Sunday 6th July 2014

‘A Sunny day in Surrey’

LX  2      Oxted  3

The Oxted Club in Surrey provided another hot sunny day for this fixture, which has been a continuous annual event since 19th May 2002 when Oxted won 2-1.

 Captain Robin Mayes elected to play with a 3-3-3-1 formation which suited the LXers attending, with Gavin Stones a pillar of strength at sweeper.  He was well supported by David West and Max Hamber as LX weathered the initial opposition’s attack during the usual starting shake-down period.  The midfield of Robin Mayes and Geoff Kiernander were strong on the ball, and Richard Slator, who had an excellent game throughout, started setting up good attacks.  Peter Colbourn on the right wing and David Brampton on the left had several good attempts at goal. 

However Dave Riley and Neil Conquest were strong in defence for Oxted, whose forwards then broke free and scored, (or did they not?) off an own goal by a defender from a hit outside the circle.  A short debate then ensued as to whether the experimental rule was still in place (it is until 1st September 2014), but it was decided to revert to the old rule as in the recent World Cup/Tournament at The Hague.

After the half time break and with the score 0-0, Greg Hutchings (who was in the circle) scored a goal for LX with a deflection off an Oxted defender’s stick.  The Moonshiners then attacked through the midfield and after incessant pressure were awarded a free hit just outside LX’s circle.  This was weakly defended and Mike McGhee smashed home the ball to make the score 1-1.

Oxted then continued strongly and Nigel Dixon made some superb saves from close range shots.  However, a powerful hit rebounded off LX’s left goalpost and Tim Forster increased the Oxted tally to 2-1.  Steve Doughty followed up with a skilful run beating several players, and Jonathan Trim slotted home for a 3-1 lead.  However Greg Hutchings then made a highly skilful attack with his close ball control, which seemed to mesmerise the Oxted defence, and scored to make the final outcome 3-2 to Oxted, the closest result achieved by LX for many years.

After the match both teams, umpires and supporters adjoined to the British Legion Club in very pleasant surroundings for ‘Moonshiners’ usual excellent hospitality, also watching the Men’s Tennis final from Wimbledon on the large screen.  Robin Mayes thanked Rainer Vogt for organising the pitch, arrangements, umpiring (plus his cameo appearance) and the other umpire, Tony Barber.

Many thanks of course go to Robin Mayes who managed the fixture and also captained the team.

LX team:  Nigel Dixon, Gavin Stones, Max Hamber, David West, David Read, Robin Mayes (Captain), Richard Slator, Geoff Kiernander, Peter Colbourn (guest player from Lewes HC), Greg Hutchings, David Brampton.

Umpires: Tony Barber (LX umpire and Tunbridge Wells HC) and Rainer Vogt.

Match Report:  David G Read