SBHC 5's vs West Hampstead 8's
Last minute goal shatters 5's comeback
South Berks 5’s made the long journey into London this week to face West Hampstead 8’s. Both sides were relegated last season, with WH earning the spoils in last season’s away fixture via a last minute deflected short corner and South Berks taking the three points at home.
The 17/18 season edition saw the away day curse of player availability strike again for South Berks, with a bare 11 working hard throughout to dispel wave upon wave of WH attacks. A resolute back three of Peddie, Samuelson and Danke (playing his final game before jetting back to Oz) defended superbly to preserve the South Berks clean sheet. As the first half wore on and the score still tied at 0-0, South Berks began to grow into the game. Countering well and attacking strongly through midfield, with Adrian Tang and Mike Price looking impressive on the ball throughout. Finally, the breakthrough came shortly before half time. When a well worked short corner was only partly cleared, captain Rick Lee, picked up the loose ball and fired it back in across goal for Adrian Tang to bundle the ball over the line at the far post. 1-0 at half time.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, with WH bringing the game to South Berks. By this stage, South Berks had already defended a number of WH short corners well, however, WH finally began to make their opportunities count. Without substitutes, South Berks began to tire and WH turned the game around, scoring from two short corners and another from open play to make it 3-1. South Berks battled on, counter attacking well and forcing their own opportunities. The comeback was well and truly on when South Berks scored from a well worked short corner routine. Orchestrated by Peter Bailey, who received the ball on the edge of the D, before shifting it smartly to top goal scorer, Luke Hadley, to slide the ball past the WH goalkeeper. With minutes remaining, South Berks thought they’d earned a point when Tang broke through midfield and found Rick Lee in space to drive into the D and sweep the ball home for his first goal of the season. 3-3.
A late injury to Peddie forced a reshuffle in positions and WH forced yet another short corner in the final minute. As the South Berks defence charged the ball down - history unbelievably repeated itself - the shot took a wicked deflection, lifting over a helpless Richard Lee in goal to give WH a 4-3 lead with only seconds remaining.
A difficult result to accept for South Berks, who will hope to bounce back to winning ways at home to Wycombe 6’s next week.
Report by Man of the Match – Rick Lee.