The usual trials and tribulations of getting to a hockey match: you may have noticed on the national news over the weekend there was a three day stand off between police and a man later arrested on offences under the explosives act in the Northolt area (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-37745616). Well, that was pretty much where we were headed on Saturday, but after a few diversions round some distinctly dodgy areas, fortunately all the team arrived on time at the terrific John Lyon School playing fields, which boasts a decent astro, ten football pitches and three cricket squares. We were up against previously unbeaten Harrow 1s but we started the better and passed the ball well, without actually ever threatening their goal. Harrow were quick and solid in defence, yet interestingly they tended to play on the break, allowing us a lot of possession but slightly vulnerable as we pushed forward. Jasper had a few chances and they had a corner denied by Jonny and Brett. Increasingly however, the game grew more fractious and the umpires tried to impose their control on the game. It got quite shrill at times. All square at half time with no real chances, but tempers flared early in the second half, with both teams told to calm it down. Gary got a quite bizarre yellow card after Brett smashed the ball to safety off the sideline, for the umpire to suggest the hit was too close to her, so Gary softly suggested she should stand further away if worried – and off he went. Archie then fell over and accidently mounted their defender, who squared up to the schoolboy, so off he went too. As such, the game – which I thought was a pretty decent affair – descended into nastiness and we certainly lost our pattern of play. Harrow lost another player through a hamstring injury and was left like a beached whale dangerously close to the goal (off the pitch) but the game continued. Then we were hit on the break down the left and the ball centred for their forward to slot past the stranded keeper for the only goal of the match. We pressed forward and caused a degree of panic in their area but Harrow held firm and took the 3 points. A disappointing result, but a very competitive match with decent performances from Charlie and Archie, whilst Harrow will cause a lot teams problems with their speed and skills.