Did someone say goals? There were in fact five of them this week. If you were a child of the 90’s you may have been waiting on Sunday night listening to chart show waiting to hear the band “five” singing their classic urban beats of “Everybody Get up”. They used to sing “Five will make get you down now”…..they are now singings “Men’s 3’s will get you down now”.
Every week we get a new story from Charles “my mum buys my hockey sticks” Offord. Well a new update, his mum got him an early Christmas present and bought his new stick. What a champion!!!
Charles officially man cheated on me this week in midfield with his new Irish heart throb in midfield, David Qualie. Both of them showing perfect one touch passing between them.
The initial passage of play was dominated by David Qualie & Charles Offord, cutting through the Tulse hill midfield, like Thurstan Wolf cutting through awkward chat on a first tinder date at Sam’s chicken in Hanger Lane.
For the initial period of play Chiswick spent the entire time in Tulse Hill half, this was down to a solid press from the front line of Chee, Ramon and Nadish. With three short corners in a row which clipped the outside of the left post Chiswick were turning the screw on Tulse Hill. With Charles Offord’s new stick, his new secret weapon came out to play. His low drag flick. Who knew he could get that low, I guess all those bumble dates midweek must have helped.
The first goal came from the initial play of Sturdy our warrior of the defence, linking with Scott “smelly shirt” Elliott. Then linking to Ramon on the right flank. Who drived the base line to release the ball to David Qualie who put a “slam dunk the funk” shot into the bottom left hand corner.
The second half started as it had in the first, domination that only Thurstan “Christian Grey” Wolf knows about on his business trips to Seattle.
The next goal came from quick play on top of the D. Scott “smelly shirt” Elliott passing to Ramon on the right edge of the D. He dribbled across the base line with Nadish waiting on the p shot for a simple slap across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner.
Minutes later, the magical pairing Charles Offord and David Qualie were stringing passes through the middle. With Nadish waiting in the D to receive the ball, he took a diving slap to beat the keeper. 3-0 to Chiswick.
The 4th goal came from debutant Will, with excellent link up play with Wiebe on the left flank (shocking revelation that he is 32, amazing skin….how does he do it). The final goal came from Chee, with attacking flair from Dave Sturdy on the right flank. Interlinking play with Ramon to Chee to slot the final goal to Chiswick 5-0. Boom!!!
Special mention to James Mason for getting a terrible haircut before the game and to Louis Allwood for not having to do much in goal but bully their forward….so mean!!
MOM: Dave Sturdy - solid tackling & Ramon Bailey – Electric pace
DOD: Louis Allwood - bullying players and not doing much
Top Guns blow Slough away
Chiswick PHC Men’s IVs channelled John Betjeman on Saturday. The ex Poet Laureate, in his famous poem, ‘Slough,’ wrote: “Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now.”
The IVs zipped up their flying suits, revved up the engines and it was ‘chocks away,’ as our Top Guns dropped three bombs of their own on Slough Men’s IIs in an enthralling contest at Acton. Goals from Rory, new boy Emile and somewhat olderboy Mutchy saw us run out ahead 3-1, after conceding late in the first half.
With wing commander Rupert away on overseas duty with the Hongkong irregulars, Tom took over skippering duties, and after giving the team our pre-match flight plan, we settled into disciplined formation as soon as the whistle blew.
The first 10-15 minutes saw us play our best hockey of the season. Training against the IIIs on Wednesday had got us battle-ready. Stiller and Lego were Chiswick’s very own Maverick and Goose at the heart of defence. Aggressive, passionate, sometimes pushing the envelope, ‘Mav’ and ‘Goose’ played at mach three for the whole afternoon.
With our fabulous touchline supporters roaring us on, Chiswick’s sharpness, triangular passing, quick running off the ball and urgency in possession took this reporter’s breath away. Emile gave us added impetus in the opposition danger zone, linking well with Phil, Dan and Chris up front.
Slough slowly found their way back into the game, mixing some good skills with agricultural tackling, but it was still a massive surprise when they went ahead at 25 minutes. Heads could have gone down, and ejector seat buttons pushed, but they didn’t, and when Rory punched the air after scoring the equaliser five minutes later, you sensed this was going to be Chiswick’s day.
In the second half, the midfield came into its own, helped by regular rotation from the sideline. Emrys came on for short bursts of magnificent skill, before coming off again, his lungs heaving, for a rest.
