ENGLAND SGM’s  V  WEST O’65’s at OXFORD HAWKS

on Wednesday 19th Feb 2014

This was a good testing game against a strong team from the west. The 1-1 draw was a good result but in the end we felt we ought to have won. With a number of new players in the squad we inevitably took a little time to settle but after the first ten minutes we were the dominant side, and came close to opening the scoring with two short corners; only an excellent goal-line save the West's fullback kept the score at 0-0. The different units in the team were linking well and the experiment of Austyn Leaverland at Centre-Forward was proving a productive move. The West were, however, dangerous on the break and only a good save by Paddy Maher following a short corner, kept our goal intact. End of first twenty five minute session the score was still 0-0. 

In the second session the West scored first as the defence failed to clear it's lines effectively. But we continued to press, again won a number of short corners and finally converted one as Adrian Stephenson drove a rebound from the keeper high into the net. The rest of the second session and the third session followed a now familiar pattern. We enjoyed more possession but The West were dangerous on the break especially from a couple of short corners. In the final ten minutes of the match we really ought to have won. Mike Surridge was by now regularly unsettling their defence and came very close to scoring. In the last few minutes even managed to round The West's keeper with a great piece of skill only for the full-back to make a saving tackle. 

This was a good performance especially for a first game for the squad. We generally passed the ball well though on occasion the shorter, simple ball was ignored. We need to improve our short corner conversion - we had about eight short corners in the match, however the short corners were promising and with a little fine tuning that conversion ought to improve significantly. 

Match Report by Alan Dures.

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