Not a good game, though a rather harsh result.
Positives: (i) Very sound debut for Anthony Aylwyn, returning to hockey after a 35 year pause!
(ii) we played with tremendous grit and commitment for 34 minutes to keep the game level, not just soaking up pressure but counter attacking imaginatively into the space behind their defence. Man of the Match goes to Isaac Handley for first half performance at the front of the diamond
(iii) for the last 10 minutes we threw everything at them and kept them under pressure in their own 23.
Sadly, inbetween (ii) and (iii) we lost our shape and our energy at the back once we had conceded, our passing went to pot, our attacks foundered predictably on a solid Stevenage defence.
Apart from the psycholgical effect of the goal with the last touch of the 1st half, Stevenage noticeably played deeper after the break, taking out the broad space behind their back line that we had tried to exploit, drawing our midfield further up the pitch and making space behind for them to run at our back line, who as previously noted are not the fastest.
With Kitt and the Normans now playing higher up and Matt Earle injured, we will have to find the best way to play with our available resources, but things are going to be tougher now.