Reading Mens 2As 3 Old Loughts 2By Reading Hockey Club • Oct 20th, 2013 • Category: M2A, Match Reports
Reading arrived at Sonning Lane for their first home game of the season. Although the father figure that is Capt Bishop was ruled out due to a serious injury, they went into the game feeling buoyed following an 8-3 win away against Indian Gym the week previously. As a result much was expected of such a talented group of players.
The game began with the quality and ambition that could be a feature of the season to come. Although this ability and promise is yet to be harnessed, it was clear for all to see. A youthful mix of skill and composure saw an early lead established off the back of an Ali Higginson goal, slotted carefully whilst under pressure from Old Loughts. This efficient start was unfortunately not an example of things to come. As Reading dropped their level to that of the opposition it was obvious that Old Loughts had set out to ensure a disjointed game of relentless and dogged hockey would ensue and Old Loughts playing four bludgers up front in no way helped the situation for Reading’s back four, each falling victim to the almost agricultural tackling technique of these players. This admittedly does not excuse what happened for the remaining minutes of the game, but nevertheless it all fell apart from here forward.
Reading forged on in an attempt to ignore that things weren’t quite falling into place and in fact went two clear after some creative fast flowing hockey, finished again by the in form Ali. This unfortunately was closely followed by conceding their first of the day.
Half time saw a dressing down by the old guard and some self reflection. Reading were frustrated by the opposition and their own play and craved to demonstrate their capability. They talked the talk, but, could they walk the walk?
The second half began with glimpses of play discussed at the break, but what followed did not resemble anything like it. The aggressive and stodgy hockey played by the visiting side heightened the growing frustration of the Reading players and the now baying spectators. Finally cards were dished out for members of each side and Old Loughts took the opportunity to level the score after some sustained pressure in the Reading half. This only added to the brewing anger within the team.
What resulted was a classic Reading response (a few toys were thrown out of the pram and then the onslaught began). Reading camped out in the opposition half and unleashed an unrelenting barrage upon the opponents D, resulting in a much celebrated short corner and goal from Warren Wild to put the score 3-2 in Reading’s favour. This destroyed Old Loughts game plan and the game ended at 3-2 and quite rightly so.
In summary a hard fought win was dug out of a horrific game of hockey. To play well beneath capability and then win shows the potential of the team, but is not until next Saturday that this will be challenged once again. No doubt a better display will be required by all. Onwards and upwards.