Monarchs edged out at home by Slough
By Viren Walia
Narrow loss for Monarchs
Feeling positive, but not over-confident, following the win the previous week, the Monarchs began this match against Slough Despondents on the front foot and quickly took the game to the visitors. A fumbled side-line pass by Slough was picked up sharply by Gavin and, with only a couple of quick passes, slotted past their keeper by Chad, for the first goal. The Monarchs’ second came soon after when, following some questionably unsafe play by both teams in the Slough ‘D’, an undercut strike by Tim, drove the ball high into the top corner of the net. Having contributed well, as ever, to the game so far, Richard had to sub himself off due to injury at this point and didn’t re-enter the match.
Rattled, but not shaken, Slough gradually regained their composure and started to hunt for opportunities. Their open play game often relied on long passed, one forcing keeper Sean to come out of his ‘D’ to sweep the ball away with his stick; but the Monarchs defence of Colin, Randy and Nick, quickly learned to spot and intercept this tactic. However, it was on the close contact stick-skills where the Slough attackers held some advantage, and soon they created a succession of penalty corners. A number were successfully defended, but still Slough entered half-time three to two in the lead from their well-executed strikes.
The Monarchs regrouped, realising they had been giving too much space to some of Slough’s play-makers, and reasserted their control over the match. A wonderfully quick sequences of passes up the right side, and well controlled close contact play in the ‘D’, saw Tim put home the equalizer. The home team hunted for more, with good passing and movement going up both sides of the pitch from Cory, Dave, Viren, Gavin, Clint, Colin, and new boy Marc, showing he wasn’t fazed by an adult opposition. Despite this effort and a number of opportunities, these attacks were frustrated.
Slough kept on trying to find a way through to goal and took the lead again with some sharp passing that wrong-footed the Monarchs’ defence. Both teams kept working hard to the end and the final whistle was blown just as Slough had been awarded another penalty corner. In spite of the majority of their team coming forward, the Monarchs’ defenders foiled any threat and got the ball clear to end the match.
Man of the Match: Randy Rottier
Match Report: Nick Wooldridge