|Date||Match type||Opposition||Venue||PB Time||Score|
|23/09/2017||League||City of Peterborough 2||A||14:30||L 2-1|
|27/09/2017||Friendly||Brunel University||H||-||D 1-1|
|30/09/2017||League||Havering 1||H||12:00||D 0-0|
|07/10/2017||League||Cambridge City 2||A||15:00||L 6-0|
|11/102017||BUCS League||Oxford Brookes University 3||H||17:00||W 3-1|
|14/10/2017||League||Bourne Deeping 1||H||12:00||D 1-1|
|18/10/2017||BUCS League||Nottingham University 5||H||17:00||W 2-1|
|21/10/2017||League||Wisbech Town 1||A||13:45||L 2-1|
|25/10/2017||BUCS League||Oxford Brookes University 3||A||14:00||W 1-2|
|28/10/2017||League||Dereham 1||H||12:00||L 0-2|
|01/11/2017||BUCS League||Leicester University 2||A||15:00||W 0-6|
|04/11/2017||League||Norwich City 1||A||13:00||L 2-1|
|08/11/2017||BUCS Cup||Harper Adams University 1||A||TBC||L 5-0 (w.o.)|
|11/11/2017||League||Ipswich – East Suffolk 1||H||12:00||L 2-4|
|15/11/2017||BUCS League||Bedfordshire University 1||A||16:30||W 3-5|
|18/11/2017||League||West Herts 2||A||15:00||L 3-2|
|25/11/2017||League||Wapping 2||A||14:00||L 6-3|
|26/11/2017||League||Waltham Forrest 1||H||13:00||D 5-5|
|29/11/2017||BUCS League||De Montfort University 1||H||TBC||W 8-1|
|02/11/2017||League||Waltham Forrest 1||H||12:00||P-P|
|09/12/2017||League||City of Peterborough 2||H||12:00||P-P|
|06/01/2018||League||Havering 1||A||13:00||L 1-0|
|13/01/2018||League||Cambridge City 2||H||12:00||L 1-4|
|20/01/2018||League||Bourne Deeping 1||A||12:30||L 5-3|
|27/01/2018||League||Wisbech Town 1||H||12:00||W 5-1|
|28/01/2018||League||City of Peterborough 1||H||13:00||W 3-0|
|31/01/2018||BUCS League||Nottingham University 5||A||14:30||W 1-4|
|03/02/2018||League||Dereham 1||A||13:30||L 2-4|
|07/02/2018||BUCS League||Leicester University 2||H||15:00||W 7-0|
|10/02/2018||League||Norwich City 1||H||12:00||L 0-4|
|21/02/2018||BUCS League||Bedfordshire University 1||H||TBC||-|
|24/02/2018||League||Ipswich – East Suffolk 1||A||TBC||-|
|03/03/2018||League||West Herts 2||H||12:00||-|
|14/03/2018||BUCS League||De Montfort University 1||A||13:00||-|
|17/03/2018||League||Waltham Forest 1||A||13:00||-|
My week began somewhere below Waterstones. I had paid six pounds to walk up and down a sweaty corridor and a further ten pounds to pour three yellow-coloured-sugar-waters down my throat and another over my head. I was understandably pretty confused by the state of affairs. At some point I decided to go home and, after a restless night interrupted by three or four big orange chuns, I cycled over to Spoons. Ciaran was munching down on chicken wings and trying to show me all the pictures he’d taken of club-goers kissing other club-goers the night before, but I was far more interested in keeping the lemonade I was slowly sipping inside my stomach. There were, admittedly, some sorry sights around the booth. Jim had managed to stay inside the club past midnight – a huge change of routine – and was looking worse for wear. Pymo’s chicken escalope lay uneaten, the sign of a man whose stomach was still not quite settled. Sides, wearing the only hockey kit he had left without any sick on, was perched on the end, slowly chipping away at his empire state burger.
Training that evening was not the relaxed affair I expected it to be. The boys had figured we should probably practice some shuffles which was fun for the first ten or so, then quite acutely became not so much fun as the injuries I had received the night before reared their ugly heads. Kirky had come up with a new shuffle technique in which he dribbled to the D and then proceeded to put the ball in the goal. This wasn’t a style I was particularly familiar with; most of my shuffles experience was from the Squanderers Varsity 2017, where the Infr*quents’ tactics mostly involved dribbling into the D and then not putting the ball in the goal.
The rest of the week wasn’t very eventful, as everyone was on drinking ban. I drank about 20 lime and sodas and didn’t go on any nights out. Apparently we got promoted in BUCS on Wednesday but I wouldn’t know as I was at the doctors getting diagnosed with hypochondria.
On Saturday we played Norwich for the third time this season, and lost for the third time this season. Bill Wyrd had a cracking game up top, but despite huge pressure we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net (apart from the one time we did). Luckily we at least managed to avoid any injuries a week before BDOTY: Toto did get hit on the head at one point but the umpire seemed to be more concerned with the state of his knees. At the end of the day, their keeper was pretty good at keeping the ball out of the goal, and we were pretty bad at it. We did try not using a keeper right at the end, but that only seemed to make things worse. A post-game DoS meeting (attended late and in full CUHC tracksuit) meant I wasn’t present to defend myself at the DoD impeachment, so be sure to catch me at varsity swap next week wearing Tristan’s trousers.
MoM: Will Byrd
DoD: Toby Brooks
We played some hockey against Wisbech and we won which was nice but Captain Kirk said not to drink to celebrate because we were playing again in the ‘morrow and that was sad because we had finally won a game and we couldn’t P(ost)MB but we assented apart from some silly second year who went and played boozy golf instead and got DoD accordingly. It was ok because we won again the day after in a game about which he will do some writing but for now let’s consider our match because frankly it was quite exciting and DimiStyli scored some flicks which was a CoR but no-one mentioned that to him because he would have whacked us with his long flailing limbs in training in the week after. I got a stupid DoD for P(re)MBing which I didn’t even do I just posted a hardcore story of the phouse boys not messing around which we were not doing and I think it is stupid to not allow the bulk buying of the 104g sugar light blue venkatesans in pyman’s basement. I am struggling to really remember what else happened because as a fresher historian with so many contact hours I have been so busy that I am only writing this report now in mid-February so as a good historian does one must be prudent and consider the events of the best weekend of our season and see the impact of them on today’s world. Bill Wyrd was injured for the only two games we have won this season and when he returned we lost again therefore one can infer that his is an influence one can consider as being wholly pejorative in relation to the fortunes of the Wanderers. One must reconcile this with the fact that he is not a snake like Shcampkin and Jonathan Sharke (the twenty-year-old fresher) and he has stayed with the Wanderers through bad times and worse times and the worst times which is surprising because he is not normally known to be faithful. In the time that has elapsed between us beating two teams in two days we have lost to two teams in two weeks and if West Herts twos get two points from their remaining games and we don’t win all of ours then we make up one of the bottom two and go down which is bad because we as Cambridge Uni twos don’t want to be two leagues below the Blues. It is sad that this is the current state of affairs but when we crush Oxford in T-7 days I hope some of this pain will be assuaged by a combination of elation and intoxication. Captain Kirk did sagely comment the other day that he enjoyed winning Varsity more than he did losing it and it is this elite level of nuanced insight which makes him the inspirational captain that he is.
Sorry for this report being late, I’m usually good at being on time.
MoM: Jim Dickinson
DoD: Tristan Hipper
We went to Bourne Deeping, which I am still not convinced is a real place; indeed the only semblance of reality was us losing, once again. The dystopian middle school and weird yurt-like structures in the playground provided an unusual backdrop for the Wanderers to fold in the first half, fight back well in the second and get edged out at the end, a synopsis which could be applied to most of our games this season. Bourne Deeping weren’t amazing but they were hardly weak, and some clinical finishing put us on the back foot early on. The final score being 5-3 is an indicator of the fight we showed, and we created more chances in the second half of the game than we have all season. When the Beds turned up we were without a keeper, as Brooks took a blow beneath the padding – a concept that seemed beyond most of their players (“he’s wearing padding, how can he be injured” (he’s not a juggernaut or a marine, he’s a second year NatSci)) and, despite Totton kicking back and relaxing (terrible joke, sorry), we conceded one more when pushing for that coveted equaliser. MoM was Totton, who had a blinder and was let down by his central defensive partner, who picked up an undeserved DoD. A perfunctory match report, perhaps, but it was a pretty bleak day out in the driving rain. Harry Peng’s merriment at his date the night before (sorry Nomads, the man’s in love), and the top chat dished out as ever by the boissssss, made the day that much better, however. UTW and GDBO, as ever.
MoM: Louis Totton
DoD: Tristan Hipper
On Saturday 4th The Wanderers went to Norwich city
Came back with no points again, what a pity!
The day began as some Cambridge chemists were having a hoot
As Tim VK cycled to Wilby with six meal deals from boots
Soaking wet everyone collected their food
And got into their respective cars in slightly better moods
But Ian was determined not to be late
Jumping some red lights, inadvertently tempting fate
And guaranteeing his late fines this week would not be so weighty
He took his Zipcar up to eighty
The game itself was full of a thrills
For it really was a battle of wills
The game started and with just seconds on the clock
Unfortunately they scored, what a shock!
Determined for this not to be a repeat of the cup game
The team ran hard, deserving of the Wanderers name
And giving heart and soul
A short and a flick from Deme gave us a goal
Like Tom Daley, an unsuccessful dive for a deflection from Dan
But oh dear a short, and at the top of our D was their man
And unfortunately it went into the back of the net
And we lost the game 2-1 in the wet
Now at least let’s take a look at the last few days
For the Wanderers have been making stories in numerous ways
Congratulations to our own Jono Parke
Man of the match and four goals midweek he left his mark
In Leicester, people were likening him to Jamie Vardy
But with no jugs for the wandies – he wasn’t having a party
Wednesday evening brought a change of routine from Ed
However he ended the night in his own bed
We were sad to see Toby Brookes did not hang around Cindies long
He went back to bed to right a wrong.
And so as the night got later, finding members of CUHC got harder
But those lucky few witnessed a performance straight from RADA
Starring James Campkin doing his best impresesion of Captain Hook
And Tristan taking a leaf out of his book.
Alas This is all the stories of the week that have come to light
But we hope for many more after Pub golf and an eventful Sunday night
MoM: Jonathon Parke
DoD: Ollie Rose
The Wandies having had quite a rough start to the season this year were eager to get their first win at the away game versus Wisbech – they didn’t. The day started positively with Ian Johnston not being late for once and Thorpy being fully charged, but went pretty much downhill from then on. One of the drivers, having not driven in 5 years before that morning managed to get himself pulled over by the police for an alcohol test due to wobbly manoeuvres on the motorway. Pmbing was confirmed. Relevant actions have been taken. After the team had safely arrived in Wisbech and warmed up, the game was on. The Wandies had a good solid start to begin with, dominating the opposition and not letting them out of their own 25. With a few early shorts the game was looking good. It was about 10 minutes into the game where the first counter attack happened which of course Sides and Hipper had completely under control up until Sides thought he would have a go at the guys legs, taking him out with single stroke. The umpires did not appreciate. To their suprise they scored the short corner which put them in the lead. They scored a similar second goal from another counter attack. By then the Wandies upped their game and managed to score a spectacular outfield goal with Byrd binning a deflection top right. The time had run out by then leaving the game at a non representative 2-1 loss.
Actual MoM: Ian Johnstone
Actual DoD: Demetris Stylianou
The Wandies were playing away this week on St John’s pitches against a Cam City 2s side coming off the back of a defeat the previous week, their defence clearly leakier than ours which held strong against the might of Havering. That said, we were very aware of their quality, and, after imparting our wisdom to the Blues, we left Willbyrdforce Road in good time so as to give ourselves adequate time to prepare. There were a couple of mishaps on the way there, mind, with Lindars falling foul of a John’s porter and I myself being unable to figure out how to get into John’s pitches, expecting a large, brash Johnian entrance rather than a small garden gate. Indeed, the only fresher to travel well was debutant Jason, whose hockey prowess and Leeds accent won him a new best friend in Kirky, whether he liked it or not. Once a Cam City team had finished mauling their opposition we were able to get on the pitch, and lining up we were glad to be bolstered by the return of Totton and Cup-Munching Campkin to our ranks. We had some inside information from a certain Ed Bottomley that their short corner had borne little, if any, fruit so far this season, so we rested safe in the knowledge that Toby would take care of their drag flicker, who promptly dumped about 25 into the top corner in the space of a minute. On the back foot from the outset we found it hard to play the flowing hockey characteristic of the Wandies this season, and so we had to adapt, Demi tactic of chucking aerials over Botters’s head for a marauding Campkin probably a better approach than mine of playing the ball onto their striker’s open stick time and again. We had some fantastic chances, Gibson hitting the post and Stebbing hitting the corner flag, but found ourselves nonetheless 4-0 down at half time after a disappointing first 35. The assembled crowd thinned slightly at this point as it started to rain, #fitharry having seen enough and deciding to go and woo some Nomads, or else return to Catz to try to dig the absent Robbie Zhao out of the woodwork. Jim’s parents stayed, though, perhaps glad to see a Dickinson on the winning side for once. The second half was a similar affair, in that simple balls wouldn’t be being completed across the board, which was irritating as the Wandies are known for our slick passing. Cam City came at us with all guns blazing again, Toby making some smart saves in between getting beaten by a scorcher of a drag flick from a short which should never have been and kicking Botterill in the head. MoM Campkin dribbled for all he was worth but ultimately we ended up not scoring for another game, the result being a resounding 6-0. A disappointing game for the Wandies, who can play at a far higher level and get results against teams such as Cam City 2s and Norwich, against whom we play tomorrow in the cup.
MoM: James Campkin
DoD: Tristan Hipper
The Wanderers (with the exception of Ethan) were no longer hanging from the previous week’s eventful WCs and recovered without some dignity and a bath mat. The Wandies were excited after a strong performance against CoP the week before, were keen to maintain momentum and add to grand total of nil pwa. Slightly disappointingly a few fresh were missing, bafflingly prioritising matriculation over the Wanderers. Despite this we were keen to play expansive, passing CUHC hockey. The first half was a thrilling affair with both teams neck and neck at nil all. A gritty performance which left many of the spectators thinking they would rather have gone to their DoS’s freshers matriculation speech. The second half showed more of the same, some good build up play but we were unable to break down Havering’s defence. Our press coming together beautifully with some killer splits after the fifth transfer. The game ended nil all. A disappointing result but many positives for the rest of the season and everyone excited for the upcoming freshers week.
DoD: Ollie Rose
Going in to Saturday’s game the Wanderers knew they’d be faced with a tough challenge. A new team with many fresh faces we were unsure what to expect especially when facing last years winners of the league. However the Wandies started off the new season well with a very solid first half. Managing to keep calm under intense pressure from the Peterborough forwards the defence were able to link up well with the midfield to work the ball forwards and create many chances although struggled to convert. The first half ended nil all plus 0 with an even split. The second half started with a lovely passing play to win a short corner and up stepped top flicker Edward Sides who with incredible precision managed to find the exact point on the 1 runners foot that would deflect the ball between the keepers legs. Unfortunately a lapse in concentration allowed CoP to reply almost instantly and the wandies found themselves level again. Despite continued strong play and managing to penetrate the D we were unable to score another. Towards the end of the match the wandies found themselves defending a corner and, although managing to keep the first shot out, a scrappy second attempt was bundled in to give Peterborough the lead. Finding themselves a goal down the wandies showed a lot of heart in searching for an equaliser however the final whistle blew and the game finished 2-1. Unlucky to not come away with a point the boys were able to take a lot of positives from the match and are looking forward to a strong season ahead. Saturday night saw the first CUHC social of the year filled with as many antics as can be expected from the boys. Notable events include a fresher leaving Hawks to buy a soft drink and leaving his card at Sainsbury’s, a medic crawling naked through a corridor demanding an ambulance be called for him, a prolapsed haemorrhoid and something a lot worse than James Campkin being found in a garden. Overall this years crop of fresh talent fit in well with the team both on and off the pitch and we’re looking forward the rest of the season continuing in a similar fashion.
|Date||Match type||Opposition||Venue||PB Time||Score|
|24/09/16||League||Waltham Forest 1||A||1300||0-1|
|01/10/16||League||Old Southendian 1||H||1200||5-2|
|08/10/16||League||Wisbech Town 1||A||1345||2-2|
|12/10/16||Bucs League||Nott Trent 4||A||TBC||-|
|19/10/16||Bucs League||Oxf*rd Brookes 4||H||1630||-|
|22/10/16||League||City of Peterborough 2||A||1430||3-1|
|29/10/16||League||Norwich City 1||H||1200||4-3|
|02/11/16||Bucs League||Harper Adams 2||A||TBC||-|
|16/11/16||Bucs League||UEA 2||A||TBC||-|
|23/11/16||Bucs Cup||Nott Trent 4||H||TBC||-|
|26/11/16||League||West Herts 2||A||1500||4-2|
|30/11/16||Bucs League||ARU 1||H||TBC||-|
|07/12/16||Bucs League||Nott Trent 4||H||TBC||-|
|14/01/16||League||Waltham Forest 1||H||1200||1-2|
|21/02/16||League||Old Southendian 1||A||1330||1-4|
|28/01/16||League||Wisbech Town 1||H||1200||2-4|
|01/01/16||Bucs League||Oxf*rd Brookes 4||A||1700||-|
|08/02/16||Bucs League||Harper Adams 2||H||TBC||-|
|11/02/16||League||City of Peterborough 2||H||1200||4-2|
|22/02/16||Bucs League||UEA 2||H||TBC||-|
|25/02/16||League||Norwich City 1||A||1300||2-2|
|15/03/16||Bucs League||ARU 1||A||TBC||-|
|25/03/16||League||West Herts 2||H||1200||2-1|
No match report.
