New Year resolve: Let’s do away with blame culture’
Sidmouth Men’s 1st XI hockey: Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions and at the first training session of 2008 it was senior player Scott Rowson who announced that the resolution he would like to see the first team adopt would be the eradication of the blame culture’ he considered was present in the team before Christmas.
Sidmouth Men's 1st XI hockey: Everyone makes New Year's resolutions and at the first training session of 2008 it was senior player Scott Rowson who announced that the resolution he would like to see the first team adopt would be the eradication of the 'blame culture' he considered was present in the team before Christmas.
Rowson's resolution, with a selection policy based on attendance at training and an investment in youth, would suggest that the coming year has good things in store for the team.
The visitors to Taunton were able to select from a full squad of players and joint captains Jon Pike and Charlie Plowden decided to award Peter Baker his league debut in the first team. The son of legend Keith Baker will soon be challenging for legend status in his own right after an impressive performance in the midfield.
Thanks to their threatening forward line, the hosts edged the opening exchanges and would have taken the lead early in the first half but for some goal-line heroics from Paul Gannon, who took up a defensive position on the goal-line to not only stop a goalbound shot but recycle the ball and create a Sidmouth counterattack.
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With the game finely poised at 0-0, it was Rowson who tilted the balance against his team by earning a yellow card for persistent dissent. This left three men in the midfield and not even the promise of Baker, skill of Andrew Welch or tenacity of Plowden was enough to match the Taunton midfield.
The hosts had taken a comfortable two-goal lead by the break. But, in the spirit of the anti 'blame-culture', the half time team talk was remarkably similar to a Graham Pidgeon school report: "could do better".
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The return of Rowson from the sin-bin restored the balance and allowed, in particular, half backs Andrew Mapson and Ryan Trawford to get forward and support the forward line.
The game was put beyond Sidmouth when a short corner was dramatically overturned by an over-zealous umpire at the opposite end of the pitch. This allowed the hosts to take advantage of the visitors being set for the corner, adding a third. The umpire to justified his decision by the fact that he was fed up with the persistent complaints of an unnamed Sidmouth player.
Sidmouth continued to complain about the decision, letting their heads drop and not showing the character that the captains have tried to build this season. Taunton added two more before Rowson claimed a consolation goal.
Whilst the sentiment behind the 'no-blame culture' cannot be disputed, neither can the fact that the game turned on some disappointing individual displays. Sidmouth will hope that the players will reflect on their own performances and show an improvement this week, at home versus East Devon.
By Ian Brown
Sidmouth Men's 1st XI hockey
Taunton Vale 5, Sidmouth 1