Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Gondoliers Combination of Youth and Experience for 5-0 Win

 9th Mar 2019

20180916-GondoliersA bright early Spring day welcomed the South Berks visitors to Broadwater's sand pitch and Gondoliers aplenty.

A good mix of youth and experience (the correspondent is open to generous offers as to which category the respective players on the day felt more suited to) despite a number of faces from the previous week's successful 4-0 outing to Haslemere not being available.

Adorned in their All Black kit, there was some evidence to suggest that the younger South Berks members from the Bracknell fixture before Christmas had not been able to secure domestic release for the long journey to Guildford or perhaps had settled for a quiet afternoon in front of the Six Nations instead. Rightly or wrongly, the Gondoliers stepped on to the pitch with an air of self-belief.

Based on the early encounters and a fluency and deft touch to the passing game, the majority of the play was focused in the South Berks half and relentless pressure gradually gave way to a Shelbourne short corner lift over the goalkeeper only to be poached by a touch from Sturgess' out stretched stick as it crossed the line.

And so it continued throughout the first half, the ball doing plenty of fruitful work for once and the midfield four of Windsor-Lewis, Penney, Basey & Mullins making space and carving the opposition in every direction to deliver a comfortable 3-0 advantage by the turnaround. Whilst it would be easy to interpret this as meaning that South Berks saw no time in the Gondolier half, truth be known, every attack they mounted was quickly snuffed out by the fearsome whirlwind (well, rotating at least) of Taylor, Asdell, Barnard, Tonks & Savage.

Of course, the problem with finely tuned athletes is that they do need to be rested from time to time but, with two rolling subs, the Gondolier pressure just didn't stop. In fact, if evidence was needed I think it got to the skipper's head as he contemplated taking himself off and putting a player, better known for a firm defensive style of play, up front to exhibit a subtler touch.

Sadly, the evident lack of a subtle touch, or even a clean stop and strike, saw no contribution to the score from your humble correspondent in his temporary role; happy to run around as he was told, he was appropriate and ably assisted by his fellow Gondolier front-men and mid-fielders and so the Gondos did keep the goal count ticking over at a steady pace ending the day 5-0 winners with Sturgess claiming another, Mullins steering one through gulley with the finest of angles and Windsor-Lewis and Barnard stepping up to the plate also so quickly and effortlessly that I don't even remember them.

With two weeks to rest, taking on top of the table Woking at Broadwater beckons.


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