Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Gondoliers Face "Youthful" Windsor Vets

 5th Jan 2019

20180916-GondoliersOn a dry but drab first Saturday in January, it was clear that the Windsor Vets had been given their fair share of youthful pills this Christmas as there was a definite air of vitality about the visitors who, fresh faced and to some degree unfamiliar, were buzzing around their practise D long before the Gondoliers began to surface from their festive slumbers.

In the knowledge that they had held the away fixture in the balmy breezes of September to a 1-1 draw, the Gondos remained unperturbed and tried to project an air of nonchalance to suggest their energy was being saved for the game itself.

The encounter began at a brisk pace and quickly dismissed any false hopes that home advantage would be offering much. With Brent Bottoms as the brooding capacity crowd of one staring down from his glass fronted cocoon, there was an early sense of foreboding that the Christmas energy reserves that had been diligently worked on during the festive break would be in much demand to remain competitive.

Although both teams found their way into their respective opposition Ds, chances at goal were fairly well contained but in the end it was the Gondoliers who gave way to the first goal of the game in what was probably the fairer reflection of the pressure and possession during the first half.

That said, at the turnaround the Gondoliers still felt they had played enough good hockey to justify their place on the pitch and returned to the field with a sense of purpose and resolve.

Undaunted by a robust opposition defence, the front men continued to press forward and soon, during the course of a goal mouth scramble, Howells nudged the ball under the Windsor goalkeeper and restored the score to level.

With Lenel stepping on to the pitch to replace a limping and groin strained Sturgeon, the Gondolier momentum was maintained but it was clear that the Windsor energy pills had held back a second burst and it quickly became a last quarter with Gondolier backs to the wall.

As a sign of their flagging state, Gondolier tackles became clumsier, precipitating a Windsor resolve to the point where there was just one too many goal mouth scrambles and, with a couple of minutes left on the clock, a well struck shot from the left flank smashed into the Gondolier backboard.

In a game where the Gondoliers had faired well against a capable and energetic team, there was just too little time left to mount a further meaningful challenge into the Windsor goal mouth to balance the score yet again.

(p.s. There was too much going on in the opposition D for me to pick out the Gondolier entry on the score sheet, but Mark Howells looked like he got the touch from where I stood staunchly defending way back in our own half, so apologies to any sensitive souls in the front line who may have been offended by the making of this liberal record of events).




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