Dramatic comeback for the 3rd XI
Blackheath & Elthamians leave it late to overturn a 2 goal deficit
After another very poor week of availability we settled on 11 men to only find out that by 7pm on Friday we were down to just 10 and with no hope to get another body for an 11:00 start in Dover. With that the 10 brave men and umpire made their way down to play bottom of the league Deal. Heads held high we got to the ground and warmed up. Golbey went to toss up with the Deal skipper, after a little discussion about us not actually waiting for an 11th player as we only hd the 10, the Deal umpire suggested they supply both umpires and allow our umpire, Logan, to play on field. This was a gracious act and one that we took, as 11 on the pitch is better than 10.
The game started and within 10 minutes Deal had managed to put the ball in the back of the net and we were 1-0 down. With some good play by the mighty 3rd XI we had a few chances which were not successfully finished which left us frustrated but still believing we could come away without another loss. Before half time was called Deal had managed to put another goal past the back line that had done well all season in keeping the minimum amount of goals past us in the losses which gave us a decent goal difference compared to others in the bottom half.
After a rousing talk by Baillie BEHC came out in with all guns blazing. Lots more chances fell and short corners were won, but not capitalised on. It was all looking as bleak as the weather that we drove down in at the early hours of the day. With 10 minutes to go we won another short, this time Baillie, who had been struggling with an injury asked for someone else to stop. So with a changed routine, the ball was injected by Golbey and stopped by Pow perfectly for Baldwin to find Jones on the right post for a knock in. BOOM 2-1.
Our heads were up as Deals looked down, then followed 10 minutes of magic hockey by Blackheath & Elthamians. We continued to battle and get the ball forward, nothing was getting past our defence when Deal threatened with any attacks. Finally a ball in their ‘D’ found Hatcher near the flick spot as he smashed the ball in to the top of the goal. WHACK 2-2.
This was the moment we had all been hoping for. Deals hope of 3 points faded and their heads looked down as we continued to find a winner. Archie made some superb play to win a short corner. The same routine was chosen, Golbey to Pow for Baldwin to masterly take his drag flick to the left of the keeper, with a little deflection from the oppositions stick but not enough as the power of the flick carried on in to the goal, hitting the back of then net. Jubilation from the team as we made it 3-2. A little cheeky ask to umpire for how long left was met with a quiet 30 seconds. Deal pushed forward but with the likes of Smith, Godsiff, Baillie and Golbey defending they had no chance. The final whistle blew and the relief was obvious from the forlorn players that had been there all season. This is what we are capable of, why does it take so long to do what we should have been doing all year?
Big thank you to Deal for allowing us to play with 11 men and to Logan who came down to umpire and ended up playing.
Spectators said that that was the best game they had seen all season and what a magical final 10 minutes.
Scorers: Jones, Hatcher, Baldwin
DOTD: With such a great performance from everybody it was hard to give this award, somehow my flick down the line off of a sideline ball that went over my left shoulder was chosen, so Golbey (unfair I think).