Match report by David Carroll.
PHC Men's 4's took on the might of the Edwardian's 4's in the season opener. Having been promoted winning all but one of their matches last year, PHC were keen to stop their winning streak. If this was their 4's, I pray I never have to face the might of their 1's!!!
On the back foot from the push back, PHC did well to hang on to a clean sheet in the opening minutes with some excellent defending. Dave Sturdy lives up to his namesake in the back with James, Kesh and Ben having a strong opening. Eventually the onslaught brought a goal however ending the first half 0-1: a score line which could have been a lot worse if not for the actions of Louis in goal.
Inspired by Rupert's the half time talk, PHC came back strong but again were on the back foot with Ben in defence getting a full powered air shot follow through to the head. A knock that could be heard from the sideline! The next 5 minutes were like a scene from a Quintin Tarantino movie, with Ben requiring a staggering 8 stitches above his eye at hospital.
With a few reshuffles, the onslaught continued. With the aid of some woeful umpiring from Kully, the Edwardian's scored their second goal of the match from a clear foot. PHC were furious and went on the attack for a strong 5 minutes, striding forward into the Edwardian's half. Our few chances went unrewarded however and our best chance (which fell to David Carroll - not living up to his nickname) was gifted to the feet of the keeper...
Another couple of late goals for the away side brought the end score to 0-4.
Not the ideal start for the 4's but some solid play all around in a score line which could have been a lot higher.
Good luck to the 5's who have the Edwardian's fixture in a couple of weeks! Advice: Bring lots of substitutes, plenty of ice packs and probably some strong alcohol to console yourselves after the match.
MoM: Louis Allwood – Great saves keeping us in the match.
DoD: Kesh –Fraternising with the Edwardian’s side.
Mens 2s vs Southgate 4s - Win: 5-2
Match report by Andrew Greenhalgh
A new season for the Mens 2s back in a familiar league after winning promotion last season under the impressive guidance of Liam and Ellers. Under new steward ship of Rory and Brummie and with some new faces the Mens 2s were hell bent on keeping the form of last season going and needed to gel together quickly. The opposition were Southgate 4s. As was expected a well organised side turned out from the national league club and after trading chances the frustration was growing.
Chiswick then found themselves down to ten minutes as Anthony Millest made a classic forwards challenge on their defender after losing the ball. The stick hack lead to the first green card which now comes with a nice two minute break in the sin bin. This seemed to inspire debutant Tom Randell to take the game to Southgate. With an excellent run and demonstration of skill and coolness under pressure down the right side he served up a beauty of a pass to Andy Wilson, who playing in a more advanced role in midfield calmly slotted the ball home.
From this point Chiswick did not look back, the next on the score sheet was Kuldip Bains (aka Snow Leopard) after excellent determination and strong play, debutant Anthony Dukes managed to get the ball to the Snow Leopard in the D but with little space. As so when on the ball the Snow leopard seemed to slow down time as he calmly moved the ball on to his reverse side and with a huge wind up calmly hit a reverse shot beautifully into the bottom corner followed by a roar.
Despite leading there was still some frustration on the pitch leading to impressive debutant Matt Balcome also getting a green card and taking a 2 minute rest. In the second half Anthony Millest decided to join the party. After nicking a ball off a poor defensive pass he seemingly had run out of space. However, a quick turn and reverse shot left the left side of the net bulging and Chiswick dominating.
After this goal Chiswick went a little off the boil, fortunately the impressive central defence pairing of Jens DeVries and Sam Meacher meant that try as Southgate might they could not capitalise. That was until after a series of good saves goalkeeper Dan Horne found himself awkwardly positioned with the ball under his body, despite his best efforts to get rid of the ball
the call was made to award a penalty flick which was dispatched well by Southgate.
Chiswick needed a bit of a energy boost at this point and they got it through some excellent defending and attacking work by Rory and debutant Jack Farrant. Soon Anthony Millest finding himself turning provider for the Snow Leopard. Having just the keeper to beat the Snow Leopard seemed to slow down time once again, as he as he sat the keeper down and calmly slotted the ball away.
Next came a beauty of a team goal with fine passing leading to the excellent Tom Randell once again serving up a dish that Andy Wilson did not refuse as he revelled in his more advanced position.
By this point many Chiswick players were looking a bit fatigued and Southgate found themselves 3 on one with goalkeeper Dan Horne who seemed to have been abandoned by his defence. This was nothing but a consolation goal and soon the final whistle went and the Mens 2s continued their form that has seen them lose only one league game since March 2014.
MOM: The Snow Leopard - a fantastic display of ball winning at the bottom of the midfield and superb composure and skill in front of goal.
DOD: Matt Balcome - For the Green
Match Report by David Carroll
I consider myself to be a levelheaded man: slow to anger, calculating in situations and conscientious of others' opinions. Having recently been told of Richmond's notorious 12th man refereeing, I was skeptical. Seeing their abilities first hand this weekend however has changed this opinion somewhat.....
The match started with some excellent play on both sides of the pitch for Chiswick. The defense consisting of: James, Inesh, Pip and, the aptly named, Dave Sturdy withstanding the majority of the pressure from Richmond. Some excellent movement up the field by the mid's to the forwards meant the game wasn't one sided however. The first half ended a deserved 0 - 0.
