Week 15: The men’s 2s slipped to their first defeat of the season, going down 3-1 to a very good Southgate Tankards Z (which didn’t too closely resemble the team we played at the beginning of the season!) However, the scoreline doesn’t do justice to our performance.
Losing our stand-in keeper to flu in the morning, and one no show meant that we started with just 10 players and no recognised keeper – Balazs Endrodi bravely donning the GK kit for the first half. In a fast paced game, we had several good chances to take the lead only to be denied by the brilliance of their keeper – certainly their man of the match. And after not taking our chances, Southgate capitalised and scored 3 goals in quick succession going into the break 3-0 up.
The second half started with the roar of Nick Smith’s Subaru coming in to the car park, and after a quick(ish) switch of keeper we were back to 11-a-side and took the game to Southgate, creating more chances only to be denied again by their keeper. We clawed one back when Eray Osman intercepted a pass across their defence, carrying the ball into the D before striking his shot past the keeper for his first goal in four years! We kept pressing with their keeper making several more fine saves, whilst Nick Smith ensured no further goals against with a couple of fine saves of his own.
A defeat, but a really great performance from everyone, and it would surely have been a different story had we started with a full team. Special mention to Ben Thomas who was thrown in at the deep end for his first ever match, but he worked really hard on the right side of midfield with some good tackling and making it very difficult for his opposite number.