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Depleted chums rise to the challenge

19 November 2016, 14:00

Men's 2s 2 - 2 Wycombe Men's 1s

I do wonder if other clubs have the same problems with fitness and availability as we do. On Monday the chums had a solid squad of 15 players. By Saturday morning we had eleven and a half - the half being Wardy with his tight hamstring (they come as a pair and seem to be inseperable). During the week nearly every midfield player in the club had succumbed to injury. The sound of hamstrings twanging could be heard as far away as Yorkshire.

Add to that players attending their 3rd cousin's wedding in the Shetlands or going to the Doctor's for some sort of a jab on Saturday morning and being signed off games for the rest of the day and you might see what I mean. It does drive me barmy. I can't do anything about it, of course, except have a rant.

We were only away to Wycombe 1's - one of the better sides in the League - and expected to be given a stiff examination as, like the chums, they have their sights on winning the League. They also field the division's top scorer.

Therefore I feel obliged to issue a public apology to our leader for even considering that he might be surplus to our needs - as mentioned in last week's report. Perhaps on reflection I was a little hasty. When Wardy was approached to captain the 2's he couldn't accept the offer quick enough presumably seeing the appointment as a lifeline arresting his gentle decline down the XI's. Now, reinvigorated, I'm sure he still secretly harbours hopes of promotion to the 1's ,however unrealistic that may be.

On Saturday at Wycombe he was immense.

He looks more like a small wooden toy figure than a hockey player. You know the ones I mean - about 3 inches high, multi jointed and if you press the base upwards the figure collapses in a heap because the elastic is compressed - that's Wardy. However pivoting on his one good leg like a demented puppet he scrapped for everything. The rest of the side took their lead from him and produced an outstanding display against a youngish Wycombe side who were clearly intent on garnering 3 points from the contest.

Every one of the chums played their part in a terrific game - Wycombe being the best side the chums have met so far this season. For once the chums maintained their intensity for the entire 70 minutes and came away with an entirely deserved point.

Hawks opened the scoring through Lodewijkk Klinkhamer (hereinafter to be known only as the Dutchman) which meant that texting in the result and scorers took me 20 minutes longer than normal (even then I managed to mis spell his name but how many k's do you need in a name?). Wycombe equalised within 5 minutes through top scorer Stephen Sloan whose shot was deflected onto the underside of the bar and then fell over the line.

Half time 1-1 and a pretty fair reflection of proceedings. In the second half the chums played even better than in the first period and engineered more clear cut chances than Wycombe. Mr Sloan was kept on a pretty tight rein so it was hugely disappointing when Wycombe snatched a second goal with 5 minutes left to wild celebrations from their squad. However the chums are pretty resilient these days. All out attack was launched, two penalty corners won and Dan Andrews obliged putting an irrestible drag flick home to even things up - and deservedly so.

2-2 - we'll take it. A great performance from a squad lacking a number of regulars.

A fitting send off also for Josh who has apparently been recalled to the planet Zarg but not before he has wreaked havoc here on and off the field. We wish him well.


MoM - Fearless

DoD - Josh - who else?


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