The men’s 3’s lined up on Saturday against a Blueharts 5th team that bore little resemblance to the team we played at the end of last season, but we won’t dwell on that!
Following a rousing bout of What’s App encouragement by David “Missing in Action” Wells we were motivated to get the new season off to a good start. With a warm up led by Steve Redman and Ed the skippers team talk etched in our minds we started the game well and moved the ball with speed and to each other. The Blueharts team was full of youngsters and it wasn’t long before our greater level of experience started to tell with some consistent pressure in the Blueharts final third of the pitch. The Berko youngsters in the shape of Toby and Ollie were providing good outlets on the wings while the midfield of Redman, Goodwyn, Peachey and Urch were putting in a shift. Encouragement from the rear was as always forthcoming from our player’s player of the season for two seasons on the bounce Mark Johnson ably backed up by his defensive trio of Dawood, Rick and Hunt.
A few chances went begging before our first goal arrived. The unlikely scorer being Steve Redman drifting in at the far post to tap in from close range a cross that shot across the face of the goal and he was in the right place at the right time. It was a poachers goal the great Gary Lineker would have been proud of…………and then he only went and did it again!! Another drive down the right-hand side of the pitch, a cross picked up and helped on its way by Ollie for Redo only to pop up again and stick it in the goal. 2-0 to Berko and if you’d got Steve Redman in your fantasy hockey team you were on a winner today!
Ollie then turned from provider to scorer to nab a goal for himself and with half time approaching we found ourselves 3-0 up. Half time duly arrived and a quick chat from Ed got us looking to try and release the ball a little earlier as some of us were a guilty of holding the ball too long into contact when passing options were available.
The second half started and we continued in the same vain with some sustained pressure on the Blueharts goal. We then went to sleep a little bit allowing Blueharts back into the game. This resulted in a bit of a messy goal from our perspective but it was well taken by the young Blueharts player. With Paul now in defence and Ed moving some of the team around Dawood was playing further up the pitch. The final 20 minutes of the game was all Berko. There were some great runs from Toby down the right wing although our next goal came from an attack down the left-hand side of the pitch. Dawood took a quick side-line ball to Robbo on the edge of the D, who turned and from a very tight angle fired in a well struck reverse hit that went between the goalkeeper’s legs into the goal………. barely believable if I hadn’t seen/done it myself!!
Dawood then also turned from provider to scorer himself with a short corner taken short to him on the left side of the D where he took his time and placed and lovely flick onto the top of the backboard. Not long after the final whistle blew and we ran out worthy 5-1 winners, a very positive start the to the season.
Man of the match was Toby in a close-run contest with Steve Redman, but Toby managed to keep his toys in the pram!!