Match Report Surrey Plate
By Angela Baldwin
Yesterday, two teams (known as Woking B & Cs) headed for Surbiton HC to compete in the U12 Boys Surrey Plate. The weather was lovely and sunny, if a little windy and cold. Here’s how they got on.
Woking Bs – Jack McK (GK), Sam B, Miguel De M, Ollie H, Felix J, Daniel Q, Ollie R, Jack T, Matteo V
By Angela Baldwin
We were in Group 4 with 4 other teams and only 2 would progress to the quarterfinals. We would play 3 matches each and points would decide who went through.
Match 1 v Old Cranleighans (OC) Vikings. Won 3-0
Woking B started well and put pressure on the OC team from the off. This was a positive start as past performances during the season had not always seen them start so brightly. Within a couple of minutes Daniel Q was making great runs into the D and as OC failed to clear the ball he scored from close range and we were on the scoreboard. More possession followed and a 3 minutes later Daniel Q was at it again. Another short range shot and it was 2-0. Things were looking good and OC didn’t have any answers as we pressed forward again, making lovely runs out wide. Soon it was 3-0 and it was turning into a convincing win. With one sub on I looked to get the second on, only for the full time hooter to blow! As I looked down at my stop watch, the time elapsed said 7 minutes. Confusion reigned as Gihan our umpire looked perplexed, as was I, and the game was over. We were due to play 11 minute matches and when questioned, the organisers said they wanted to catch up time a bit. Not ideal (or fair) given goal difference could be a factor at the end and one team had already beaten OC 8-0. Anyway, we were off to the perfect start with a win.
Match 2 v Spencer B. Drew 1-1
Having got over the issue of a broken strap on Jack the GK’s boot, and a loan from the Epsom team of another boot (thank you!), we were perhaps less than ready to take to the pitch for our next match. Spencer started well and after a few minutes they took the lead. We were not disheartened and continue to press and chances came and went. Eventually it was Matteo (I think) who drew us level as he struck from close range. With one match left it was all to play for.
Match 3 v Dragons Fire. Drew 0-0
Next up were OG Dragons, thought to be the strongest side in our group. Fortunately, Jack had repaired his GK boot with some trusty tape as we had returned the loaned boot. We had a real match on our hands but the boys were up to the job. Miguel & Felix in defence stuck to the task and some great saves from Jack, kept the score line at 0-0. We too had our chances but the Dragons also defended well. As the final hooter blew, a draw was a fair reflection and we would have to see if 5 points, from one win and two draws, were enough to progress. Luckily for us, although tied on points with Spencer, we were through on goal difference.
Quarterfinal v Chertsey. Drew 1-1, but progressed on Pens 2-1
So Chertsey were our opponents who had won Group 3. This was not going to be an easy match although we continued our fine form and went ahead from a Daniel Q shot. As the game progressed our defence was looking a little bit shaky at times. We were giving away short corners and allowing them shots. Eventually, Chertsey made us pay and scored to level the game. It was then straight to penalties and curiously there was a bit of debate with the officials as to where the penalty spot was. We’d actually practised in between games earlier in the afternoon so our three chosen boys were Daniel Q, Sam B and Ollie H. After both teams scored and missed, it was Chertsey who faltered first. Ollie H stepped up to take the 3rd and hopefully final penalty and slotted it cleanly into the corner. Semi-final here we come.
Semi-final v Wayfarers, Drew 1-1, lost on Pens 3-2
This time it was opposition who started quicker and were putting pressure on our defence. That said there were chances at both ends although eventually Wayfarers scored to go 1-0 up as a short corner was not closed down and they shot from the edge of the D. Despite this, the boys continued to press and eventually a chance fell to Ollie H who scored from close range. At 1-1, a 5 minute golden goal period was heading our way. It was end to end stuff with Wayfarers perhaps having the better chances and eventually it ended 1-1 with no golden goal. We were into penalties again. The same 3 boys stood ready to take them, not a nerve between them. We lost the toss yet again and Wayfarers slotted home the first penalty. After 3 penalties it was 2-1 to Wayfarers. Sadly, a miss was to follow and all Wayfarers had to do was to score from their final stroke, which they duly did.
