On Saturday, the Mens 4s travelled to Pound Lane, home of Marlow HC and incidentally my first club, where I was 1st team keeper as a callow youth and a pretty tasty mullet to boot. Marlow 3s have mirrored our progress up the leagues over the past few seasons and again our game was a tight, keenly fought affair. Turning up for the final game of the day, some of the team obviously hadn’t eaten but I’m not sure a bacon & egg bap 20 minutes before a match is ideal preparation. We have been playing better over the past few weeks, playing through the midfield more and having more fight. Having Brett and Rob back certainly helped, which pushed Ray Prince into midfield and he certainly fitted in perfectly and showed his class. Upfront, Chris and Nathan held the ball up well and Freddy Sunderland and Archie Spittles were welcome additions. It was also great to have Tom F back in the fold. We had the better of the game, in terms of possession and creativity, however this didn’t result in many chances, their keeper being forced into a couple of saves in the first half, but there was only one solitary short corner in the whole game, which I guess tells a story. However, it was Marlow who opened the scoring two minutes before the break, as they broke on the edge of their own D to find the centre forward clear in the D; his shot was parried by the diving keeper, but the ball fell perfectly for their advancing winger who stroked the ball home. As Gary Mahon stated, our play was great but just needed that extra 5% of quality around their D to get something from the match. Hawks forced the play in the second half and eventually a good break down the right resulted in Archie forcing the ball home from close range. Both teams strove for a win, but in the end a 1-1 draw was a fair result.
However, the real talking point of the day was the post-match teas, as Marlow treated us to a full turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings, roast tatties, pigs in blankets, stuffing, sprouts, carrots, cranberry sauce and gravy, washed down with lashings of Rebellion. Absolute quality and a nice finale to the first half of the season. This leaves us in fourth position, behind Newbury 2s, Leighton Buzzard 1s and Henley 2s, all of whom having opened a fair gap between them and us.