No match report.
DoD: ??11/03/17 Wanderers 1-1 Felixstowe 1s| MoM Alex Harper
No match report.
Mehlig and Jerv, having spent a whole car journey plotting, were well prepared for fines post match. I’m told they used much of this car journey to choose who they wanted to get DoD this week. Their first choice was Jim until apparently Mehlig decided they should pick on me. Jerv then saw the opportunity to turn heads away from his embarassment at kit swap (being knocked out by a slap) and, after an unsuccessful attempt to persuade me to vote for myself, they managed to persuade the Wanderers, with the help of Em (who had clear memory of the kit swap evening), that I should be DoD.
In the hockey, we drew 2-2. In the first half, some class play from Duckers and Huggles meant lots of corners were won. Some ridiculous skills from Duckers led to two of their men running into each other and Duckers which meant one of them got sent off and we got a corner. A Botswana on Jim and another attempted Botté gave us our two goals.
Sunday was all a bit of a blur, we won 5-2 and then swapped with Oxf*rd. There was some distinctly poor to moderately average chat on the Wandies table as the Oxf*rd grills had little to offer. Beyond that my memory of the night is iminmal. I’m told it was eventful.
Every year before varsity we take some photos and update our profile pics and this year was no different. Duckers hasn’t changed his yet because he’s too edgy but Jerv is killing it, already with his double tonne. We also had some team photos and one has bev in the background which Webster posted on the group chat so we could all have a laugh post game vs Peterborough. After playing them and losing in Michaelmas, we trained how to counter their unusual press and reminded ourselves to mark their guy in the middle with the quick hands but we shouldntve bothered because they pressed differently and the player had been promoted to their 1s. Right from pushback however, they scored a rubbish goal because we weren’t marking at the back post. Despite this, and despite the fact they were top of the league, we were still determined to win. Soon after, we won a long corner and I said to arch, mate if I pass you the ball you can dribble round their players at the top and bin one in the top corner it’ll probably be a goal so that’s what we tried. It worked! D penetrations kept coming and juggs scored some good goals with his hockey stick which he celebrated. Everyone got sent the video on the aforementioned group chat and juggs showed all 4 of his friends because he was so proud of himself. Soon after, they got a corner and I said to sides ‘sides if it comes at you stop it with your stick and it will probably not go in’. Fortunately, he listened and this is what happened and sides spectacularly scorpion kicked the ball with his stick out of the goal. Originally, our plan was to score and not let them score but they did score again. Raucous chat on the sideline from Larman persuaded them to throw a massive aerial which somehow found its way into our goal. Dangerous dan was being dangerous once again because there was a triangle between me jim and him (who’s triangle is it though I hear you ask?) (that’s not how the game works though I hear your cry and you’d be correct) and he got another goal. Overall had it not been for injury I think he would be the club top scorer but who knows, but we won 4-2 against top of the league! Despite Lindsay pmbing, I got voted DoD because of pointing this fact out to a friendly thorn bush during the warm down, although it was probably because we had the full club swap last night and I had to wear ridiculous trousers and everyone knows they don’t fit me, AND Mayes made me write a match report even though he already wrote one for the bluebird which I thought was well unfair but I did it anyways is this ok Mayes? Obviously I went off on a tangent because I’m a bit hungover and bored oh yeah Tim VK smashed his head in but he just posted on the chat so he’s alive what a warrior. Knowing this actually makes me want to change my vote of favourite VK from that shitty red one to Tim oh and read the first letter of each sentence for a special surprise thanks.?.
Apologies for the lack of chat in this match report. I used all mine up in last week’s, thinking it impossible the snakes of the wanderers would DID me two weeks in a row #Justice4Jugs #NotMyDOD
The wanderers managed to field a strong team this week despite a few midweek injuries including Kirky “breaking” his wrist on the journey from Hawks to spoons after losing the ability to walk. Good to know the wanderers look out for each other with one of the medics to hand Matt Jervis laughing at the poor fresher before deciding to help, whilst the other, Jim Dickinson, decided to stand around taking pictures. Saturday night ended with an important 3am tactics session in maccies and nothing else happened.
Pres for Perrys 20+2nd on Sunday included boring captain WArch sitting in the corner looking at American football scores and then leaving early, VC Jim Dickinson lending coach Thorpedo clothes to head to life in, and an anonymous women’s club captain doing a number on Jim’s sink.
Wednesday night saw the annual pub cricket match take place, no one can really remember much from that night but according to Jim, Hugh was both “terrible batsman and terrible chatsman”.
On Saturday morning the wanderers had a slow start having problems with both zip cars leading to a rookie 20+1 error by DoD Schute and a failure to start from Mehlig. Despite our slow start out car managed to get to old southendians well before anyone else where a lovely old man declared Schute a “god” as he climbed out the car (watch out Isobel).
Old Southendians took an early lead with a scrappy goal but the wanderers were quick to answer and Jugs managed to equalise before Dogger snaked Mehlig’s O2 to take the lead just before half time. Captain Archibald’s rousing team talk at half time inspired the Wandies on and we managed to score again after some exceptional skill from Campkin on the baseline, taking on the same players 3 times before laying he ball off to fresher Ciaran to score an easy finish. Mehlig finished the scoring with another 5 yard finish after a short corner, he’s still not managed to figure out how to score from behind the penalty spot. The wanderers managed to keep old southendians out despite increased pressure and the score finished 4-1 to the “best team in CUHC” according to Matt diesel. #WanderersWinAway
After the match the changing room floor became wetter than Chris Webster as the shower flooded and we had to relocate. MoM/DoD and fines happened and I got DoD and a max out despite offering £18 (which I thought would’ve been harsh anyway). Spirits are high on the journey back and the boys are ready for a large weekend welcoming back the old boys.
After a long Christmas break, the Wanderers had their first game back home against Waltham Forest. Following a week of training and a pre-match dinner watching PABLO HERNANDEZ, the Wanderers were pumped for a good start to the Lent term season against a team beaten last season. The Wanderers started off strong, playing simple and solid hockey with good passing around, with linkages being made across all the positions. However, the conversion of the opportunities did not come for the Wanderers and then after conceding a short-corner, Waltham Forest could finish a rebound making it 0-1. Shortly before half time, after two short corners in favour of the Wanderers, Mr Parry executes a great solo effort through the middle of the circle to push into the Waltham goal. 1-1 half time.
Realising the lapse in concentration in the middle of the first half, the Wanderers were keen to prevent this and maintain the pressure that was put on Waltham at the beginning and end of the first half. After some scary moments for the Wanderers where Waltham broke away and some great saves were made by goalkeeper Elliot Lindsay to keep the Wanderers in the game. Despite multiple attempts by the Wandies around the circle, the lack of circle penetrations resulted in a lack of goals for the Wanderers. In the final five minutes, Waltham earned the short corner that allowed them to score their second goal on the line off a rebound. Final score, 1-2 to Waltham Forest. The Wanderers will be working hard over the coming weeks to bounce back stronger from this defeat.
This travesty and disappointing result was made worse by the appoint of Alex Mayes as fines master for the weekend, since our injury prone VC was, yet again, injured. The plot thickened when the coup against this week’s DoD was set up in his absence, leading to this match report being written reluctantly and under duress.
MoM: Hugo Parry
DoD: Thomas Schute
The Wanderers travelled away to Spalding; the pitch is a very slick one and the last time we played here, we won 7-5 in a goal fest, so we went in expecting a high scoring game. The race in the cars to get to Spalding was very close this week but our car, driven by Mayes and with DJ-ing and directions by yours truly, pipped the others to the finish line, arriving in style with Pirates of the Caribbean music blaring out.
As for the game itself, the Wanderers had a very solid first half, passing the ball calmly stick-to-stick. Plenty of circle entries followed and goals by Kirkpatrick and Mehlig gave the Wanderers a 2-0 going in half time. The goal by Mehlig was particularly impressive: after controlling the ball across his body with an exquisite first touch, he proceeded to dink the ball over the keeper on the reverse stick!
The Wanderers had a poor start to the second half, conceding four goals to an opposition that were revitalised after the half-time break. One of the Spalding goals deserves a mention here because even though it was disappointing to concede, it was an example of excellent hockey. One of the Spalding midfielders executed a precision reverse hit over at least 30 yards to a forward stood close to the top of the D; the forward then coolly slotted the ball in at the near post. But the Wanderers were determined to fight back into the game and the steel of every player was apparent to the Spalding spectators who started to get agitated, having realised that a Spalding win was no longer secured. Multiple Cambridge short corners ensued and we scored three, with one disallowed goal. The goals were a top-******** corner drag flick by Jervis, a classic Oxf*rd 2 scored by Mehlig and assisted by Parry, and a backboard level flick in the ******** corner by Archibald. Spalding continued to fight back and eventually put away a short corner of their own. 5-5. And that was how the game ended. What a game – well played everyone!
After the match, we were treated to hot dogs and a spot of table tennis in the Spalding clubhouse. Following teas, we set off back to Cambridge for Christmas Dinner, the details of which are not website material.
MoM: Mehlig for two well taken goals and working hard in midfield all game
DoD*: Canis Canis
*From now on, I propose that DoD stands for ‘donkey of the day’ instead of the ruder alternative.
We started the match really well, scoring 2 quick goals. I think dan scored one (because he normally does) and Jim is claiming the other (because he is a snake). We then fell apart in the second half and lost 4-2. Everyone was very disappointed.
That’s all I can remember, as the match was two weeks ago. I probably should have written this earlier.
MoM: Alex Kirkpatrick
DoD: Hugh Judge
The Wanderers weren’t happy with me this week. Someone had even started a campaign for #Mayes4DoD well before this Saturday. I think that’s quite unfair because usually people don’t throw out DoD shouts until late Friday at the earliest, but it seemed the boys had decided I was going to be DoD well before noon on Thursday.
We had pre’s at mine on Wednesday. I think that in itself shows my dedication to the Wanderers, but apparently there is no honour among snakes. They all said I was a sub-par host because I didn’t have cards and didn’t have dice, but I tidied up for a whole 20 minutes and even allowed them to play Wandies Bangers© on my computer so really I thought that was all a little ungrateful.
Lots happened in the cloob. Apparently it was all DoDable, but I think it was just a fun night. Jym was really boring – maybe because he didn’t come to my class pres – so someone had to make a commotion. I took the challenge faces-on. Oh, also, I lost my bank card and perhaps what little dignity I have been left with after 2 years of CUHC. That hasn’t affected me paying for Christmas Dinner or my subs though – I just can’t pay my fines.
I went to Wilby for about 10AM on Saturday. That’s quite usual for home games because there Beds are there. The pitch was frozen though. I was really disappointed as we were going to smash Wisbech. The umpires said it would be dangerous though, and appealed to my umpiring sensibility. I walked away. Wisbech had left at 8:30AM. I did not feel sorry for them.
The boys didn’t believe that the pitch could have been frozen because it wasn’t that cold last night. It was frozen. I told them it was, because I was there. They didn’t believe me though. It was actually frozen. Like, imagine that a hockey pitch had frozen and wasn’t thawing out – that was what it was like.
Jam, Kyrk and Sodes all came down to the pitch early. They were keen to watch the Beds despite me telling them there was no match. We messed around a little bit, but then went inside because it was cold and also it was the meet time. Jom called the changing room salle de change, clearly looking for a nibble. I nibbled, but only because I think we should all exploit these moments for educational purposes. I corrected him and said it was a vestiaire. He ignored me.
We warmed up on the pitch. This is quite unusual but because the Beds weren’t playing their match, we took advantage of the extra time. I was quite tight from the warm-up, so I stretched. Everyone else did sprints. That’s okay, I was going to work hard on the pitch.
We started the match quite well, passing the ball and so on. Blueharts got a corner because Kerk tackled an attacker cleanly and apparently that’s not okay. I mean, I’d have let it go as a tackle, but apparently it was a corner. Maybe I’ve lost my touch. They scored.
We scored pretty quickly afterwards though. I played a really risky ball across the middle of the pitch. I think it threw Blueharts, because they didn’t really react to the good couple of passes that followed it, leading to a goal by recently promoted Thyme. Half Time was nil all plus two with an even split.
Thurpé said some words at HT. She’s really good at giving us advice. I wish I could coach as well as she did – apparently shouting “play hockey!” every match isn’t constructive enough for the Beds. So demanding. I let Thirpy come to my boring pre’s on Wednesday to thank her. She didn’t say my pre’s were sub-par, so she is officially my favourite Wanderer.
We played okay in the second half. Apparently Lurman did the Red press really well – I don’t know about that; I only play in defence so I literally have no idea what any of the presses are or do. I think he must have done it well otherwise no one would have said that.
Blueharts scored a second goal. It was a deflection. Nobody cheered.
We defended quite well I think. The umpire thought we were a bit rough though. Jarvit got sent off because he pushed some poor boy over. He tried to argue that he didn’t and that the boy slipped, but the Wanderers is a team of snakes and I am apprehensive as to whether we should believe him. Some of us disagreed quite loudly with the umpires. I won’t name names because we all know it was me.
We actually scored a second goal, but the umpires didn’t agree. Kendal decided to use his stick to put the ball in the goal off of a short corner. I don’t know how they do it back in New Zealand, but you can’t simply be deflecting the ball off your stick into a goal and expect to get away with it.
After the match we went to get showered. That’s quite normal. I had brought all of my stuff except my shoes. I naively believed that astros counted as post-match attire, but the boys disagreed. At least I had a tie though, so that was almost a saving grace. We ate some food and went down to the Women’s Blues match to cause a bit of mayhem. I thought that I had already caused enough mayhem on Wednesday, but the boys were having none of that excuse. I didn’t get a seat in the dugout because the boys had basically already decided I was DoD. I thought that was discriminatory, since Digger hasn’t been DoD yet and it was surely his turn.
Some of the boys thought it would be helpful to let the umpires know what they had missed. Umpiring is a hard job though, and we shouldn’t be too harsh on them. I sided with the Wanderers though and started shouting too. They gave a stroke which we thought was a stroke and everyone patted themselves on the back. Sally stepped up to take it though – we didn’t really know what to expect. It went in the goal though, which is better than Sudes managed in a BUCS game not long ago. (How did he not get DoD that week?).
The umpire took about 20 minutes to decide that we shouldn’t be on the sideline of the pitch but should be outside the fencing. We always get taught that being proactive in management is best, so I thought that was quite slow. To make up for the fact we were now half a yard back from where we were, we shouted a little bit louder. From the pitch, it sounded like it was all at the same level of volume, but I guarantee it was louder.
I told the boys that fines were taking too long. Too many people were interested in watching the grills play. Usually I’m up for that, but I had a seminar today about my dissertation and was already an half an hour late at this point. Professor Whaley didn’t mind in the end, though he did tell me off for quite lazily using the word ‘nation’ instead of ‘territories’ in my presentation to the group. I told him that I had had a rough day.
Fines eventually got to me though, about an hour into the seminar I was going to be late to. The boys were quite mean-spirited about my escapades. It was almost as if they were jealous about how fun I can be. I said that I still couldn’t believe I was DoD. The boys asked if I was joking. I nodded, even though I was not. I almost got away with 19.90£ until I remembered I couldn’t Tilt the money over because I had lost my card. I said I’ll take the max out, like the honorable gentleman my mother taught me to be.
MoM: Alex Kendall
DoD: Alex Mayes
Cycling through driving rain and into the wind to pick up a Zipcar from Trumpington was not how I wished to start my Saturday, especially as I’ve been a bit under the weather recently because of being “too committed” to CUHC – my GP’s words not mine. Upon finishing the arduous journey I stripped off my tracksuit bottoms which were already rendered far too wet to be of any use that day. This is where the negatives ended for both myself and the Wanderers, and not just because I found my Zipcar to be an automatic, minimising my chances of gaining an Alex Kendall memorial fine on a road of slight incline. After picking up my partner in midfield crime Kirkpatrick I cruised to Wilby arriving only 10 minutes after the meet time, a feat to be attributed to my careful driving in difficult road conditions.
On the journey to Felixstowe Brooks Jr told us of how he enjoyed a pint at Clare Ents the previous night, an action far more deserving of DoD than any of my own. Blasting down the A14 to such tracks as There Is a Light That Never Goes Out and Street Spirit (Fade Out) heightened our mood, and the changing room atmosphere was one of expectant tension – we were ready to put in a serious performance. Some less hype songs were played in the changing rooms but it was obvious that every man on the pitch wanted a result.
