By Steve Arch
After a somewhat unsurprising defeat against a team 3 leagues above is in a preseason (?!?) and a somewhat uninspiring team talk from Pidgeon, we took the start of the game by control and were the stronger team. Electing to keep the previous formation of the 'narrow middle' (and presumably with a busty top to go with it) we dominated the centre of the field. With a combined age of 85, or wing-backs were amply equipped to do the 75-yard dashes up the wings in the space left by the midfield. We controlled the game well and some nice interplay through the midfield gave a decent amount of chances to Purdy and Fouldsey up front, but we couldn't get it into the net. Against the run of play, P&S got a sneaky goal from a set piece totally against the run of play of the game. Determined not to let this be the theme of the season, the defence hardened, the midfield pressured and Hatchett presumably injured himself again. It wasn't long before some controlling play put Purdy clean through 1-on-1 with the keeper, whereupon he swung his stick wildly, missed the ball and watched it gently roll off the back line. Some more play around the edge of the D came to Archie and a strong shot into the D got deflected by Josh into the keeper and the resulting scuffle gave Purdy the opportunity to tap it in this time to open the taps on his scoring career. Then he missed another sitter. Some more excellent interplay down the right lead Fouldsey to run along the backline and a clean pass across the keeper gave Purdy his second. He could have had more as a clean pass through all the defence put him on and Mr F got a third in his usual spinning-backing-in-falling-over-twirling-style before neatly sticking it on the corner of the goal.
The second half carried on much the same as before, and with the rocks at the back not letting a lot though, poor Ben didn't have a lot to do in goal, but Portsmouth got the occasional attack and when the ball got caught up under Ben's feet, it took a goal-line-diving save from El Pidgeoni to deny them a second goal. Meanwhile, Hutton, Josh and Archie were controlling the game from the centre and Josh's incisive runs through the defence were causing them no-end of problems. Some more excellent teamwork put Purdy through clean on the keeper, whereupon he totally missed the ball again (Training, Monday nights, 7pm) and could only hold his head in shame. We got a few short corners and with Hatchett trawling the wrecker's yard for a new finger, the straight strike from Josh was good enough to give us another goal. Another incisive run by Fouldsey on the backline gave Richard '#ShouldHaveGoneToTheCashMachine' Purdy yet another open-goal-tap-in - Swing and a miss. There was nothing he could do but just sit on the floor, head in hands weeping quietly as to and wondering where all his skill had gone (hint - it's at the sport's centre, Monday evening, 7pm). In the dying few minutes of the game, some more excellent play from Adey down the left lead the ball to come across the keeper to the awaiting Ship, who waited calmly for the keeper to log... then waited some more... a little bit more... wait for it. The keeper went down to block the shot. Ship lifted it over him for a nice 6-1 result and an excellent start to the season. Then back to the View to find out that people had eaten all our food. Purdy missed the ball again.
MoM: Josh, for some excellent runs and control of the game
DoD: Purdy (Training, Monday evenings)