The Mens 3rds met top of the league Blueharts 4ths this week. With a bare 11 after notable unavailability we discussed what was needed and set about the challenge of extracting a point (or three) from league leaders in our relegation fight.
An early mistake from Wellsy led to a circle break and a regulation PC routine saw us go 0-1 behind.
Absorbing regular waves of pressure and finding a few surges ourselves we won a short and executed it well only to hit the post with a bottom right drag. Not long after a shot on goal deflected up and caught a defender on the hip inside the post - Chops (who had a solid game whistling her first men's hockey) duly awarded the PS. This week Wells went top right with the flick; 1-1.
Shortly before half time a Blueharts shot got stuck under Mark (GK) and as we expected the whistle to blip to keep him safe a Blueharts stick smashed into his midriff, leaving the ball in the goal (just) and Mark writhing and wretching. Oddly the goal stood, and we went into half time 1-2 down (fortunately with Mark back on his feet and pushing through).
The second half flew by with a few short corners each way with no conversion. Then a Berko PC converted with a straight strike from Wells to bottom left. 2-2.
With exceptional and relentless defending from our back line of Tim, Steve and Rick ably supported by Richard and Paul dropping back in from centre half to regularly support we felt a draw was the right outcome and maybe we could squeeze a win.
Blueharts probably felt this too and they started to flood the defence leaving two extra players high. A smart bit of open play took ball to baseline and shipped it across goal with a decent finish put it to 2-3.
Berko finished the game scrambling for a last goal with another two drags and an open play strike saved to keep the slim lead for Blueharts.
Final whistle; 2-3 loss.
Worth noting that Blueharts were a very decent bunch of guys to play against and the game was played with great spirit between the players on both sides.
MotM: Wells, with notable performances all round especially from our defence line and halves in support.