The match commenced. Dickinson opened the scoring but unfortunately that was at a different time and place. Jervis had a rocky start to the match but slowly got into it, to the point where Felixstowe had to adopt a “mark their right back” press, which was fairly easy to counter with a dynamic “pass to Mayes” outlet strategy that brought the Wanderers a lot of joy. I discovered that if I picked the ball up in their 25 and rolled out strong then the defenders would either foul me or let me go and score. I managed to rack up no goals but I earned some short corners which we eventually scored from. Mehlig bagged an O*ford 2 as usual, this one was from approximately 1.5 yards out making it his longest range goal in his CUHC career. Their number 1 runner was quite quick off the mark and so captain Archibald made the decision to keep flicking it into his foot until he got tired. On our seventh consecutive penalty corner their runner wasn’t quite so fast due to his bruised metatarsal and Jervis popped a drag flick between the posts. Wanderers kept up the pressure and I won a free hit in the middle of the park. Captain Archibald shouted at me that I should’ve just transferred it to Mayes but I have actually been to a Blues training session and their coach told me not to bother passing from right to left because it’s not as good. To prove to Archibald that I didn’t need his advice I slapped the ball off the side of the pitch.
Overall link up play between the defence and midfield was excellent, Sides myself and our esteemed coach having shared an experience on Wednesday night that brought us all closer together and greatly improved on pitch synergy. A half time team talk consisting primarily of “the Blues managed to throw away a 2-0 lead last week” scared the Wanderers into action, and we started the second half with intensity. Felixstowe pressed very high, chasing the game, but we soaked up the pressure well and Kendall won a short on a counter attack. Archibald suggested that we run an O*ford 1 routine but then when it came to the short corner he just slotted it bottom right which personally I thought was unfair on Judge who looked like he really wanted a goal. Also, Archibald only let me try one Botswana this week, I don’t know what I’ve done to annoy him because I’ve been buying his girlfriend lots of drinks which I thought was quite nice of me. Keeper Brooks had a stellar game in goal and we were unfortunate to concede, possibly this was to do with him suffering from the back end of a conjunctivitis infection, Jervis later suggesting that perhaps it was in fact “conjunctivEYEtis” – a play on words which earned him a silent room and a £13 fine. The Wanderers held on to their 3-1 lead to bring home the victory.
Emotions running high after a well-earned win the Wanderers decided that we were all going to Hawks to celebrate, and so Sides and myself went to Hawks to celebrate. Thankfully some of the Blues were in there so we didn’t have to date. The Blues were kind enough to invite me to a swap with the Women’s Blues which I started to get really excited for, but then they cancelled it while I was still there. I’m not really sure why I got DoD this week but then again I also got MoM so I can’t complain. Cracking performance from the Wanderers – everybody who played should be proud of their work rate and composure. Notable mentions go to Alex Kendall, Dan Mehlig and Toby Brooks for impressive performances on the pitch, and another mention to Toby Brooks for quality DJing in the car on the way home.
DoD: Also Jim.
A long time ago, before even Kirky was a plucky fresher, there was a day that went down in CUHC history. In a city no one wishes to talk about, the Light Blues destroyed the dark side in a 15-3 2’s/3’s Varisty. The Beds started the day off with a tight 1-1 draw, however they seemed to not have realised that Varsity ends in shuffles, and due to a lack of practice they slipped to a disappointing defeat. The Squanderers who were up next were un-phased. The newly crowned “best team in CUHC” knew that this was their time and that the centre back pairing of two fresher’s, Mayes and Archibald, would provide the best base to lead the attack. 70 minutes of Oxf*rd tears ensued with a dominant 5-2 victory, with MoM Archibald (joint with Duffin) topping the score sheet with two deadly corners. The rest of that years ‘best day ever’ went by in a bit of a blur with the other place haemorrhaging goals to the Light Blues, the Nomads and the Wanderers (this years ‘best team in CUHC’ according to our Webmaster) both winning 5-0.
No one knows what happened in Oxf*rd that evening after the Light Blues’ domination, but the next day after the smoke cleared one happy fresher who was destined to be Wanderers captain emerged with a trophy. He had nabbed an LosersHC Occ*sion*ls tie and would wear this trophy in the future to remember this momentous day, not knowing that one day his team would screw him over for his hard earned trophy.
Back to the present day, the aforementioned Wanderers captain knew his number was up but wanted to sweeten his imminent DoD with a victory to put the Wanderers fighting at the top of the league. After a good warmup on a freezing cold Wilby Saturday the Wanderers started slowly. They obviously weren’t warm enough as IES ran rings around them in the first 10 and had a flurry of chances. Some last ditch defending from all of the back four as well as a few choice saves from Lindasy kept IES at bay long enough for the Wandies to get their heads in the game. The next 25 minuets saw some beautiful hockey, flowing passes and deadly leading all culminating in a textbook O2, putting Mehlig top of the Wandies season score sheet.
The second half was one to forget for the Light Blues. A loss in composure with the thrill of being 1-0 at home allowed IES dictate the play. After a period of constant defence the dam finally broke and IES slipped in a near post deflection. This acted as a jump-start for the Wandies, marking the start of a brief resurgence. All out attack ended up to be their downfall though as the repeated counter attacking from IES finally paid dividends with a goal late in the half sealing the 2-1 defeat.
The Wanderers, hosting Norwich City at Wilby, were eager to overturn their recent run of league form and secure 3 valuable points. Starting dominantly but conceding a couple of cheap goals led the Wandies to be 2-1 down with the last play of the first half to go – a shorty in our favour.
A concentrated hour of quality PCA on Friday paid dividends as the 2nd Botswana of the match flew into the back of the net. Buzzing from a combination of the equaliser and a motivational team talk, the Wandies started the 2nd half strongly, promptly winning another penalty corner.
There was no debate at the top of the circle: hearing the cry of the endangered African Wild dog from a landlocked country all of 5450 miles away, the call was for just one more botty.
The ball skimming past the left ear of the Norwich post-man left opposition mouths drier than the Kalahari Desert itself. The hatrick of Botswanas was complete. Mehlig then scored from open play, joining Jim and Judge on the scoresheet and taking control of the game. Despite conceding late, the Wanderers managed to grind out the 4-3 win, a superb team effort and great result.
MoM: Will Arch
DoD: Matt Roberts
The Wanderers headed into the weekend looking for a change in fortunes after being embarrassed by a feeble Sides flick midweek that was so bad it had the whole of the south of England (or Bournemouth Uni Men’s hockey team) screaming for him to be DoD. They aimed to do this against City of Peterborough away, but the game was almost over before it began as Fresher of the Year Flaherty was assigned the role of sat nav. The only reasonable explanation is that he misheard and thought VC Dickinson said ‘shat nav’ and promptly decided to give directions to Exeter rather than Peterborough. Nonetheless, the whole team eventually arrived before push back, but this had an obvious effect, conceding an early goal. A vicious kung-fu kick to the face of Kirkpatrick followed by a ball to the neck that left a huge visible bruise showed early that this would be a tougher match than those previously this season. However, it was a couple of moments of individual brilliance bamboozling the defence that saw Peterborough go into half time 3 up, despite the best efforts of MoM Lindsay.
A speech by captain Archibald at half time, likened by some to such great motivators as Leeds United great Lucas Radabe, made it clear that penalty corners would be our most likely way to get back in the game. This must have been lost in translation to international import Schute as he watched the telegraphed England 3 sail past him into the sunset. Mehlig had better luck however, sliding in like a slippery Sol Campbell to deflect past the keeper and reduce the deficit. Despite pressing well for the rest of the game, the Wanderers had to make do with a 3-1 loss as the stubborn defence of Peterborough stood firm. The Wanderers will hope to improve on this result next weekend against Norwich City, especially with fresher legs after skipping BUCS on Wednesday to prioritise watching Donald Trump successfully win the Great British Bake Off.
MoM: Elliot Lindsay
DoD: Alex Kirkpatrick
On Saturday the Wanderers took on Havering at the Wilberfortress. The game started with the Wanderers having most of the possession despite Havering being a bit rough. After a good bit of play from Jerv who slipped the ball into fresher Ciaran, Ciaran shot wide. AJ prepared to come onto the pitch in his new CUHC kit of a white skin. Wandies gave away a cheap short, then went down 1 nil after a flick from Havering no. 7. Despite green cards for Havering the Wandies didn’t manage to convert their chances in the D and the score finished 1-0.
MoM: Alex Kirkpatrick
DoD: Ed Sides
Solid start from the Wandies on a slow and sandy pitch deep in the Fens, going 1-0 up early through Huge Jugs. However before the half was up we found ourselves 2-1 down, victim to a counter attack and a shorty. Roused by a stirring half time speech from William Archibald the Wanderers defended solidly and looked threatening even under a seemingly constant deluge of ariels. All seemed lost with minutes ticking by but a shift to a hectic red press and a further step up in intensity inspired Kirky to finish a ball delivered in by Schute through a touch from Jugs with just seconds to go to salvage a deserved point from the game.
MoM: Hugh Judge
DoD: Ciaran Flaherty
For the Wanderers with aggressive pressing leading to a goal mouth scramble after a short corner, scored by Ciaran. For the rest of the first half the Wanderers continued to dominate with Sides scoring a spectacular goal. The second half then began with the home team starting slowly and conceding 2 goals in quick succession. The Wanderers though rallied through a great goal from will, and then continued to push for Ciaran to get his second and finally the scoring was called off with a deflection from Hugo. A good 5-2 win.
MoM: Ed Sides
DoD: Hugo Parry
Arriving on the beautifully laid pitch to cheers from the dominant crowd of Knoxxy and Sides’ dad the Wanderers felt something positive in the air. All over the pitch our pre season training kicked into gear allowing us to step our men and commit to some D penetrations. The first half passed without any goal but the Wanderers kept their heads up – it wasn’t long before our pressure and passing yielded a goal from Campkin who scored at an angle only usually attainable by Sam Cole of Squanderers fame. We managed to hold this lead until the final whistle thanks to some precision fouling from Dickinson, Demitrius and Sides who picked up green cards and gave away penalty flicks for their efforts. Overall a strong performance for this point in the Wanderers season and every player should be proud of the work he’s put in..
The Wandies had a great start to their 2016/17 season by scoring within the first 5 minutes, goal provided by Huge Jugs. Spalding were quick to reply though bringing the score back to 2-1 before the equaliser came from Thomas Schute. Spalding managed to pull ahead once more before the stroke of half time putting the score at 3-2. Despite an excellent second half accompanied by the music from the relay for life the Wandies couldn’t convert and the score finished 3-2 to Spalding.
|Date||Match type||Opposition||Venue||PB Time||Score|
|19/09/15||League||Spalding 1||H||1200||L 1-5|
|26/09/15||League||Waltham Forest 1||A||1300||L 2-3|
|03/10/15||League||Letchworth 1||H||1200||L 0-4|
|10/10/15||League||City of Peterborough 2||A||1430||L 1-3|
|11/10/15||2nd XI Cup||Spalding 2||A||1400||W 4-3|
|17/10/15||League||I-ES 1||H||1200||L 3-4|
|21/10/15||BUCS League||Aston University 2||H||1500||W 6-1|
|24/10/15||League||Long Sutton 1||H||1330||W 6-3|
|28/10/15||BUCS Cup||Lincoln University 2||H||1700||W 19-0|
|07/11/15||League||Harleston Magpies 2||H||1200||D 3-3|
|11/11/15||BUCS Cup||Warwick University 2||A||1300||W 5-3|
|14/11/15||League||Wisbech 1||A||1300||L 2-8|
|18/11/15||BUCS League||Harper Adams University 2||H||1500||W 9-0|
|21/11/15||League||Norwich City 1||H||1200||D 2-2|
|25/11/15||BUCS Cup||Oxford University 2||A||1310||W 3-1|
|28/11/15||League||Saffron Walden 1||A||1400||L 1-2|
|02/12/15||BUCS League||Nottingham Trent University 5||A||1445||W 21-2|
|12/12/15||League||Spalding 1||A||1400||W 7-5|
|09/01/16||League||Waltham Forest 2||H||1200||L 2-4|
|16/01/16||League||Letchworth 1||A||1400||L 3-5|
|17/01/16||League||City of Peterborough 2||H||1200||W 5-4|
|30/01/16||League||I-ES 1||A||1500||L 1-2|
|03/02/16||BUCS League||Nottingham University 6||H||1700||W 14-1|
|06/02/16||League||Long Sutton 1||A||1300||D 1-1|
|10/02/16||BUCS League||Leicester University 3||H||1700||W 15-1|
|13/02/16||League||Felixstowe 1||H||1200||W 5-1|
|17/02/16||BUCS Cup||University of Birmingham 4||A||1415||L 2-3|
|21/02/16||Varsity Match||Oxford Occasionals||A||1645||L 2-4|
|27/02/16||League||Harleston Magpies 2||A||1200||W 5-0 (AW)|
|05/03/16||League||Wisbech 1||H||1030||W 6-2|
|12/03/16||League||Norwich City 1||A||1130||L 1-3|
|19/03/16||League||Saffron Walden 1||H||1200||L 1-7|
So we made sure we arrived on time and got warmed up and all, after all we are trying to escape a relegation battle. Game face on and we were ready to go. As the first match after varsity we did not lose heart and slack off, the boys knew we had to keep up the tempo which they did well. After holding them off to a goalless draw after the first half the dog fight went on in the last 35 minutes. . Sadly Bottomley’s attempt at goal by sliding into the goal with the ball didn’t count. Finally something gave 5 minutes before the whistle went off. Fruits of a well taken short corner. After all of that we somehow conceded a goal just before the whistle blew. How we wandered away from that win is a wonder.
As the first match after varsity it was no surprise DOD nominations were galore. Chundering was standard procedure from our Ali-G look-alikes the previous weekend; fruitful/less chirpsing bar Larman, who was surprisingly not told to f*** o** by the umpire this time; incriminating photos, the list goes on.
MOM Louis Sharrock
DOD Botlhe More
In their most important EML fixture to-date, the CUHC men’s 2nd XI put in a “Perry good show”. Since the captain is quite busy, please refer to this article (http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Perry-Dunn-pleased-important-Cambridge-University/story-28746717-detail/story.html) from Michael Vaughton for a proper match report. If you’d like some light entertainment, then please follow this link (http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/pictures/Catsuits-nipple-tassels-body-paint-Cambridge/pictures-28738086-detail/pictures.html) for hints about the “clearly deserved” DoD.
Scorers: Pieman, Nike, Snake, Gimme More, Shooter
With the fear of relegation looming over their heads, the Wanderers met the City of Peterborough 2s at St John’s Pavilion with the hope that they could start a victorious streak to escape the depths of the league table. Having a tedious loss the day before and the new location away form the comfort of Wilberforce the odds seemed stacked against the Wanderers.
Soon after the start of the match, it looked like the games was going to go in a similar way to most of the matches played in this season. Many missed opportunities and leaky defending meant the Wanderers found themselves 4 goals down at half time.
What followed next may go down in history as one of the best comebacks of all time. One to rival the Headingly Ashes test of 1981, Liverpool’s victory in the 2005 champion’s league final and Europe’s Rider cup victory of 2012. It may have been the inspiring half time team talk or the appearance of the Mens Blues captain but the Wanderers team that went out in that second half were supercharged.
It started with an opportunity which Matt Phillips pounced on, a lose pass from their defender leading to a beautiful lob of the keeper. Then a strike from Monty that found it’s way into the goal, reducing the Wanderer’s deficit to 2. A period of aggressive play lead to a short corner, a sling from Fully beating everyone on both teams to slip in the third. The leveling goal came form AJ, like a true snake he went behind the keeper to deflect the 4th in on his reverse. After a couple short corner scares, Matt Phillips slotted in the 5th and deciding goal for the Wanderers, concluding the 5-4 win.
Scorers: Phillips x2, Monty, Fully, AJ
DOD: Ben D
On the day before the Wanderers won a league game they lost a league game. Similar story, different outcome. Four goals adrift at 5-1 down early in the second half the guys who perennially rock up halfway through their matches looked to stage a winning onslaught. However, the goals of messrs Fynn, Pyman and Archibald were too little too late against a Letchworth 1st XI that fully deserves its place at the summit of EML Prem. B. Although the Cambridge captain drew laughs for rocking up 15 minutes before PB without his stick, as well as for his later on-pitch tantrum – in actual fact he was demonstrating that half the pitch resembled an ice rink – the green army was an impressively serious outfit that clearly hadn’t enjoyed Christmas as much as us.
Every cloud has a silver lining. Sunday’s fixture meant that we weren’t given time to forget what we’re capable of and consequently it has been suggested that all remaining matches are rearranged for double headers. Realistically barman Larman’s diplomatic skills would be somewhat lacking to achieve such a coup.
