The Seconds first competitive game of the season was at home to Basingstoke in the Hampshire league. Having swept all before us on our way to glory in the previous season, the spectators had gathered in anticipation to see what we could produce this season. Eager to not disappoint our legion of followers, a full 13 man squad had assembled to attempt to put on a show (with Horlock graciously accepting a last minute invitation to play).
Unfortunately it seemed Basingstoke had read my last match report and had other ideas. Despite only having 6 players to begin with (due to what I can only assume is an inability to navigate through a city without a roundabout every 10 metres) the match began. Suitably “stoked” up, they were up for it from the get go. A poor start saw me get majored twice in quick succession for which I can only apologise. Thankfully they didn’t have the man advantage and couldn’t force a goal. We broke the deadlock first through Alex Taylor-Rose, a lob in the shallow end that their keeper got a hand to, but couldn’t stop going in. Despite the man advantage, we really couldn’t capitalise and Basingstoke equalised. It helped them that they were defending the shallow end so didn’t tire as quickly as we’d like. Christian decided to take offence at something the water said to him and absolutely battered a shot straight into the surface about a foot in front of him. Chat shit, get banged.
The rest of their team decided to show up in time for the second quarter and numerical parity was restored. In an uneventful quarter, both teams mutually decided that scoring goals was a waste of time and that we should get a cheeky fitness session in by swimming around a lot without subbing. Basingstoke then broke this gentleman’s agreement and scored two late goals, seeing us head into half time 3-1 down.
The third quarter was something of a capitulation. We conceded 6, didn’t score any. In a bit of a twist though I thought that was the quarter that saw us play some of our best polo. A bit more movement around the pit and arc lead to a few chances, but the killer instinct isn’t there yet. Learning to get shots away is something that will come. One talking point was Christian apparently being majored, but he didn’t realise or know what it was for, can anyone shed any light on this?
We tightened up a bit more in the fourth quarter. We let in two and I managed to grab a consolation goal with a lob over the keeper with what I assume was at least 5 of their team trying to stop me. Last goal wins?
Final score was Southampton 2 : 11 Basingstoke. The third quarter did skew the result a bit but over the other three quarters we did only concede 5 goals, so there are some definite positives. We were stung on the counter a bit though and this is something we need to be wary of. As a team of almost entirely polo fresh, we’re on the steepest part of the learning curve, and I’m confident improved results and performances will follow.
Thanks to all the boys who played, and thanks a lot everyone who stayed to watch!
Alex Taylor-Rose 1
Christian (maybe?) 1