After a joyous trip around the houses to avoid the traffic from the M27 closure, we arrived at Hamble's pitch. The home team won the toss and elected to pushback, and with the 10minute warning we stepped up our last few warm up drills.
For the first 20 minutes we were evenly matched, both teams testing the other's defences for weak spots. Beardo and Tris forming the linchpin of our moves forward, dictating play and even putting limb on the line to defend. A string of great saves from Ben kept us in the game, he being the busier of the two keepers, and he commanded his defence, making them a unit that was hard to pass. Unfortunately, in the last 15 minutes they snuck 2 goals in, and so we went into the break behind but not out of the game.
Sadly, we lost Beardo at half time due to prior commitments, and rushed a quick keeper change, with Jonny stepping between the posts.
With Beardo gone, the young players stepped up to control our forward moves, with Tris, Will, Max and Jack forming our forward line and central midfield. The link up play was encouraging, the new players gelling with the old. Sadly we conceded 4 more in the second half, but never did heads drop! There were signs of life all over the pitch, Hamble did not find it easy to get through. During this half we dropped to 11 men, with Ben leaving to attend an engagement, but still we fought for every ball and made them work for every attempt at goal. Sadly, we also lost one of our new players, Steve, who's Achilles' tendon ruptured as he was chasing a through ball. We look forward to him returning to the team in the future!
After the game, the team voted Tris MOM. His work rate and determination never wavered. He fought for every ball until ther final whistle.
All in all, we may have lost the match but we played together for the first time; many of us strangers to the club, and against a difficult team. But the positives were studded throughout the game. And I feel, as new to the club as I am, that this team has a bright future ahead.
James Webb (Webby)