No dream start for SOHC Men’s 1st XI

Plymouth Marjons 4 , Sidmouth and Ottery 1

A dream start to the new league season proved a step too far for Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club’s 1st XI last weekend as they lost 4-1 to Plymouth Marjons, writes Ian Brown.

Although the team have come through the friendly matches pre-season without a win, such a run of results is indicative only of a collection of players coming together and learning how to play together as opposed to a lack of talent.

The hosts took the lead in the first half when a SOHC player was caught in possession, the forward then being one on one with goalkeeper Jonty Hoar and managing a cheeky lob for a well taken goal. The deficit proved to be the wakeup call that SOHC arguably needed as they then found their stride, playing some nice hockey.

The midfield worked hard and attempted admirably to stick to the SOHC game plan that had been discussed at training the previous week. Jim Harris returned to the squad having undertaken a marathon swim the previous week and solidified the midfield, proving to be a nuisance on the right flank and linking well with Matt Sheaves who shows moments of unpredictable brilliance which would have any defensive line afraid.

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Bobby Brown, in his familiar right half role, declined a hiking weekend with his girlfriend to play, in a clear demonstration of commitment to the team, putting his neck on the line to make some crucial tackles at times. Not to be outdone, Tom Down made some excellent covering tackles in the left half position. Down’s record was blighted slightly in the second half when he was shown a yellow card for playing the ball with the back of his stick.

The structural reshuffle that followed saw Dan Devine move into left midfield and an rare intelligent run saw him collect a Scott Rowson pass, before advancing about 40 yards up field and slotting in the equaliser for SOHC.

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Many wise men have said that a team is at it’s most vulnerable having scored a goal and that proved to be the case here with Marjons restoring their lead shortly after. The visitors then suffered something of a capitulation and Marjons eventually ran out the 4-1 winners, which in all of the circumstances, did not reflect the way that SOHC played.

This week the team search for their first win of the season at Primley versus Yeovil and Sherborne, 1.30pm start

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