A strong Mavericks team lined up against a Surbiton side who looked small enough to also be under 12s, but we found out to be their under 14 D team. We started strongly, pressing Surbiton and winning most of the 50/50 encounters.
Quick passing from the midfield to the pace up front of Henry B and Jack T caused Surbiton many problems, but the good rush defence of their goalie snuffed out many of our D entries. Archie P finally found a way through with a really strong strike and that goal gave us more confidence.
Although we were often guilty of trying to play too direct through the middle, fast passing and good stick skills resulted in Sammy D scoring a lovely goal up from sweeper and then Jack T scored 2 more (1 a cracking strong strike from the top of the D). It wasn't all plain sailing and Surbiton almost caught us on the break a few times as we pressed too high and some marking discipline faltered. But we were pleased with 4-0 at half time!
At half time, the coach re-iterated the need to play with more width and use the pivot if it was getting congested. He also set a stretch target of scoring 5 goals in the second half, which was perhaps a tad ambitious. For Surbiton really picked up their pace and contest for the ball in the 2nd half, while we sat back too much and played a little as if the game was in the bag. We were a little rattled, with too much dribbling of the ball resulting in possession lost in dangerous areas. Only stalwart tackling from Ollie B, Liam C and Cole P as well as good saves from Oscar kept their score down to a solitary goal and we finished up a solid, but could-have-been better, 4-1.
In summary, we played decent hockey with some good structure and, particularly, good individual skills to get a good victory. However, we still need to improve our distribution out wide and out of trouble, as well as really pressing home our advantage when in the lead.