Redsox match reports 2016/17
Epsom 4 – 2 Redsox September 17th
Last week we had a very good and competitive match away at Epsom, the team played good passing hockey to deservedly take a 2-1 lead in the first half. Unfortunately, we were somewhat overrun in the second half with Epsom fielding & rotating a squad of 15, most of whom had younger legs than us, against our squad of 12 and we eventually went down 4-2. Great to see Rowan playing so well in his first outing with Reading, his good control & drag flicks will prove a great asset & he scored with a great short corner flick, our other goal was well taken in open play by Roger following a good move with Chris Wright. Everyone worked their socks off, especially Roger, Rage and Steve B in midfield but in the end Epsom deserved their victory to top the league.
Redsox 5 – 2 Bromley & Beckenham September 24th
Today we comprehensively beat Bromley & Beckenham 5-2 (x2 Chris Wright, x2 Fitty, x1 Micky) with excellent Redsox debuts from South African Steve, Hamish and Mike S (we loved his younger legs!). Damon added some class when he joined us towards the end of the first half and Phil Crosby bolstered our defence and clearly needs to play as often as he can.
However, everyone one played well and Trevor ran the bench with aplomb to ensure we all got good pitch time. Thanks to Robbo for joining us directly from the Indian Gym Grandmasters match and to Mike Gray for blowing so well. A few green cards were handed out by the B&B umpire so a good lesson for the Redsox to curb some of their more competitive instincts as the season progresses. On the social front, most of the Redsox stayed on to watch an impressive Holcombe ladies side overrun Reading and consequently drank most of the extra match kitty.
Thanks to all who played last week and today, it is encouraging to see the Redsox playing good, flowing hockey so early in the season and when we play teams of our own age we are a very powerful side, our challenge will be to hold on against the younger and more mobile teams in the league.
Redsox 6 – 3 Spencer October 1st
Last minute changes resulted in the Redsox starting with a squad 12 which threatened to be insufficient against a fast and feisty young Spencer squad of 14 players. However, the wily experience of the whole squad and the added class of Thompsom, Sharpe and Singh helped the Redsox to a fine win.
Ben opened our scoring with a sublime solo effort finished off with a very un-Redsox reverse stick rocket from the top of the circle, Spencer then began to run us hard and equalised with a well struck short corner. A dramatic and dangerously close lighting strike and torrential rain shower forced the umpires to stop the game as we ran for cover after 15 minutes, giving our defence a much appreciated breather. Our wily manger Trevor Jones decided to make the only change available and brought on the skipper and told him to play high in attack, within a minute of the restart a sweetly hit cross from Ben S to the far post saw Denehy dive full length and manage to steer a reverse stick deflection into the net (just as he was about to start the Redsox customary celebratory dance he noticed one finger was pointing in completely wrong direction and headed instead to the Royal Berks A&E driven by the Redsox wily ambulance driver, Trevor Jones…thank you Trevor you are an angel!)
While Micky was getting his dislocated finger sorted the Redsox went onto an excellent win (helped by the timely but unexpected arrival of Chris Wright from a previous game).
Ben Sharpe scored a second and Soma claimed a hat-trick, mainly assisted by Rob T who managed our short corner routine to great effect. Feedback from various players make it clear that, in addition to the above mentioned goal scorers, tireless work from the two Steves (South African and Scottish) in midfield plus excellent shepherding of a young attack by our gracefully aging defence mainly kept Spencer at bay and allowed the Redsox forwards the room to create short corners, score regularly and secure a fine win.
Thanks to Mike Gray for umpiring through wind and rain, Trevor for managing and ambulance duties and to the whole squad for rallying to teach Spencer a good lesson about Vets hockey!
Redsox 6 – 1 Wimbledon October 15th
Another excellent Redsox display saw us emerge worthy 6-1 winners against Wimbledon, the game nicely finished off with a couple of excellent “team” goals based on good passing hockey which allowed us to open up the Wimbledon defence and create & take the chances.
We dominated possession throughout and should have been more than 2-1 up at half time but we fluffed a couple of chances in front of goal; at least the close score-line gave Bartie the chance to intervene on Nigel’s half time talk despite previously promising he wouldn’t! Regardless of, or perhaps inspired by, the differing half time opinions the second half display was outstanding Vets hockey …….and we took our chances much better!
