LX CLUB at European Trophy Tournament, Bra, Italy
6th to 10th June 2012
LX Red Over 65’s team
LX Red started the tournament with their first pool game against the Welsh Dragons. With games only being 20 minutes each way it was important to start the games at a high tempo and this the LX Red did putting the Dragons under a lot of pressure. The Dragons were unable to get the ball out of their own half and after 10 minutes Neil Major latched onto a weak clearance to drive into the Welsh 25 before releasing Bob Purshouse on the wing, whose hard centre was deflected into the goal by Lloyd Wood. Under continuing LX pressure the Welsh conceded several short corners and from the second of which found Lloyd Wood on the goal and from his pass back German Singh’s shot was stopped on the line by a foot. German scored from the resulting penalty stroke to put LX Red 2 – 0 up. For the rest of the half and the whole of the second half the Welsh were content to defend with all 11 players with no apparent desire to attack. As a result the match meandered to a final 2-0 victory to LX Red.
The second pool match was against De Zestigplussers B. This was a much better performance by LX Red who maintained a better structure, strong ball pace and a good transferring of ball from right to left and vice versa. This movement allowed LX to take an early 2 gaol lead with goals from Gordon Small and German Singh – the latter from a short corner. In the second half a further goal from Gordon Small and one from Mike Surridge enabled LX Red to win 4-0
The LX Red final pool game was against Italy, always a difficult game in light of the hot climate. LX continued to play with a good structure and with midfield trio of Perryman, Maylam and Jeff totally dominating midfield, had the Italians on the back foot. After 10 minutes LX Red found themselves 2-0 up with goals from Gordon Small and another from a German Singh short corner. LX high tempo in the early part of the game somewhat levelled out but they were always in control and further goals from Small and Surridge meant they recorded their second 4-0 victory
LX Red therefore ended up as classification winners of their pool and proceeded to the final pool competition carrying forward their 2-0 result over the Welsh Dragons.
LX Red’s next game in the final pool competition was against the LX White – never an easy game against fellow club members. LX White adopted a strict man for man marking policy which made for a very disjointed game for the first 10 minutes. However when Bob Purshouse attacked down the right and crossed to find Lloyd Wood to score the LX Red team started to relax and play with more fluidity. 10 minutes later Ray Jeff receiving a square pass then attacked the LX White circle where he slipped a through pass to Lloyd Wood to score with a crisp shot from quite a narrow angle. LX White continued to their tight marking policy in the second half but tiredness began to take its toll with gaps regularly appearing in their defence. Midway through the half John Maylam from just outside the circle found Lloyd Wood who completed his hat-trick with a deft reverse stick shot. German Singh continued his record of a goal a game from a short corner leaving LX Red to end up winners by 4-0.
With Germany continuing to win all their games the LX Red next game against the Dutch A took on an added importance – a game they really had to win. From the outset the Dutch side playing 4 in midfield dominated possession and possibly also because this was LX Red second game of the day they were unable to impose their pattern of play. The first half was a tight affair with LX Red having to do a lot of defending with chances few and far between. Although the Dutch had the best of these – a half chance went over the cross bar and from a short corner Adrian Robertson intercepted a clever cross pass successfully. The second half started disastrously for the LX Red team when from an attack down the right the cross was met by a clash of sticks only for the ball to loop over keeper Andrew Goodridge to give the Dutch the lead. The game then entered a period of Dutch total domination of possession and it was difficult to see how LX were going to get back into the contest. Then with about 15 minutes to go Brian Perryman who appeared to be boxed in the left hand corner of the Dutch half was able to find room to pass all the way back to Adrian Robertson outside the 25 whose crisp hit found Neil Major wide on the right, his pass to Mike Surridge who centred for Lloyd Wood at goal was stopped by a Dutch foot. German Singh calmly sent the keeper the wrong way from the resulting penalty stroke to score the equaliser. The Dutch appeared to lose their composure because 5 minutes later John Maylam from an inside left position picked up a loose ball and drove to the top of the Dutch circle where he threaded a pass through to Gordon Small who then slid the ball past the onrushing Dutch keeper to give LX Red the lead. The last 10 minutes became very fraught seeing at one stage LX only having 9 players on the field but strong defence and team spirit saw the game out to end as 2-1 winners although to be fair the Dutch had dominated the majority of the game with their short passing and 4 midfield players.
LX Red’s final game was against Germany – a game they now had to win, due to their inferior goal difference, in order to win the European Trophy. The first half against Germany was a tight affair with the Germans having the better possession and creating the best chance which they squandered. However the second half was completely different with LX Red in total command and with the German defence under continual pressure resulting in LX Red winning four short corners which unfortunately were not converted. LX Red continued to dominate possession but were unable to breach the German defence and the game ended in a 0 – 0 draw. This meant that LX Red won the silver medal missing out on the gold by a single goal on goal difference.