Oxford 3-0 West London
Oxford Mens 4th XI started their season well with a confident result against the newly promoted West London 1st XI. Following on from some good performances in pre-season, including an against the form book win against the 3rd XI, the team had been playing some good passing hockey and were looking to continue this into the league season.
Captain ‘Angry Dave’ Albon ironically asked for a disciplined performance from his troops in the pre-match warm up, in what would be a tough match against a side likely to have a robust game plan. Oxford started well, putting some good moves together whilst being wary of the threat West London were posing from some particularly skilful players.
West London then proceeded to put more effort into arguing with the Oxford umpire Richard than actually playing hockey. One member of their side, notably wearing the ~£120 bright yellow Adidas shoes, took particular umbrage at a foul being awarded against him, which led to a 5 minute debacle. First he argued so much with the umpire that a cautionary chat was turned into a yellow card, and then the West London captain received a green for a discussion about the yellow. But enough of that – back to the hockey.
Oxford continued to press forward, and won a short corner. The ball was struck smartly to your correspondent (who had injected the ball) who calmly dispatched it into the goal. Such is the 4th XI’s faith in your correspondent’s new found goal scoring ability that celebratory comments included “did you mean to pass it to Pritch” and “not a bad finish with your eyes closed”.
Now readers who played in the 5th XI last season will remember well the cry of “POMO!”. From another Oxford move forward striker Matthews found himself at said ‘Point of Maximum Opportunity” and calmly lifted the ball over the keeper. 2-0 Oxford into the half time break.
Oxford continued after the break to control the game through their calm passing, with defence marshalled expertly by the Portrait of Dorian Grey (Wilson) and the Horse Whisperer (Pringeur). When West London pushed all of their players forward for a short corner in the 2nd half, striker Hudson. B. (Gentle Ben) responded by standing in the West London ‘D’. Oxford broke from the short corner and within two passes – including one so magnificently disguised (underhit) by Sims, and subsequently ignored by Wharton, to find Hudson. B. in position to score. Cue wild celebration – including a high five of most of the watching home crowd.
All that remained to put the icing on the cake was a clean sheet. Captain Albon was everywhere, but this sadly included a diving foul to concede a penalty flick. But cometh the hour, cometh the man, and ‘keeper Hogben leapt to his right to pull off an outstanding save!
Final Score: 3-0
Goal scorers: Steve Pritchard, Buggy Matthews, Ben Hudson
MOM: Buggy Matthews – Good goal and tireless running
DOD: Dave Albon – For not noticing the opposition had restarted after the 3rd goal