Saturday 8 October 2016: Letchworth 5th 0 – 5 Adelaide 3rds

Saturday 8 October 2016

Letchworth 5th  0  – 5  Adelaide 3rds

I was having a clear out of my superlatives drawer the other day and had selected quite a few items I was obviously never going to use again in my match reports when a small still voice stayed my hand and persuaded me hesitate.  I am glad I did, I have need of them all today.

We had a decent looking side to visit Letchworth .  Arguably a bit too long in “experience” and a little too short on legs but nonetheless of a quality that could eke out another result if we upped our game.

With a bare 11 we needed to conserve our energy and with two players coming back from injury we needed to be careful but I could not use the words conserve or careful to describe the barnstorming performance that unrolled. 

Centre half Ben quickly demonstrated that he was speeding up his play on the ball and an increasing in his hunger to tackle back on anyone who had the temerity to get past him.  The home side’s midfield were competent but no match.  Behind him new signing Wayne was clearly enjoying himself leaving just a few crumbs of attack to trickle by and be swept up by Adrian marshaling the defense from the back.  Berl and Billy again put in solid performances to complete the defensive unit that rarely looked under pressure.

Up front things looked even better.  New boy Luke was (again) a revelation.  Having never picked up a hockey stick until a matter of weeks ago he has proved to be the curator of remarkable skills and an eye for a chance that tormented the hosts the whole game.

So we were quickly peppering the opposing circle with penetrating passes, nothing specifically dangerous but there were numerous half chances that almost inevitably culminated in an opportunistic shot by Brian scuffing into the net to give us a deserved early lead.

We continue in that line, a brilliant dribble by Luke here, an overlapping run by Jan-Willem there.  Then Mike picked up the ball in left attack and advancing towards the circle spotted an undefended channel to the far post, a weighted ball evaded all the defenders giving Andy the time to sneak round the back and score from close range.

Another (great) bobbler from Brian made it three.  Then, just before half time.  Ben flicked the ball high directly forward to Luke.  He caught the ball on the bounce, waltzed round the defender, took on the keeper and slotted it home for the fourth.

It was not one-way traffic though.  The defense had plenty to do and keeper Sam was called into action on several occasions but his positioning was so good he made it kook easy.  Letchworth did make one superb high shot to his left though that ordinary mortals would have let in but Sam reacted instinctively to parry it wide with his hand.

Our domination continued the second half, Ben improved his pass rate to open up the game.  Another dangerous situation in the opponents circle, another goal from Brian, but this time there was nothing bobbly about his brialliant reverse stick shot just inside the post to give hi his hat trick.

Finally we did start to tire, both Wayne and Brian had to slow down and we were reduced to 10 before the end but at no point were the whole team anything less than superb.