Summer Hockey Success

Throughout July and August, the Mids have been playing in the summer hockey tournament at Royal Russell School. The team has been selected on a first come first served basis with a wide range of players from 1st XI to 4th XI all being represented.

Results against the local clubs have gone well in the league stages, winning four out of six of the matches.

Trinity Mids WON 8 1 Kenley
Trinity Mids WON 3 2 Addiscombe
Trinity Mids WON 1 0 Croydon Whits
Trinity Mids WON 14 1 Croydon Whits
Trinity Mids LOST 2 4 Addiscombe
Trinity Mids LOST 0 2 Kenley

These results see us second in the table behind Addiscome who have won five of their six games. Croydon Whits follow behind with Kenley at the bottom of the table.

Next week sees the Semi-Finals between Trinity Mids vs. Croydon Whits and Addiscombe vs. Kenley to see who will play the final and the third-place match the week after. Hopefully the team can keep up their winning ways, especially now that training starts this Wednesday.

TMW Hockey 2nd XI 1-1 Kenley 2nd XI

A grey late afternoon in February, saw a familiar local derby against the co-sharing team of Warlingham astro, Kenley 2nd XI. The away fixture back in the first half of the season has seen a needly 1-1 draw and the Mids weren’t expecting any difference in intensity from the return leg.
With a squad of fourteen, there was plenty of opportunity for running and exciting hockey from the Mids and from the start the team started getting amongst the opposition. Quite early on chances began to appear and within the first quarter several goals could have been scored had there been someone on the back post.
Kenley started to hit the home team on the break and lightning pace from their wide men found the Mids scrambling in defence. After several successful defensive stands from a strong back four, pressure started to result in penalty corners. Having survived a couple, a surprising call gave another short from which the oppo found space past the keeper’s kicker.
As in earlier games when a goal behind, the TMW 2s kept persevering and applying pressure. From similar positions on the right hand side, a hit into the D first saw the Kenley goalkeeper snuff out a deflection and a second ricochet of the far post but only to be missed by the onrushing forwards. But then a goal fortuitous came from Trinity’s Luke Stafford to even up the scores.
The second half saw more to and fro between the two teams with increased physicality from the away side reaping dividends and causing problems for the Mids. Kenley found the back of the net only for the umpires to confer and disallow it and then another tension-increasing discussion between the officials gave a similarly correct decision to disallow a Mids goal.
It would be fair to say that, as in the first match of the season, a draw was the right result from a testy and anxious contest but included some spells of very high quality hockey. From several key contributions, Dan Moran was voted Man of the Match for his sterling defence and fatherhood of two of the other great performances of the day, while Andy Barnes earned Champagne Moment for a litany of comedy moments throughout the game, including putting on the captain’s shirt before kick-off and celebrating a goal that hadn’t even gone in.
Despite a draw when we were all hoping for a win, a great quality of hockey and team effort from everyone resulted in a very enjoyable game for all. A game off next weekend, but I’m sure that the team will come back raring to go the week after.

2nd XI Match Report vs. Croydon & Old Whitgiftians

Having hit the top of the league a couple of weeks ago, the match against Croydon and Old Whitgiftians 2nd XI was a first against second encounter to add to the derby tension to the match. With a game in hand for Croydon, a win for the Mids was key to continuing to lead the league. Following on from a 6-0 the previous week vs. Woking, the Mids’ focus was to continue the style of hockey which had proved successful in prior matches and to prepare for the intensity which we knew would come from a Croydon side.

The first half was a scrappy affair for both sides with neither hockey team seizing the upper hand. A high press from Croydon put pressure on the Mids defence from 16s and lead to a lot of the play taking place in the middle of the pitch with left and right back exits being closed down. However this allowed direct channels to be exploited through midfield and putting the opposition on the back foot. While Croydon had an even amount of the ball, most of their play was broken down by a strong defence nullifying their efforts. With some periods of good passing and offensive running penetrating the Croydon defence, it was lack of clinical finishing and some good goalkeeping which stopped Trinity Mids going into the break with a goal. Several times a simple stick at the back post would have made a massive difference.

The half time chat focused on building on the positives but putting more effort into the 50-50 challenges, ensuring that we kept hold of the ball and being clinical in front of goal. From the second half whistle, the Mids continued their passing play and kept running at the Croydon defence. More dynamic team play in front of goal found the back of the goal with Christian Bond passing to Andy Barnes hit past the keeper.

