MENS 3RD XI - 16/02/2019 VS BOURNE DEEPING 2 (H)
TEAM: Mens 3rd XI
FIXTURE: Mens 3rd XI VS 16/02/2019
HEADLINE: A hard fought win..... at last
LEAGUE: EAST DIVISION 2 NORTH
RESULT: 6-4 win!
With availability good this week and a goalkeeper, City hosted Bourne Deeping 2s at Taverham. Narrowly losing 4-3 in an earlier fixture, City knew this was a game that they could win.
City started well and put a lot of pressure on Bourne and it wasn't long before they took the lead. Seeing as the writer of this match report plays at the back, and due to the abundance of goals in this game for City (something not that common this season), memory is shaky of who scored which goal. Suffice to say, it was a cracker and City were lifted. However, as has been common this season, City like a challenge, and so decided to let Bourne respond by scoring two goals, taking the score to 2-1 to Bourne at half time.
The second half started and City soon found themselves 3-1 down, but then City emerged like a phoenix from the flames, and started their biggest comeback this season. Lloyd Sayer and Ben Chapman commanded the middle of the pitch and this lead to City scoring more goals! Again, this lowly writer can not remember who scored all the goals in a certain order, but goals came twice for Rees Leonard from short corner drags, one from Dan Cheeseman, one from Jack Luther, another for Toby Pallister, and a cracker of a goal from Henry Baker, who deftly touched deflected the ball in from a Rees aerial.
City didn't make it easy for themselves as poor passes and lack of marking, led Bourne to get another goal, and pressure on City resulted in a number of short corners against them. A goal line save from Skipper Adam Sayer, and another goal line save from Rees Leonard, kept City in it. The dying moments of the game did add a few grey hairs to skipper Sayer, but after City went two goals into the lead in the last 3 minutes, it was clear City would win.
At last a win for City this season. An outstanding team performance by all, who battled from two goals down to win two goals in front! Special mention to the younger players of the team who all played brilliantly.
MOM: Rees Leonard - Goal line save and shot corner maestro.
MENS 4TH XI - 16/02/2019 VS NEWMARKET 2 (A)
TEAM: Mens 4th XI
FIXTURE: Mens 4th XI VS 16/02/2019
HEADLINE: The Chris Perry Show
LEAGUE: EAST DIVISION 4 NORTH EAST
VENUE: Newmarket Leisure Centre
RESULT: 7 -1 WIN
Still on the high of last week's match report, Norwich travelled to the home of the sport of kings with a squad a full 33.3% larger and approximately 47% younger. Some of the squad this week not having to pay for bus fares because they are too young! Now, few realise that the earliest references to "the sport of kings" were in reference to war, and war this was not, with lowly Newmarket buoyant despite their league position. The following report is based on a true story. Names, characters, hockey clubs, places, events, goals, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
Norwich started brightly with debutant Louis "Bambi" Hart and the returning Beake working the flanks and the inside forward paring of Tomkinson and Land providing thrust, energy and some other third thing. It wasn't long before Perry placed a reverse stick shot beyond the reach of the diminutive Newmarket keeper. And for clarification, this time not so far beyond his reach that it missed the goal completely. One nil to Norwich. Before long it was two to the visiting side with Perry nutmegging (code for putting it straight at the keeper) the Newmarket stopper from a short corner somebody had won? And when I say won, I mean mysteriously granted by an umpire seemingly watching a different game to the rest of us.
The brothers Iccarino into the mix. Captain Ingam "observing". Still Norwich dominated. Rocco and Saverio adding further flair. Ingham adding further "observations".
Newmarket refuse to let this setback darken their spirits. Unfortunately, despite their plucky demeanour and optimism, they offered little attacking threat and still struggled to contain the Norwich forward line. True to form, it was Norwich who struck again. This time his name was Rio and he danced on the sand (based astro) just like a river twisting through a dusty land and when he shines he really shows you all he can do, Rio danced across the D and his goal was rather grand.
Three to the good and Norwich should have been sailing, but it looked a little more like they were three sheets to the wind. Confusion at the top of the box and the previously rock solid pair of Jagdev Singh and Harris conspired to give Newmarket their regulation goal per game. A wild airshot and a sniff turned in to a full-blown whiff and Newmarket couldn't fail to smell their chance. The ball slammed past the helpless (and probably somewhat bored until that point) Nkrumah in the Norwich goal. 3 -1.
