Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Gondoliers v Epsom in First League Game of the Season

 1st Oct 2016

After the warm up game against the 4th Eleven last week it was time for the first League game. Were we ready, those that had been going to “Training” felt they were. The weather was unsettled sunshine and showers. Tom, have we got a goalkeeper, was the cry from a number of the team, yes said Tom, he had secured the services of the Pilgrims keeper, a general sigh of relief from those concerned.

Now the concerns moved onto the opposition Epsom, they have come with a strong team and a large number of players. Their junior vets were without a game and had come along for the fun and local rivalry. We also had 14, but usually that means we lose our shape when introducing the changes, to the benefit of the opposition. But not today the executive decision was that Tom, Geoff and Gould would take the first quarter off, or as it transpired until the rain and hail stopped.

Gondoliers started well and passed the ball round meaningfully until Epsom had it and they scored with their first real attack and then another followed with a deflection off Buttons’ chest past the keeper, does he need to lose a few more kilos?

A Gondolier break away saw Nigel score. Epsom re-established their two goal lead and Nigel scored with a reverse stick flick, he has been practicing in “Training”. So 3 – 2 at half time and the Gondoliers were hanging on. The half time chat was positive and so it transpired.

The younger lively and possibly more talented Epsom midfield lost their way, the Gondolier defence played solidly, apart for the two sending offs (for reflection). The Goalie played well sweeping up all that came his way. The Epsom defence were not really aware of our plan to get the ball up to Nigel, due to Welsh Steveo’s disguised aerial balls at waist height, so when Tim hit one at ground level off went Nigel for his third goal.

Three goals usually for most players means a jug of beer for their colleagues, does anyone remember this event in the bar afterwards? Back to the game, for Tom’s master stroke, the introduction of Geoff Tonks for the final quarter, and no excuse for rain or hail. Geoff’s positional play and slick passing created two further goals for yes you know who, Nigel.

Five goal Nigel, beating our local rivals Epsom. This to the writer’s mind should have been a two jug celebration in true old Gondolier style, but oh no, not even a suggestion, so I move that Nigel is dropped for next week for un-Gondolier behaviour. Well done team.

Addendum - there was a flurry of green cards and unusually Messrs Carney and Regan were in a different place and the guilty parties were seen skulking around the Guildford defence.

Chris Gould


Team: GK, Basey, Asdell, Windsor-Lewis, Bottoms, Savage, Regan, Rosoman, Manning, Gould, Carney, Roberts, Tonks =13

Reserve: Belshaw
Umpire Gordon


And a post-addendum reply from the goalscorer...


Dear Tom et all,

I do apologise for not buying a jug , very poor form, but I only turned up with a £20 note and when I waved the £5 left over I was jeered out of the bar.

I promise to provide a Jug in lieu of my error next game (and to share the ball a bit more going forward).

Hopefully the Gondos can forgive my schoolboy error of not coming prepared.

Re next week, I am available if there is a game.





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