Starting the day with organisational blunders, Dungeon helped bring the journey full circle by donating our ball bag and contents to LHC. Only a poker session at Mathieu Phillipe’s would restore sense and sensibility to the uni’s 2s. Being his own man AJ, AKA ‘Dogger’, went AWOL to a 21st.
Scorers: Fynn, Pyman and Archibald
We lost. 4-2 to precise.
Our two goals were scored late in the second half, when we were 4-0 down. The first was a fast knee-height drag-flick from Phillips; the second, also scored by Phillips, was an open-side deflection between the legs of opposition keeper from about the p spot. He was, however, left “bitterly disappointed” by the fact that his goal tally outnumbered the number of MoM votes he received.
Since this is our first game after Christmas, I thought I’d share my two favourite cracker jokes. Here goes:
Why won’t Santa visit Nigel Farage?
Because he only comes if you sleep, not if Ukip.
What do you call a bunch of grandmasters bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
Boom Boom and goodnight.
Scorers: Phillips x 2
MoM: Three way tie between Larman, Pyman and Johnsen
‘Twas the game before Christmas, team in the doghouse
But lift boxing rekindled our tactical nous.
Hugh’s chipped stick propped up by the chimney with care,
With hopes that Hobbs would avoid another mare.
The Wanderers were nestled all snug in their beds,
No PMB, thoughts of winning in their heads.
The voyage north began, and after several naps
We arrived, pushed back. Dunn encouraged: “Come on chaps!”
When out on the turf there arose such a clatter,
Goals galore, end to end: what was the matter!
A new team with an Arch flick and Pyman dash,
But still 3-2 down at half time in a flash.
The comeback was on, several goals in a row,
Fynn’s volley sowing the seeds of Spalding sorrow.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A vict’ry: 7-5, Wanderers full of cake ‘n’ cheer!
HT Spalding 3 – 2 Wanderers
FT Spalding 5 – 7 Wanderers
Scorers: Archibald 2, Pyman 2, Judge, Johnsen, Fynn
MoM: A three way tie between Arge, Archibald and Pyman.
On Saturday the Wanderers headed to Saffron Walden with hopes of furthering themselves from the bottom of the table. Some good link up play early on lead to a few scoring opportunities but unfortunately they were unable to convert. Nearing half time Saffron Walden managed to go one ahead with a tap in on the back post. Early in the second half whilst on the attack a scrappy goal was bundled in by Nikhil Joshi to see the Wanderers pull level. As the second half went on, Saffron Walden became more attacking forcing MoM Fergus Flannagan to pull off some tremendous saves. However a well worked short corner routine saw the home side take the lead once more. Leading up to the final whistle the Wanderers kept pushing for a late equaliser but to no avail. Unfortunately the game finished 2-1 to the home side, however the Wanderers feel they can learn from this as they travel to Spalding next week.
MoM: Fergus Flanagan
DoD: Ed Sides
It was always obvious that the Wanderers were going to be in for a great afternoon as they travelled to Iff*ey Road to face Cambridge’s well-known Poly Oxf*rd. A fairly cold afternoon and a questionably bouncy pitch just added to the dreary atmosphere of confusion at this ground.
The Wanderers did however get off to a slow start, getting pushed back into their own half and failing to keep possession for any proper length of time. After 10 minutes though passes started to be strung together throughout the team and it was evident that the Wanderer’s forwards could outplay their opposition’s slow defenders as numerous chances were created. Oxf*rd do deserve a little, but fairly minimal, credit though for their chances on goal – while very few if any shots in open play could be seen due to the Wanderer’s defenceensuring they only had messy possession – most notably Larman at centre back – they created a few opportunities through short corners. The rest of the half followed suit with very even possession and chances as short corners were created on both sides of the field; all of these failing to be converted. It is worth noting some impressive saves from Eliott in goal and Will Archibald on the line to keep the score 0-0 at half time. It was already evident at this point that Oxf*rd’s home ‘crowd’ were failing to ignite their team with their poor chat and the Wanderers welcomed the 12th man in support.
The second half started much as the first ended until after a few minutes ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ received the ball on the 25 and drove to inside of the D to finish the Wanderer’s first goal with a powerful hit from a tough angle – embarrassing the keeper. It wasn’t long after, that a short corner eventually led to something; the opposition’s defender couldn’t take the humiliation from the Wanderers so decided to sacrifice his knee to stop a drag flick on the line. This of course resulted in a penalty flick which Fully didn’t fail to put in the corner. Now 2-0 up and going into the final third the Wanderers were in a very good position to finish the game off. But sadly a bit of luck went Oxf*rd’s way as a bobbling ball unimpressively found its way through multiple players and to a forward on the line with an open goal – even he couldn’t miss that chance and suddenly the Poly were back in the game. The next 10-15 minutes were a bit of a struggle for the Wanderer’s as they were pushed well back and had to fight off a relatively strong Oxf*rd midfield. But good rotations throughout the squad allowed the efforts from all involved to be exceedingly high and this added to some of Eliot’s saves that almost gave him MoM meant that the opposition’s attack was fought off and Wanderers could again start to use the speed that they had at their disposal. Ben had some strong carries with one in particularly that involved a run of half of the pitch and an almost reenactment of his earlier goal had it not been for a defender’s deflection. The height of the attackers gave way to some great chances though and with only a few moments to go the Oxf*rd crowd were silenced when a rebound from one of Ben’s strikes found its way to Kendall who slapped it first time high into an open net to effectively end all opposition hopes and to finish the game 3-1.
The Wanderers really laid down a marker before Varsity and morale will be high going into our next encounter – particularly with such a poor home crowd. In the so eloquent words of Perry – ‘I’m outchatting them on my own’.
Starting from a clean slate, The Wanderers were calm and composed prior to the match, despite the gale force winds and frigid temperatures at Wilberforce. This game against the second team in the division compared to our tie bottom position was always going to be a tough fixture. However, as Captain Perry and Coach Jonny pointed out, the level required was far from above us and how the Wanderers did show that today.
However, it was not all smooth sailing initially. The Wanderers started the game off trying out a new formation tactic devised by our mastermind coach and immediately the impact was visible. The defence looked impenetrable, the midfield was pouncing in front of every Norwich player and the forward line was as dynamic and fluid as ever. Coach Jonny was quoted at half time saying “the best hockey I have ever seen you boys play”. The pressure was clearly going towards the Norwich goal for the first 20 minutes, however the final passes were regularly going into Norwich’s very solid defenders forehand. The first circle penetration by Norwich led to a goal against the Wanderers, but we were not put off and kept pushing forward in our solid formation. Despite this, the same happened again and with a slight lapse in communication and constructive attacking, there is was, 0-2 for half time.
The game was from from over. From the first whistle, the Wanderers returned all guns blazing again, attacking with poise and thought. However, breaking the deadlock of the Norwich goal was difficult, yet after relentless man to man tussling and every Wanderer trying to defeat is counterpart, the break came in the form of Ed Bottomley with a fine final touch from in-front of the goal. Now the Wanderers had their eyes on the final score and battles were being won all over the pitch. Penetrating base line runs by Ben were causing havoc within the Norwich defence and it paid off with ten minutes to go with another Bottomley touch to seal the deal. 2-2. With time remaining, the Wanderers were adamant the game was not over and with excellent transfers of the ball around the back connecting with the midfield, the dream was in sight. In the final 30 seconds a ball came screaming across the face of the Norwich goal and with Bottomley diving on his nose, it just was not meant to be, missing it by a hair. Final score: 2-2.
An admirable result against a topflight team, but this is only a taster of what is capable from Wanderers line-up. Wait till Wednesday when Oxf*rd face the full wrath of the Wanderers in the BUCS Cup fixture at Oxf*rd’s home ground, If*ey Road, to see what can and will be done.
MoM: Bottomley and Ben
With the importance of this game as a potential relegation fight well drilled into every player’s mind, the Wanderers were as ready as ever to give it their all from the start. However, early on, the Wanderers took two early drawbacks, when rapid counters and weak short corners lead to two successive goals against. With the fear of the repercussions of this game becoming very real, aggressive, yet composed, play took over as the Wanderer’s fought to bounce back. Passes were flying rhythmically across the Wanderer’s backs, energetic runs were being rewarded between the midfield and attacking line and finally it led to a short corner being finished in textbook fashion by the newly promoted defender Hugh Judge into our forward line up. The Wanderers were fired up. Quickly after, AJ met a sweeping cross-goal ball by More to deflect it with poise into the opposition’s net.
2-2 at half time and the Wanderers were far from finished. By now, Long Sutton had realised what they had awaken and a full storm of attacking play came their way from the Wanderers. With slick passing between the midfield and forward line, rewards were inevitable and Mr Judge rapidly slotted two goals away to complete his attacking-line debut hat-trick. Sadly, a rapid counterattack with what was a great effortless finish by Long Sutton made the squad realise there was still time to go and we had to put this game to bed. But how the Wanderers did respond. Pyman, our resident food-superhero, came to knock the opposition back with a finish to make the score line 5-3. However, with a fantastic crowd from the Blues squads chanting the Wanderers forward, multiple shorts were developed and Kendall, getting a touch at the near post slotted away the sealing goal making the final score 6-3. The first league win for the Wanderers this season, yet with the determination of what is a truly cohesive squad, it sure will not be the last.
MoM: Hugh Judge
DoD: Thomas Schute
Scorers: Will Fulwood, Alex Johnsen, Thomas Schute
MoM: Will Fulwood
DoD: Fergus Flanagan
Scorers: Will Archibald, Matt Pyman, Will Byrd, Thomas Schute
Scorers: Theo Clark
MoM: Fergus Flanagan
DoD: Will Fulwood
With the start of term around the corner, this was the Wanderer’s last game before academics start and we were determined to make the last efforts of pre-season count. However, it was not to be. In the first half the Wanderers struggled to convert opportunities from inside the D, as well as for short corners. The defence was put under constant pressure due to the rapid counter attacks from Letchworth and inevitably they were going to break through despite a rigorous press across all positions by the Wanderers side. Despite it being 3-0 at half time, the inspirational, concise and clear team talk by coach Jonny Gibson led the Wanderers to realize it was far from over. The pushing started from the front with rigorous pressure being put on Letchworth’s back four and this was followed by deep penetrating runs by the to be MoM’s Peregrine and Monty from the back and midfield respectively. However, having used the now very common ‘parking the bus’ method devised in the wrong sport, Letchworth were able to hold together despite a pounding. As the Wanderers began to become tired and frustrated, the token goal by Letchworth in the second half came right at the end, making the second half a 0-1 loss to the Wanderers. Nonetheless, great resilience in the face of adversity was shown by the newly formed squad, which holds well for the future fixtures. Well earned MoM’s this week were Peregrine Dunn and Monty Fynn and a less well earned DoD went to Thomas Schute.
A nippy but safe drive down the M11 left the Wanderers in good spirits as they pulled into the Waltham Forest car park. Many thought they had wandered onto the set of a Thomas Cook Ad, as sprawling out before them lay an endless stretch of flawless beach, covering what was presumably an astroturf. Despite the Caribbean appearances, the Wanderers were not in for a day of lounging in paradise.
Despite the best intentions of all involved, the Wandies stuttered into the game and stuttered out. Some spirit raising passages of play produced goals from Kendall and AJ, but it was not enough to beat a motivated Forest side.
The score was 2-3 and the Wanderers disappointed with the past, but hopeful for the future.
DOD: Monty Fynn
MOM: Will Archibald
The excitement for the new season had been building over the course of the two-week long pre-season training camp, which involved some heavy gym fitness sessions, stick skill sessions and socials in the evenings. And with fresh faces, new rules and a bright sense of optimism within the team, the Wanderers were determined to make a positive start to their league campaign against newly-promoted Spalding 1. After warming-up and with tactical and motivational team talks from coach Johnny and captain Perry behind them, the Wanderers made a great start to the game with some fluid passing and aggressive pressing. In the eary stages of the game, neither team was able to make many break-thoughs into the oposition 23 though because both defences stayed disciplined. Towards the end of the first half when both sides started to show signs of tiredness, the Wanderers won a short corner. Unfortunately, the corner was well saved by their keeper and the score stayed 0-0. Then on the stroke of halftime, the Wanderers gave away a short corner for a delibrate foul outside the D but within the 23. Spalding opted for a straight flick but Fergus in goal rose to the challenge and kept the ball out with a stick save to his right. Half Time: Wanderers 0-0 Spalding In the second half, the sun came out and the heat and tiredness had an immediate impact on the game as Spalding put away 3 goals in a matter of minutes. The Wanderers didn’t let the disappointment of a poor start to the second half affect them though as they soon hit back with a goal of their own. It was a William Fulwood staight flick buried in the bottom (-redacted-) corner. Wanderers 1-3 Spalding As the Wanderers pressed on to get back into the game, the team lost a bit of its defensive organisation. And throwing in some good skill by the Spalding midfield and attack, this led to two more late goals by Spalding. The Wanderers kept fighting until the end but unfortunatly they couldn’t get back in it. Full Time: Wanderers 1-5 Spalding Post-match was the usual but with one change – cooked teas instead of pizzas this year. We were given Chicken and Chorizo bake with rice and salad – delicious – and we were allowed seconds too. Full marks from me! Although it was a disappointing result today, as Johnny noted in the post-match talk, this is a team that has a great deal of potential and if we train hard and enjoy our hockey, better results lie ahead.
Goals: Will Fulwood
MoM: Fergus for some great saves in goal
|Date||Match type||Opposition||Venue||PB Time||Score|
|20/09/14||League||Saffron Walden 1||H||1330||D 3-3|
|27/09/14||League||Letchworth 1||A||1400||L 1-5|
|04/10/14||League||Long Sutton 1||A||1300||L 0-2|
|11/10/14||League||City of Peterborough 2||H||1330||W 2-1|
|12/10/14||Cup||Long Sutton 2||H||1300||W 7-0|
|18/10/14||League||Ipswich 1||A||1200||L 1-3|
|25/10/14||League||Harleston Magpies 2||H||1330||D 2-2|
|01/11/14||League||Havering 1||A||1300||L 0-3|
|02/11/14||Cup||Old Loughtonians 2||H||1330||L 3-4|
|08/11/14||League||Norwich City 1||H||1330||L 2-5|
|15/11/14||League||City of Peterborough 3||A||1100||W 4-3|
|29/11/14||League||Waltham Forest 1||A||1300||L 1-3|
|06/12/14||League||Saffron Walden 1||A||1400||L 1-4|
|24/01/15||League||City of Peterborough 2||A||1300||L 3-6|
|25/01/15||League||Letchworth 1||H||1600||L 0-3|
|07/02/15||League||Harleston Magpies 2||A||1200||D 2-2|
|14/02/15||League||Havering 1||H||1330||L 2-4|
|21/02/15||League||Long Sutton 1||H||1330||W 3-2|
|28/02/15||League||Norwich City 1||A||1300||D 2-2|
|07/03/15||League||City of Peterborough 3||H||1500||W 7-0|
|19/03/15||League||Ipswich 1||H||1330||L 1-6|
|21/03/15||League||Waltham Forest 1||H||1330||D 3-3|
The Wanderer’s came into the weekend with team spirt riding high after a gloriously well organised tactics session supplemented with pizza. The boys went into the game knowing it was a must win in order to get the season back on track. Despite Will Fullwood’s best attempts to sneak a crafty brunch in, the team was looking sharp after a lengthy warm up. As has been the case this season, the Wanderer’s started the game strongly, dominating both possession and territory. A number of balls flashed passed the back post with no connection before a Pete Akyol piledriver was gracefully tipped in by a swooping Schute. As has often been the case, concentration dropped after the restart and Peterborough soon came back into the game. Some lax tackling allowed a peterborough player to wander into the D and slot the ball into the bottom corner. Frustratingly our heads dropped and we started to panic, missing easy passes and miss trapping balls. After a turn over in midfield, the Wanderer’s were caught out at the back and a quick attack led to an easy finish for the Peterborough striker after a well squared ball. The half time whistle sounded soon after and the team gathered for a rousing team talk from Coaches Duffin and Gibson.
The second half started in much the same way with The Wanderers controlling the game. Great communication at the back, starting from Rob, kept the Peterborough attack muted and the marauding wing backs Pete and Perry were looking dangerous going forward.The pressure paid off, with a well won short corner. A strange combination of an off target Archibald flick and a slow pitch enabled Ian Johnston to sneak in at the back post and turn the ball in. The Wanderers tails were now up and attack after attack flowed, with the press working a treat, turning over the ball thanks to great humility and commitment shown by the forwards – given a new lease of life under coach Duffin’s revolutionary rotation system. Some good transfers around the back pulled the Peterborough press apart, with quick passing exploiting the space down the wings and some clever inside balls leaving Nikhil with his back to goal in front of the keeper. Some great trickery allowed him to get off a shot which was poached on the line by the ever dangerous Shute. After the restart The Wanderers kept their heads and applied more pressure with Fullwood and Bottomley threading passes and controlling the midfield. The Wanderers seemed sure to score when Quirk flicked the ball goal bound, only for it to be swatted up and over the goal by a very confused looking perry. Soon after, some sharp play and a classy pass from Schute left Quirk in with a sight of goal once more. With composure beyond his years Quirk drew the keeper and in one deft movement flicked it beyond where it dribbled into the net. This sparked wild celebrations from Quirk, but not many others, and the Wanderers seemed to be on track to see out the last 5 minutes for the win. However a well worked short corner routine cut the deficit to one goal and left the Wanderers a little shaken. There were a few edgy moments as mis traps and speculative balls lead to turnovers, but Rob’s goal was never threatened.
