Spencer has a game plan today, and thanks to sticking to it, this game was won in the final quarter.
The ‘look’ of the 3rd team was somewhat different today as the visit of the International School in Brussels to Spencer to play our juniors meant the clutch of youth players who normally play both 3’s on Saturday and juniors on Sunday were tied up in London. That is all except Nathan and his Dad who raced up to Hitchin after the Brussels game and arrived 5 minutes before face-off – and it was great to see them.
Elsewhere the Spencer 3’s searched high and low for players. Angus picked up a stick for the first time in over a decade – and it mostly did not show. Rob brought two novice players from the emerging club in Milton Keynes, Tom and Ty, for their first game. Neither let us down and they both left the field smiling. And there were was more, with new faces to Spencer this season, Sam, Ric and Will in the squad. This all meant the only players who had played together for more than the odd game were the back four of Colin, Rob, Ian and Chris, plus captain Mike in midfield and Jon in attack.
The question as 2pm approached was would this ‘green’ team be a match for the large Hitchin ‘A’ squad who had their usual mix of young and experienced players?
Both teams failed to trouble the score sheet in the first quarter. Too many soft turn-overs from both sides saw the ball flip-flop over the halfway line but neither team could create offensive pressure.
In the second quarter, Hitchin started to create good chances but found Colin on top form in the Spencer goal. The net was breached twice following a series of fast break attacks from the men in orange so sorting out the midfield ride was key at the halftime team talk.
The third quarter was tied with 2 goals each and Spencer could now sniff this game was winnable. The man-on-man defence was tightened up and a little more patience in attack was now creating more goal chances than the opposition.
Trailing by a goal going into the final quarter, Spencer stuck to the pre-match game plan with an offensive shape that gave our better players room to move while protecting our novice players from getting into trouble. Two quick goals gave us the lead for the first time. Hitchin responded and peppered the goal. If not for some wide shots and more great saves from Colin they would of retaken the lead quite quickly. As it panned out, a sixth Spencer goal iced the game and time soon ran out on the home team; their first league defeat of the season (a 2-0-1 record). While Spencer now have their first win after the opening league defeat at the hands of EG ‘A’.
Quarter Scores: 0-0 / 2-1 / 4-3 / 4-6