Muchy, Stoops, the tireless Jimbo and the not quite-so-tireless Nick Woon were like dogfighting F16 pilots taking on a squadron of biplanes, swatting them aside with magisterial indifference, and building pressure towards our second goal.
Emile rattled in the second to cap a fine debut, and then, determined to prove wrong Einstein’s dictum that insanity is doing the same thing again and again, expecting different results, spent the rest of the game tomahawking (unsuccessfully) every time he got into the opposition D.
It was left to the experienced Mutchy to show us all how it should be done, with a crisp back-of-the-D shot that rifled through the opposition defence and hit the backboard with a satisfying thump.
It was 3-1 and the longer the match went on, the less likely Slough were going to score. They lost their shape, their tempers and their unity. Chris ‘Bunchy’ Brinkworth ended up flat on his back after taking a hockey stick in the throat. A nasty bruise, but it didn’t stop him talking, or going back on the field of play in search of a fourth.
We tired a little towards the end, but one thing is clear. When Chiswick IVs are in full flow, we are hard to stop. The team now know each other’s strengths; they play for each other; they look after each other. There is a growing squad mentality, which comes of going to coaching together. A united team is generally a good team, and against Slough, we were a good team.
Roger that, over and out.
Buzz the control tower (MoM) Stiller
Confined to barracks (DoD) Jimbo
Chiswick Men’s 4s were confident of extending their winning run on Saturday against King’s Alleyns, and despite a couple of fashionably late arrivals (you know who you are, and you blamed each other!) we had a strong squad for the match.
It was like getting the band back together at the back as James Mason, on AWOL from the 3rds, took the centre back spot with Lego, and we were also strengthened by PHC’s very own Ronald Koeman, Wiebe Wilbers, bringing with him the touch of a European master. Sam Hext took his usual position between the sticks and Tom Papworth-Smith – perhaps dreaming of the vice-captaincy – finished a strong back line.
Our confidence was high. With Emrys Hart sporting a pair of bubblegum pink board shorts and a cheeky grin, what could possibly go wrong?
The first ten minutes were a rude wake up call. Alleyns were fast, well-drilled and super fit, they held a very high press and it was all PHC could do to keep them at bay. We struggled to deal with the early pressure, and it wasn’t long before the opposition had the ball in the goal. 1-0 after eight minutes.
After such an early setback, the team began to put a few moves together. Stiller, Rupert, Emrys, Will (who had clearly eaten raw meat alone for breakfast) and Jimbo were tireless in midfield. Stiller’s trademark twinkletoes dribbling a neat contrast with James ‘jarhead’ Wootten’s more uncomplicated style.
Marshalled by our tireless skipper Rupert, the team temporarily rediscovered the slick pass and go hockey that has mesmerised opponents across London this season. We managed to create a couple of half chances for Chris Brinkworth, leading the line again, as well as a two short corners, but we couldn’t turn the attacks into goals, and the team were punished when a smart overlap on the right from Alleyns saw PHC go 2-0 down.
Alleyns just did not allow us to play our natural game, and it was a similar story in the second half. Rupert’s stirring words at half time gave the team fresh heart. Phil Schartau sprang about the pitch like a leaping gazelle, Rory Wilkes and Tim Lui got into great positions on the wide angle, and for a time, using the width of the pitch, we were able to mount some strong attacks against a team that were physical and well-organised, their physicality leading to some entertaining repartee between James Wootten, Will Leachman and the umpire.
A couple more well-worked goals from Alleyns in the second half underscored their superiority, but to our credit PHC never gave up, showing a spirit that has become a hallmark of the team this season. Our hockey is so much better than last year, a testament to the investment by the club in professional coaching and two days training a week.
The team spirit in PHC 4s is ‘non pareil.’ For sure, we were beaten by a good team, but we’ll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and be back for another crack at the opposition next Saturday.
MoM: James Mason
DoD: James Wootten
The men’s fives were very much ready for the game against Richmond Deerstalkers and we were ready for our first win of the season. We came out strong, the possession was mainly ours and we started to move the ball well. Richmond would have an occasional attack but we were also defending well.
Play was mainly in Richmond’s half and there were a number of shots on the Richmond goal. Eventually Chris Wiggins managed to squeeze one past the keeper after a deflection. The first half ended 1:0 to us after a bit of scrappy play towards the end of the half.
We settled down again at the beginning of the half and were threatening Richmond’s goal again. We in fact had our next goal disallowed by the umpire for a dangerously high ball before the shot. While we felt a bit hard done by we regrouped and after some constant pressure on goal Zak got the keeper out of position by forcing him to take him out leaving the goal unguarded and Chris Wiggins managed to smash a second into the back of the net meaning we were 2-0 up.