3rd/4th playoff v Guildford C. Won 1-0
It was a quick turnaround, and within minutes we were back on again with a bronze medal still to play for. We were a player down as Jack T had gone off injured in the semi-final, but despite this we started strongly. Chances came at both ends as our defence looked a little unsettled and possibly tired. Upfront, Daniel Q was still causing trouble and he struck in front of goal from a scrappy piece of play that wasn’t cleared. Could Woking hang on for the final few minutes. Sam B fell hurting his hand and Jack returned to command the centre of midfield as he had done most of the afternoon. Suddenly the final whistle blew and it was cheers all around. The bronze was ours!
Fantastic effort from the boys all around, they didn’t actually lose a single game in normal play. They all played their hearts out and it’s always nice to get one over a Guildford team. Those in defence, marked with confidence and the wide boys of Ollie R, Sam B, Ollie H and Matteo worked tirelessly up and down the side-lines. Jack T held the midfield together and Daniel Q upfront was usually there to provide the killer punch. Jack McK was marvellous in goal and kept us in the games towards the latter stages. These boys have a great hockey future ahead of them as most are U11s, and are effectively playing up a year. A medal was the least they all deserved and could so easily have been more as they drew in the group stages to the eventual winners the Dragons.
My thanks must go to Gihan for umpiring throughout the afternoon (and sometimes without any opposition umpire to help) and Giorgio Varda who helped me encourage the boys (or was that shout words of wisdom at them – mainly ‘get wide’ and ‘marking’ as we tried to be heard over the wind!) and fix the GK’s boot. Thanks also to all the parents for their continued support and supply of biscuits on the day. And Graham (Buss), you may not have been there in person (although on the end of my phone in one of the penalty shoot outs!), but your words of encouragement and tireless support all season were never far away. I thank you.
Finally, apologies if I have got any of the details wrong, I was too nervous and stressed by the end to note down all those who scored and when. It was a rollercoaster of a ride throughout the afternoon, but one that I am very proud to have been part of.
Woking Cs - Charlie W (GK), Sam C, Will Ez, Dan H, Alex Mck, Ewan McC, Rory M, Gideon W, Isaac W
By Ross Webster
Despite the strong winds and changeable weather conditions, The Woking HC Cs arrived at Surbiton HC in high spirits. Each game was tight, with only one goal separating the teams in each match. Due to coin tosses, we were playing into the stiff wind every match that meant we had our work cut out. (nb – remember to practice coin tosses). Unfortunately, today we were on the wrong side of the score line in all 3 games – but the boys should take confidence in their performance, they kept battling and were a credit to themselves and the club.
Special thanks to Helen for her umpiring; Ulf for running the subs efficiently and marshalling the attacking line, and Naomi for the steady supply of Bourbon biscuits.
Match 1 v Addiscombe. 0-1 (9 mins)
Setting up in a classic 2- 3- 1 formation, we started off a bit cold, probably due to the lack of any warm up. But Isaac and Daniel were full of running in attack, and both went close with early shots. As the game developed it was evenly set, with both teams having chances. Gideon came on in right midfield at the first change, and carried on the attacking press, only to lose a shoe when through on goal. Addiscombe scored on the 9-minute mark, as they managed to squeeze through the defensive line.
Match 2 v Wayfarers Pirates. 0-1 (9 mins)
Moving to Pitch 2, the strong gusts of wind, made Ulf and Ross’s instructions hard to hear (which could have been an advantage). Some of the subs were a little bit staggered, but we kept only 7 players on the pitch for the most part. Rory was running the midfield by now, with some lovely bits of skill and ball juggling. Alex was working hard up and down the left wing, as we created chances. Wayfarers did have their chances, and Charlie was kept busy and pulled off some cracking saves to keep the match scoreless.
In the 9th minute, a Wayfarers short corner was not cleared, and out of a 10 man melee in the D, the ball was scrambled over the line.
Match 3 v O.C Warriors. 1 (10 mins) - 2 (9 mins & 11 mins)
After a short break, the team were now warmed up and ready for the well drilled O.C. team.
It was the best performance of the day, and the whole team played well. In particular ‘The Terminators’ at the back, Will, Sam and Ewan, continued to work hard to break up play, and chase back to keep the O.C out.
Again, in the 9th minute we went down to a goal, but we responded well to go straight up the other end and saw Gideon put away a welcome goal that we thought would give us the draw.
Agonisingly, O.C. came back again and scrambled a ball over the line on the final whistle.
Thanks to all the boys – who all played with sportsmanship and smiles.
And thanks for the support of all the parents.