Even though Spencer recruited well over the summer, our 1st team travelled to Reading for our opening match missing some key players. This, combined with Reading’s win over Welwyn the week before in a pre-season friendly, meant there was a slightly nervous atmosphere in the Spencer dressing room.
The nerves were still evident through the first half of the match.
While we dominated the face-offs, we were unable to convert our possession into goals. Our attack seemed a little unsure of themselves and no one was willing to take a chance on goal. The shots that we did have didn’t really challenge the keeper.
Reading seemed to notice our lack of confidence and looked good when they had possession. Our defence, with our new LDO Matt Vetter, new recruit Andy Swett and youngsters Rupert and Ben, played well but Reading kept up the pressure and went into the half time break 4-1 up with Spencer just starting a penalty.
Although we hadn’t played great lacrosse in the first half, the atmosphere in the huddle was optimistic. We’d had plenty of opportunities and we felt it was only a matter of time before we started to convert them.
It didn’t take long. As soon as the second half started, Spencer’s man-down defence quickly turned the ball over and cleared it to the attack. Reading gave James ‘Moose’ Morrison too much time and space and he ripped a shot from outside the restraining line into the top corner. This seemed to be exactly what we needed to wake us up and we proceeded to dominate the third quarter. Our short sticks suddenly had the confidence to shoot and we scored another six unanswered goals before the end of the period, three of them from Mark Jones.
Spencer only had two substitutes compared to Reading’s six or seven on the bench and this meant it was unrealistic to expect another seven goals in the final quarter. Reading didn’t give up and kept running hard but the Spencer defence was full of confidence and applied more pressure – not just to hold them back but to turn the ball over again and again. When we had possession, we controlled the pace of the game and looked comfortable.
There was one goal for each team in the final quarter leaving the final score Reading 5 Spencer 9. This was a great start to the season for Spencer and the way we shook off the shaky start showed real character.
Goalkeeper Conrad Olson and James ‘Moose’ Morrison were voted joint men of the match.
Spencer 3’s 5 – 5 Epsom
Sorry, no match report available