Our match, in glorious autumn sunshine at Windsor, was something of a return to form for the Gondoliers: back to the sort of hockey that led to our winning streak in the first six months of the year. It also saw the return to the team for the first time this season of some familiar faces, to wit Basey, Windsor-Lewis and Asdell.
These sturdy stalwarts brought their calm, confident experience and catalysed some sensible hockey. We moved the ball well, controlled it and created a lot of chances upfront. There was a slight persistence of the problem of late in getting the ball in the back of the net but this was addressed before half-time after a slick move had Rob Manning rifle a shot past the Windsor goalkeeper at the far post, in a beautiful uncontrolled angular shot.
We followed this up before half-time with a further goal scored in simple fashion by Regan at the top of the D from a short corner in a firm shot just inside the right-hand post.
These two goals represented the only blemishes in what was an otherwise incredible performance by the Windsor keeper, who saved repeatedly in spectacular fashion: a performance that had both teams congratulate him heartily at the end of the game.
At the other end poor James Chalmers, Guildford's thespian rock in the goal, must've had a very dull afternoon, only relieved by the opportunity to top up his facial tan. Windsor was seldom in the Guildford half and, on the rare occasion they were, posed little threat. The game should have produced more goals for Guildford but we were profligate. Indeed the normally reliable Sturgess stampeded around the astro-Savannah in familiar style but had a rare frustrating afternoon in terms of the goal.
Points that the coach in the dressing room addressed, and all we Gondos need to address, are several but particularly sharpness around the goal; theatrical bewilderment at umpiring decisions; occasional red mist lack of discipline; and thinking more about moving the ball sideways, backwards and short rather than always forward or diagonal. But the key point was we won and went home happy with renewed vigour for the season ahead.
A pity that that spirit was short-lived as we returned home to the TV screen and England's abject failure. Faithful they were not-which reminds me to congratulate and thank Terry for his unstinting performances with the whistle.