With a one-nil scoreline, the Mids’ lead felt fragile. A rare attack which penetrated the TMW’s defence saw a key double save from Cam Lagerberg at the back post, with the last stick save defying belief. It was a turning point to the game. Had the scoreline been evened, the balance of the match would have swung against us but securing goal advantage scoring a second a few minutes later began to put the win mentally out of reach for Croydon. Goal number two came from a penalty corner, with a somewhat slower drag flick from Johann Perera bamboozling the goalkeeper into gloving the ball straight downwards onto the line for Eugene Carr to race onto and tap over the goaline.

Croydon continued battling away and while time was running out, managed to scramble a goal past the Mids keeper, slotting the ball low into the bottom right corner. At 2-1, the final few minutes were tense with TMW Hockey trying to keep the ball in the opposition’s half and out of danger as the clock ran down.

At the final whistle, the TMWs were relieved with the win but had enjoyed a testing but enjoyable game against their local rivals played in good spirits. While it wasn’t the perfect execution of the team’s playing style, it was encouraging to grind out a win against a strong opposition by playing a a good standard of hockey.

2nd XI Match Report vs Purley

Lost 0-3 So the second match of the season loomed and the first against hostile opponents in the shape of Purley Walcountians 3rd XI. There are always changes in personnel in the run up to any match but after a surprising number of last minute drop outs and injuries it was pleasing to get a squad of 12 out on the pitch.
With the warm up and first few minutes of the match under a deluge, the pitch was watered and pretty quick. This allowed us to settle into some good phases of passing hockey and half-opportunities began to open up. Over time the PWs clawed their was back into the game as we hesitated and 50-50 tackles began to go their way either through skill or umpire decisions evaded us.
By the half time break the Mids were 2-0 down, despite mostly equal standards of play, due to two short corners which were capitalised on by the opposition while similar opportunities had forced good saves from their keeper.
We still felt in contention going into the second half but our frustrations began to get the better of us. The visitors’ strong tackling and harrying caused is to lose focus and out quality of play began to drop.
A great opportunity to get back in the game evaded us as a rash tackle as we entered the d lead to a penalty flick which was direct at the top corner but hit the edge of the of the bar and dropped the wrong side of the line.
It was unfortunate that as the half continued we collectively lost our heads letting the drive and physicality the opposition get the better of us. Another goal conceded and the match finished with a 3-0 deficit.
While our ability and style of play had the potential to win the match, our desire to win and mental strength waned as the match went on. Plenty of positive signs including some excellent performances from newer members of the squad, especially Andrew D’Sousa, were balanced with some specific things for us to think about and develop as a team. Onwards and upwards. MoM: A De Souza CM: R Wood

2nd XI vs 3rd XI Match Report

2nd XI Won 7-1 (Clarke 4, Austin 2, Tang; C Pacey) Embarking on the first league match of the season is always source of nervousness for a captain. Starting the campaign playing against opposition from your own club in a new league turns it into a bit of a nightmare. How is the team going to play? Can we take the successes from pre-season into the league? Will we be able to continue the progress made last season? How strong will the opposition be? These were just some of the quandaries, so last Saturday’s fixture with the Mids 3rd XI was a chance to test all of those and get some answers.

For the 2nd XI this season, having been demoted last April, a top half of the table ambition should be within the team’s sights if not aiming directly for promotion. So it was imperative that the initial streak of losses from last year wasn’t repeated although with depleted numbers throughout the club, due to mostly morning matches coinciding with Trinity Open Morning and Eid, both teams had been thrown a challenge to put out fully representative sides. But such was the captain’s worry, a strong team sheet was selected and emphasis on winning well with a good performance was made clear.
With the team talk ringing in the player’s ears, the 2s started the match aggressively only to be halted in their progress by a well organised and solid opposition. For the first few periods of the game, we found ourselves defending and chasing the ball. It took some good work tracking in back in midfield to keep their attacks under control and patience from the side without the ball. As we began to gel and understand the opposition style, we began to get some success.
Phases of play that had been cultivated in training began to show through, with the ball being spread across the pitch and stretching the opposition. With a man advantage, we began to find holes and started to capitalise on some good phases of play by finding the right players in the D at the right time. With Beaker, Chris Austin and Chris Tang(?) managing to score 7 goals between them, with good defending and support play from the rest of the team, the scoreline became unrepresentative of the skill and hard work that the 3s had shown throughout the match and it was pleasing that they managed to get on the scoresheet from a short corner as it was the least they deserved. Champagne moment was awarded to Messrs. Carr and Mims for a comical level of confusion and spectacular collision as they both ran for the same ball ending in both being wiped out with the ball nowhere to be seen.
Scoreline aside, as is wasn’t fully reflective, it was incredibly pleasing as a member of the club to see a game with exciting and entertaining play from both sides and all players enjoying their hockey. I’m sure that this is a good sign of things to come for both teams this season. From the 2nd XI perspective, a first win on the board makes a good foundation for the upcoming matches where we can use the momentum and confidence to trouble our opponents and hopefully continue winning ways. 2nd XI CM: Mims & Carr, 3rd XI MoM: Sg Sritharan

