Unbeaten run continues for Mens 2s
Oxford, Leighton Buzzard and a fence battle out a draw
On a chilly evening in Oxford there was some astoundingly mediocre hockey evident that saw two evenly matched teams match each other evenly for a draw. A fair result in a game of 2 halves leaves both teams wondering what could’ve been if they hadn’t been so darned even
Modestly dressed Buzzard arrived knowing a win would put them in a strong position in the run up to Christmas and after withstanding some early pressure they took the lead through Stephen Fuller. Dave Hooker, wearing the most delightful pair of lady’s tights in an attempt to fit in at an all-girls school, went on a mazy, loopy, swirling run and earned a short corner. Leighton’s lead was doubled when Stuart Retford aka God slotted home in his biannual game for the 2s. Tom O’Reilly even got into the D at one point, a rare event for the sprightly wing back. Leighton had a good grip on the game but both teams failed to create any clear chances.
Callum Leary covered good ground in centre midfield and big Willy Jenkinson offered utility in the absence of the briefly green carded Tom Billington. He was warned for attempting to correct the poor umpire’s poor eyesight and then carded moments later for clashing with an Oxford player. Billington politely and in a very gentlemanly manner offered to give the player his stick back but after refusing the offer several times, Billington placed the stick neatly on the ground. Despite this and several changes to the squad Leighton coped well and went into half time without too much cause for concern.
It was a case of sloppy seconds however as Oxford fired in two goals in quick succession to leave Leighton rattled within 10 minutes of the restart. The first was a belter that rocketed through several pairs of legs. Travelling faster than the speed of sound, a sonic boom was rumoured to have been seen from the shot. The second was a hard shot from a similar position at the top of the D this time flying in above the back board.
Leighton didn’t match their first half play and returned to old habits of trying to force the ball through the middle to no avail whilst Oxford improved and grew in confidence. Captain Tim Bellamy was disappointed in Fuller’s inability to latch on to his pass. With the ball travelling at a modest 40kmh it’s no wonder the skipper was annoyed at his teammates lack of pace. Fuller’s runs were typically problematic for the opposition until one time he kept on running and ran straight into a fence. He kicked the fence for being in his way. The same pesky fence, it must be noted, that Will Jenkinson also ran into and trapped his thumb. Rest assured though as the thumb is now OK.
Quick passing and good movement created a scare for Oxford but God’s shot, destined for the roof of the net, was well saved. Leighton survived a late short corner given for many reasons, but none specifically, typical of the officiating, and the game ended with both teams disappointed in not picking up all 3 points. It was a hard game with only 12 players; every player putting in a big shift. Leighton look to next weekend in their last home game of 2017 against Marlow assuming the delightfully non-bouncy Vandyke pitch doesn’t freeze over again.
MOTM – Liam Wavish and Stuart ‘God’ Retford. Well done folks.