Things looking good at SOHC

Firebrands B 2, SOHC Men’s A 0

This was potentially one of SOHC’s hardest games of the season so far, away to the Bristol-based Firebrands, writes Mark Moore.

However, SOHC acquitted themselves admirably against their table-topping hosts. SOHC found the pace of the game hard to adjust to for the opening five minutes as Firebrands moved the ball around seemingly at ease and took the lead after approximately 10 minutes. SOHC were hindered with Rick Robinson pulling up with an injury and not taking any further part in what turned out to be an evenly fought contest. The versatility of the SOHC team came to the fore with Graham Pidgeon stepping in to the left back role from being last week’s centre forward! Firebrands still had the upper hand and forced a number of penalty corners all dealt with by the makeshift defensive line up. The work rate and enthusiasm of the visitors to play and support each other meant they were able to go in at half time still trailing by the single goal.

In the second half, SOHC continued their high tempo play, moving the ball fast in all areas of the pitch causing the home side problems, all players working tirelessly for each other in an attempt to pull the scores level.

Unfortunately, an under cut shot at short range into the body of Pidgeon which wrong-footed Moore, allowed the home forward to tap in for a 2 - 0 lead. Despite the umpires conferring about the danger of the initial shot, the goal was allowed to stand.

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SOHC continued to play attacking hockey and were able to penetrate the home 23-yard area and D, but couldn’t quite get the finishing touch.SOHC could feel proud of their performance based on sheer determination, selfless play and teamwork.

Sidmouth & Ottery HC Fifth XI 4,

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Bridgwater 1

With two goals in either half, the SOHC 5ths made sure that they took all the points from their visitors Bridgwater C to jump up to fifth in South East 3. Their win included goals from the Vincents - father and son, writes Steve Ellison.

As the game unfolded, SOHC showed that they could defend, aided considerably by Paddy Maher who kept the team in the game early on with a smart reaction save.

They built some good attacks and created several chances in the first 15 mins, none of which the managed to convert.

As the half progressed SOHC hadn’t settled completely and failed to achieve the fluency required to maintain the momentum and create sufficient chances. Steve Ellison opened the scoring when he latched onto a deflection from a defender’s stick after a hard cross. Stuart Vincent, returning to the team after a break, scored the second less than five minutes later firing home low and hard from 10 metres in a packed D.

Ian Mackie asked for calmness and made a call for better quality play. It was Dan Vincent who stretched the lead further. He made best use of a driven cross from Ellison from the right, after a direct angled pass from Ian Mackie, to take his chance with confidence.

Despite other close efforts, including Billy Rudolph who was unable to convert from top of the D, David Ackland stepped up to blast home from five metres to record his first of the season.

Bridgwater deserved their consolation goal after the ball broke free and was dispatched into the roof of the net in spectacular style.

The 5ths have a week off this weekend and return to action against the Sixth XI at Sidmouth on Dec 8.

Ashmoor 1st XI 3, SOHC Men’s 1st XI 2

Still looking for their first points of the season SOHC entered this fixture against a struggling Ashmoor side with plenty of optimism, despite the torrential rain, writes James Harris.

Having played the same Ashmoor side last season SOHC knew what to expect from their young and skilful opposition.

Looking to build on the glimpses of promising, passing hockey the team had displayed in recent games, SOHC took control of the game from the start, with some great passages of passing.

With the majority of the possession, with the opposition reduced to a few quick counter attacks, SOHC slowly started to build the pressure of their opposition. With the pressure mounting, SOHC took the lead through a well-worked short corner routine finished by Duncan Gracie. However, SOHC were unable to maintain this lead as Ashmoor hit back with a short corner routine of their own.

The teams went into the half-time break with the scores level.

SOHC control and possession of the ball continued throughout the second half and the team took a 2-1 lead through another short corner routine, which was finished off by Mike Bell.

The scores were soon levelled when the Ashmoor striker receive the ball on the penalty spot and slid the ball into the bottom corner.

A draw looked to be on the table when late into the game Ashmoor took the lead through an unstoppable reverse hit strike into the top corner.

The score ended 3-2 despite SOHC playing their best hockey all season.

If they can replicate that performance a win will not be far away.

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