Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Gondoliers in Loss v New Windsor Team

 9th Jan 2016

Gondoliers against Windsor: Lost  2 - 1

 

The omens were not good. First we had no goalie as James is spending the rest of the season in a futile bid to gain an Oscar. Then Tom got sent off the pitch by an umpire before the match had even started. Ok it was the water-based pitch and we were due to play on the sand-based, the umpire was blowing for the M2s game, and no cards were actually involved, but Tom was nevertheless evicted from the astro. The Gondoliers stayed cheering the 2s while we waited for the Windsor team to arrive, but, barring a couple of regulars we had met earlier in the season, none of them did...

 

Another group of players, rather younger and fitter than the Gondoliers, did arrive, but it was only when we moved round to the sand-based pitch that we saw that they had indeed arrived to play against us. Evidently the fame of the Gondoliers is such that oppositions will stretch every sinew to put their best possible team out against us.

 

So with 13 players and no goalie the Gondoliers took to the pitch with Windsor-Lewis playing kicking back, but we were soon reduced to 12 when Kuhle strained his groin. By cramming the midfield we managed to keep Windsor out of our 25 for most of the first half and until the second team game finished enabling Olly, the 2nd's goalie, to come to our rescue. The match continued to be hard fought with Winn, Regan, Basey, Haley and even Carney contesting every ball in midfield whilst Savage, Windsor-Lewis, Bottoms and Barnard took no prisoners in defence. Rosoman and Richards harried the opposition relentlessly and made several breaks, but were rarely supported by sufficient numbers of Gondoliers to turn our attacks into real chances.  Nil-nil at half time.

 

The second half was equally competitive with neither side giving the other an inch.  Then Rosoman received the ball on the right wing and Richards made a piercing diagonal run from centre forward towards the right corner flag.  The Windsor defence reacted to a man to thwart this obvious threat by all sprinting across to cover their left flank.  Meanwhile Tonks, whose marker had joined the headlong rush to cover against the Gondoliers attack, gently strolled up our left wing to the top of the Windsor D.  Rosoman looked up, saw that there was a clear route through to Tonks, and hammered the ball across the pitch at him with pinpoint accuracy.  Fortunately Tonks, who normally plays defence, is not used to the requirements of a Gondoliers forward and did not realize that his job was to make a subtle feint to send the goalie the wrong way before flicking the ball just wide of the goal.  Instead he just stopped the ball at the top of the D and rocketed it into the corner of the goal.  One-nil.

 

At this point the Windsor team started to argue among themselves and the Gondoliers began to mount a string of attacks, but unfortunately no goals came. A collision from one of these attacks led to a theatrical display by some of the Windsor players which James should have been here to witness, as he could undoubtedly have learnt how to make massive improvements in his own acting. However, it did seem to motivate the Windsor players who pressed forward with renewed vigour winning a penalty corner which shaved Olly's legs as it hurtled into the goal. Shortly afterwards they won another corner. The resulting shot was deflected high into the air and came down among a cluster of players. Windsor were first to react, slipping the ball into the net. They then retained possession very well for most of the remaining time, thus not letting us back into the game.

 

All told it was a very good competitive game, which we did not deserve to win, but probably did deserve to draw. We came off the pitch having given our best effort. In hindsight, in such a tough game, we should probably have pulled back one of the forwards to bolster the midfield once we were a goal up, as the telling factor in the end was that we were frequently outnumbered in midfield in the last quarter. However, if our winning run was going to come to an end, then at least we went down fighting. Roll on next week!

 

Whilst we are all used to the odd ringer in our friendly league, it is unusual to find the majority of the side were not the usual vets, and were both mobile and skillful - elements that were absent in Windsor's previous games which is why they were languishing at the bottom of the table!

     

GHC Logo full colour final

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