A damp day over in the village, Sutton Valance, outside Maidstone saw the Spencer 3’s improve from a poor start but with thin squad numbers, just ran out of energy, and lost 9-4 to the Maidstone second team.
Nine Spencer 3’s players arrived for the game. I don’t know where the confirmed 10th player ended up, but it was not pitch-side come the early midday face-off. Maidstone kindly lent us one of their new novice players, Tom, who played in attack and although was very ‘green’, did not let us down.
So Spencer started the game with Colin in goal – fresh from being pinched by the 2nd team last week at very late notice. Long sticks were vice-captain Jamie with Harvey and Rob. Captain Mike was super at face-off, and was our main threat in the first half, while his body has energy to run hard. Ian and Will joined him in the midfield, leaving Jon, Mylo and Tom in attack.
Whilst neither team had a true offensive threat, Maidstone through lack of experience or Spencer through lack of experience (our younger players) or fitness/energy (our older players), it was Maidstone who built up a lead thanks to a series of semi-lucky low skidding shots that got through Colin’s defence. Spencer pulled one back courtesy of Mike but the 1st quarter finished 5-1.
The 2nd quarter was better but whilst Spencer had some decent possession and chances on goal, our finishing was poor. The half-time score was 7-2.
Rob and Mylo swapped sticks for the restart. Mylo (the junior’s goalie) was definitely more comfortable in defence while Rob eased himself back into match fitness after being stationary most of the summer thanks to a foot injury. The change-up was effective as the second half was shared 2 goals each, but the damage was done already. Special mention to Will in midfield who ran his heart out and got into some great offensive positions.
By the end, the Spencer older outfield players, Mike, Ian, John and Rob could all barely walk, let alone run. So a common story for the Spencer 3’s… another day, a couple of substitutes and a little more goal threat would of made an enormous difference.
We shared a beer, some sandwiches and chips with Maidstone in their local pub, then hit the M20. All focus on the league now.