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Redsox - Match centre

Reading Redsox
Richmond Men's Vets
Sat 27 Jan 12:00 - Higgins Group London Hockey League - Vets Division 2 Full time

Satisfying Win Over Richmond

snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

Not our best performance but ultimately the most exciting and satisfying win of the season to-date.

The Redsox took on a feisty Richmond side in the rain on the water based Sonning Lane pitch, we fielded a strong squad, although with Chris C-K surprisingly absent we were one less than expected; but we were pleased to welcome Mike Rippon (for a half) and Angus to the Redsox for their first games of the season. Pretty quickly we realised Richmond were very much up for the game as they ran well and moved the ball onto sticks better than the Redsox. Richmond took the lead through a questionably dangerous high ball into our circle deflected into the goal very well by their centre forward and they were soon 2-0 up as the Redsox struggled to find their usual passing fluency and gave away too much possession. When we did create chances disappointing misses, notably by Micky and Rippon, meant we went into half time with much to do.

Bartie made a few changes and with Paxo moving to centre midfield we began to move the ball better; despite good running from Soma & Keevey we were still unable to get the early second half goal to spark our come back. As time slipped by the level of frustration rose culminating in Mike S getting a green card.

But driven on by the support of Woolven and a still flu-ridden Hoops, the Redsox finally began to turn up the tempo and create some overload down both flanks; with less than 15 minutes to go Richmond came close to scoring a breakaway 3rd goal but fine keeping from Martin kept them out. We immediately moved the ball upfield and some real class play in the circle from Soma set up Keevey for a well taken first goal. This lifted the team and we increased our work rate as we pushed for the equaliser, with Richmond noticeably tiring they resorted to long clearances down the pitch to ease the pressure, but this simply ensured that Redsox secured much more possession and forced a series of short corners and other chances.

Our equaliser finally came with six minutes left to play, another class Soma assist saw him slip the perfect pass to Keevey to score his second well taken goal. The Redsox now scented victory and pushed forward while Richmond crumbled, with two minutes to play we won yet another short corner and a late call for Damon to try a drag flick proved to be a good one as he converted via a deflection off a defender’s stick (rumour has it that this was Damon’s first goal scored directly from a short corner drag flick). A very exciting finale to what had been a below average Redsox performance, the win was made sweeter by the fact that Nigel Woolven, who had not spotted our first goal, congratulated us on a great come back to draw the game and even said it must have felt as good as a win (old age catches up with us all Nigel!).

We have now beaten Richmond 3-2 in both our games this season but they proved to be good and sociable losers; our celebrations in the bar were made more entertaining when Chris C-K arrived at 2.30pm kitted up and ready to play……three hours too late – Numpty! The usual team selfie is attached.

Thanks to Bartie for managing the squad and to Mike Gray and Phil Bastion for umpiring well in the face of too much Redsox chat. No game next Saturday, but the Super vets will need help, and then on Feb 10th we have OKs at home at 1pm (please note C-K). I am away skiing so will be looking for news of another win to nudge us toward the league title.

Well done Redsox for showing how team spirit and positivity (plus the occasional touch of class) can enable a team to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!

Micky

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Vets Division 2 results

Epsom HC Embers 2
Wimbledon Masters 2nds
London Wayfarers Centurions
Crawley Men's Vets
Old Cranleighans Barnstormers
East Grinstead Saints
Bromley and Beckenham Veterans

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