Redsox Fight for a Draw
Closing in on the title
The Redsox had a two hour drive to Tooting to play London Wayfarers in a key battle for the league, with Wayfarers needing to win to close the gap they fielded a good young side on a cold fast sand-based astro.
Despite a raw cold easterly wind the Redsox got off to a hot start and pushed forward well up both flanks, good work by Tim Armitage set up a chance well taken by Terry Pollard (welcomed back after a two month recovery from his broken collar bone against the OC’s). The Wayfarers levelled with a deflection off a rising shot towards the near post but the Redsox had the edge and took the lead again from a lovely faint deflection by Steve Brady who moved well to reach a crisp strike into the circle by Steve Springthorpe.
We went into half time with a 2-1 lead but realised we would need to battle as their big squad were always likely to outrun our twelve. The Redsox kept up their intensity throughout the game and chances came up at both ends. In the end the final result came down to two penalty strokes: one rightfully given by Mike Gray when a goal bound ball struck a Redsox foot and one shortly afterwards not given by their umpire when a goal bound flick from Steve S struck their defender on the thigh (despite Mike Gray and everyone else in line indicating it was a clear penalty). The Wayfarers scored from their penalty via a deflection off the goal post to level the game 2-2 which is how the match ended.
All credit to the fighting spirit of the Redsox for nearly forcing the win, everyone worked hard and the defence of Jack Hargreaves, Chris CK (sadly spraining an ankle), Matt L, Hamish the axe Pringle, and Laurie played very well to a man. The midfield of Steve B, Hoops and Ben M worked their socks off on a pitch which did not lend itself to easy linking play and the forwards Tim A, Terry P, Scottish Steve & Micky ran and hassled well to keep the pressure up throughout.
Big thanks to Mike Gray for travelling so far and blowing so well despite bizarrely being asked to stop the game during the first half by the school caretaker who wanted to lock up and go home!!!
We took a rare selfie of the Redsox on a hockey pitch (attached) as we had decided that we would not stay for beers in London as most of the squad were heading straight back to join the RHC curry and others who had rugby commitments elsewhere.
Big thanks to Amrish for providing a much needed & delicious curry to feed a starving Redsox contingent who had not eaten since breakfast (and endured another two hours driving back from London)! It was great to see so many Reading and Spencer Vets in the bar when we got back at 5pm and with other younger teams coming into the bar after their games it felt as if we were back in Church Lane with a packed clubhouse in the 1980’s, sadly the 6.30pm 1st XI game vs Surbiton was iced off otherwise there would have been a great crowd to cheer them on.
The result helped us much more than Wayfarers and leaves the Redsox needing two more wins out of our last four games to guarantee the league victory, first up….Old Cranleighans at 11.30am at RHC next Saturday and a chance to revenge our only loss of the season – SO please do everything you can to play and let Bartie know asap.
Well done Redsox…we are nearly there!