Fever DreamAsh Artaman
Nev finished Thursday’s training with an arousing speech, I do wonder what book he gets them from, setting the scene for the task that lay ahead for the weekend. With both sides having the perfect three from three start to the season, superior goal difference gave South top spot, even though Peterborough had not conceded a goal, the stage was set for a fantastic battle. The pre match WhatsApp group was much more focused on where to meet for a MacDonald’s en-route to Peterborough than it was the pending top of the table clash, but perhaps this was a cunning plan by the skipper to help with the pre match nerves.
Full of a hearty breakfast the team assembled at Peterborough in good time, with George A keen to get the GK kit on to avoid any possibility of doing a warm-up run! He did question whether there was anyone else with some keeping experience in the side who would rather step up to the challenge, but much like the WhatsApp conversation on the same theme earlier in the week the tumble weed could be seen rolling across the landscape as no one replied.
At last the game before ours finished with the skipper timing our warm-up to lead us back to the pitch in perfect time to follow the one-way system onto the pitch. At least the majority of us did, with the exceptions of Kern and Oldfield who found themselves in the umpires’ bad books before a ball had even been struck for jumping over the fence.
The game as expected was a tight one with South falling behind early, through a defensive error from Bhav, before Pete Creed equalised with a wonderful piece of individual skill. Despite some lovely passing moves and some excellent goalkeeping by George keeping South in the game, South unfortunately conceded again before half time, going into the break 2-1 down.
The second half followed in a similar vein, with moments on wonderful hockey, but this time Matt Kern played a hospital pass across the field for Peterborough to capitalise for their third goal. Peterborough also scored a rather fortuitous goal getting a touch on a hit and hope ball it to the D which somehow managed to sneak in. Alas, with 5 minutes to go Jonny was scythed down inside the 25 to gain a short corner which Ash converted to make the remaining minutes slightly interesting. The cheer and celebration for the goal seemed somewhat over exuberant but were we on for a fantastic comeback. Unfortunately, with Bhav seeming to take an absolute age to take 16s the final whistle went. A gallant effort, but a 4-2 loss. Why did the South team seem so pleased with themselves?
Confused? Wasn’t the score actually 2-2? Soon after the team reassembled off the pitch, this time following the one-way system correctly, the actual result was confirmed as 2-2. Where did the 4-2 score come from?
Was it all the pre match chat about not letting Peterborough shoot at our inexperienced GK?
Was it with 30 seconds to go before the start Connor announced that Bhav (starting CB) may not be able to run?
Was it the hospital pass from Matt Kern, dribbling across the defensive 23?
Who knows, but probably a deserved LOM.
What did actually happen then?
The game started at a fast tempo with both teams creating opportunities. George making some crucial saves and Peter putting his body on the line in a goal mouth scramble like a scene from Braveheart (sorry for the Scottish pun) preventing Peterborough taking the lead. South played some nice passing hockey which finished with Pete Creed beating his man skilfully before slotting the ball away for the opening goal.
Peterborough then equalised through a rather fortunate deflection from a long ball through which their forward then finished in style. 1-1 at the break.
The second half continued with both sides up for the battle and moving the ball effectively. Peterborough solid in defence looking to catch South on the break and South just seeming to miss the final pass to complete every attacking phase. A period of Peterborough pressure resulted in a ball being crashed into the D to be deflected past the diving efforts of George, 2-1 down with about 15mins to go. At times South started to look a little ragged as they pushed hard to try get the equaliser, and through some very determined effort by Jonny, a swipe of the stick from a Peterborough defender, the aforementioned short corner resulted and the equaliser scored. Now I understand why the celebration was so passionate. The final few minutes were played out and both teams left the field (with the exception of Ash) pleased with the result.
South retain the top of the league status and look forward to marching on next week.