We trekked to the deepest depths of Sheffield where Rotherham players were asking do I need my passport?.
Meet time 9.15 had the clocks changed or did some mums need new batteries in their watches or phones. Cam struggling after a late-night early morning start so Cams eyes were blood shot and in desperate need for the fat of a sausage sandwich to wake him up but it didn’t happen.
Eventually the team managed to find its way to the building site changing room leaving Sarah the worm women to clear the worm invasion; there are no depths to her talents.
Team talk underway Mr Teacher Sell (sir) with his white board working out who would start and his stand on we will only sub 1 player in the first half. Sorry sir, Aiden said but we have 13 so the math’s don’t stand up. Warm up began with Dan putting us into 2 teams but we are all in blue, a cry from the youth came moving the ball at pace over 2ft... we looked fantastic.
The usual handshakes and toss of the coin left the umpire scrabbling around on the floor looking for his coin, should have realized vision was going to be his nemeses. Hallam winning the toss and we were off! As so often seems to happen, Rotherham were slow off the mark and Hallam, with their nippy young players, moving the ball before you could say “Blimey, they’re quick”.
However, if you took the first five minutes or so out of the match, the game was extremely evenly balanced and soon we started to string more than one pass together (States man Stewart would be so proud Hallam probing with diagonal bullet balls across the D), then a flash a brilliance from Hallam saw the ball sky bound over the defence to drop perfectly for the oncoming forward who calmly slotted it past the opened mouth Archie - “Where did that come from?”
We regrouped and started to see good probing hockey, Aiden picking the ball out the air spinning and leaving the defender for dead shot on goal saved. Before too long we woke up midfield coming alive finding wide quality passes down both flanks through Vaughn and the magnificent Mike Green making his first appearance. Gaining our first short corner drag out wayward in its direction leading to first shot being high and wide.
Chris doing body belly pump landing face down on the floor clock stopped. Team huddle Stewart parting his years of OAP knowledge get it in the corners if you are not close enough to kiss them you are not close enough. Game got underway again Dan charging foreword down the base line putting torpedo balls along the goal line no one reacting his impression of the Hulk left spectators laughing.
Hallam rotating their players at regular intervals, managing to keep up the pressure till half time. Stewart giving an encouraging half-time team talk and made us aware of our game plan play the width of the pitch pushing down the sides. The 2nd half started with the team working hard delivering some good short corner set ups but with the lack of practice injections were in a different post code Cam S injected the next short corner at pace following this he then told everyone ‘I can inject’ he had not said this before, we managed to restrict Hallam getting on top of the game Luke, Vaughan and Freddie combing to pick their pockets and playing creative diamond hockey opening up Hallam’s defence allowing the ponytail nimble footed Bowers to take his first goal, smiles came across the team spirits lifted we pushed on for the second and hopefully the winning goal.
The second goal created through quality passing leading to yet again Bowers turning and slotting the goal. Hallam now not looking like the first half team struggling to penetrate past the Halfway line through good defensive play. Clock running down we passed the ball around Hallam playing high up the pitch call coming from the back keep the ball play in the corners this fell on deaf ears allowing Hallam to move through the gears tackles flying in resulting in a short corner to Hallam. We lined up on the goal line knowing there was only minutes left to the final whistle and a win if we could only keep the ball out, Hallam positioned their attack line, ball injected at pace defence sprinting to the top of the D Hallam lifting the ball over Dan’s stick and the slow motion as the ball was flicked into the bottom corner of the goal. GAME OVER 2,2. Sum really good positives first 2 games coming from behind to draw and possible wins.