Honours Even in Entertaining Derby
Chap 2nd Half Comeback Gains a Deserved Point.
An early morning home game against Sheffield 7s marked the start of return fixtures and a chance to measure the team’s progression. Beaten 5-0 in the reverse fixture in September, Chap were determined to gain a better a result.
Team news saw Bambi back in the team, only to see him pirouette in warm-up, land heavily and rule himself out of the game. Also back was Moonpig, who severely hampered by man-flu, did manage to both start and finish the game. Missing from the previous game were Gina G and Von Ryan.
The game started as it was to progress for the entire game, end to end at a frantic pace. To the neutral it was a classic. Sheffield had the first real chance but Gandalf extended his toes to the limit to make a fine save. Then it was the turn of Chap to launch an attack up the right, Fitbit and IceBurg combining well to create a chance that the impressive Sheffield keeper was upto. If anything Chap started a little one dimensional and nearly all their attacks went up the right. Sheffield became wise to this and crowded out this outlet and created a couple more chances for themselves that once again Gandalf dealt with comfortably.
Chap finally attacked down the left, Shep moving the ball quickly to Chuckle#2 who in turn released Tomahawk Bandit. Tomahawk saw a decent effort once again saved by the keeper and his strong kick released Sheffield on a lightening counter attack down Chap’s left. This ultimately saw the ball played into the D where an unmarked forward finally beat Gandalf to his right corner for 1-0.
It was only minutes later when Chap replied. An attack from the right saw Gigolo play the ball square around the keeper where Iceburg and Chuckle#2 were both waiting to put the ball in the empty net, the dubious goals panel (me) ruling that Iceburg’s initial push towards goal was deflected in by Chuckle#2.
Sheffield then had a strong period of possession and Moonpig, Boss Hogg, Typhoo and Shep defended resolutely. They were to be undone by an excellent Sheffield goal, a quick free hit being struck into the D, finding an advancing forward who deflected the ball to the right corner. Shortly after it was 3-1 when Sheffield gained what Chap players thought a harsh penalty corner. The result saw the forwards pass neatly around the runners before shooting from a couple of yards out giving Gandalf no chance.
Chap, still feeling a little aggrieved, continued to battle and competitiveness went up a notch. Fitbit was to see his first green of the morning hitting the ball away in frustration when pulled up on an offence.
The second half continued with end to end action. Both Gandalf and his opposite Sheffield number were having fine games and the score could have been much more. It was Chap that added to the score from a penalty corner, Gigolo striking the ball through a crowd of both defenders and onrushing attackers to beat the unsighted keeper. Chap now had momentum on their side and the equaliser came shortly after. Once again it was a penalty corner, this time Moonpig firing in the shot from the top of the D, finding Hutch running onto the left post to deflect the ball up into the centre netting.
As this side have shown all season they play right to the end of games and it was Chap who then had the best chances to win the game with several penalty corner chances by Gigolo, Hutch and IceBurg narrowly missing or saved by the keeper. In his haste to keep the momentum Fitbit was once again shown a green card for venting his frustration when a decision went against Chap, and also lead to a minor spat between umpires Reg Hollis and Paulo as to when he could come back on.
Though it was Chap who finished strongest they were once again saved in the final moments when Gandalf pulled off another good save from a Sheffield counter attack. The game ending 3-3.
Back at the ranch the MOM TrailBlazer was Gandalf for his superb saves, with Fitbit picking up DOD for his two greens.