We had another chance for a goal after we won a short corner and Zak narrowly missed the ball on the far post. At this point I feel I need to mention that one of the umpires was making some extremely questionable decisions including calling Inesh for hitting the ball straight in to the D after he had clearly moved it about 8 yards. Nick Stoupas took offence to this and chose to describe how offended he was earning him a green and then a yellow in a matter of minutes.
This gave Richmond a chance to re-group and the play began to get scrappy. We were also getting more tired due to the additional running. Richmond won a number of short corners and despite some brilliant keeping from Louis and two goal line saves from Ray (which later won him the man of the match) the Deerstalkers frustratingly managed to get two in the back of the net. Final score was 2-2 and we were denied our first win of the season. Nick won the DOD vote for getting the yellow card of course.
MOM: Ray Brighenti - Goal line saves
DOD: Nick Stoupas - Yellow card
Did someone say goals?
It was goals, more goals and even great goals.
This was a tight game between Chiswick and Wayfarers in the opening exchanges. One goal followed by another and then another!!!
Chiswick took the initial lead with a sheer bit of brilliance from Ramon Bailey. His diving for goal was something that Tom Dailey wish he could of emulated at the Rio Olympic games. You can tell this man grew up on the water pitches of Richmond in his youthful days.
Inesh the warrior of our midfield took the second goal for Chiswick. Some say it was misguided pass into the bottom corner, others say it was bloody lucky…… As the captain I say “no pictures on the scoreboard”.
Special mention has to go to Charles “where do I buy hockey sticks as mum bought my last” Offord after scoring a ‘slam dunk the funk’ shot from the top of the D. His reply was “Common just give me the ball lads”.
Chee goal was something of a murder mystery. Scott “smelly shirt” Elliott took the ball from the top of the D from the short corner. Took it on the reverse side and striked at goal. En-route Chee deflected the ball into the goal. Some say it was his stick, the haters disagreed. But as my pop idol Taylor Swift said “Haters going hate, hate, hate, hate”.
Andrew Jordan goal was something of sheer innocence and beauty, the same qualities that Thurstan Wolf describes himself to women at the clubhouse on a Saturday evening after a few lemonades. The ball was one touch play from DVB – Inesh – Jordan – Ramon – Chee – Ramon then finally to Jordan to slot across the goal. At this point as captain I thought “now I know what it likes to manage Arsenal”.
Nothing can compare to this goal, so I won’t even bother describing his second goal.
Onwards to Indian Gym next week!!
MOM: Andrew Jordan / Charles Offord – Goal scoring machines.
DOD: Thurstan wolf – disgraceful shorts
Someone say he is known as the flying Dutchman, Wiebe, after his antics of Saturday night at the club social he will know be known as the filthy Dutchman. I think he asked Charles Offord for tips.
The beginning passage of play was dominated by Chiswick. With debutant Matt in the midfield, his aerials were a thing of beauty. Andrew Jordan was quick to remind Scott ‘smelly shirt’ Elliott of how it should be done. At this point I felt as inadequate as someone spending their Friday nights on tinder swiping away to find “Miss right” or “Miss right now” depending on your interpretation.
Jonty returned from injury and was able to scare the opposition with his genuine pace upfront. It reminded me of a young Linford Christie. Ironic as we were playing at fortress Linford.
In the mean streets of Brentford, Ramon in known as a bad man. But at Linford there was nothing bad about his game. Working hard to defend and showing real spirit to fight for every ball.
Now Charles Offord was the actual bad man of this game. His language was nearly as offensive as a walkabout night out in temple. Yes, he did score another ‘slam dunk the funk’ goal with his brand new stick his mum bought for his. However, his celebration was so X rated that DMX the rapper wouldn’t have been able to rap about it in his next album.
With only moment to go in the game, Louis the ginger ninja of our defense, mistimed his dive from the opposition and this sealed the result to a 2-1 loss for the Chiswick.
A game of frustration for Chiswick, onwards and to the pub!!!
MOM: Andrew Jordan - solid
DOD: Charles Offord - yellow card after the game for being a terrible person
We went in to this game knowing that it was going to be a hard one. The London Royals had beaten the first two teams that they played 10-0 and 12-0. This game was going to be all about our defensive strategy. Sadly in the first half we were simply beaten by better play. The London Royals were passing very well and causing the defence to shift out of position. One of their players in particular was getting our defenders to over commit and then dribble pass them.