After a rough few weekends of results, this hard fought victory rewarded the hours of effort that have been put in on the practice field and into fitness.
MoM – Thomas Schute
DoD – James Larman
On an unseasonably warm day in November, the Wanderers stepped onto Wilby knowing that things must be done. Norwich were a team in similar troubles to Les Wands and victory was an imperative, though, as it turned out, not a reality.
The opening 10 minutes were genuinely convincing, and the Wanderers played some of their best hockey all season. However, the dream was shattered as a well placed aerial and some generally poor play allowed Norwich to hit on the counter and turn the tables; 1-0. From there, it was uphill. We never really looked like we knew how to get back in the game. There was no longer a trace of the previous liquid hockey, and within minutes, Norwich once again countered to earn themselves a corner from which they scored a very questionably high stick goal. Despite a well aimed rebound effort from Archibald, the Wanderers still entered the break behind, 2-1.
The aim was to take to the second half sharply, which we did, immediately winning a corner. However, a failure to convert was costly as Norwich quickly made it down to the other end to score 2 more counter attack goals. At 4-1 down, heads had sunk and the game looked beyond saving. This was all but confirmed by the fact that Rob Dodxall-Smith then gave away a flick which was promptly stroked into the netting to leave us 5-1 down. Despite a fine consolation goal from Ben ‘pick-that’ Lock, at 5-2 it was all over.
The Wanderers poor form continues, but this week is a new week, and 3 points are not a luxury, but a requirement. We’ll be back, and I pray for the pour souls who face us on that day. Look out Peterborough, we’re coming for you.
MoM – Ed Bottomley
DoD – Rob Foxall-Smith
The Wanderers arrived at Havering desperate to end their abysmal run of form away from home. Spice was added to the match by the inclusion of ex-blue Alex Defrond in the Havering starting XI. The match started at a furious pace, and it appeared that Defrond would dominate the midfield battle as he helped Havering to gain a 2-0 lead through some slightly suspect short corner work and one clinical team build up move. However, by the end of the first half the Wanderers defence and midfield began to dominate the match, and Havering were restricted to opportunistic counter attacks.
The Wanderers attacking line also began to apply serious pressure to the Havering defence. This culminated in excellent pressing work from Chris Lark and Alex Quirk fashioning a glorious opportunity for Edward Bottomley, who frivolously wasted the chance as his hurried shot whisked past the far post. The Wanderers then continued to dominate possession, holding the ball in the opposition half for most of the rest of the game. However, another counter-attack led to a Havering short corner which was clinically dispatched into the side netting leaving the Wanderers trailing 3-0. Havering then did their best to shut up shop and despite numerous penetrations into their 25 the Wanderers were unable to close the deficit, and the match ended 3-0.
MoM – Will Fulwood
DoD – Nigel Thornberry
The Wanderers faced up against Old Loughtonians 2nd XI on Sunday for an eagerly anticipated cup game. After a draining 3-0 away defeat to Havering on Saturday, they hoped to break a poor run of form by securing victory and safe passage into the next round.
With this in mind, the Wanderers started strongly, playing passing hockey with great intensity, and created numerous chances in the opening minutes. The sustained pressure soon paid dividends as Chris Wark popped up at the back post to calmly open the scoring, after some flowing build-up play on the left. The Wanderers continued to dominate possession and were unfortunate not to add to Wark’s opener, going into half-time leading 1-0.
Encouraged by the first-half domination, captain Ewan Duffin instructed his side to kill off the game. Following these instructions, the Wanderers quickly secured a short corner and, despite having failed to deliver from set-pieces throughout the season, a well-worked move saw man-of-the-match Wark grab his second with a cool deflection beyond the Loughtonian goalkeeper.
However, with a two goal cushion obtained, the Wanderers seemed to lose focus and were punished by a clinical finish which dragged Loughtonians back into the game.
Forced to react, the Wanderers once again applied sustained pressure, leading to a second corner and a third goal; Will Fullerton finishing off a switch from the top of the dee. Yet once again the Wanderers appeared to slack off. As the game became increasingly open, Loughtonians created more chances and levelled the scoring with two well-worked short corners in quick succession. Both sides frantically searched for a winner with Cambridge hitting the post and forcing the opposition keeper into several saves. However, a swift Loughtonian counter saw them claim victory with Cambridge unable to salvage a draw from a last-minute short corner.
Despite a strong performance, the Wanderers were left to rue their many missed chances and failure to capitalise on their earlier dominance. They will now seek to return to winning ways this weekend with a league match against Norwich City at Wilberforce Road.
M.O.M: Chris Wark
D.O.D: Ian Johnston.
Despite a comfortable 7-0 win the Wanderers’ day was marred by the tragic absence of team talisman and all round good guy Edward Bottomley. This brave soul was struck down in his prime by an ilness not yet identified to modern science. However, despite this unfortunate setback the Wanderers were able to brush aside a determined Long Sutton team. Goals were in abundance with goal scorers unkown to the author. MoM was awarded deserevedly to Matthew Knox.
MoM – Matt Knox
DoD – Ed Bottomley
On an appropriately sunny afternoon the grey clouds that had shrouded the Wanderers start to the 2014/15 season began to lift. Peterborough were top of the League, with the Ws circling the drain, but a show of integrity, pace, and disgusting chat from Matt Knox were all crucial to the dynamic of a game that would have had the most logical heads reeling in confusion.
Play started swiftly, a ding-dong battle flared brightly and as the Ws began to assert themselves on the game, the breakthrough looked increasingly likely. Runs were being made, chances being created, and corners being won. The pressure built and eventually the tension snapped as Chris Lark, on a back post run resembling the stumbling of a blind goat with two legs trying to climb the highest points of Mt. Everest, tucked home a deflection to see the Wanderers lifted and thrust into the lead for the first time this season.
Peterborough upped their game and as the regular tussle ensued, they got to our famous man from Milton Keynes as they forced Knoxy into a horrendous chop which, upon being blown up, resulted in Matthew screaming what sounded to me, from all the way in the goal, like ‘duck cough’ in the vague direction of a man in a yellow shirt. Bye bye Mr. Knox, yellow’s out, 5 minutes, duck cough. Feeling the lead was safe despite this hindrance, Wanderers new boy Nikhil Joshi felt he’d take it upon himself to spice the game up 30 seconds later by performing the exact same challenge upon the restart. Needless to say, off he went, I’m surprised he even waited for the card to be shown to be honest.
Down to 9 and now presented with a real test, the Wanderers battled on. Playing the classic 8-1-0 formation only previously seen in scripture and legend, the Wanderers actually managed an impressive spell of possessive dominance which saw them unharmed at the return of our two marauding chop artists. Unfortunately, the cage had had time to be rattled and a fortunate piece of positioning from PHC’s centre forward saw him take advantage of a scuffed interception and tuck home. 1-1. Half-time.
The second half started similar to the first, ding-dong, ding-dong, who is it? Nobody knows. However, in the midst of this mist of boring midfield possession that engulfed the game, one shining light rose above all others. Chris Lark, on a run down the baseline so simple as to render itself too complex for Peterborough’s over-expectant backs, sauntered into the D before placing the most off target shot in the history of balls and sport into the backside of poor Peterboroughian only for this to end up in the back of the net. No cheers were heard only a tantalising and confused silence at how Lark had managed to score more than 4 goals in a season.
With the lead re-established and a first season win in sight, things got hot. Tensions flared, eyebrows raised, and Fraser Sym, a Wanderers legacy, decided it was time to take action into his own hands…by being yellow carded. Sportingly though, Peterborough decided to repay this favour by taking a huge swipe at one of the W’s to place one of their chaps in the bin and even things up. With seconds ticking away, nothing else of note happened, other than Fraser feeling it was appropriate to tell the umpire what to do from the sin bin area.
The whistle went, the game was won. The Wanderers quadrupled their points for the season and have set the snowball running. Watch out, planet Earth.
MoM – Oli Shale
DoD – Rob Foxall Smith
A strange game. The Ws bossed the opposition for the opening five, running rings around their somewhat fitness-deprived players as balls were fired down the channels into miles of empty space. But then some twit at right half lifted his twig above shoulder-height, ‘An instinct reaction to a hard object careering towards one’s face,’ he claims. ’10 minutes in the bin,’ the umpire’s response. The novelty of the occasion saw the bewildered fellow scuttle to the wrong part of the sideline and, once the corner was eventually found, the young chappy resorted to jumping jacks to keep warm as the man upstairs in head office continued to empty his bladder onto Long Sutton’s sand.
The substitutes cowered in the dug-out. The imposing men gradually became… imposing. The ten minutes passed and the ten men had held out, but the shape had been lost, the initiative had disapparated. LS’s aerial-chucking centre back upped the ante, their forwards assumed boldness. Short corner. Capitano running uno takes a tumble in the slime; number two has no clue. Bottom corner. 1-0 LS.
Honestly, there is no excuse. Yes, it was bemusing to be playing beach hockey in a field hockey league, but we should have been running quicker, passing faster, thinking harder. Their second was a sweet reverse from the top, a surprise to his team as was overheard later.
Louis Plankton and Lizard Loizos had solid games, but this is a team sport and it requires all to perform.
Though let’s not beat ourselves up about it; it’s a long season ahead.
MoM – Loizos
DoD – Perry27/09/2014 Letchworth 1s vs Wanderers (5-1)
The freak British weather continued on its top form and produced a disgustingly warm day for the Wanderers first away match of the season against Letchworth. The heat guaranteed a sweaty encounter between the two teams, with most of this sweat being provided my Mr Fullwood, who possesses more sweat glands than the rest of the team combined. With the heat sapping the energy of the teams, the Wanderers made a slow start and were put under pressure by an organised Letchworth side. Their effective press caused the back four who are still finding their feet at the beginning of the season to give away some cheap possession resulting in two early goals for the home team. The Wanderers tried to rally together and with a bit more passing fluency managed to set Alex Quirk loose, who finished a good little run with a neat far post flick. The Wanderers play deteriorated however at the end of the first half with Will Archibald generously donating the ball to the opposition of a 16 and Letchworth finishing it clinically. The half time whistle saw a score of 4-1 to the home team with the wanderers having all the work to do to come back.
The second half saw a much more composed performance from the University side, with more effective transfers around the back and some decisive leads from midfield allowing some more attacking opportunity. None of this came to fruition however and with some well worked hockey from Letchworth, the Wanderers conceded numerous short corners. Foxall-Smith had other ideas and was on fire between the sticks, making some fantastic saves and it is down to him that the full time score was only 5-1. Man of the match was Alex Quirk, however this was a dubious result as it seem fairly apparent that he was the one voting for himself. This denied other players who impressed far more on the pitch, such as Ollie Shale and Fraser Sym, the chance receive the congratulations they deserved.
MoM: Alex Quirk
DoD: Will Archibald
Awaiting match report
DoD: Ewan Duffin
Call me Dod. Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul I account it high time to pick up a hockey stick as soon as I can. If they but knew it, all men in their degree, cherish the same feelings towards the game with me. The fine sport where players use curved sticks, made of wood or fiber glass, to move a plastic ball, circumference of 224–235 mm and weight of 156–163 g, on a synthetic grass 91.4 m x 55 m rectangular field. I could spend much time describing the whiteness of the ball but no more of this blubbering, we are going to a hockey match.
It was a blustery afternoont and the winds of change swept across Wilby fortress, the scene of the local derby. The town versus gown rivalry started in the changing rooms and spilled out onto the pitch. The fresh faced Captain Knox was at the helm, guided by the sage words of the seasoned, salt of the earth, Johnny G. It was a fast paced game from the start with counter-attacks from both ends. Some well worked plays down the wings from the likes of Mr. Tumnus led to early chances in front of goal but Cambridge uni failed to capitalise. The second-half remained tight with some heavy tackles and poor chat. Cards were flashed and emotions were high. The uni defence worked tirelessly, Makka was like a man possessed as he made tackle after tackle and Rob made save after save. The deadlock was finally broken by a stunning top corner drag from Sometimes Shale. City fought back but the league-leaders could not break down the uni side. The game finished Cambridge City 0, Cambridge University 1. With this win the Wanderers edge away from the relegation zone and remind themselves of their potential.
And so, as the captain attempts to navigate this turbulent season, he’d do well to remember that the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm.
MOM: Oli Shale and Rob Foxall-Smith
DOD: Scott McKechnie
After a disappointing loss last week, the Wanderers spent the week very focused on making amends in the battle against the Harleston Magpies, a team sitting only 6 points above them on the table.
After watching an inspired last minute win from the Women’s Blues, the boys hit the field for the warm-up with an intensity that has been lacking so far this season. All signs were good and the team was upbeat about moving away from the relegation zone and building a winning momentum in the lead up to varsity.
The Wanderers dominated the game from the push back, exposing a number of defensive lapses by Harleston. Within the first ten minutes the Wanderers produced a number of chances in the circle, culminating with an early goal from Elliot, quickly followed by a well-executed short corner by drag flicking extraordinaire Shale. However unlike previous occasions so far this season where the Wanderers have taken an early lead and seen it erode with a drop in intensity, the team kept the intensity high and continued to ask serious questions from the Harleston defence despite being two goals up.
After a further period of utter dominance, where the Wanderers had a number of close chances, Lippold tapped in a ball that was beautifully worked down the left hand side touchline. Shortly after, the Wanderers found the net again via Elliot’s second for the afternoon. Going into half-time the Wanderers were obviously content, but weary that they have lost to this same team from a similar scoreline last year.
The second half was a far more evenly matched affair, with Morrison making a number of key saves to maintain the four goal lead. Unfortunately a minor deflection off a short corner routine gave the Harleston team a slight glimmer of hope, but the Wanderers excellent scrabbling defence and movement in midfield put any thoughts of a comeback to bed quickly.
All-in-all a very satisfying 4-1 win for the Wanderers and a preview into what can be expected from this side heading into the back half of the league and the Varsity game.
DoD – Sunil
An early meet time on Saturday morning was met with distain by a certain Wanderer who instead of setting an alarm like the rest of the team decided to order the personal wake up service from the Captain. On top of this, Haffenden’s obvious unwillingness to drive was taken new lengths after he decided to slash his back right tire prior to departure. It was therefore somewhat of an achievement that all 14 Wanderers were pitch side (with balls) in plenty of time for kick off.
The first half started well with the team keen to bury the demons that had been building up over the previous weeks. Some good interplay down the right found Matt Knox on the edge of the D who wobbled his way in and supplied Adrian with a tap in to give the Wanderers the lead. Following a 10-minute stoppage to check their keeper was ok after his first of many falls, the game resumed. The Wanderers continued to dominate but the failure to get a second goal of the board was a worry at half time.
Things went from good to bad to worse in the second half. A break away equalizer from Felixstowe was followed almost immediately by a second, putting the Wanderers firmly on the back foot. A third followed shortly after, when Felixstowe robbed the midfield of the ball and countered in numbers. To further compound matters, Cambridge then found themselves down to 9 men after Staunton Sykes held his stick and Sunil tackled a bloke. Further Suarez-esque shenanigans ensued from the opposition keeper who seemed to spend a lot of time on the floor. As the game drew on, both sides became increasingly frustrated with decisions but despite late efforts to get back into the game, Felixstowe furthered their lead with a last minute deflection leaving a dejected Wanderers still searching for that elusive win.
DOD – Tom Elliot
MOM – Matt Knox
The Wanderers, sitting third from bottom, travelled to Ipswich on Saturday to take on a team currently third in the league. With a large, strong squad there was a lot of optimism going into what was a very winnable game.
The first half was a very close fought battle with chances for both sides but due to some good defending and excellent goal keeping neither team seemed to be able to convert. As half time approached we started to push up and with only seconds to go were rewarded with our first short corner of the game; a result of the infamous Telly one-handed dribble. However after a weak pull out, the man who won the short corner found himself in possession of the ball at the top of the circle but didn’t seem to know what to do with it and the Ipswich defence was quick to win and clear the ball.
Half time arrived and the score of 0-0 seemed to be a fair representation of the game but we were hungry for a win and it showed in the second half.
With awful challenges flying in left, right and centre we quickly found ourselves with a two man advantage and we were playing some of the best hockey of the season. Our two man advantage didn’t last for long though as Captain Knoxy was shown a yellow card after trying to pick a ball “slightly” above shoulder height. After spells of intense pressure we looked bound to score but some dodgy umpiring and a lack of clinical finishing prevented that. The deadlock was broken halfway through the second half and Ipswich managed to sneak a goal from a quick break away.
