I know you’ve all been missing the regular flow of literary genius that are these match reports, but fear not SUWPC, normal service is resuming with the following account of our valiant seconds taking on the full might of the British navy.
Difficult circumstances surrounded the game from the get go. Our magnificent firsts were busy away at Oxford giving their seconds a tonking, so my pool of available players was decreased somewhat. Other circumstances including traffic, girlfriends and a pretty horrendous illness that’s sweeping through Southampton meant that only seven of SUWPC’s finest could be mustered to face the Navy. Serious consideration was given to the suggestion to go and find the henchest guys in the gym and ask them if they fancied a game, but not just anyone can waltz in and join the seconds, so this idea was discounted. The invisible man himself Ed Baker then showed up, but declined an invite to play. So wet.
We won the toss and elected to attack the deep end first. Thankfully our swim off king Horlock was one of our seven, and he would be battling for the ball at the “Throw Down”. A superbly solid press didn’t allow any time for the navy to settle and as a result within a minute we went 1-0 up through some tidy play and some dodgy goalkeeping. That was pretty much it for the first quarter, some excellent defending of the shallow end limited the navy’s attempts at goal. Myself and Christian both got majored during this quarter, but the introduction of the tactics board before the game seemed to have been a masterstroke and we defended both man downs well. Score at the end of the first quarter: 1 – 0 us.
Second quarter saw Christian ejected almost straight away for another major foul. I think he’s longing for his bouncer days. Again though we defended with a man down and saw ourselves through, but the precarious position we found ourselves in with our main pit defender only one major away from being rapped and no subs saw us struggle this quarter. The Navy scored 3 to go 3 – 1 up. Horlock then scored a very nice backshot to keep us within touching distance, nice to see the extra practise paying off there. The Navy grabbed another leaving us 4 – 2 down at half time. Tiredness was starting to hit, but the same was true of the navy with them only having 1 sub.
We regrouped and absolutely bossed the next 5 minutes. It’s hard to put into words the sheer audacity of the goals we scored. Vids got our first, Horlock our second and I grabbed the third. It was a very exciting period of play. Conal got a bit upset that assists aren’t tallied on the match sheets, because he’d assisted all three in this time, including a superb dinked ball over the top of the defence that literally begged to be caressed into the net. Iniesta and Messi would have been proud. Unfortunately the navy managed 3 in response as well, but their goals had nothing on the quality of ours. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in nearly 4 years as a member of SUWPC is that it’s style over substance every time, and boy did we look good.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter we were a bit busy congratulating ourselves on the quality of play we’d just produced, so we conceded straight away to leave us 8-5 down. This was fine, as the second team like a good challenge, where’s the fun in winning from the start? Paul smacked in a lovely shot from the right into the bottom left corner, game on! I scored again obviously (so modest) to leave the game finely balanced at 8 -7. The game had swung back in our favour, and suddenly it looked like we could go on and grab a result. This optimism was swiftly extinguished when, after finding myself one on one with the keeper, I elected to try a new style of shooting developed by Horlock and Perry (ask them if you’re interested). Needless to say, I skewed the shot wide and that was that. A few more half chances but the game petered out, even with a few man ups in our favour. Final score 8 – 7 to the navy.
It was a very entertaining game to play, and I can’t fault the commitment of anyone, everyone put in a top shift with no subs. What heroes. Shout outs to James Magson for his first game and Christian for playing with a suspected broken hand (well he made it sound like it). And as ever thanks a lot to the girls who came to support and do the table!