After an inspiring half time team talk by deputy-captain Pip Turner outlining aggressive strategies like a battle commander with expert troops at his disposal. PHC went out on the attack. Tim instantly took on board Pip's talk and started the second half with vengeance on the mind! From the whistle, he powered forward into the heart of Richmond's defenses leaving naught but panic and fear through the Richmond lines. Supported by DY and Rupert, he pushed into the D with options available from Kam (on his PHC debut) and myself. Tim doesn't need support. Show him a goal, and he'll show the score sheet a goal.
He flicked from 10 yards, the ball flying into the top left corner. It was at this point that a Richmond player set the tone for the rest of the match, blocking the shot that was destined for the back of the net with his body. Miraculously, looking back on the majority of the decisions, we were awarded a P-flick. Of course Tim easily converted into the side netting making it 0 - 1, not 2 minutes into the second half.
Richmond, aided by the refs, came back hard on the attack and were unjustly rewarded (for the most part) with multiple free hits outside our D and several short corners. Sam pulled off some excellent saves keeping us level pegging with PHC defending well. Alas, eventually a player broke through and provided a back stick into the PHC goal: 1 - 1. A quick 2nd followed making it 2 - 1 to Richmond. A tough 15 minutes for PHC. Hopes a win were still high however with the mid's pushing hard to get the ball to the business end of the pitch.
<WARNING - DANGEROUS LEVELS OF SARCASM IMMINENT>
Rupert made the grave mistake of trying to attack Richmond's D, taking on 3 Richmond players and being bowled over in the process. This mistake did not go unpunished however, as not only did Richmond get a free hit but Rupert, well known for his thuggish antics on the pitch, was given a verbal warning.
Lightning, Goal Machine Carroll did not take kindly to this and attempted to add a further nickname: "Gobshite" Dave. Struggling to comprehend the baffling decisions of the refs throughout the duration of the match, finally seeing red, unleashed a maelstrom of obscenities for which he was called over and given a tongue-lashing - the words "get f***** ref" were uttered. Not his finest hour.
Furthermore Rupert was still under unjust scrutiny by the refs and was next given a green card for aggressive play when he was being tackled! PHC were down to 10 men.
Again being pushed hard in defence, Inesh was next to be targeted. After a series of committed tackles and blocks, stick tackles from Richmond and 2 dangerously lifted balled into his body, he was given a warning for presumably making it hard for them to score. The words "he puts himself in the way enough of the time what does he expect?", were heard from the mouth of the ref.
After a bit of argy-bargy a third goal was conceded 10 minutes from the end leaving PHC angry. Towards the dying minutes, a couple more chances materialised but nothing took root, leaving our opening score sheet 3 - 1.
A frustrating opening result for the start to our campaign but, with Richmond ending near the top of the league last year, lots of positives can be taken away from the match.
MoM: Inesh - "Unrelenting in defence"
DoD: Rupert - For getting a green card (pretty harsh voting...)
Mens 5s vs Richmond 3s - Loss 2-3
Glorious sunshine accompanied the start to the 5’s pre-seasons friendlies with all of the players arriving promptly 2 minutes before the off.
A sketchy opening resulted in a scrappy short-corner goal for Richmond five minutes from the start. Heads were down, spirits were low and the team was in disarray. It was at this moment, when our hopes for the forthcoming season were in tatters, that David powered forward sending the Richmond defence into panic with his breath-taking speed and grace. Capitalising on Richmond’s horror, James struck a ball into the heart of Richmond D directed at Aaron who, in a moment of tactical genius, provided an air-shot leaving the ball to flow through to David. One-on-one with the keeper there was never any doubt as to the outcome. Chiswick’s resident "Goal Machine" swiftly capitalised bringing the scores level and ending Richmond’s misbegotten dreams of an easy mornings’ Hockey. Chiswick were back in the game!
Some classic end-to-end Hockey followed with Chiswick building some good attacking play from balls provided by the solid back line. Louis Allwood had plenty of opportunities to show off his skills in goal on his Chiswick debut with more than a few shots directed away from goal. Richmond sneaked in another just before half-time when crowding the D with players to bring the score to 2 – 1.
Much of the same occurred in the second half with some great defending at the back holding off the strong Richmond attacking side. Some quick counter attacks spearheaded by Howie gave the Chiswick side plenty of opportunities up at the business end of the pitch. Unfortunately, Richmond scored a third goal halfway through the second half to bring the tally to 3 – 1.
With 10 minutes left, Inesh directed a screamer into the box with James getting a stick on it to dumbfound the keeper and bring the score to 3 – 2, setting up a nail-biting end to the game. Unfortunately, Chiswick couldn’t capitalise on their strong finish with the final score ending 3 – 2.
There were plenty of positives to take away from the match however with some great movement on and off the ball giving plenty of opportunities to build up some good plays. A solid start to the season for the 5’s.
MoM: Louis Allwood – Great debut, lots of saves
DoD: Aaron McInnes – Airshot from 5 yards
Match Report by David Carroll