But this was just a minor blip. The Norwich defence solidified and the dazzling intercepts and thunderous tackles returned. Resident wordsmith Roy doing his talking on the pitch. Not literally talking, obviously, he was too out of breath. Unfortunately as much as it looked unlikely that Newmarket would score again, Norwich appeared to have taken their foot off the peddle somewhat. But somehow, second gear was still enough. Perry, who's second gear is admittedly much the same as his other gears, stepped up again. A penalty corner routine hitting the post and Perry swooping like a Peregrine, except slower, to put away the rebound. Anyway, a first half hatrick and bottle of bubbly to Chris "I was going to dance nimbly around him, honest" Perry.
Half time. 4-1. And a stern talking to from Ingham, who had doubled his days step count getting from the dug out to the goal. I'll not bore you with the details but a fair summary would be "You've all gone a bit rubbish. Play better". And so the second half began. Would Newmarket launch a spirited comeback? Would Perry score a second half hat trick? Oooohhh more on that later.
And sure enough, the chances came and went. City dominant, but not rampant. Slicker, but when it counted, imprecise. Garry Owens finding touch, but not the intended target. Corden exuberantly probing, Dale probing less exuberantly. That is until Perry stepped up again. "A fourth goal"? I hear you gasp? "But how????". A dazzling run at lightning pace, a deft step, a subtle feint, a zig, a zag. But that was Rio, not Perry. But what was his was a finish to the top corner so sublime you would think it have been made up (description provided by Chris Perry LLP, see disclaimer).
And so city went on. Chances came and chances went. Domination but not annihilation. Newmaket still pushed on, but struggled under the press from the city front five, and when they did break, they found the City back five impenetrable and so well rested that Jag won a foot race. But just when the game looked to be heading for a bromidic conclusion, the man of the moment pounced again. Iccarino Snr picked out on the top of the circle and his strike heading wide was diverted deftly by the gentle caress of a big man and five it was now for the Lionel Messi of NCHC 4s, and the second half hat trick was on. City, boosted by the performance of their enigmatic talisman in front of goal, upped their performance and a tiring Newmarket found it increasingly difficult to contain their young stars.
The inescapable conclusion? A penalty corner. The anticipation was palpable. Up steps Chris "5 Star" Perry. Injection. Trap. Flick. But wait!!! A save? The plucky Nemarket keeper plucking the ball out of the sky, the defender on the line assisting and the flight of the ball arrested. But rather naively, Newmarket had failed to install either VAR or goal line technology in time for this titanic clash and like Hurst in 1966, Norwich's Perry was left agasp wondering if he had indeed secured a second hat trick. Luckily, 50+ years of debate were avoided when the ball dropped to the ground and Hooper, entirely absent from this report so far, finished from precisely zero - insert literally any unit of measurement here - . A lucky 7 for Norwich, but 7 Up is refreshing, and refreshed Norwich pushed for number 8.
Another corner. Perry again to strike. The trauma of seeing his glory evaporate at the hands of Newmarket's technological deficiency last time around playing in his mind on a loop, a wobble of confidence, and he opted to use the options. The ball back the injector. But Hooper fluffed his lines, finding the relatively small proportion of the goal occupied by the Newmarket keeper. Not so on the second attempt. A lighting pounce when the ball emerged from under the keeper and a finish from, this time, some measurable distance. But could City celebrate eight? No. The umpires hands aloft and a corner already awarded.
Perry, renewed by the failure of his nemesis, took the strike duties upon himself again. Should have used the options. Chance gone. On the bench the cogs whirring. Decision made. Ingham into the fray. Could this be difference? Well, it was a difference of a kind. Opting to play right wing (presumably choosing the position closest to the dug out to keep the step count down), Ingham soon saw the ball. Or at least its approximate position, spilling it off the side of the pitch. Time to play a bit more central John.
But not even the injection of "fresh" legs could bring on goal number eight, not even with city so dominant that Nkrumah was reduced to providing moral support, and shortly after the umpire added a ghost sideline to go with the ghost goal, the game concluded with a robust and generous cheer from a well beaten but high spirited Newmarket side in a display of true sportsmanship.
A highly enjoyable, if not completely factually accurate, match, thanks largely to the attitude of Newmarket. As dignified in defeat as is possible, we wish them every luck in their remaining fixtures.
And no report is complete without a review of the match teas. A sit down meal of the hottest sausages known to man. Bravo, a good day for those City travellers who were actually willing to leave the county.