!st XI points haul
Yeovil & Sherborne 0-
Sidmouth and Ottery Men’s 1st XI 1
Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club continued their recent resurgence in form to pick up all three points in a bottom of the table clash at Yeovil, writes Ade Brooker.
In another gutsy performance SOHC took their unbeaten run to five games with veteran Windy Miller proving the vital difference between the two sides with an astute short corner call.
In driving rain and wind SOHC knew that, despite picking up points in all of the last three games, that this would count for nothing against fellow relegation-threatened Yeovil. SOHC started brightly with Mikey Bell in particular showing that SOHC were well prepared for the elements donning what can only be described as a wetsuit. SOHC took charge of first half possession helped by the lively forward pair of Bell and King but rarely threatened the Yeovil goal. Yeovil soaked up the early pressure and looked dangerous on the break sending a couple of shots over the bar from range. SOHC’s best chance of the first half came when clever play from Andrew Welch saw him find Jim Harris free at the top of the ‘D’. Unfortunately, there was more air sent towards the goal than ball and the opportunity was wasted.
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The second half started in similar fashion to the first and SOHC managed to force an early short corner. A weakness in the Yeovil short corner defence spotted by Windy Miller proved to be vital. A left slip to Matt Ogbourne saw him collect an early birthday present, just getting enough on the ball to send it under the keeper and into the corner.
Unfortunately, this goal provided the inspiration that Yeovil needed as they drove forward, helped by some wayward passing and SOHC dwelling on possession. Yeovil thought they had earned a penalty flick with the ball appearing to be cleared off the line by a SOHC foot, but to uproar from the home crowd only a long corner was given. SOHC were shortly reduced to 10 men after Bobby Brown was adjudged to have deliberately hit the ball away. A bizarre period of play followed with Yeovil appearing to invoke a little known rule of ‘take as many short corners as you like in 10 minutes’. Despite this the SOHC defence held firm with some fine saves from Jonty Hoare.
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The last 10 minutes saw SOHC cling on to their lead giving away numerous 10 yard penalties for talking back to the umpire and despite his experience another yellow card was shown to midfielder Welch for this offence.
The defence of Brooker, Brown, Miller and Rowson held firm with keeper Hoare saving well on a number of occasions.
Despite the win SOHC must cut out the ill-discipline if they are to continue to stage their fight back for survival, particularly with sterner tests to come SOHC can ill afford to spend nearly 20 minutes playing with only 10 men.