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A depleted Men's 4s in tough game against Eastcote

05 February 2022, 12:00, Eastcote Hockey Club astro

Men's 4s 2 - 4 Eastcote Men's 3s

Well, where to start?  First of all, I think it is a huge achievement that we had a team to play Eastcote. There were 11 players missing from our squad due to being called up, injured or away. Even when Minner found new players they were then called up to the 3s. This meant that up until Saturday morning we were not sure who would turn up. Anyway, we got to the pitch with 12 players. We had players playing out of position all over the pitch (our right back ended up playing left forward), young players making their debut, old players strapping themselves up to be able to play…it was going to be a tough game. However, I will say now that no one let themselves down, everyone worked hard through the game against a team with a full squad of 15 or 16 and some very “decent” players who were obviously not really part of their usual team.

Eastcote started well as Hawks were trying to adjust to their new positions and teammates, it was scrappy, and it was soon clear decisions were going to be hard. In the first 10minutes Hawks were told we would be carded if there was any more chat, and to be fair, Hawks were general quiet for the rest of the game (even Barny….to some degree). Anyway, Eastcote soon opened the scoring with a drag flick into the bottom corner of the goal. Buzz then gave way to injury and sat out the rest of the game which led with yet more position reshuffling.

Hawks were starting to settle into the game, Jamie was running the ball from the back, Will and Barny battling in midfield and Matt was running round, well…. like a right back playing upfront! Little George (his new name that he loves) was starting to cause a nuisance of himself upfront and soon good work between him and Chris won a short corner for Hawks which Barny coolly dispatched. The rest of the half was fairly even with the Hawks team working hard, even with 10 men for part of the game after card to Matt W.

The second half was much of the same, the Hawks makeshift defence of Big George, Jamie, Oakes and Harris was holding firm….by hook or by crook. However, Eastcote won another short corner, Jonny Atkins saved the drag flick, but the ball deflected onto Tom’s leg and cruelly bounced towards the goal, trickling over the line despite Harris and Oakes diving to clear it off the line moments too late. Eastcote were slowly starting to dictate play. However, a great run down the right by Jamie led to the ball falling to Barny who slipped the ball to Little George to slam home to make it 2-2.

Unfortunately this did not last long, Eastcote had another short corner, which the “I’m just coming back from injury – that’s why I am playing 3s….honest” Eastcote player drag flicked through Jonny and right into the top of the net at a speed which is very rare at this level. Moments later Ben cleared the ball off the pitch only to be called over by the umpire for “hitting the ball away” and he nearly got carded. A moment later the umpire green-carded Harris for something despite an awful foul by Eastcote seconds before……Harris pointed this out to the umpire and the green was quickly upgraded to a yellow. As Harris started to walk off, play resumed and there was a foul which was obviously upgraded to a short corner. Yes, you guessed it, the supposedly “returning from injury” drag flicker put another rocket into the top of the net. Then little George got carded for asking the Eastcote player not to step on his stick.

Fair play, Eastcote played well and if they can keep hold of that drag flicker (who throw aerials ¾ the length of the pitch from centre back) they will beat a lot of teams…..I bet they hope he does not recover his fitness too quickly. Thank you to the Eastcote captain who also came over to me after the game to apologise for the management of the match which he was feeling very upset about.

As always, great teas!

Goals Little George and Barny.

MOM – Little George.


Onto next week


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