League: Cambridge Eagles 6-5 Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes finished the more dominant team but when John Horbury scored our 5th goal, there were only 2 minutes left on the game clock. Cambridge won the next face-off and although MK pressed hard to win it back, a big chunk of time had been lost. MK got the ball into the Cambridge half but the referee had started the countdown and we could not reel off any form of shot before the final whistle blew.
This agonising one goal defeat mostly goes down to our shocking start. We were sluggish and generally off the pace as the students raced to a 3-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter. The Eagles, as they are known, as Cambridge Uni’s 2nd team and this was their first league game of the season. They have been training hard and were totally dominant over ground balls, a factor of the game MK were hot on last season. Grounds balls are part physical, part mental. MK were just not switched on mentally during the first half. Another factor was having neither of MK’s recognised goalies available for today’s game. Rob Gooch stepped into goal for the 1st quarter, replaced by Brett Satchell in the 2nd, who stayed for remainder of the game, clearly winning the squads man-of-the-match nomination.
For the 2nd quarter, Rob replaced Brett in attack and soon scored MK’s first goal, a slightly lucky shot whilst under pressure from his defender, but it found the back of the net and got the MK machine finally moving. Alas Rob’s ageing legs gave up again with a calf injury so he lost any mobility he normally had (which is not a lot), so floated around the crease trying to create space for others. This did allow the trio of middies to stay high, which helped ball retention a little, then some work in training started to pay off as John Horbury and Tom Duggan got into the scoring action. Cambridge only scored 3 goals after the 1st quarter and much of that goes down to the MK defence that got itself organised and stepped up on the physical side of the game. If we continue to average conceding only 6 goals per game, and can improve our own attacking threat, then we’ll hold our own in East Division Two this season.
Cambridge fully deserved the win but MK will look forward to the rematch later in the season, especially if we have one of our goalies and our stronger attacking trio all available. Roll on next week where we need to find that little bit extra to bring home our first win of the season.
Man-of-the-Match: Brett Satchell, for a) volunteering to play in goal and b) playing a blinder including a key point-blank save in the final quarter.
D-of-the Day: Corey Jamieson, for a pair of ridiculous tripping penalties that were more suited to a football field, but given it’s only his second competitive game, he’s learning fast and shouldn’t do this again.
6:5 (3:0, 4:1, 5:3, 6:5)
3:1 #9 Rob Gooch
4:2 #17 John Horbury
5:3 #17 John Horbury
5:4 #12 Tom Duggan
6:5 #17 John Horbury