Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Gondos Share the Spoils with Oxted

 2nd Dec 2017

20171015-GondolliersTeamIn the unaccustomed position of playing at a reasonable hour on a Saturday afternoon, the Gondoliers duly assembled to take on Oxted. It was always going to be a tight match with both sides liking to play a good passing game. It was always likely to be highly competitive and fractious - and so it transpired.

The Gondos started brightly and, for the first ten minutes prevented Oxted from making any real progress; every long pass out of their defence was picked off by a combination of Basey, Asdell, Windsor-Lewis and Barnard, and returned with interest. Despite having most of the early ball, and most of the territory, the Gondos found it difficult to manufacture many clear-cut chances on goal. There was a great deal of industry in midfield from both Kuhle and Penny, and plenty of ball for Carney, Rosoman and Sturgess, but we lacked the quality of final pass to create the openings. 

After about fifteen minutes we won our first penalty corner which broke down but led to an immediate second attempt. Rosoman pushed out to Mullins whose complete miss-hit was beautifully deflected into the roof of the net by Sturgess who had, ironically, only minutes before been complaining that the ball never came to him at short corners!

Another corner five minutes later was moved to the right and Kuhle struck it home powerfully for a 2-0 lead. 

It was at this point that things started to go awry in the Gondos team. Basey was forced to limp off and, in the re-organisation, we lost some of the structure in our defence. Gould and Barnard worked tirelessly but Oxted started to find some room and create some chances. But for some fine goalkeeping, Oxted might well have scored a couple of goals before they finally squeezed one in and we turned around at half time 2-1 up. 

After a reorganisation of the midfield, the second half started with Basey out of commission and the Gondos down to eleven men. From the start of the half, the game was far more open and very much end to end. In the early exchanges if was clear that the Oxted team were having the better of proceedings. They found a great deal of space and time down our left flank and broke into our D on a number of occasions. A string of fine saves kept us in the lead combined with a large slice of luck when Oxted put the ball into the net on three occasions only to realise that, on each occasion, the whistle had already sounded awarding them a short corner. At their first corner of the second half, awarded after an intentional foot in the 25, the Gondos managed to increase their lead to 3-1 when a strike from the top of the D by Mullins was deflected by one of the defenders past his own goalkeeper. 

The last fifteen minutes were frenetic with both sides pushing forward and it was Oxted who, after a flurry of chances, eventually struck back and then, soon after scored a third to bring the scores level at 3-3. The Gondos fired up once more, determined to have the final say, and won a series of corners. Slips to Kuhle and Rosoman nearly resulted in goals before Mullins hit another from the top of the D with only seconds remaining that was stopped on the line. The ball certainly made contact with a defender's boot but opinions differed as to whether it had, or had not, been the boot that prevented the ball from crossing the line. Penalty stroke or corner was the question and, rightly or wrongly, a corner was the final result - which was not converted. 

The game finished 3-3 which, given its nature and the chances on both sides, was probably a fair result.  

     

GHC Logo full colour final

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