- On the way to the ground in Carlos’s car, we overtook Dave Etherington who was driving at a gentle pace in his big powerful Mercedes (with a personalised number plate). We felt very smug after doing so but our reward for this was Carlos driving the wrong way and we ended up driving round the small Surrey University grounds! This unsettled Dave Etherington who also got lost and turned up later than usual. However SurreyUniversity was a lovely place with big buildings and grass. Eventually Carlos whipped out his phone and used a proper satellite navigation system and we headed in the right direction which was on the other side of the A3.
When we arrived at the ground (Carlos doing some lovely parking in the process) we headed to the pitch and started to warm up. However my kit which had a successful day out at Blenheim earlier for the 3s game was still soaking wet. When I put it on for the 2nd time it clung to me and probably had mould growing on it by now.
Onto the game now. I know no hockey terms or phrases what so ever, so apologies if I get stuff wrong. There was an excellent large crowd which enhanced the atmosphere massively. The other team had all their 1s players watching and we had Mrs Hibberd (Adams girlfriend) who was making just as much noise as them.
The game started fast.. They were fast. They were all university people; we were a combination of different job professions and school kids. We had a reliable defence with Dave Etherington, Matt Bishop, Graham and Clive who were running around, tackling well and giving the ball a whack when needed. I stretched my vocals by shouting at the defence although a lot of the time it was guesswork what I was saying.
The only goal of the game came in the first half. A player from their team ran all the way down the wing and cut in towards goal. Eventually their player pushed the ball towards the goal and it somehow went between my legs and skidded off the inside of my pads and settled in the back of my goal. If I was wearing dry kit then I reckon the ball would have pinged off to the side. The wet kit allowed the ball to pick up pace and burst through my legs J !
For the rest of the half we made some attacks from both sides of the pitch and unfortunately we didn’t have many shots on goal. However I redeemed myself by making and diving save with my left glove from a shot inside the D 🙂 which the crowd and Mrs Hibberd applauded 😛 . The first half ended 1-0.
The second half was goalless, however we had lots of opportunities but their keeper decided to play like a sweeper and we couldn’t get anything round thus we had no shots for him to save. So fair play to their goalie. Our defence was reliable still with Matt, Dave, Clive and Graham playing really well. I also made a few saves from short corners and sliding out in my now drenched wet kit. It felt like an ice rink and the judges would have been impressed. So the game finished 1-0.
Being a university ground we were anticipating fantastic Michelin star teas. Hopes were raised further when Carlos categorically stated that the teas would be excellent from previous experience of chilli corn carne (with rice).
We made the trek inside the posh looking building yet on the way having to wheel my heavy wet hockey kit up 4 flights of stairs. When we got into the clubhouse we were greeted by 5 TVs on the wall showing different football matches. It felt like we were inside Sky Sports. We sat down in comfy chairs awaiting amazing teas. The wait for the teas was to start of with was acceptable as the other team stated a chef is cooking for us. So we gave him the benefit of the doubt as we were expecting gourmet food.
To pass the time beers and soft drinks were ordered in. Mrs Hibberd joined the team for a chat also.
So we went on to votes for MOTM and TFC. As we went round all the players asking for their votes, there was for some reason a trend. I ended up with MOTM and TFC. However Dave Etherington and Matt bishop were strong contenders for MOTM as they had really good games. In fairness the whole team played well l, we were just unlucky. Other TFC contenders were Carlos, Clive and Mr Chef who served teas.
With the voting out of the way and still waiting for teas, Graham decided to pitch the 5s social event to us and asked us to promote our music quiz. He explained the cost and different rounds there would be on the night. There is also a ploughman’s dinner which we could have done with today after our game!! The team were impressed with Grahams music quiz pitch and we were encouraged to sell lots of tickets. It is on Saturday 18th October so you should turn up!.
Thoughts turned back to teas. To our shock Carlos seemed unsure now if there were any teas. This changed the atmosphere of out team and very quickly 4 players left (including Adam and Mrs Hibberd) as they wanted to go and have their dinner in their houses.
However the rest of the team battled on waiting for the teas. 45 minutes later and first half of the football we were watching on TV while waiting had finished. As our eyes began to close their manager came over and asked if we’re expecting teas to which we replied yes!! The manager said that they didn’t know we were playing and expecting tea. However he said that their chef could rustle something up so we were still excited for tea. 10 minutes later and we got the call to go for tea.
We all ran in anticipation for our chef made teas. We entered the tea room and immediately we were stunned by the amazing view of the swimming pool. However we didn’t notice any teas apart from bread in a bowl. However Graham with his excellent eyesight and sense of smell smelt something. He headed behind a pillar and found a big tub of what look like soup?
So our tea expectations were demolished and what Carlos had said was worth waiting for turned out not to be. We poured away with the soup (using a big ladle to help) and as we poured it into our bowls we were further shocked by the lack of consistency. It was a pale red colour so we predicted tomato and basil or dishwater. The first spoonful ended up mostly over the table because it was excessively watery. The expressions on our faces were mixed.
Chef Carlos and Chef Graham deduced that the soup was made up of Aldi tinned can tomatoes, water from the river mole and basil leaves probably that were picked near the same river. The making time for this soup was estimated to be about 5 minutes which we thought was rather poor. However on the upside, the team spotted that I had the biggest chunk of tomato in my soup. What was left of our team frowned at me when it was left not eaten. I don’t like tomatoes so that was why.
The budget chef soup was served which proper food…… hot bread!! The bread was hotter than the soup and therefore was a strong contention for highlight of our meal until we saw the plate of butter for us. We only had 7 of us eating and there was a plate of butter the size of Tolworrth tower blocking my view across the table. Unless they thought we were butter addicts, this was a poor move by the Chef. Therefore the butter was highlight of the meal and well deserved also.
In most restaurants soup is considered a starter therefore Chris white went up to the manager and ask politely if there was a main meal to which the manager replied quickly with NO !!. Therefore we left quickly after laughing at the butter one more time on the way out.
The drive home was entertaining. We were reminiscing on our budget dishwater soup for most of the journey. Carlos’s satellite navigation system seemed to be working properly now so it was a smooth journey home. However while dropping Matt Bishop off at Ashtead train station, we struggled to find the way out and ended up in disabled parking. Happily we found big blue signs saying out on them so we followed those which funnily enough led to the exit.
To end the report, just a small mention about the umpires today. It was a man and lady combination which was a first for me. The team were split in opinions about who was the better umpire. Both had there highs and lows.
Anyway hope u enjoy my debut report!!