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Mens Heathens XI - Match centre

Sevenoaks 6
Blackheath & Elthamians Heathens
Sat 20 Jan 12:00 - Kent Men's Outdoor Hockey League - Open Premier B Full time

The Heathens fail to make a splash in Sevenoaks

Shomat says

‘Consistency is key’ they say, a mantra the Heathens have taken to heart since the winter break by repeating their dire performance from last week.
Arriving at pitch-side the heathens took a long old look at the water-logged pitch that appeared more like an ocean than a field. It would prove to be an apt metaphor as the heathens were once again lost at sea throughout the game.
What on paper looked like a strong squad started the game with a bit of to-and-fro hockey. Neither Blackheath nor the experienced Sevenoaks side really taking the game by the scruff of the neck in the first 10 minutes, until a smart move down the oppositions left found James Elliot free top left in the D. The youngster did well to reverse sweep the ball to Andrew Moore at the back right post who promptly tucked the ball away. Smart moves so far, right?
The returning Jonny Lewis (a much missed addition to the team) even had a hit from a short unluckily sail over the bar. What could have been?
But don’t pat yourself on the back too much, as the next 15 minutes (and, to be honest, game) saw Blackheath manage to play themselves out of the contest. A few moments of -
Losing the ball in the middle of the pitch
The opposition running through onto the defence
Last ditch defending from Fenno or James - clearing the ball up pitch
Losing the ball in the middle of the pitch
Rinse and repeat until your midfielders decide the London Marathon looks a bit kinder...
Led to the Tom clearing the ball behind (partly-deliberately) to give Sevenoaks a short corner. Sevenoaks then showed calmness and professionalism to tuck it away, making use of superior numbers. Alright. 1-1.
Hey remember steps 1-5? Let’s do them again! Tom (not-so-deliberately this time) cleared the ball off the back-line for a Sevenoaks short (Again!). Half time whistle. 10 Sevenoaks players up. Goal. Alright. 2-1.
It didn’t get sunnier in the second half. To say basics were at an all-time low would be an understatement. Poor passes. Poor receiving. Lack of fluency. Lack of cutting edge. A 3rd Sevenoaks goal was not undeserved, but they were hardly made to work too hard for it. Once again an experienced side who pick off passes on their strong side, can’t be passed through, and who take their time building their attacks undid any attacks the Heathens launched.
The question now is; do the Heathens have the brains and the guts to go back to simple, quick, and non-selfish hockey? To haul themselves out of their own hole? To return to the ocean analogy earlier that I forgot I was supposed to riff on for 8 paragraphs and steady the ship? It would be misleading to blame the umpires or the conditions or what retrograde Mercury is in. The blame lies entirely with all who have played the last two games. It’s time to step up and prove a point next week. There’s no shame in losing a game; there is shame in performing so abjectly.

MOTM: Seb, for managing to deal with all that was thrown his way.
DOTD: Everyone.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Canterbury 5 22 29
7. Old Williamsonians 3 22 28
8. Blackheath & Elthamians Heathens 22 26
9. Tunbridge Wells 3 22 25
10. Burnt Ash 4 22 25
11. Holcombe 4 22 13
12. Gore Court 4 22 0

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