Poor timekeeping proves costly for Addiscombe
By Dan Sowden
Addiscombe Men's 3s (1) 1 - Barnes Beavers (5) 6
Many readers may remember in 2003, in reaction to France's opposition to the US's proposed invasion of Iraq, french fries and french toast were re-branded as freedom fries and freedom toast in a number of Congressional cafeterias. Fewer readers may be aware that this nomenclature point was not without precedent - during World War I, sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage, and on 12th January 1943, Frankfurters were renamed victory sausages. Fittingly, on the same day this year - the Barnes Beavers returned to their lodge and feasted on some victory sausages of our own (thanks to Gill and Helen for sorting us out with a few extra portions!).
The story that set up this victory feast started in the Royal Russell School in Croydon - past the swimming pool and the chapel to the astroturf pitch. Captain Pat has done well to get the Beavers to our fixtures on time this year - with most Beavers turning up half an hour early most weeks. Despite a few false starts in the team (including Pops mis-keying the postcode and somehow ending up at another hockey pitch in Croydon), we were all present and correct with three substitutes for the start time.
Unfortunately for Addiscombe, they had only 10 players (but also provided both umpires) at the start time, so Pat volunteered Amine (who also was on time for once) to start in their forward line. The half did not get off to a good start for Amine, as his team was quickly pushed back to their D and conceded a short corner. This was swiftly pushed to Chris who hurled the ball into the bottom right corner to open up the scoring. Amine's newfound team was further pushed back, with Pops finding the ball at the top of the D and pelting their goalkeeper, who deflected the ball out to his right - to the waiting Will who played a perfect half-volley into the back of the goal.
With two goals down in the first few minutes, the Addiscombe defensive line started to turn up and Amine was able to return to our bench. Unfortunately, the momentum was behind the Barnes team, as we continued to threaten the Addiscombe D and we managed to find a foot and were awarded another short corner. The ball was injected to Chris again, who put the ball just to the right of the goal - where I was waiting with my stick lined up to deflect the ball in the right direction, and the ball just managed to sneak in on the far side of the goal. The Addiscombe team were now regrouping, but not before another Pops shot was deflected to Will who put his second goal past the goalkeeper to put us 4 in front.
The teams balanced out a little as the Addiscombe bench swelled to 3 substitutes, and they managed to grab back a goal after a clearance from James caught Peps in a rare lapse of concentration and the Addiscombe team broke through for a 3-on-1 and they managed to get a goal back. The Beaver defence otherwise continued to hold fast and we continued to play the ball up the pitch - with the final twist in the half courtesy of a neat move from Pops to Angus who put the ball past the keeper to bring us up to 5-1 at halftime.
The second half was not quite the show of strength from the Beavers as was the first; we lost our shape towards the middle of the half, and relaxed like a team who had a comfortable goal buffer. Despite this, we continued to pressure the Addiscombe back line and this was rewarded with a final goal from Mark. The end of the game was a bit of a scramble, with Addiscombe finding their feet - but too late as the final whistle went on a 6-1 victory to the Beavers.
A great result for us - beating the fourth placed team and cementing our position in the middle of the table, and a solid first half performance as we pushed the Addiscombe team way back into their half. Strong performances across the board from the Beavers, and our joint best result of the season so far. Tough call for BOTW this week, but for having a hand in five of our six goals, it has to go to Pops for his efforts - well done Pops!