4’s make it hard, but win again.

AndrewM Match reports, Men's 4th xi

After losing to league leaders Leatherhead last week, the 4’s were back in winni ng mindset and this week up against Sanderstead whose results tend to go either way, and whilst we beat them on our first encounter we knew they were a well drilled team and nothing can be taken for granted. OK so 15 emails during the week from Maj can be taken for granted, and getting the wrong number of people back for tea’s can also be granted – but you know what I mean

Now, we were awash with players this week, and usual squad (less Andy Adams who was still on 50’s birthday celebrations) was supplemented by a good debut from Matt Breese up from the 6’s, and Alex ‘the Shermanator’– welcome both.  Sanderstead admittedly did come a bit light on players and also needed us to field both umpires, and sure they promised not to moan about any decisions themselves, but seemed to forget this as the game progressed.

Game started well, with Epsom dominance from the start, and we created some great chances, albeit at times were just a bit too keen to get into the D, whereas some more composed play may have been a better option. Finally we broke the deadlock with a really tidy team goal, which consisted of at least 25 passes (it was a few), before the ball was pinged between Jack D, Mazza and onto Jack R who neatly placed the ball just inside the post and beyond their keepers reach.

Really we should have run riot at this point, but we managed to keep passing the ball to a 50/50 situation, and at times left their attackers in acres of space – no excuses here and our extra numbers should not have given them any such chances.  They somehow managed to score off a deflected short corner, and this was starting to look as uncomfortable as Jimmy Saville, Ken Barlow & Freddie Starr in an Epsom Panto.

Yet another short corner (we had so many and typically failed to find the net), and finally Mazza calmed the nerves with a good flick in to the net following a rebound off the keeper – we must improve our routines here. So 2-1 at half time, we were winning, but making it hard for ourselves.

More of the same in the second half, and despite me chipping in with what I thought was good advice – like, “when we have spare players we should totally avoid the 50/50 ball and pass it wide to spare Epsom players”  (a.k.a simples….); Maj managed to find a 100% ball on a few occasions – not to an Epsom player – but straight to a lone Sanderstead player.  Game got interesting when they protested a decision (I refer back to ‘bring your own umpires next time’ comment) and their attacker flicked the ball past Chris Breese’s head, up and over and out of the pitch.  So Chris decided he needed a few minutes to chill out and sent him off for a short period.  They then kept moaning so Chris brought the free hit up. This went on for quite a while – moan – further 10 yards – moan – another 10 yards, moan (you get the picture), until we eventually reached the Epsom clock tower and decided we would take a free hit from here.

Anyway, 3 miles back at Blenheim the game carried on, and many chances on goal missed, but another goal from Jack R slipping ball under the keeper, and another flick from Mazza ensured we ended up with a comfortable 4-1 result, albeit was not comfortable getting there.

Jamie was voted Man-of-Match back at clubhouse, but real special mention should also go to Rob Pringle (great game both of you) and funnily enough Maj won TFC, and even voted for himself. Not sure if this was due to his panicking, his shouting at everyone (especially Jamie who is still in recovery), or his shower antics, but it seemed a correct vote anyway.  Hey guys, we made it difficult for ourselves this week, but still a really enjoyable game of hockey and with I think 13 Epsom players back for tea’s this is a great team building. The 4’s are becoming known as the team to be in, we have a great team spirit, lots of fun, room to make mistakes, and occasionally some half decent hockey breaks out.  Loving my Saturday’s and looking forward to next week.  We play Trinity next week, and whom Interestingly are near bottom, beat league leaders Leatherhead (maybe the 4pm home game at Croydon had something to do with the team lists?).  Lets just play the team in front of us, and win again.