3rd XI battle well to draw with Surbiton
By Callum Thorner
Trinity 1-1 Surbiton
“Ok then, votes for MoM”. Within a few seconds there were 8 or 9 different names put forward. Simple decision, the whole Team gets MoM.
Why? This was without doubt a fantastic collective effort. To a man each individual gave their all, did not stop running and stayed committed in every challenge from the first to the final whistle.
Any Surbiton side is going to have a smattering of top quality players who are gradually working their way down the sides. The preceeding match was the Super Vets - ‘Walking hockey’ if you like - but the skill level on show was a different class! So this Surbiton side had talent, but they also had an edge, a vicious streak that Trinity Mids would need to repel if we were to stay in the game.
From the off, the 11 men of Trinity stuck to the game plan of staying compact and soaking up pressure before trying to get in behind the opposition. Pennel and Ferrigan stood firm against the initial threat from the Surbiton wingers, Fairchild remained solid against the physical presence of their forwards. Although having the better of the first quarter, Surbiton chances were few and when they came they were more than comfortably dealt with by the Aston in goal. When his kicker meets the ball it stay’s hit!!
Gradually Trinity got into the game. The full of running Stedman provided a great pivot through the middle, so too Alam. The ball was being nicely distributed forward for Barnes and Pennel, who were combining well down the right. The timings of the forward runs from the fullback were spot on and proving a handful for Surbiton. So the game was fairly even as half time approached. Then Pacey found space to thread a perfectly weighted ball through to Khan who cleverly avoided the obvious pass to the unmarked and ‘in front an open goal’ Jewiss, to take the ball even wider and hit a rasping shot under the advancing keeper. It was never in doubt!
At the break the job was half done. Surbiton came out of the blocks very quickly. Again the Trinity midfield, none more so then Gonzales, hassled and parried and refused to give the opposition the time on the ball that they were obviously used to. Trinity’s defence stayed compact, Alam was superbly martialling the centre forward and behind him Fairchild stood firm. However eventually the Surbiton pressure was rewarded. A foot on the meant a stroke. Nothing Aston could have done about the conversion.
So what was to happen next? Would Trinity fold? Not a bit of it, quite the opposite. Surbiton upped the physicality. No Trinity side has ever wilted when faced with that and this team proudly kept up that tradition. Fire was met with fire. The defence held firm, Aston made a couple of outstanding saves. The midfield’s tireless running ensured no attacker got through the first line of defence unchallenged
Actually, Trinity had the better of the chances from now on. This was breakaway stuff. Fairchild’s aerial flick was superbly tapped through to Jewiis, by the marauding Pennel. He cooly rounded the last defender only to be hacked at by the cover. Should have been a short corner, or even more! Then Pacey drilled a fantastic ball down the line again to Jewiss who was unlucky not to convert. Khan’s trickery was proving a handful as was Barnes’s skill and movement at the top of the diamond. Jewiss deserved a goal from his clever deflection which inched narrowly wide. In the dying minutes, Fairchild’s flick after Pacey’s neat inside short corner pass cannoned off the keepers helmet and Gonzales on the follow up should have been rewarded with another a short corner for his efforts.
At the final whistle, Surbiton knew they had played a team who had not once taken a step back.
MoM: The 3rd XI