Confidence builds as SOHC stretch top sides to limit
- Credit: Archant
PGSOB 3, Sidmouth & Ottery 1sts 1
(Men’s Conference South)
Despite a disappointing defeat the previous weekend, the Men’s 1st team walked away from the game in high spirits knowing their performance was of a high quality. This confidence and team spirit was carried into their next fixture against high flying PGSOB, writes Matthew Ogborne.
The previous encounter against them at home was very close with PGSOB coming out on top but SOHC believed that they could get a result against them this time around.
Again fielding a familiar line up with only one absentee (Andrew Welch), captain Brown welcomed Charlie Please into the fold from the second team for his first league debut of the season.
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The game started at a frantic pace which played into the home team’s hands as they looked to hit SOHC on the break.
After a few words of advice from the senior players in the team, the midfield began to slow the game down and started to really stamp their authority in the middle of the park. This started to hurt the home side with Mike Bell and Sam King making intelligent leading runs. Wing backs and midfield were starting to find the forwards in dangerous areas of the pitch. SOHC were in the ascendency and the team went onto create a hatful of chances and came very close to scoring.
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Despite this PGSOB had the ball in the visitors’ net after a scrappy exchange in the D and through a case of bad luck, a ball deflected off a defenders’ stick and into the goal. This was completely against the run of play and shortly after another spell of dominance by SOHC, PGSOB won a penalty corner and scored a weak goal that trickled over the line.
SOHC players, in shock that they were 2-0 down, continued to play good hockey and knew if they kept playing this way, a goal would come. And so it did, just before half time Pete Baker scored his first goal of the season in lethal fashion, ruthlessly hitting the back board as the ball presented itself after scrappy defending from PGSOB
The second half continued as the first finished and SOHC continued to play attractive hockey with some slick passing moves, but despite all the possession, they could not get another goal.
As the half wore on and tiredness started to kick in, PGSOB started to impose themselves on the game and had a lot of the ball although mostly in areas where SOHC were comfortable. After a second half of end-to-end hockey, PGSOB caught SOHC on a swift counter attack which resulted in them scoring from close range. This was another soft goal which the team will be very disappointed in conceding.
The team left Plymouth ruing their misses on another weekend where superior possession for large chunks of the game could not be converted into goals. This has proved to be the team’s Achilles heel this season. But they will go into the next game still oozing in confidence, knowing that again they tested a very good team currently sitting two points off the top.