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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 2nd XI v Bangor
Date : 2001-09-29
Venue : A
Score : 0-1
By 2nd XI Captain
The first game of last season was this fixture, we went last year with an experienced team and got beat 4-1. This year, with the absence of the of some veterans, youth, vitality and a level of fitness were the order of the day and, to be honest I was anxious to see how the younger players would respond without the calming influences of John Baker, Ivan McStea, Jim Strange and Stephen Duffin.
The game started promptly with both sides having a couple of chances in the first twenty minutes. Bangor seemed to hold the ball for long periods, but with the continual jostling in midfield from Greer, Reid and Grant were very rarely able to make that possession count. On the other hand EAHC had much less possession but looked dangerous at every opportunity. Greer created enough space on the right wing for Soupy to drive a tractor down it. Grant ran at the defenders with pace and conviction. This pressure paid off with a succession of short corners. One after another they were wasted, wasted , wasted, wasted and yes one more was, yes you guessed it WASTED. With the talents of Greer and Murphy on hand it would have been foolish not to give them a try. But alas even this usual deadly combination could not break the Bangor defence.
As usual Soupy moved players as often as Kasporov moves his pawns. Grant had a stint in centre midfield, then was moved to right, Reid started in centre then to the left then taken off (he was having a nightmare). Greer started on the right then centre. Soupy taken off to give Riddell his second eleven debut. Hoping beyond hope that the speed, skill and fake tan could break the deadlock. It was beginning to look like a laboratory experiment rather than a Hockey Match. I knew what I was doing, honest I did.
But half time arrived and the teams went in goalless.
The second half continued just as the first with Bangor having loads of possession but Leitch and co seemingly in total control.
The forwards and midfield piled on the pressure and won at least another 14 million two hundred and forty thousand, six hundred and seven short corners approximately but you guessed it all WASTED.
From open play though a ball from the right and Currie swung like a man possessed keeper saved but then proceeded to lie on the ball. Leon and Soupy gently asked the keeper to move, carefully nudging him with our sticks. This was quite obviously a penalty stroke but alas only a short corner was given. Soupy was shocked, but it must have been a mistake so he decided to remind the umpire of the signal for a penalty stroke and was promptly given a spare five minutes behind the goal to swat up on his Hockey Umpiring Signals. Young and Baird had a couple of half chances but were unlucky not to get reward for a hard days work.
McDonald's pocket must be getting bigger with all the right wingers he fits into it every week. Another fine display from who will surely become an integral part of this seasons team.
With only five minutes remaining, and a share of the points looking imminent disaster struck. Good work from Bangor down the right allowed them to get in behind the defence, a cut back into the danger area in front of goal and Fraser had no chance.
EAHC continued to press forward but could not break down the Bangor defence.
All in all, it is hard to be happy with the result but some of the play witnessed was outstanding and I honestly believe that winning ways are just around the corner.