14 September 2014
EC Division 1 – Bushfields, Peterborough
Team on the day:
1 – Reuben Alam (GK)
2 – James Neville
3 – Josh Branchett
5 – Rees Parfitt
7 – Scott Neville
8 – Alex Jones
11 – Ben Humphreys
After an enormous amount of work behind the scenes by so many, and with a tremendous amount of commitment by our players, venturing into the unknown, Soham Roller Hockey Club made its first outing into Eastern Counties Division 1.
Our first game of the day paired us with the host team Peterborough. Despite a nervous start, our opening goal came within the second minute of the game courtesy of James. We settled into a nice flowing game displaying an extremely resolute defence. With just over four minutes left on the clock, Peterborough sneaked an equaliser after a mix up in our penalty area. It seemed the game was going into the break on level terms, before Alex put us back in front with 30 seconds left of the first half.
The second half continued very much in the same vein as the first half, exciting flowing hockey from both teams. We added to our tally early on with a goal from Scott, giving us a two goal cushion till mid way through the second half when Peterborough pulled one back. With both teams going for the win, there was no room for complacency as we continued very much as we had done for most parts of the first half, defending resolutely and creating goal scoring opportunities. Any doubts on the outcome were laid to rest with just over a minute to go with a second goal from Scott as we ran out worthy 4-2 winners.
Our second game was against a very young Cottenham team, a game in which we dominated from start to finish, with us at one point scoring a goal a minute in a particularly good five minute period. Having such a comfortable game allowed us to rotate our players freely, saving our legs for what would be a much tougher final game.
Alex – 5
James – 3
Josh – 1
Final Score Soham 9 – 2 Cottenham
Our final game of the day was against a full strength Norwich team. It was a well balanced, hard fought game from the beginning. The game flowed from end to end with defensive errors from both teams, being punished with quick counter attacks. First blood was drawn by us early on with a clean finish from Josh after a well worked team move. We held on to our lead well but failed to capitalise on the many chances we created and soon, as so often happens, were punished with an equaliser taking us into the break at 1-1.
The second half started with exactly the same tempo as the first half had finished with both teams attacking well once in possession. Our efforts were rewarded in the second minute with a rebound off the back wall, neatly slotted in by Alex. With these type of games and both teams very much in contention to win things tend to boil up and get more physical, and this game was no exception with the referees working hard to keep control. With our fitness now starting to play a big part in this game we drew further ahead with our third goal from Rees. Somehow Norwich hadn’t read the script and closed the gap midway through the second half, setting up a very exciting final seven minutes which to be fair could have seen the game go either way. Fortunately the day was to be ours as we not only defended out, but continued to attack in the final stages of the game. A great game, if not at times slightly heated, well done to both teams.
Without doubt a solid start for Soham RHC in both EC1 and EC2. The foundation stones are now laid for us to build a positive future for the young members of this new club.