Our goals included an excellent hat-trick from Mile Pell, all three were sweet strikes from the top of the circle following flowing moves; a well struck short corner from Rage and good finishing from SAS (South African Steve) and Mike “Legs” Sartorius.
Everyone played well and helped us retain our dominant possession throughout the game, but hats off for Mike’s hatrick, Graham Jackson (making his Redsox debut at sweeper) who never put a foot wrong and our joint - managers Nigel Woolven and Trevor Jones who rotated the squad of 14 to very good effect to ensure we kept fresh legs on the pitch at all times which proved decisive as Wimbledon tired in the second half.
Big thanks to the two Mikes (Gray and Keiller) for umpiring so well and handling Wimbledon’s occasional complaints, the game was played in a good competitive spirit and they ensure it did not overstep the line.
The win leaves us in a creditable third place with 3 wins out of 4, next week we are away to Oxted (1.30pm start) so keep diaries free and please let Bartie know your availability asap, we want to keep the good momentum rolling with another win.
Good luck to the O50 cup team today.
Redsox 6 – 2 Oxted October 22nd
Another good win for the Redsox away to Oxted (having scored six goals in out last three matches I think we might need to rename the team Redsix).
Again the Redsox dominated the game with some good Vets hockey but should have gone into half time more than 3-2 up, the narrow score promoted the skipper to deliver a fairly damning verdict based on the fact that we gave easy possession away too often.
Helped by the experience of Dodds and Mason at the heart of defence (welcome, Dodds, to hockey Vets league 2016/17) plus a strong squad across the field we upped our game in the second half and scored three excellent team goals during a purple patch in the second half to take the game away from a hard working Oxted side.
Steve B, Rage and SAS all played well in midfield to push the game our way and it was so good to see Keevey’s knees holding up as well as slotting a good goal
Good goals from Fitty x2, Steve B x1, Radnedge x2, Keevey x1 and Scottish Steve x1 were more than enough to seal a great win and leave the captain to reckon the quality of Redsox improved to 60% excellent and 40% below par! However, following several beers in the delightful Oxted countryside bar and further beer with Ada, Geoff and Mike Keiller at RHC en route home he has shifted his perception to 80% excellent and only 20% below par.
In truth everyone played well and we again played excellent vets hockey for a deserved win (an incisive half time call saw Mace move to man to man mark their midfield playmaker which made a big difference in the second half).
Delighted to hear Rustlers and Grandmasters also won. Well done Bartie.
I am away in Cornwall next Saturday so Rage will run the side against Wayfarers – good luck all.
Please let Barty know your availability.
OKs 3 - 0 Redsox – November 5th
Our run of four wins ended with a 3-0 defeat by OKs yesterday. They fielded a strong and very well organised side and although OKs had more possession we had more clear chances and if we had managed to finish a few of them the result would have been very different.
Everyone worked hard and the squad rotated well to save the legs of the O50 Sunday cup players, good to see Tom O in the Redsox squad and with a few more games under his belt he might easily have picked up a hat -trick.
Hoops, Rage, Graham and Laurie worked tirelessly in midfield and Mace both swept well as well as storming forward towards the end as we looked for a consolation goal.
Thanks to those who came to the Kingston pub after the game and on reflection I am glad there were not more Redsox as the two plates of sausages and chips would not have gone far! In addition, a London Fuller's pub made for expensive post-match beer and the lack of an OK's jug was duly-noted and commented on. (Dodds and Cookers your old-school mates need a reminder of what Kingston hospitality should be like). Thanks to Mike Gray for umpiring well again.
Impressive that five of the Redsox squad made it back to RHC in time for the second half Rustlers comeback against a strong EG side (the second half performance was obviously inspired by the augmented touchline support), we also decided we need to learn the Don Williams finger in the air goal celebration which was rather better than the dislocated Redsox finger in the air version. Well done Rustlers - we were impressed with the fightback (and well done Laurie for getting back to umpire) and I am very pleased to hear the O50s won 2-1 against Winchester this afternoon.
Next week we host league leaders Southgate who beat second placed Epsom yesterday so clearly they are pushing hard for Div 2 league victory and promotion - we'll need a strong squad to give them a run for their money so maximum availability to Bartie please.
Updated 18:06 - 6 Nov 2016 by Micky Denehy