Saturday 18th October 2008.
Higgins Group London Hockey League Premier Division 2008/09.
The Mens 2s trip to Bromley and Beckenham was a successful one. The team, aided with boosts to the squad notably Simon Lanyon’s drag flicks, made for a strong one, and too much for Bromley to handle. In a physical encounter, reading were able to make to most of fast pitch, catching Bromley on the break numerous times throughout the game, as reading were able to race to an early lead in the first half. The 2s were finally able to notch up a 6-2 win, that sees them move to third in the league, and just two points off top spot Canterbury, who are due to visit to the Lane this week!
Goals scored by; Chris Cargo, Blair Dickinson, Christian Kortlang, Simon Lanyon(x2), and Ali Parkes.
Man of the match was awarded in a tense rock paper scissors match, with Simon Lanyon the victor by a two to nothing score over Brian Vogues.
Squad: Tommy Alexander, Johnny Downer, Brian Vogues, Grant Barber, Dan Bradley, John Lander, Ali Parks, Paul Hayes, Paul Turk, Posh, Christian Kortlang, John Coddling, Simon Lanyon, Tim Atkins, Chris Cargo.
Who would of thought a lack of water could cause such an expensive phone bill? For the first time since having a very healthy 600 minutes free on my shiny new contract phone I think I actually might have used them when the watering system failed at Sonning lane. Having heard the news that the game would be cancelled if we could not find an alternative pitch it was into action quickly, many speed dials later and a pitch was found. (Apologies for still having my old club on speed dial, especially with it being Maidenhead!) The pitch however proved wet and open for play, so in we dived. Straight from the first whistle it was clear that Reading were the ones who were going to dominate on this new home from home for the day. As we happily splashed our way into Southgates half with alarming regularity for their some what flappy defence, we were able to split them open and win numerous fouls inside their box. Three penalty corners later, and with the aid of just the slightest of deflections a drag flick was scored by Dan Bradley. This was quickly followed by the smooth talking Irishman Chris Cargo easing through a gapping whole to smash his ball past the exposed Southgate goalie. And more could have followed before half time but chances were fired wide of the mark. With Reading firing blanks, Southgate begun to ease themselves back into the game, and it was only the umpire blowing at half time that allowed us a much needed rest and some time to rejuvenate ourselves.
After the break it became a messy affair with neither side wanting to back down. The flow of the game was constantly interrupted and foul play started to take over. Posh being sin binned twice after coming from behind with his tackle and their Scottish midfielder being unable to leave our Irishman alone also left for a breather on the side line. Eventually however things started to ease up and the holes begun to appear again. Reading were first to take advantage with Paul Hayes working well from the sides to give Blair Dickinson the easiest of finishes from a matter of inches. The whole team sighed a sigh of relief when Blair managed to reach the open net for a 3 – 0 lead and a certain 3 points. Southgate came back with a late goal but by then it was all too late. A great win against a tough sid
The 2nd XI were challenged by a tough Spenser 2 XI at Sonning Lane. We started strongly, zipping the ball with great pace across the park. We took the lead within fifteen minutes after Chris Cargo began what was only to become a master class, scoring the first goal with an absolute belter, having beat two or three players. However, moments before half time, Spenser scored a cleverly worked goal to make it 1 – 1 at half time.
After a stirring team talk and wise words from new coach Oleg, we started the second half with passion and endeavour. This was shortly followed by Cargo scoring his second with a thunderbolt strike, from a similar position as before. Yet again, Spencer were soon to reply to make the score level. We again took the lead when Cargo had his stick taken from behind in a clear scoring opportunity. He placed the penalty flick smoothly into the side netting, giving us the sight of three points and completed his hat trick. Unfortunately Shiv received a yellow card, who was then soon to be joined by Grant for an unwanted break. Spencer then proceeded to ruin the party with 5 minutes to go when unfortunately they scored from a deflection on a short corner. Final score 3 – 3. Man of the match went to Cargo after scoring his hat trick.
We face Soughtgate at home next, and with new coach Oleg at the helm, hopefully we can endeavour to strive to the top of the league.