Oxford 2-3 Sonning
A rather unwelcome start time saw the Hamsters out of their burrows and on the road early this week. However, by way of compensation, as we arrived the weather turned and we started the game under a crisp blue sky.
After some early skirmishes, the Hamsters took the lead after the Captain pulled the ball back to find Kyle at the top of the D and Kyle’s resulting hard hit was deftly deflected by Tim H to beat the keeper. Alas, our lead was short-lived and Sonning levelled after a well worked short corner. Sonning could have scored again from a break away but Mr Bence thwarted the Sonning forward with some cunning defending at the top of his D. 1-1 at half time.
Things took a turn for the worse early in the second half when Sonning took the lead from another short corner. This was the cue for the Hamsters to adopt a more positive attacking approach and thereafter we started to look much more dangerous. Good work by the mid-field saw plenty of crosses going into the D with Jones (J) looking enviously on from his new berth at the back, wishing he could get on the end of one.
Mid-way through the half, Sonning scored again after a short was awarded against Mr Bence for allegedly flattening the Sonning centre forward. In the resulting protest, the first card appeared – a green for A Drain. Thereafter, Sonning seemed to think they had done enough but then Nobby notched up his second goal of the season – thereby doubling his tally for the last decade – after he slotted home a cross from the Captain.
With the game nearing its end and with the Hamsters sensing a possible way back, tempers flared after a dodgy tackle by Tim resulted in one of the Sonning players threatening to do something despicable to our wunderkind. Like an elder bother protecting his young sibling from the schoolyard bully, Kyle stepped in to Tim’s defence, only to find himself and the Sonning player yellow carded. Fortunately, the final whistle then went and everybody kissed and made up.
As we walked back through the playing fields to the clubhouse, Tim H remarked, with all the refreshing optimism of youth, “Well, I guess that ends our promotion chances”. Yes indeed, as if there was any doubt.
Despite our precarious position, today’s game did have a feeling of optimism about it and, at the risk of sounding like Norman Lamont in 1992, the green shoots of recovery are surely not far away.
Final Score: 2-3
Goal Scorers: Tim H, Nobby
Match Reporter: Wild
Umpires: Two Sonningonians
Team: Tim Bence, Ian Wild, Tom Wordsworth, Alan Newbold, Joe Walker, AMH, Kyle Walker, Tim Howard, Adrian Harris, Marcus Carter, Sathya Vadivale, Jones (J)