Monarchs beaten away v Slough
By Viren Walia
Monarchs winning run ends
I will start by saying that you had to be there to understand just what happened that cold and dark night, when the Monarchs took on Slough at their home ground…
Prior to the start for our game we had the pre-match huddle and discussed the best tactics for playing against Slough. This largely took the form of not getting drawn into the play, move the ball wide of their players as our opponents certainly had more than enough skill to stand their ground and take us on 1-2-1. The plan was simple, get the ball in behind the opponents and use the space and score goals. Like I said, the plan was simple and for a short period it was working with possession been 50/50 for the first 15 minutes, then it seem to go Slough’s way for a bit. Slough started to turn over the ball and string together a few probing runs at our defence and testing Sean in goals. Slough came close to opening their account early on when a shot was taken across the goals, only to find Sean covering the attempt with a fully outstretched dive to his right and getting his glove on the ball and pushing it wide. It wasn’t long and Slough were again testing the defence and what seemed like a very drawn-out scrap on the goal line with Sean pulling off three or maybe four saves on the line and at one point the opponents thinking the ball had crossed, only to find that our defence had cleared the lines and suddenly to was Slough who found themselves on the back foot and having to defend. This quick clearance set up our attack and we soon found ourselves in the opponents D and looking for our own opportunity to score. Finally our persistence paid off and we were awarded our first penalty corner. JC pushes the ball out to Chad and the strike finds the foot of a defender in front of the goals and another corner awarded, arguably it should have been a penalty stroke, however, that was never going to be awarded. Unfortunately the second attempt goes wide. Slough put together a sting of good passes and managed to eventually get a shot off that resulted in a goal, 1-0 Slough.Not long after the restart we found ourselves one player light with Clint been given his marching orders with a green card for the repeat offence of not being 5 when the opposition took their free hits. Now, a green card is 2 minutes and Clint seemed to be off much longer than needed and after some on pitch encouragement or reminding that we still had a player benched, the umpire finally brought Clint back on. It must be said that even with a player short, Slough were unable to take advantage of the situation and we went into halftime 1-0 down.
The second half started with both teams having opportunities to either extend or level the odds, however, some good goalkeeping from both sides saw an end to that! At about the 10 minute mark Maidenhead find themselves been awarded a penalty corner, this time JC pushes out to Viren who plays it back to JC on the far post and unmarked and JC makes no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the box to make it 1-1. With time ticking on Slough are awarded a free hit outside our D and seemed not to accept the decision and argued with the officials until the free hit was upgraded to a penalty corner. This they converted and Slough were now 2-1 up. Towards the end of the match Maidenhead have their final corner which unfortunately is just wide, leaving us with more attacking to do. It is in the last few minutes of the game when our card collecting Clint is once again in the crossfire, this time Clint received a yellow card for allegedly coming in from the wrong side and playing more than the ball! Maidenhead simply closed ranks and put up a great defence and at the final whistle it’s Slough who bagged the 3 points, 2-1.
Man of the match went to Sean for his awesome keeping skills and keeping us in it!
Cory gets a special shout out for his defensive skills and taking on an ex-international player and winning the ball 95% of the time, awesome effort.
Match Report: Chad Fitzgibbon
man of the math: Sean Corrigan