Some excellent short corner defence kept us in the game but the final whistle blew with the score still 1-0 and a thoroughly disappointed Wanderers left empty handed.
Late Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning, while other students were out drinking their loans or already tucked up in bed, certain windows across the city were lit up with the glow of a studious lamp. And if you followed these horizontal lights, you would be taken into the rooms of dedicated Wanderers, who themselves were pouring over notes in preparation for the biggest game of the season. In every mind, the infamous voice of Johnny G rang out with a resonating Irish lilt: “tight as his own shirt, I want pride and passion…”. And later, with these words still echoing in their minds, the noble athletes stumble into bed and dream of free flowing, pass and move hockey.
It was a blustery autumnal morning and the Wanderers arrived with an array of wind swept lids. All save two that is, for one, a well known climate change sceptic, decided it was best to leave the bike at home and drive the hundred yards to Wilby. The other, a notorious narcoleptic, slept on in blissful ignorance of the growing levels of anxiety amongst his team mates. To the relief of all, the last man arrived in good time and three cars set off north to the borough of Peter. One of them, with a retired go-cart driver at the wheel, quickly took the lead, and arrived in impressive speed; not even the highway police had a chance of catching the would be Vettel. In the adequately spacious changing rooms, the pre-match banter included some dubious chat about the merits of Movember by a questionable chap whose freshly shaven upper lip was an affront to every man that was present. Surely a dodable offense in itself, but the wiser readers out there will know that justice is never to be expected from the capricious whims of fines. As if this wasn’t enough, rumour has it that the very same villain, who will remain un-named for the sake of his own welfare, is responsible for ninety percent of the missing balls from CUHC. But back to the task at hand, and the topic of balls once gain became a bone of contention as it emerged, shockingly, that somebody had neglected to bring any. From the haze of argument, fingers began to point towards young Maisey. But the look of horror on that fresh face was enough to prove his innocence and it quickly became clear that his late promotion to ball sec was nothing more than a wily ploy by the forgetful captain. There was a sage suggestion from the club’s longest standing member to buy new balls, but the onsite shop that claimed to cater for all your hockey needs hadn’t considered stocking such goods. Nevertheless, the team was brought to their feet by a rousing captain’s speech and made their way to the pitch. It was a surprisingly intense warm up and the use of imaginary balls led to some of the best passing and shooting the side had seen.
As for the game itself, well there were ups and downs. One up and three downs to be precise and the 3-1 loss was hard to take for a team that played the better hockey for most of the match. It was a dramatic afternoon, with two yellow cards being unsheathed for seemingly innocuous tackles. One was a stick jab that cleanly took the ball and the other was a take down in front of goal that cleanly took the man and left the ball trickling over the end line. With the loss of the keeper, a brave Wanderer stepped up to the plate to defend the penalty flick and was agonizingly close from preventing the goal. In the end, it wasn’t to be and afterwards the team was left with some serious soul searching to be done. With the the biggest game of the season coming up next week, the Wanderers will put the loss behind them and train hard to turn this season around. And in the words of Fitzgerald: “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”.
MOM: Matt Knox
DOD: Scott McKechnie
The W’s came out this Saturday full of hope and confidence after a narrow 6-5 defeat to league leaders cam city last week. A well-rehearsed Jonny G warm up later we were raring to go and got off to a reasonable start playing our own brand of hockey as described by many P’s and even more C’s. Long Sutton began to edge their way into the game though, with a very basic hit and hope style of play that somehow managed to find some gaps. Most of the first half was spent in the middle of the pitch, and two unconverted short corners later it was still a goalless game at the interval.
After a brief but stern talking to, the W’s came out with some intent in the second half. It wasn’t long until a short corner rebounded off the ‘keeper and some intricate passing in front of goal left Shale with an opportunity to put us ahead. Unfortunately this week the W’s were not clinical enough, and after a long spell of further pressure we failed to extend the lead. With less than a minute to go Elliott was controversially blown for dangerous play when putting the ball into a defenders foot just yards from the goal. Barely seconds later the W’s found the ball in the back of their own net and were facing a 1-1 draw with 5 seconds on the clock.
Although there were promising phases of play, the W’s failed to show everything they could offer this weekend. Next weekend will need to be an improvement as we travel to Peterborough to try and rebuild some #momentum.
With the team welcoming back coach Jonny to the managers box, everyone was eager to show him that we are not just unbelievably good in training and on nights out but also on match day. Cam City rocked up and as their players strode onto the pitch it was clear that Fred was not the only man in a headband and nor was CFletch the only bloke to have ever worn tights. With the fans arriving and noise levels building, no one could argue that the atmosphere was in favour of the “away” team.
The match pushed off at a high pace, members of the crowd said that the only thing quicker then the pace was Chris Lark Cindie’s exit on Tuesday or the university’s broadband connection. It wasn’t long before the first goal was scored, a relaxed finish from Jonny SS.
Before Cam City could even bat an eyelid, the wanderers were at it again, a classic, off the training ground move of post up lead high.
However, Cam city then started to get involved in the game. Whether it was because some of the wanderers had forgotten to do their pre match dominoes poo or because Olli Shale was mentally drafting another letter to Moose, the score was now 2-2. Just before the break Jonny SS, with no regard for his own wellbeing, headed towards the most dangerous place on the pitch. A short sharp ball later and the wanderers had a lead going into half time.
The second half started and Cam city converted two early chances to go back in front. After a clear disregard for the offside rule by the umpires, cam city then gained a two goal margin. The wanderers then hit back with a Will Fulwood P flick and yellow card.
The Wanderers were becoming increasingly dominant. Shale was pulling out wobble on the ball only matched by the wobble on his bottom lip since he got dropped from the blues, Fred and Barney were showing a partnership that has not been seen since the Flintstones came off the air.
Somehow Cam City countered and put another past us to bring the score to 6-4. With time running out the Wanderers pressed even harder and a few minutes later won their 4th short corner of the match. Who would step up and take the pressure? Who else…T. Elliott responded to hater’s accusations, that his goal drought was due to him being love sick, with an “I want to have your children” shot that slammed into the backboard.
Unfortunately time ran out. The Wanderers were unable to capitalise on an excellent performance. Post games captain Knoxy said, “I was pleased with the effort the boys put in and I look forward to the return home fixture”.
MOM: Jonny SS (3), Shale (2), T. Ellsmere (2)
Stortford came agonising close to securing their first win of the campaign on Saturday but in the end were satisfied with a well-earned away point. The first half was undoubtedly Cambridge’s; starting at pace, the light blues moved the ball across the pitch with the same ease that they no doubt apply to conjugating Latin verbs and began to exam the quality of the Stortford defence. Some impressive 3D skills from the youthful Cambridge on attack were matched by the solidity and experience of Stortford’s defence and for the first 10 minutes, the frentic attacks whilst entertaining counted for nothing on the scoresheet. Although Cambridge won penalty corners, the commitment of Mathison leading the defensive line ensured that their routines were neutralised, until a partially blocked shot fell kindly to a forward who gratefully smashed it into the net. Stortford responded in kind, securing 5 corners in a row and following 2 exceptional saves from the Cambridge ‘keeper, the slip variation found its way back to Abbott at the top of the circle who made no mistake in burying the ball hard into the corner. The students then began to move through the gears with a well-drilled press making it increasingly difficult for Stortford to release the ball. As Stortford surrendered possession and conceded corners, last ditch defending on the line led to a penalty stroke and after 25 minutes, Stortford were behind again. Matters were compounded when an attack down the left saw the ball crossed for Butcher to be beaten cheaply. At this point, Stortford were close to capitulating and sensing blood, the students looked to put the game to bed. However, Stortford held firm and made it to half time with the score at 1-3.
By contrast, the second half was almost all Stortford’s. The defence looked increasingly dominant absorbing everything that Cambridge had and swiftly moving to counter attack. Quick distribution to Vernon Brown in the right of midfield allowed him to release the forward line with such precision that it was only a matter of time before the goals came. With Brown drawing the keeper, a simple pass gave Abbott his second of the day and swiftly afterwards he completed his hattrick and levelled the scores. Suddenly Cambridge were nowhere and when Mike Taylor powered an unstoppable finish low into the netting to give Stortford an improbable lead, the visitors sensed a great turnaround. However, the final 10 minutes saw a renewed assault on the Stortford goal and despite some outstanding defending and a strong save by Butcher from a drag flick, the Cambridge equalizer came with less than 5 minutes to go. Butcher got to a viscious strike form an unmarked man on the right shoulder of the D, but only enough to loop the ball upwards before dropping gently over the goalline.
Understandably disappointed at the end of the match, on balance Stortford came away pleased with a point and Coach Marcano was in reflective mood after the game: “the team needs to perform for 70 minutes and play well in both halves. If they battle like they did in the second half and build confidence in leading and seeing out games, then success will come”. Next week’s double header against Felixstowe at home on Saturday in the league and Sunday in the cup provides the next test for this ever-improving side.
The Wanderer’s faced a daunting trip to Harlestone for their first big challenge of the season. Upon arrival their waterbased was looking somewhat saturated and after a further sprinkling became fully submerged. The home advantage seemed to pay off for the magpies as deliberate top after mishit reverse shot baffled Rob and the W’s found themselves 3-0 down. It was however another top that brought our first bit of fortune, Lark bobbled one into the D and Charlie fletcher finished it nicely.
Captain Knoxy gave a stern team talk brandishing many P’s, and in the second half the W’s started to play pass and move hockey with passion, keeping 70% possession. Johnny G’s masterful training drills began to come into fruition and the W’s played most of the hockey in the second half, but simply couldn’t find the back of the net. Harleston scored two break away goals, capitalising on turnovers in the midfield induced in part by Fred’s regular dribbling off the side of the pitch. A searching aerial from Harlestone was taken beautifully over the shoulder by Guy, but the umpire deemed it to be too high and the W’s earnt a shameful 4th yellow in the last two games. The final whistle went and that was that – an unfortunate 5-1 loss for the W’s but we maintain hope after some promising moments.
DoD Chris Lark
The wanderers hoped to build on from their 3-2 victory against some team I cant remember, with another 3 points.
After an early meet time of 9:30 and a quick warm up the wanderers started the game well with swift passes, good banter and strong tackles. After about ten minutes the boys were up 2 goals from some guy and another lad I can’t remember. The passes were getting faster, the banter was reaching higher levels and the tackles were getting stronger…perhaps too strong. Both teams were so up for it, it was only going to be a matter of time before the first yellows was shown. Their guy got 10 minutes for too strong a tackle and Hugh got the bin for slow ball pace.
With the match now 10 vs 10, the match was starting to get heated. Tempers were rising and it wasn’t long before Oli retaliated to a fair tackle for Kieth (their CF) with a vicious swipe of his stick. Having already picked up a green for shoddy chat, the umpire had no choice by to flash a yellow and give Oli a well needed 10-minute cool off on the side line. Oli left the pitch, disappointed, but please the umpire had only reached for yellow, in what was clearly a sending off offense. Peterborough then scored a quick few goal. The small lad up front scored a couple of good goals, I’m sure he’ll look forward to telling all his mates in year 8 all about it. Anyway, the score was then 4-2, to them and time was running out. It took a bit of Argyle wizardry to pull us back to level. At 4-4, no-one was saying it but everyone was thinking it….could this be Liverpool vs AC Milan champo league. It wasn’t. The match ended a draw. Well played to the boys, another good results for a fairly young good looking team.
It was a mild day in Dunbar, Scotland while I began the all day celebration that was my cousin’s wedding. The Wanderers would have much to celebrate too that day, unknown to them at first, as they headed down the treacherous road to Waltham Forest. As I arrived at the wedding venue I was shocked to find it was on a farm. Similar to the Wanderer’s experience, large bits of machinery were seen lying around, although not in flames and on the border at Essex!
The entrance of the bridal party was Wandereresque, with an excitement of the coming day hiding behind the cool, composed exterior.When the bride and groom said ‘I do’ there was magic in the air, similar to the seamless teamwork of Fred and Telly when the game began.
As I downed my first glass, the Wanderers tasted their first champagne moment, with Oli Shale powering a drag to the bottom left of the keeper. Waltham were not to be put down so quickly however, and like my seafood chowder starter, the Wanderers were left floundering to a well worked goal by the home team.
Duck was next on the menu, but it wasn’t just fowl to be roasted that day, as Sam Bowker (back from planning his own marital affairs) chipped the keeper with a delicate touch. However, a lack of concentration came over the Wanderers again for a period, and it wasn’t just my Summer Berry pudding that began to look a bit fruity. Another goal for the London side made it 2-2 with just a few moments to go.
Finally with a touch of brilliance, (and no, I’m not just talking about the wedding cake made out of 8 types of cheese) Tom Elliot let out a screamer into the top corner to seal a victory for the Wanderers. The #momentum had begun for a fantastic Wanderers season, and a superb wedding as I began on my third single malt. Celebrations continued throughout the night and fortunately Rob wasn’t the only one to enjoy themselves excessively; a good captain never leaves a man behind.
MOM: Guy Morris
DOD: Matthew Knox
Our second Sunday game of the year, with the first being a dismal performance relying on a last
minute winner from J. Cobbald; the boys were keen to rectify their Sunday hockey and assert our
dominance on the 2XI Cup.
The game started well with no changing facilities and gale force winds, fear not, the gents warmedup
in earnest and the thoughts of the last Sunday were banished to the back of the mind. With our
own Pep Guardiola taking a sabbatical it was left to Captain Salter to lead the Wanderers to their
fourteenth straight competitive win and continue to The Treble. An early attacked was defended
well, if not unusually, as Salter almost deflected a Lewes crash-ball with precision it the W’s top
corner if it were not for the outstretched arm of Brooks and a reaction not different to those of cat.
Passing hockey ensued, the like of which Barcelona can only dream of, Nipuna in the middle of the
pitch controlled the pace with the forwards making base line leads to their hearts content. Short
corners flowed and a well-worked Oxford II was dispatched by Cobbald & Bennett to give the W’s
a deserved lead. The number of supporters grew as the word spread that hockey of this quality and
elegance was a once in a lifetime opportunity. A second well worked goal by Balotelli before the
break ensured the W’s went in two goals to the good.
A stern team talk from Captain Salter was backed up by his VC Frodo, muttering to himself “we’ve
lost it from four nil up” and so the second half started much like the first. Nearby netball games
were cancelled and the crowds grew in anticipation, the hockey flowed and the goals came in
abundance with Bowker, Swinn and Knox (pretty much Lewes’ flailing defender) netting in the
second half. At some point during the second half onslaught Lewes resorted to long ball hockey
with an aerial bobbling its way through to their cold and frankly lonely forward who has missed the
bus back to Lewes’ D. 5-1 was the final score and a progression to the Cup semi-finals was on the
Training on Monday was little like running in treacle.
The gentlemen of the Wanderers arrived at a windy Wilberforce fresh from a week of training that actually included playing hockey, rather than football, swimming or rather dubious ‘circuits’. Early conversation centred on how Mr Balotelli was adapting to life back in Italy and whether Scotland stood any chance in the rugby later (consensus was that they did not, although Mr Wallace espoused a dissenting opinion, strangely). Immediate issues arose when it was noticed that only 14 seats were available for the trip to Peterborough, though fears were assuaged when Captain Salter informed us that Mr Cobbold would be utilising an alternative method of transport (commonly referred to as a ‘train’), and this had nothing to do with Captain Salter’s inability to count to 15. Captain Salter’s inability to see was of more concern, and warranted a trip across town in the minibus (driven by said visually-impaired individual), including what was rather inaccurately termed a ‘short cut’, to collect his glasses. Spectacles acquired, the trip to Peterborough began a mere 30 minutes late.
Despite this delay, the Wanderers arrived in plenty of time (further proof of some serious numeracy issues possessed by team management), and with Mr Cobbold collected from the train station, preparation began. With Captain Salter echoing the words of Supreme Overlord Gibson, nobly supported by Mr Baggins, the Wanderers headed off for an intense warm-up, knowing that despite the gap in the table between the two sides, they needed to perform to the highest level in order to collect 3 points and continue to chase Ramgarhia. Unfortunately, the pre-match talk was lacking in one particular regard, as Captain Salter deigned to provide us with only two of the P’s that have formed the very cornerstone of the Wanderer’s success this year. Supreme Overlord Gibson would not have approved. Having managed not to lose anyone in the car park and back alleys of the neighbouring hospital during the warm-up (not due to any lack of trying by Mr Baggins), the Wanderers were ready.
The pattern of the match was established immediately, with the Wanderers displaying the fluid hockey that has made them such a force (on Saturdays, at least) this campaign. Calm play from the back line, well marshalled by the still suckling Mr Brooks, coupled with continuous leads and re-leads from the midfield and forward lines allowed the Wanderers almost complete possession of the small, round, plastic, white, dimpled, hollow ball that 22 men had convened upon this afternoon to chase around a pitch sandier than a good many beaches. The only threat of the half came from a solitary Peterborough short corner, dealt with dismissively by the Wanderers defence. Despite the level of possession, goals were hard to come by for the Wanderers, with the deadlock finally being broken by Mr Swinndogdragonlion, though the precise details of the goal have unfortunately been lost to the ravages of time.