On our side Tristan managed to get a green card for back chatting with the umpire at the very beginning of the first half and Neil got injured 5 minutes in so things were not going to plan. On the positive side we were still defending quite well and Laurence in particular was doing a superb job. This won him the man of the match vote at the end of the game. At the end of the first half it was 0-6.
The second half was much better we started playing better as a team, passing well, and threated their D a few times. Zak almost scored a goal with the keeper only just denying him. The royals still had a number of chances in the second half but Sam’s excellent keeping kept their shots from reaching the back of the net. They only managed to score one additional goal in the second half which was a rousing achievement in our books. Final score was 0-7 to the London Royals.
On a sunny morning at Linford, the mighty 4’s took on the bottom of the league Barnes team. Attempting to bounce back from a tough 5-3 loss last week, they were in the mood for revenge. After a robust warm up of Stiller ‘opening the gate’ excessively and Blobby on the running track, the game started.
Almost instantly PHC were on the attack, working the channels with the strong midfield. After a scrappy bit of defending the ball bounced to Phil who pushed it left for Chris Brinkworth to finish it off. This was the start we needed. The next goal was a quick affair with Phil and Chris working their way through the Barnes defenders after the ball broke loose from a strong defensive stop by the solid PHC wall, Chris slotted his second. With Jimbo throwing his stick down in disgust after a huge air shot, we kept chipping away.
Soon PHC were on the attack again this time they shared the ball round from the back getting a well worked goal, this time Phil receiving an assist and netting the goal. Just before half time it was el capitano himself that got on the score sheet, whilst diving into the goal! Leaving the team 4-0 up at half time.
After a solid team talk, with such points as, ‘Woon, don’t just run at me saying your subbing off, I need a warning’, ‘Lads, one of them is a really angry old man’. Soon the action was back on with a more relaxed attitude. This caused us trouble as Barnes got a goal back after a lucky rebound of the pads.
However soon Andy Sewell got things rolling with a solid assist this time for Dave Young, who distracted his opponents with his unnecessarily bright shoes, allowing for his shot to bobble up and loop over the keepers leg. Then finally the moment came, after a short corner broke to Rory, he played the ball back to Chris Brinkworth who beat the keeper to complete his hatrick. This seemed too much for the Barnes team as they pulled one back at the end to finish the game, 6-2.
This gave a much needed return to winning ways for the 4’s, with solid defensive work, topped off with a lot of quick counterattacking and unselfish play.
MoM: Chris Brinkworth
DoD: Nick Woon
The battle of Indian gym commenced at 4pm. A special mention to DVB who brought his girlfriend to watch the epic battle. DVB is a cunning linguist speaking in French to her. I asked her what the French for “VA VA VOOM”…. It’s still a mystery.
The game started at frantic pace. With the first five minutes Ramon had the audacity to play a shot through his legs and just missed the goal. Nadish who had his debut for Chiswick this week was absolutely tearing it up at the front, an epic debut to remember.
Indian Gym who are fierce competitors were able to turn the pressure on Chiswick. With a strong hit (not a slam dunk the funk….only Charles Offord has that in the locker) from a short corner, put it in to go one ahead.
Chiswick equalized in a quick manner. Sam Alton who had been the midfield general with his partner in crime Will Bishop, were able to play quick one-two hockey between them. Sam took a reverse strike into the top corner. Boom!!!
Indian GYM were applying great pressure to the Chiswick backline. They were able to hold out for a long period due to the defensive strength of the Wolfman and Paul “I like horses” Caine. Dan Horne made some fantastic saves on the floor. But one to many short corners later, Indian GYM went back up 2-1.
Chiswick in the last 15 minutes took control of the game. Attack after attack Chiswick were on the verge of scoring. With a short corner given to Chiswick, Wolfman placed an inch perfect injection to the stopper Will. Scott “smelly shirt” Elliott saw the keeper log before his shot and drag-flicked over the keeper to kiss the top of the back board. The celebration was that of someone who has won gold at 1988 Olympic final.
Speaking of 1988 GB hockey Olympic final, the right back for Indian Gym played in that final and has a gold medal, so speaks volumes of the result for Chiswick to get a point away.
FYI, Charles Offord broke his stick at the weekend so will be calling his mum to ask her to buy him a new stick.
MOM: Sam Alton - Cracking goal and solid in midfield
DOD: Scott Elliott - Green card