2nd XI Match Report vs Leatherhead

Won 3-2 (Tang 2, B Moran) The last friendly before the league season saw the 2nd XI travel into deepest Surrey to play Leatherhead 1st XI on a deceptively hot afternoon. Having to wait a long time for the opposition to assemble wasn’t the best preparation for the game. The fact we were not allowed to shoot at goal in case the ball went over and hit a car didn’t particularly help the situation either. With a squad of 14, balanced with youth and experience, we were keen to get going.
So having donated a couple of our subs, we got underway and soon got on the attack.
Immediately we were making progress into their half and threatening their D encouragingly. Confident passing phases between midfield and the forwards pressurised their defence and showed the dividends of our preseason training. So it wasn’t surprising that after a few minutes, we started winning penalty corners from their errors. It was from one of these initial shorts that Chris Tang put us on the scoreboard with a low angled attempt into the right corner.
A second came soon after from another short as James Allen’s powerful hit was deflected up and over the diving keeper by Ben Moran from a yard in front of the right hand post.
The Mids were playing nice attacking hockey but the excitement of the chase lead to unnecessary frenetic counter-attacks and exposed some holes for the Leatherhead forwards. Finding an extra man upfront, the home team started to make some quick breaks and bombarded the defence with aerials. As last line of defence, Phil Mander performed a Man of the Match-winning display, getting a stick on nearly everything that came into the D. It was the couple that evaded the defence which really threatened and it was disappointing to concede two in similar fashion bringing the game back into contention.
The parity at the game at this point wasn’t fully reflective of the two teams and, despite Leatherhead being promoted into the league the 2nd had just been dropped from, the Mids deserved to be ahead. And it was another Chris Tang penalty corner that put our team in the lead again with Stuart Clarke challenging the keeper for another on a couple of occasions. Indeed, but for a flat stick on the post, Tarran Lineham would have completed a beautiful passing move with a tap in, instead winning Champagne Moment for the lack of lift in his shot.
All in all, the game was a very encouraging way to lead into the start of the season with plenty of chances and nice passing play throughout the team. Where last team heads may have dropped, a desire to keep on running and chasing the ball earned the win. With some simple improvements to be made in communication, organisation and tactics the team should look forward to getting stuck into their new league. MoM: Mander, CM: Lineham

2nd XI Match Report vs Wanderers

Won 6-2 (JP Seebauer 2, Tang 2, Clarke, Edie) Well with both in the same league this year and with newly promoted Graham Knott as 3rd team captain let’s hope so. Perhaps we can reach for the stars for a double promotion and a nice bit of internal competition.
Before the game I looked around at all the able and willing faces and noticed one thing that the vast majority were attackers or attacking midfielders. Now a pessimistic viewpoint would be to say how are we are going to defend? And for a brief moment this negativity lingered, but then I thought to myself (and the words jumped out of my mouth) we have got a great attacking team. Or in fact I think I said, in true Chris style, we are a really ‘offensive’ team today.
Anyway the team included Stuart ‘Beaker’ Clarke, James Edie, Antony Brady, Chris Austin (me) and JP amongst many attacking options.
The game ended an emphatic 5-2 with the pick of the goals being a wonderful lofted aerial to me only to setup a quick triangle of passes and finally a cutback to JP who calmly slotted home.
Notable opposition attacks were mainly created from our players (Nick Porter and Josh Alexander) the best of which was a powerdriving volley by Josh which nearly broke the back of the net.
It was great to see Richard Young make his first Mids pre-season game. I am sure you all join me in welcoming Richard to the club and if any of his multiple reaction saves from the summer league are anything to go by he will be a keen contender for the 1st/2nd XI goalkeeping jersey.
This week now brings the first weekend when we will be fielding all four sides so please make sure you are available and flexible with time to help selection and the good of the club.

2nd XI Match Report vs Addiscombe

Won 3-2 (Seaman 3) The second eleven made a good start to pre-season securing a late win over Addiscombe. Going in to half time level, we put together a good team performance to secure a victory through a Spunky hat trick. We passed the ball around well exploiting the gaps that formed in the Addiscombe defence late in the game.