Guildford Gondoliers 3 - 2 Sevenoaks
This has to be the best result of our season and the way we were knocking the ball about in the first fifteen minutes of the game was probably the best hockey we have played.
We played a 3/4/3 system with Andy Roberts starting on the left wing with Jason on the right and Sturgess in the middle up front. Carney, Basey, Bottoms and Howells in the middle and Adsell, Regan and Savage at the back. Chalmers in Goal. Alistair Richards kindly sat out on much of the first half action.
There were a few early breakaways by us up front and one of these resulted in a pushed in goal by Sturgess. This was unusual because these would normally result in the goalie rushing out and spreading himself and the chance being squandered but the difference was Jason was running a good line out wide and Sturgess was calling for him to receive the ball which checked the keeper.
Sevenoaks quickly replied with two goals and a third was only disallowed because it was hit in too high off a short corner. At half time we gathered and were feeling fairly upbeat about our play. Mark Howells had pulled his calf and this gave Alistair a chance to stretch his legs. The second half saw Sevenoaks camped pretty much in our half but no matter how hard they tried they could not break down the tireless defence of Regan and Savage, Roberts and Adsell.
If I remember correctly they had very few shots on goal that forced James to stretch. They missed many short corners by inches and would do well to hire Regan! Despite their onslaught we won a rare short corner and Regan once again slotted it in the same corner as ever. He is becoming too reliable at these and the smile on his face as he trots forward to do the honours is becoming smug!
Sevenoaks couldn’t believe their misfortune and with the clock ticking away were in a hurry to put the game to bed, we had other ideas and another break out saw the ball passed from a hobbling Howells to none other than Alistair Richards who had appeared from right wing to left post on 0.0005s. Alistair floated a beautiful soft pass across goal to a rampaging Sturgess who thankfully found the back of the net, with the customary dive over the keeper.
The day must go to the defence who stood so strong, Adsell, Regan and Savage and Roberts. Bottoms is becoming better and better with every game and Richards sadly didn’t have enough game time but was excellent. We found out in the clubhouse that Richards only gave up playing Chobham 3XV Rugby last season (not even vets rugby) and this might have explained his over commitment to the rucks in his earlier games! This didn’t crop up on Saturday which shows he is picking up, when to commit or not, and reading the game better.
Well done Gondos!