to go Shaun B got his just desserts for his endeavours claiming a goal back, but despite pressuring them until the final whistle, no more goals were forthcoming.
A happier team retired to the clubhouse for refreshments.
Our Mens 3s had an away game against Sanderstead Men's 2s. They came second place this week with an 8-0 loose.
The alarm clock went off at 7:45am to give plenty of snooze opportunities before the inevitable drive to Surbiton to meet the team for 9:15. By far the earliest start we’ve had, we managed to beat the opposition to their home turf and get half way through the warm up before the pitch was flooded by water canons.
Team talk completed as the jets of water did their thing, we were given just two minutes to get a box going with Jo (goalie) and some last minute stretches on the side of the pitch.
After last week’s scores were submitted, Surbiton tallied up just behind us in the league. This meant before the game started we knew to things: a) they’d be an equal match for us, and b) they’d be goal hungry and wanting a win. These prematch assumptions were soon realised after Surbiton secured the first goal of the game in the opening 10mins of play.
And that was when it started to get interesting for Leatherhead...
1-0 down we reset at the half way line. Through teamwork and pressure, we very quickly drove the ball up the pitch and into Surbiton’s D. Quickly closed down by defenders, the ball was passed out to Megan Smith who passed it straight back in to Eloisa Tovee at the top of the D. Ely had one touch on the ball before hitting it into the goal to the left of goalie – whose attention was still facing the distraction created by the rest of the team! This distraction secured LHC’s first goal of the game, and Ely’s first goal of the season!
Next up, Debbie Raymond, Cathy Laslett and Liz Carleton pulled off some superb teamwork in the D. Having worked the ball around the goalie, the forwards got the ball to Debbie who popped it straight into the goal securing a 2-1 lead before halftime!
Being well aware a lot can happen in 35mins, we went back onto the pitch ready for Surbiton to fight back. And they certainly kept us on our toes, but that didn't stop Megan Smith securing our third goal which, without wishing to over dramatise, was like watching a game of ping pong with a hockey ball! Having no memory of how the ball got into the D or to Megan's stick, all I remember is watching it bounce into the goal and a pitch full of faces looking pretty amazed seconds after!
The last and final goal of the game came after from Jess Laslett who had the confidence to run the ball a few steps into the D and hammer it straight into the left hand side of the goal through a D full of players. Although knowing when to move the ball on is key, knowing when to wallop it is just as vital!
Although names are put on goal scoring balls, every single one yesterday was secured by team effort. We used the full width of the pitch and pulled off some great hockey all the way through from the squad. As well as attacking forward as a team, Jo Parish and the defence team did an amazing job securing our D, and our goal! Despite a fair few short corners awarded throughout the game – including four in Surbiton's favour just as Liz Carleton and Ely tried to roll as subs – and two penalty flicks awarded in favour of Surbiton – promised not to mention Jules here ;-) – only one made it through.
This was down to Jo's superb dives and off-putting eye gestures (managed to put off the first penalty shot!), Jules Woollatt securing the post / shadowing any breakthrough runners throughout the game and Rebecca Riiser bravely taking on the first player in short corners again and again – applying enough pressure to snuff their routines before they got underway. Sophie did an amazing job supporting the mid/defence no matter which way the team was running – as always – and Liz Aeissame and Olivia Treverton-Jones were relentless. Beating the opposition to the ball and ensuring the ball moved quickly back up the wings as they could!
We finished the game 4-1 and celebrated our run of 6 undefeated weeks with a victory team boomerang (visited Instagram!).
Second place for the L2s again this weekend at home. Slight change to the team lineup and a cobbled together rolling system by the vice captain being made up as I went along! Really well done for fighting till the end. Two halves at 3-0 each. Brilliant GK work from Tasha Feddery in goal and thanks to Martin for umpiring. Hopefully next week we can pull something fabulous out the bag. Thanks for everyone who came to support Jules and Ely. Plus the mums and Charlotte Pennels for providing me with a much needed mocha and assistance with getting everyone’s surnames in alphabetical order!