7th Mar 2020 Mens 3rd v City of York 5(Home) 4 - 1 win

It was a great atmosphere in the changing room after the game, as Stormzy boomed out, having beaten a York team several places above us in the division and given ourselves a chance of surviving in the league.
The team selection this week reminded me of the excellent U2 album the Josh(ua) Three (Tree) – with three Joshes playing we had to develop a new communication system to make sure everyone knew who they were shouting at during the match !
The pre match discussion focused on delivering a win to give us a chance of staying in the league with effort maximised from the first minute. As with many such plans they often fall down when you first encounter the enemy and in the first few minutes of the game we saw that the York team were buzzing and ready to battle hard. After a brief period of early pressure they scored a goal after a fast break from a loss of possession in the middle of the pitch. Heads went down a little as we have often been in this position at the beginning of a match - having to fight back to win the game. On this occasion we rallied quickly and the balance of the match became more even, with Ben Rhydding making some decent forays into the opposition half. The equalising goal came against the run of play when Zak threw a clever aerial ball into the opposition D which Ryan chased down - latching onto it faster than the defence and an advancing goal keeper. This gave the team more confidence and we all started to play with more conviction. It wasn’t long before the second goal came along following good work down the left side of the pitch and Zak again the provider with an excellent ball across the D that Jack W sprinted onto - diving to direct the ball into the net.
At two one the balance of the game turned a little more in BR favour but York were still capable of scoring more goals. It was the excellent work of the back five of Sam, Ben, Logie, Josh H and in particular Josh D that snuffed out any potential danger. Through the whole game Josh D made a series of key interceptions and drove the whole team forward at key moments - definitely a man of the match contender. Even Logie was seen to sprint ahead of the advancing York attack taking the ball on his reverse stick and almost reaching the oppositions half - oxygen was needed !
The half time team talk was all about keeping up the tempo and not letting them back into the game. This was an instruction we, for once, followed with confidence, increasing as the half went on with Ed and Ryan adding a little more maturity to the teams play in midfield. The third goal settled any nerves, although it was a little fortuitous, as a short corner that wasn’t hit cleanly dribbled into the net- this time Zak was the scorer not provider. The final nail in the coffin for York came after a mix up in defence which allowed Ewan to show some great skills in the D which he rounded off with a superb strike.
This was a great result for the team after a disappointing start to the game. If we had played like this earlier in the season then it’s possible we wouldn’t be in this position but we live to fight another day in the battle to stay up. That said as one of the older (OK oldest) members of the squad its been great to watch the younger members of the team progress from slightly nervous juniors to really determined hockey players who can compete on equal terms with the generally older adult teams we have played against.
Come on boys let’s prove a point over the next two games ...........