The Men’s 5s started their game today perched precariously at the top of the division 9SW table. We knew the visit of Cheshunt would be tough after tales told by the Hertford team we beat last week.

We were light a couple of key players & when Dave reported for duty he advised that the aching ribs from a collision last week were still restricting him somewhat it was all starting to look a little ominous. But on the plus side, Matt Prowse had kindly agreed to step in between the posts again after his last outing earned us a clean sheet, we had Nick playing for us, apparently he needed to sort his balls out before the evening’s entertainment at the club (yes it was his big bonkers bingo night & thanks to all those from the 5s who attended), we also welcomed Alex Gimson for his first game for the club. A further positive was that 3 of their players were stuck on the M25, they still had 12 to start with, so no need to delay, but more about the late arivees later.

Jo & Stef got the game under way (thank you for umpiring) and a fairly even contest ensued. There were chances at either end, none taken & we were playing some nice hockey, but after a good passing move had led to a shot from Brian being blocked the ball came out to Matt B-E who picked it up nicely, slid his pass inside to Paul who cracked the ball into the bottom corner. We continued to press, but a second goal wasn’t forthcoming before their cavalry arrived from the M25 car park, and a fairly impressive cavalry it was, if not a little on the noisy & rumbustious side. Soon the tide changed, we were on the back foot, but for some fantastic keeping from Matt P they would have scored more than the 2 that they did before half time.

The second half was more even, we pressed higher & created several good chances, Andy P had a shot from the top of the D hit the wheel just outside the goal, everybody else thought it had hit the post and Brian duly popped it in the net, but honesty prevailed and the goal was ruled out. The noisiest of their noisy boys got a deserved green card for back-chat to Jo & a fully warranted earful from Nick for unnecessary language, particularly as his abilities were way above our level & he didn’t need to do that. They went on to score 2 more goals, which would have been a hatful more had it not been for Matt P in goal.

A fine debut from Alex, more good hockey from the youngsters Mark, Deven & Matt B-E, with generally good restraint showed by most of the team under some duress.

We adjourned to the clubhouse, had a nice chat with the oppo who came back, enjoyed our spuds & voted, by a large majority, that Matt Prowse was man of the match, there were also votes for Alex, Andy P & Matt B-E. On we go to next week, still in the mix at the top of the table.