Letchworth Extra 5s 3 - 1 Hertford VI
By Geoff Oates
Our heaviest league defeat for 9 months...
Which is pretty positive really, nobody has beaten us by more than the odd goal since we lost to Cambridge South back in February.
It was frustrating to concede two goals when we missed repeated opportunitied to clear the ball, and one at the end when the marking fell apart, but given the number of gilt edges chances they missed, we can't complain about the final result. A short corner count of 5 each reflects a well matched game, played at a Div 9 pace between two sided missing key players and making plenty of errors in wet and slippery conditions. It always rains when we play late in Letchworth, at least we missed out on the downpour our 3s played in.
With a makeshift midfield (Clive and me playing the wide roles) and a very veteran back 4 we looked to Graham White, Andy Benson and Chris Dean (man of the match) to provide the impact.
A fairly even first half saw few real chances aside a couple of short corners, the only goal going to Letchworth, though we did see some impressive running off the ball the open space for Any's long passes. In the second we made much more use of the width of the pitch and the space provided by tiring legs. A short corner strike from Andy soon after the break brought us a deserved equaliser but Letchworth were back in front within 5 minutes. That brought the game to life and we played twenty minutes of good aggressive hockey. Chris regularly dribbled through their midfield, combining brilliantly with Richard to keep the ball moving, I found myself racing down the wing after Adam's long passes (haven't done that for years), and we went heartbreakingly close on two occasions. Chris slipped a pass behind the defence for Andy to slam inches wide of the far post. Richard dribbled through to strike from the edge of the D to miss by a similar margin.
Letchworth regularly caught us on the break and though a mix or Andy's reflexes and some astonishingly poor finishing, they only managed the one late goal to snuff out our hopes.
No game next week, you all deserve a break and a rest.