Redsox took on top of the table Southgate at RHC today, the opposition arrived early and looked every bit the league leaders with an impressive warm up routine and to be honest the Redsox skipper thought scraping a draw would be a great result.
However, from the start the Redsox stepped up to a man and seized the game by the throat. Inspired by, man of the match, Dodds whose every pass landed on a Reading stick (class really is permanent), the hard running & skills of our two of younger players, Chris Armitage and Mike Sartorius, and the good flowing play we took the game to Southgate. Knowing we only had Chris and Mike for the first half they both responded to our request to take the game to Southgate and really hounded the Southgate defenders and unsettled their midfield.
Deservedly Chris put us ahead with a clinical follow-up strike to a saved Rage shot corner shot, he then linked excellently with Mike and coolly finished with a lifted strike over the advancing Southgate keeper, a great double strike Mr. Armitage. We were also helped when Micky and a Southgate defender chased an exquisite Dodds through ball only for the Southgate defender to pull-up with a torn muscle, Dodds then tried to take the nuts off another Southgate player to ensure they staggered onto the back foot.
2-0 up at half time was a fair reflection of the dominance of the Redsox right across the pitch; but with Chris and Mike leaving to play other RHC matches we were down to a bare 11 players, five of whom had already played in the competitive SV match in the morning so we knew we would have to battle hard to hold onto our lead against younger opponents.
Everyone ran their Red(blue)sox off and committed themselves to the cause, none more so than Steve, our tireless Scottish greyhound, but as our legs tired Southgate began to threaten more.
A great short- corner double save by Martin typified the determination of the defence to hold out but inevitably one slip allowed Southgate to score from a goal line scramble which put more pressure on the old legs. However, to everyone’s credit we dug deep and denied Southgate further chances and held onto an outstanding 2-1 win. A couple of deserved green cards for two Redsox only added to the excitement.
We were surprised to see and hear little from Bartie on the touchline but discovered afterwards he had quietly been putting in a match winning performance by realising there was a problem with the floodlights and tracking down the Sonning HC president to open a second electric box in their grounds to get our lights working. Thank you Bartie.
Big thanks to Mike and Laurie for umpiring so well, and Laurie who, selfless as ever, offered to umpire both halves rather than disrupt our line-up by coming on for the second half as originally planned.
To their credit, despite their somewhat negative comments on the pitch, Southgate proved to be good losers and were a social crew in the bar and three of them even outlasted the Redsox drinking team, which is a first ever incident.
Well done SuperVets, tough luck Rustlers today and good luck to the 060 cup side tomorrow.
Next week Redsox face OCs away (they have clearly strengthened their squad as they lie just behind us in fourth place) so we need all hands on deck please.
Well done Redsox it was one of our best, and most satisfying, wins in the last few seasons.
Updated 16:55 - 14 Nov 2016 by Micky Denehy