With the half-time score a mere 1-0 to the Wanderers, drastic measures were required. Rowntrees Randoms were distributed secretly to the team, along with careful instructions as to how to surreptitiously dispose of them if the local anti-doping authorities became suspicious. The pattern of the first half repeated itself, the Wanderers continuing to dominate possession, with the team refusing to be divided by differing Six Nations loyalties. Composed play from all present meant the ball veritably whistled around the pitch, whilst Peterborough continued to chase after it in a manner akin to that of a small dog (easy now Mr Brooks). This inevitably led to more goals, with Mr Swinndogdragonlion adding to his previous effort with a delightful mid-D deflection and Mr Spours scoring a fine strike from the top of the area after taunting their centre-back a mere three times prior. Further hard work was not rewarded with more goals but continued to keep Peterborough pinned well back, preventing them from establishing any lasting pressure.
The Wanderers, happy to have another victory under their belt but slightly disappointed to only win 3-0, headed for teas, where chat was dominated by debate over how much sausage Mr Balotelli should give Mr Cobbold. With the food gone (mostly into the stomachs of the Wanderers, most of Mr Baggins’ onto the floor, you’d think a hobbit would have better plate control), tales emerged of Mr Balotelli’s rather strange medical exam he undertook before transferring to AC Milan. It seemed to consist of a balancing contest with Sir Bouncer of Cindies, which he unfortunately lost. Finally, a rapid-fire fines session was in order, with Mr Baggins branding most people’s weeks as ‘shocking’ in a rather Sir Alan Sugar-esque fashion. Plenty of capital was raised to fund the upcoming Varsity expenses, supplemented by Mr Whole-Forest’s last-minute admission that we had missed him out.
There was still opportunity for one more potential calamity, as it transpired on the way home that no one in the minibus had collected the bright yellow match balls (which present a missed opportunity, as branding them with ‘Felix Fund’ would perfectly match the incandescent training shirts), with Captain Salter claiming to be distracted by his upcoming game of Badminton. Fortunately, MrCerthilauda curvirostris had rescued them, no doubt much to the relief of the committee members reading this. The only question that remains from today is whether Mr Cobbold survived the return journey on the train. We may never know. Alternatively, we might find out as we have another match tomorrow, but that just isn’t very dramatic, is it?
MoM: Mr Mafioso aka Mr Mckechnie / Mr Baggins aka Mr Defroand.
DoD: Mr US Open Champion aka Mr Murray.
Cambridge Uni 7-0 Bedfordshire Uni
An all Wanderer’s side made the trip to Bedford to take on a lacklustre Bedfordshire Uni team. Cambridge dominated from the off and treated the game like a training session with textbook plays and clinical finishes. The opposition substituted brute force for skill and spent the game making crunching tackles. This resulted in multiple short corners and a penalty flick in both halves. Johno Cobbold converted the first and Charlie Bennett fumbled in the second off the keeper. Bennett would go on to score four goals in the game, including a run from midfield followed by a reverse stick effort that found the side netting. The other two goals came from a Johno Cobbold drag flick and an impressive in play finish from Jon Palmer. Greg Nelson wasn’t tested too often but made some key saves to keep the clean sheet. Overall a comfortable victory.
MOM: Charlie Bennett
DOD: Scott Mckechnie
A Christmas tale to warm the heart…
In those days Caesar Gibson issued a decree that the Wanderers should win against Havering to strengthen their grip on 2nd in Prem B. (This was the third decree while Frodo was governor of the Wanderers). And everyone who was available travelled from their home towns to Wilby.
They were joined by their three very own wise men: Telly, Lark and Fulwood, who had followed some stars through the night from a far-off ski trip, because they had heard that a win had been promised. However, before the event was to occur, the Ws were informed that the Haverodians, disturbed by the loss of 2nd position, were planning to disrupt the Ws tactics of Purposeful, Patient, Pass and move Possession hockey with the Press.
However, as with all pre-determined events, the Ws were not to be denied. Chances were few and far between in a first half which the Ws controlled, with both sides’ keepers making good saves when called upon. Half time arrived at 0-0 but Caesar Gibson was content: ”More of the same boys”. The Ws made a fast start to the second half, winning a series of short corners. On the side, a great company of the not-so-heavenly Blues appeared, singing “F-R-O-D-O”, spurring resident shepherd Bowker to hurry towards the goal a little too fast – a Telly deflection disallowed due to encroachment. No matter, a glimpse of the lead they had been promised was in sight, and before long it arrived – Sway pouncing on a rebound to put the Ws in front. The second soon followed: Giles, promoted from the Blues, deflecting a Swinn-drag into the corner of the net.
Meanwhile, the Haverodians were losing their heads, furious at proceedings, losing two players to the sin bin in quick succession. The Ws took full advantage, playing some lovely attacking hockey with goals to show for it. A swift counter down the right saw Benoit, JP and Telly link up to provide a tap in for Swinn at the back post to make it 3. The fourth soon followed, a goal of similar value to gold, frankincense or myrrh – Telly, unmarked in the D, with a delightful chip of the goalie from 10 yards out that will surely be a contender for goal of the season.
Thus, good news of great joy that will be for all of CUHC came about. On Saturday, in the town of Cambridge, the Ws dispatched Havering 4-0 to go into Christmas 2nd in Prem B, hot on the heels of Ramgharia. Caesar Gibson was content, rushing off to catch an aeroplane to sunnier climes and reflect on an excellent first half of the season. The weary but happy Ws wandered back to their respective homes; this particular shepherd praising for a very joyful first half of the campaign.
Bring on the new year
The snowball of momentum had caught, unbeaten for 9 games but could the form continue? Jonny Gibson had taken a leaf out of the Andy “It’s ten to two you’ll do” Robertson’s book and in training had been reiterating the ‘get in smash them get out’ ethos, there was to be as little time as possible spent with the Woeful Wisbech W******s.
Saturday arrived and so did the tenth consecutive biggest game of the season. With Brooks full on Pick and Mix (none of which Salter was having and surprisingly none of which was made of dog’s milk) and Telly clearly in eager anticipation for some Woeful Wisbech W****r smashing given his pre-match unloading, the Wanderer’s entered the lion’s den. After an abridged Gibson team talk we set out for the pitch only to be told of a last minute change, the Woeful Wisbech W****rs were trying some underhand tactics. Having been told the pitch that was 200m away was a short drive by Johno “sat-nav” Cobbold we drove off. After getting caught up in high speed police chases the pitch was found. However the underhand tactics had worked as there was only ten minutes left to warm up.
A lightning warm-up and the game got underway there were threats from both sides but neither were capitalising. The first blood of the first half was drawn when Salter gave one of the Woeful Wisbech W****rs a smack in the face with his stick. The Woeful Wisbech W****r squared up to him and given his Eton background Salter assumed he would have to engage in fisticuffs, but they were luckily pulled apart. With ten minutes left in the first half Salter drew more blood. A dubious attempt at a cross from a short corner gave us the lead. The half time whistle blows.
With a rousing speech about breaking more noses the Wanderers carried on intent on putting the game to bed. However things heated up when a slap from a short corner that hit the roof of the net was awarded as a goal from an umpire who was presumably concentrating on more important things. Despite this the umpire eventually changed his mind, probably as he was wary of Salter’s nose breaking rampage. The game continued 1-0 but shortly after the umpire, who must have once again been concentrating on more important things, let a head height ball fly into the d where the ball was then deflected into the goal. 1-1.
A short break and Telly was down the other end putting the Wanderers ahead again. Despite the outcry by the Woeful Wisbech W****rs that Benoit had in fact not carried the ball 5 yards into the d the goal stood. 2-1.
To add to the quick succession of goals the Woeful Wisbech W****rs once again crossed a ball into the d but this time Johnno Cobbold as sacrificial as he is decided to take one for the team and denied the Woeful Wisbech W****rs a goal by finishing it himself. 2-2
The game was tense, the next goal was crucial. Who else could it be other than JP, with a fantastic bit of anti-skill the ball rolled through the keeper’s legs and into the goal to claim his first goal of the season in a Torres-esque fashion. 3-2.
The Woeful Wisbech W****rs’ heads began to drop and the superior fitness of the Wanderers began to show through. Two more short corners were won and with a worse sight than seeing a drunk and naked Bristow, Salter finished off two more “crosses” to complete his hat trick. Final score 5-2.
The Wanderers moved into 2nd in the league putting them in promotion position. The snowball of momentum continues to grow.
Coming off the back of a string of victories, the Wanderers went into this week’s match against Letchworth with a real risk of complacency. Hindered by a goalie who “doesn’t know the rules” and a captain who apparently has real difficulty putting on his shoes when under pressure (probably because young Fulwood was drinking from them), the men in Blue could arguably be excused for being slightly unprepared for such a crucial game. However, as Mr Robertson was only too happy to remind us, arrogance should be treated
with caution within the Wanderers, and it is on the back of such sound advice that we took to the pitch against our South-Western foes.
From the pushback there was only one ending to this story (aside from the inevitable shafting of the otherwise innocent JP with DoD for some minor indiscretion in the week – although with the paparazzi attention of late, he expected as much)… and that was another resounding victory. Possession stats throughout were akin to a Barcelona – Stoke City Fixture, only the Wanderers were far more clinical. Flowing first half hockey from the front to the back of the Wanderers unit was only interrupted briefly by 2 short corners, which Johno and Bowker duly dispatched. By half time Letchworth were rocking.
In the second half, having faced pressure throughout and fallen behind to a 2-goal deficit, Letchworth came out with the intention of ‘mixing things up a bit’ – Naturally Joey Essex was in his element. But whilst the game got more physical, gaps in the opposition defence began to open up and the Wanderers began to exploit them. Some sublime and intricate passages of play ensued. The partisan crowd (including some girls whose names need not be mentioned) were treated to brilliance across the park, before Bowker casually volleyed home a third from yet another short corner. The best of all was left to last though, as 3 passes brought the ball from the Wanderers’ D to the Fox in the Letchworth D, to coolly dispatch past the sprawling keeper into an empty net, all within the space of 15seconds of winning the ball.
Special mention must go out to Mr Brooks and the back 4, who after teaching their novice keeper the rules, applied them brilliantly to earn a well-deserved clean sheet. Midfield was solid as ever – Mr Bennett applying himself tirelessly to gain yet another MoM award. And the forwards?… yeah, they weren’t too bad.
A consummate and enthralling performance for all involved means that the Wanderers have broken out of the peloton and into the leading group. Keep this winning streak going into the Christmas break and the tête de la course is within reach.
Bring on the Woeful Wisbech W****** next week!
11:30 meet on a glorious Sunday morning, and with Jamie salter late for a 3rd consqeutive meet time, one has to wonder why he is not writing this report… To further cement his place as dod ( or so everyone thought), he had failed to organise any umpires and the game only got underway thanks to Jp’s dad kindly filling in the breach.
And so the game started, and the wanderers looked ok for the first ten minutes as everyone settled into the game. Then we went 1-0 down and everything went to pot. Luckily, a bit of genius from Andy Robertson levelled up the scoreline. Nether less a slick short from their bandit 1s player ensured we went into the second half 1-0 down..
After some frank words at half time and a couple of jelly babies, the second half started far better. A cheeky “balo-telli” deflection levelle things up before a Fort Knox bang from top d put us ahead. After 3 or 4 assaults worth of a Gbh conviction and a toe nail removal on telly occurred from the f****** t*** of a number 6 on the opposition, a bowkina faso tap in took the team 2 clear and within sight of the finishing line. This was not the case and two late goals from Wisbech ensured it was 4-4 going into the last minute of the game. Little did Wisbech know that this was all part of the plan to lure them into a false sense of hope and further pile on their misery as a last play short corner was converted by faso. The wags on the Wisbech bench certainly won’t be shagging tonight… (Unless they make an appearance in life later)
Post match saw yet another blunder from would be dod salter as he hadn’t organised any post match tea. With wanderers cocktails coming up later, the day is far from over.
Sent from my iPad
It was a mild autumnal afternoon at Wilberforce grounds and what leaves remained on the trees were a beautiful blend of red, orange and brown. The gentlemen of the Wanderers gathered by the side of the pitch to watch the finest of female hockey and to share in some beard banter. All the while Johnny G, coach, mentor and father-like figure to the team, held his peace and could be seen stroking his formidable beard and staring into the distance, most likely contemplating the big game ahead or puzzling over his plethora of Ps. The captain gave the command and the troops plodded through the mud and debris of leaves towards the changing rooms.
The team gathered round and big G drew up the plans on the board. There was to be purpose in attack, patience in possession, pressure in the press, pace on the pass, penetration of the D, precision at the P-spot, panache when pertinent, team play while maintaining personality, passion and no fear of pain and the third and most important p was to have pride. Pride in playing for a club, for which fellow Cambridge men have played this wonderful game since 1890. The team was fired up and made their way out to do a high intensity total hockey warm up, with Frodo still perplexed by that year: ‘1890! Can you believe it? Since 1890!’. Before the whistle, the
captain brought the team in for a huddle and gave a passionate speech that left further perspiration on the brow and a substantial dribble down the arm of an unfortunate chap who was positioned below.
Pace and punishment were the first Ps to be addressed and straight from the pushback some linking play led to a short corner which Johno happily tidied away, just right of centre. The dominance continued for the rest of the half with notable playmaking from the Captain, who made a smooth transition into the midfield. At the half-way mark the Wanderers were three goals up and Johnny G skipped over to the team and spoke about what a pleasure it must be to play such perfect hockey, poetry in motion. But there was a
sense of unease amongst the ranks and Frodo could be heard repeatedly muttering to himself: ‘remember the start of the season, remember the start of the season’.
The Wanderer’s came out strong early in the second half and narrowly missed out on building their lead when a deflected shot hit the crossbar. Providence seemed against the men in blue and the opposition countered well to get a break away goal. This was followed by a period of sloppy and sleepy play and an opposition break away run resulted in a penalty flick. Brookesy would later comment on the flicker’s agitated state, but the man held his nerve and powered one home. In a brief period, the three goal lead had been cut to one and Johhny G could be seen pacing the sidelines, hands clasped together while Frodo seemed to have developed a twitch to go along with the mutterings about the start of the season. These were indeed worrying times and to add insult to injury, Johno was yellow carded for what looked to be a standard tackle. But the Wanderer’s were ‘better than that’ and after some smooth passing in midfield, Telly collected the ball in the D and finished smoothly with a reverse stick between the keeper’s legs. The scoreline was now 4-2 and the Wanderer’s finished out the game with an aggressive press with no more goals being scored. Spirits were high and the team went for a victory lap and topped it off with a collection of hamstring stretches.
While the rest of the team went off to get changed, have some teas and deal with the perversion and prevarication of post-match fines, the soon to be DOD pedalled off to the lab to work on what to him is the biggest P of all, Physics, and more specifically, his PhD.
Having won three games on the trot, the Wanderers were disappointed to drop 2 points at fortress Wilby last weekend. It meant that going into this week’s match there was only one thought on the Wanderers’ minds; to get back on the ‘momentum train’ (Swinn et al. 2012). This was not going to be an easy task given opposition side, Ramgarhia, were yet to be beaten this season, but coach Jonny G had tailored training so that we could give it our best shot.
A questionable meet time set by Captain Salter, combined with Scott’s bicycle malfunction and Knoxy’s apathy towards arriving on time, meant that the Wanderers’ battle would start before we had arrived at the pitch. Team chauffeurs, Sam and Andrew, knew the importance of a good warm up, and made every effort to get to the pitch as quickly as possible. Salter clearly put more emphasis on not playing on an empty stomach, and with 15 minutes until push back the final car arrived, accompanied by the distinct smell of Burger King.
The game got off to a fast paced start, with both sides looking strong on the ball. Sam Bowker got the scoring under way, picking the ball up on the baseline and driving strong around the keeper before flicking the ball past the flailing stick of a defender and into the net.
A quick google of ‘Ramgarhia’ would have you believe that they are ” a friendly and sociable club based in West London”, but not long after Sam’s goal, it became apparent that this team’s East London namesake was a very different proposition. Some quick stick skills had won them a short corner, and as the ball hit the back of the net they thought they had brought the score back to one goal apiece. But the umpire had other ideas, and as his whistle blew it was not a goal he was awarding, but a Cambridge free hit for a lifted shot. The Ramgarhia players did not take this news well, but the umpire remained resolved despite all their protestations and the game continued with Cambridge a goal in front.
The game calmed down towards the end of the first half, with both teams putting together good passages of play. Cambridge scored a couple of quality team goals (and could have had another had Frodo taken on board Jonny’s tips about shooting from the penalty spot) and Ramgarhia scored a well worked short corner to take the score to 3-1 at half time.
The Wanderers came out firing from a rousing half time team talk, and again it was the boys from Cambridge who opened the scoring for the half. Tom Elliot picked the ball up at top-D with his back to goal and hearing the keeper running out towards him calmly lobbed him with a slap that dipped below the cross bar just in time. The Ramgarhia heads went down, and goals brought more goals, with Cambridge scoring four of them in just six minutes! Frodo was keen to point out that we had thrown away a big lead before, but this time the boys in blue (technically in black) could do no wrong, as even a short corner routine that went wrong resulted in the ball crashing into the backboard.
