The Spencer 2nd team remain unbeaten this season, but only just, after snatching a draw at Buckhurst Hill with a far from full strength 10-man squad.
Player numbers across the club were wafer thin this Saturday thanks to a double whammy of half-term and the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity match, open to ex as well as current players. Spencer has about 8 who learnt their trade with either the light or dark blues. As a result, the 2’s team today included 4 from the 3’s squad.
With the absence of both captain and vice, goalie Neil was captain for the day. Neil is only recently back playing after breaking his arm playing the vicious game, football. He was solid and faultless at the clear.
Will and Ben were joined by the 3’s vice, Hugo at the back and all played well, stopping the majority of the Buckhurst Hill one-on-one threat.
The midfield youth trio of Cameron and twins Will and Gabe were amazing as always. All were very strong in defence, against either the smaller & faster or bigger & direct Bucks midfield.
In attack were Peter, Rob and Gavin from the 3rd team. Gavin, the 3’s face-off middie, enjoyed his first game in attack and got into some great shooting positions but could not find the back of the net. Rob and Peter moved the ball well enough to move Bucks around and get the midfield trio into danger positions to dodge and shoot.
The Buckhurst Hill defence, like Peter and Rob, are of a certain age, so the match-up’s today were well balanced. However any ‘normal’ Spencer 2nd team attack this season would of had their cake and eaten it. Still Peter grabbed one goal and Rob had three near misses from in and around the crease.
Buckhurst Hill were always in the lead but never out of touch. When it came to the crunch last 2 minutes, step forward Ben McLellen who has a knack for late heroic charges upfield from defence. He started and finished the equalising goal. Breaking over halfway he offloaded to Rob who (finally) executed a traditional fast break, passing to Peter on the left pipe who put it back to Ben charging through the crease wielding the defensive stick. He slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 7-7 with barely time left for the next face-off. Buckhurst Hill were deflated, Spencer relieved, but also wondering what an extra player or two would of achieved today. Roll on next week’s semi-final clash.
Spencer 2’s were;
Neil White, Will Clark, Ben McLellen (1 goal), Hugo Hobson, Gabe Barrie, Will Barrie (2), Cameron Leslie (3), Gavin Park, Rob Gooch and Peter Compton (1)