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Stroud 1 Bristol & West 1

Stroud Men's 1st XI 1 - Bristol & West 1

Goal: Rich Fynn

Hot weather was the order of the day as Stroud Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, started the campaign for the 2011/2012 season away against a spirited Bristol and West team. A good pre season had facilitated a confidence within the Stroud team that anything is possible, ‘We can win the league.’

Bristol and West had perhaps been unfortunate to have been relegated from the division above Stroud in the previous season as they were fourth from bottom. The game being played on an unseasonally warm day meant lots of fluids were required. Within the first ten minutes you could see that the teams were fairly well matched and that either side could win.  Calum Norman, playing with a lot of confidence, made a series of silky runs and Dan Clifford was running up and down the wing trying to get behind the defence. The backs were commanding, authoritative and well-disciplined.  Stroud opened the scoring with a move starting at the back, through to Calum Norman who moved the ball skilfully onto Rich Fynn.  With great connection, he undercut the ball brilliantly into the welcoming net. Bristol and West also had chances, Stroud keeper Sam Cathie making a series of fine saves. Twice the Bristol and West forwards went around Sam but only after he had made them go so wide that the angle for a shot was very difficult. Nick Batten also rushed back to the goal in case the forwards managed to hit the target. In another Bristol and West attack, Rob Fynn with an unorthodox yet skilful clearance, just managed to hit the ball away before a Bristol and West player could strike the ball, a goal looming.  

As the match wore on, players became increasingly tired – endurance, stamina and super-human strength were needed. Bristol and West had a succession of penalty corners without looking threatening. Throughout the match they had fourteen short corners - credit is thus due to both the fearless Andy Murray for bravely running out and Sam Cathie for more crucial saves. Stroud also had chances and looked much more dangerous in the four short corners that Stroud won. In the end Bristol and West scored a scrappy goal with a few lucky deflections before the ball rolled into an empty goal. In the last ten minutes technique and performance dipped due to the incessant heat as both teams almost appeared to be happy playing for a draw. Both teams will take belief and heart from this match for the rest of the season.

This entry was posted on 02 October 2011 at 22:42. You can leave a response here.

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