Another disallowed Ramgarhia goal at a short corner (this time for the ball having been judged not to have left the circle) left the home team furious. They came back fighting, and scored a late goal with a thunderous shot into the side netting, but it was all too little too late as the Wanderers had amassed an insurmountable lead. The full time whistle went, the Wanderers deserved 7-2 winners.
Scorers: Sam Bowker, Tom Elliot, Scott McKechnie, Johno Cobbold, Charlie Bennett and Wes Howell x2
As the teams began their warm up for the clash dubbed as the biggest game of the season thus far, it appeared that Hurricane Sandy had descended upon Wilberforce Road. However, the wind, rain and hail did not deter the in-form Wanderers in their efforts to maintain their momentum, and they dominated the opening with some slick play down the right hand side. Despite our early pressure, it was Norwich who had the first sight of goal, winning a short corner after some uncharacteristically sloppy defending. However, the dragflick was saved by Brooks who claimed a second assist, as a quick break enabled Tom Elliot to claim his second in 2 games having
positioned himself well on the back post to finish the ball in from Knox.
The Wanderers’ domination of possession once again paid dividends 10 minutes later as Matt Knox finished calmly through the legs of the oncoming keeper after some efficient play up the left.
As the Wanderers eased into the game, our skills in and around the 25 won many short corners. However, we were unable to convert. Despite the dogged work at the back from the Frodo and the unexpectedly sober Will Fulwood, Norwich opened their account on the stroke of half time after a well worked short corner.
The beginning of the second half began an extremely cagey affair, with both teams using their feet as much as the stick. The deadlock was finallybroken when Wes, showing his trademark flair, calmly took the ball round the keeper and slotted home on his reverse.
This goal turned out to be crucial. Sustained Norwich pressure resulted in goal, after a broken down short corner was finished at the back post.
The Wanderers hit back with typical determination and some skilful play up the right from recently promoted Charlie Bennet won a string of penalty corners. However, our entire short corner repertoire was unable to test thekeeper.
With less than 10 minutes to go, the pressure was starting to show on the back 5, as Norwich had a string of chances. Solid defending at the back form the likes of Jonno Cobold and Jamie Salter were able to keep the attack at bay, but with 5 minutes to go, Norwich won a short corner which was converted with a well placed strike.
The 3-3 scoreline did not do justice to what was a skilful and fluid performance form the Wanderers, and an improvement in both attacking and defensive short corners would have resulted in a very different scoreline. Sunday night Pub Golf and compulsory Life set the Wanderers up well for a big week in preparation for the must-win on Saturday away at Ramgarhia.
Mom: Knoxy Dod: Brooks
After leaping up to 4th place in the table last weekend, there was a great deal of pressure on the high-flying W’s this week to maintain their ‘momentum’, in what is already being dubbed by some (over-enthusiastically it might be said) as the promotion push. Said ‘momentum’ was sadly lacking in the CUSU minibus though, as Andy “safety-first” Robinson insisted that he would need 4 wheels to drive us the arduous journey to Long Sutton – unfortunately the limping Transit’s previous pilot had left us naught but 3. In true Wanderers spirit though Captain Salter and his gallant 1st mate, Mr Frodo, showed true sacrifice by leaving arguably their best 5 players stranded in Cambridge, whilst ensuring that they themselves made it to the match on time. A quick tyre change and some questionable animal chat later though and the Wanderers found themselves reunited and ready for action.
The first half began in pretty similar fashion to recent weeks. The Wanderers dominated possession from the get-go. Intricate move after intricate move tore the opposition defence apart , but to little avail as the forwards’ finishing was sadly found wanting. That is until JP and Wes combined (an ‘objective’ bystander would say “very skillfully”) inside the 23, to set up Mr Telliot to finish from the most ridiculous of angles at the far post. Already over as a contest, the Wanderers relaxed into their training ground routine of missing open-goal after open goal. It took a trademark drag-flick from the Swinn-Dragon to finally set the goal-train rolling and from there on in there was no stopping it. A second for the Dragon was followed up early in the second half by Foxy Mr Knox, who, after deciding he should probably continue his scoring streak from last week, promptly did so by finishing another neat lay-off from Wes.
Throughout the match Long Sutton hardly posed any threat, thanks in no small part to an outstanding performance from the Wanderers back five. A first clean-sheet of the season was compounded by 2 more late goals: Telly first finishing a cool one-on-one against the now desolate Sutton keeper, before Fulwood proved that pre-match boozing has its rewards, by rather drunkenly looping a drag flick off an opposition defender into the net, to complete the landslide.
The less said about the dying seconds of the game the better, but I shall bitterly recount the tale nonetheless. … JP once again had the ball fall to him inside the D 5-yards out from goal. Visions of the BUCS glory of mid-week passing through his mind, he coolly tapped in to score what he thought was his first goal for the Wanderers this year, only to have his celebrations stunted by the, presumably Swiss, umpire, whose immaculate time-keeping made sure that the final whistle was blown mid-backswing.
Another solid win for the Wanderers… another bitter-aftertaste for their very-own Fernando Torres (not in the good sense).
Bring on Norwich next week!
The wanderers arrived to the Wilberfortress optimistic about their chancesagainst a newly promoted Peterborough side. There was also a real point to prove as we lingered dangerously near the bottom, and there was a strong feeling that the definition of momentum could be summed up with a 2nd win on the trot. 30mins before the game was to start however calamity struck as no keeper had turned up and it was only by chance that Andy Hayward was free to play and he rushed down to complete the team.
The first half started with Cambridge having much of the possession but with lack of real cutting edge passing around the circle leaving little real opportunities. Even Wes’s classic upright reverse failed to meet the target. After a short period of defensive work in defence and midfield we were back on the offensive with Scott, Andy and Nipuna working tirelessly. It finally took a Bowker goal to break the deadlock before half-time. Frodo could only look in disbelief as the cheering scorer ran back to celebrate the open goal netting! The second half was much more positive with great runs from Telly and JP up front creating chances and running onto a few of Johnno’s aerials down the lines. The Peterborough defence were becoming more and more stretched with Swinn managing to get himself a goal. A beautiful pass between the defence gave Knoxy a chance one on one with the keeper which he took with aplomb, finishing coolly with a reverse into the netting. A lucky break due to our very high pressure attack gave Peterborough a counter-attacking goal but thankfully Swinn unleashed the dragon with a powerful drag into the net to take away any false hope Peterborough might have had. The final goal from Salter perhaps says more about our need for practising short corners but a well executed finish nonetheless rocketing off the backboard.
Probably the best performance by the Wanderers so far, especially in the second half and Jonny’s men could be pleased with moving from 3rd last to an impressive 4th position with still much more improvement to go.
MoM: Wes DoD: Knoxy
Julian Assange. Todd Adkin. John Terry. Jimmy Saville. Sam Bowker.
This is a list of people who have recently escaped proper punishment for illegality, injustice or incompetence. Whether using the phrase ‘legitimate rape’ and keeping their job, or racially abusing a footballer and still being worshipped by thousands of Chelsea fans, or missing four open goals in a crucial Prem B match only to inexplicably evade receiving DoD, these men have one thing in common: they got away with one.
So it is left to me to give up my Monday evening to recount the story of how the Wanderers picked up their first victory of the season.
Boosted by the return of Swinndragon from the Blues, Nelson from the bakery and Frodo from the film set of The Hobbit, the Ws took a strong 14 to the charming Essex town of Colchester for a bottom of the table battle. Inspired by a stirring team talk from Captain Salter, which it turns out was written verbatim for him by Coach Gibson, the Ws started the game confidently and soon settled into the pattern of play that would characterise most of the match: Wanderers possession in the opposition half, trying to dissect a defensive half court press; a Colchester goalkeeper who, to be fair, was in pretty inspired form; and Sam Bowker not scoring. The Ws regularly prised decent openings in the Colchester 25, but struggled to find space in a congested D and were left frustrated by a lack of end product when through on goal. Bowker was often the guilty culprit. Eventually however, their patience was rewarded when, with 5 minutes remaining in the first half, Wes Howell capped an assured CUHC debut by stepping in front of Bowker to deflect a Dragon dragflick into the net.
The second half was much the same as the first, with the Ws in control but never killing the game off. The substitution of Bowker and the sending off of a Colcestrian defender opened up the extra space the students were craving. Knox skilfully won a short corner. The Dragon converted. As the minutes ticked on, the game grew increasingly scrappy as bizarre umpiring decisions disrupted the Ws rhythm. The Dragon received a yellow card for an uncharacteristic lumberjack tackle and Colchester pulled a goal back to make things slightly tense at the end. A shot by Bowker was too weak to beat a solitary defender on the line, despite receiving the ball centimetres from the goal line. But, the Ws expertly saw out the remainder of the game, choosing this week to ignore their trademark of throwing away comfortable leads just for the shits and giggles.
A good performance, a welcome win, lessons learned from previous weeks, but still improvements to be made ahead of a league and cup double-header next weekend.
Nipuna (3), Knox (2), Wes (1)
The Ws set out to achieve their first win of the season against Crostyx a team that finished just below them in the league the year before. It was the first match under the captaincy of Jamie Salter who decided to stop wasting his money in Las Vegas casinos and start safely investing it in the Ws fine pot. Saturday also saw the return of Johno Cobbold who finally decided to grace CUHC with his presence. With Pete Crook foolishly deciding that clinical medicine is more important than hockey, Frodo being too busy shooting on location for his much anticipated movie ‘The Hobbit’ and Murray straining every muscle in his body the team sheet saw a changed backline with a Ws debut for freshgun Pete Fletcher. Defence was being guided by keeper Sam Brooks who was happy to be promoted from international duty and be given a chance to play for the Ws. Higher up the pitch the team looked strong in every department with Nepuna ‘The Puma’ returning from injury to make his
Ws debut in the middle of the pitch and Sachin spearheading the attack. Despite an intense warm up, the Ws got to an average start in the game with the newly assembled team finding it hard to establish a good rhythm. Even though the possession was mostly in the university side’s favour there was a difficulty in penetrating the opposite D with any purpose. The opposition did not look particularly impressive at any point but through the silky skills of one of their strikers managed to win a short corner which was then converted with a straight drag flick routine.
The Ws were not demoralised by the early disadvantage and continued to hold on to the ball which soon resulted in recording a few shots on target. However, occasionally sloppy passes from the Ws both at the back and in midfield would result in turnovers that gave Crostyx the chance to threaten the home team goal and draw a few good saves from the Cambridge keeper.
Going into half time with the score at 0-1 it was all to play for in the second half with the Ws hopeful that their superior fitness would give them the advantage. Even though the effort from the uni side was there for all to see things were not really clicking for them with the opposition successfully implementing the well known east league hockey tactic of defending deeply and smashing the ball to their only skilful player up front, catching the better looking Cambridge team on the counter. The Ws went on to concede two more goals on their way to a disappointing defeat. Highlights of the second half included Chris Lark deciding to head butt the ball which resulted in a visit to Addenbrookes, fresher Will picking up his third card in as many CUHC appearances and Coach Marriott shouting at a Crostyx player for having the nerve to crash head first on the newly purchased goal posts.
Throughout the game sidelined Matt Murray took the role of team statistician. After rigorous statistical analysis of the masses of collected data the following conclusions emerged:
Defenders tackle the most
Defenders pass the most
Strikers shoot the most
Salter loves giving away shorts
Sach hates passing
Looking forward to the next game, the Ws will surely be looking to improve on last Saturday’s performance and start a winning streak which would see them climb up the league table.
MOM: Jointly Sam Brooks(1.5), Nepuna Senaratne(1.5), Johno Cobbold(1.5), Sachin Jivanji(1.5)
DOD: Loizos Efthymiou
The Wanderers turned up to the Havering farmhouse worried by Frodo’s apparent certainty of their playing structure and familiarity with their more exotic livestock. Employing fake smiles, hugs and kisses, Frodo delved deep into enemy territory pre-warmup, and came away rubbing his hands with fresh information straight from the horse’s mouth. Since Primula Brandybuck, Frodo’s mother, apparently had nothing important to say, Frodo trot straight past her as she tried to make contact, rather like how Loizos ignores the harem of women after his lizard tongue by focussing on the three VK’s in his claws.
Running on to the pitch, Pri earned his debut and Sam Grimshaw returned after his 7 year contract to the Blues had finally expired. Frodo’s advice the day before to shout back at the umpires and kick the ball away was still echoing in the Wanderers’ heads. The first half gave away little. Havering had managed to gallop their way into the Wanderers D, find a foot and score a corner. Meanwhile Frodo’s certainty of Havering playing a flat 2-4-2 structure with two donkeys playing left and right back had turned out mostly true. Unfortunately though the Wanderers had yet to run a similar manoeuvre as the halftime whistle went.
Frodo’s last and uncharacteristically successful halftime team talk as captain saw the Wanderers into a very strong 3rd quarter. A slick short-corner had Chris Lark deflecting a ball in, whilst even Salter had a shot on target from top D. It was an unexpected turn of events. As Havering began to throw all the cowpat out of the wheelbarrow, the probability of reaping in 3 points looked high. Until Will Fullwood realised he hadn’t shouted at the umpire and so decided to rectify the problem. A goal went in amid the uproar and the Wanderers round themselves 2-1 down with 10 men. After an aggressive offensive strategy, two more goals were pitchforked in by Havering and the game ended a disappointing 4-1.
The Wanderers had lots of positives with a good structure and basics, but poor decisions in the pockets near the D and too much Essex influence had played its part in an undeserved end scoreline.
MoM: Giles Kilbourn
DoD: Jamie Salter & Alex Defroand
Points: Giles 3, Frodo 1.5, Loizos 0.5, Jamie 0.5, Pri 0.5
Wanderers kicked off the new campaign with a dramatic draw against Harleston Magpies. Missing Our Glorious Leader Salter, who’d been a bit of a Saltpiece and gone travelling around America, they handed CUHC debuts to Atkins, Fullwood and Knox, as well as a Wanderers debut to Crook. Frodo, who’d spent a summer trying to sneak onto the set as an extra in *The Hobbit *(coming to a cinema near you 28 November), stepped in as replacement skipper, aided by Jonny Gibson who had shown us all what could actually be achieved if we tried to do something productive with our summer and turned up with a baby. No really. Jonny’s wife Jackie gave birth to Benjamin over the summer. Many congratulations to them. Benjamin was brought along by Papa Gibson to experience his first hockey game. And what a treat he was in for.
The first half was absolutely dominated by the boys in blue. Short, sharp passes; quick, fluid movement; aggressive and determined tackling; the Wanderers pressed from the off and looked to have the game sown up by half time. Sam ‘the Haymaker’ Bowker made history by scoring the first ever goal by a CUHC player on the new Wilby pitch, deflecting in a short corner by Fullwood. Joyce, in fear of losing his position as deflector-in-chief emulated Bowker with a deflection of his own. Kilbourn also apparently scored, though I can’t actually remember what happened with his goal. The Lizard, who’d spent a third consecutive summer running away from authorities in his native Cyprus where he is wanted for a number of driving-related crimes, tapped in a fourth at the back post. Confidence was breezing through the side – Kilbourn declined passing to three unmarked men when through on goal so he could try an extravagant reverse stick shot which cannoned off the post. Sister Georgie looked on, evidently impressed.
At half-time, stand-in captain Frodo was clearly pleased with himself. Not only had he trained and motivated his team to produce one of the most sexy halves of hockey Wanderers have produced in years, he had also remembered to buy half-time jelly babies. However, he was then responsible for the most disastrous half-time team talk in the history of the game.
When his team returned, gone was the fluid hockey, the sharp passing, the aggressive tackling, the confident reverse-stick shots. Instead came a team uncertain of itself and clearly lacking match practice. The Magpies upped
their game and pressed the Wanderers well, but too often possession was lost cheaply or poor decisions made. Cut a long story short, the second half was dominated by the visitors, who pulled one, two, three, four goals back on their hosts before anyone could ask ‘Does anyone have Salter’s phone number?’ A shell-shocked Frodo, fearing a coup from his rebellious teammates, tried to reassert his authority by receiving an areal above his shoulder and was consequently yellow-carded. With more Wanderers falling – JP to a groin strain, Foxy Knoxy to a dodgy knee, Gibson to a shift of nappy-changing – the remaining players held on in the final minutes to a creditable draw.
The Wanderers must take heart from a performance that was sublime at times and resilient at others. The second half was pretty catastrophic, but lessons will be learned and, with the return of Captain Saltpiece from the Land of the Free next week, the season starts afresh now. Next week’s game at Havering is being billed as one of the biggest events in the county since the launch of Jodie Marsh’s personal range of protein shakes at a local Fitness First. The Wanderers must step up to the occasion.
3-Lizard 2-Bowker 0.5-Frodo/Jasper
DOD – Salter