Hockey Match Reports: TMW at the Surrey Cup

By - Thursday 19th September, 2013

Trinity misses out on Surrey Cup progression amid controversy

Trinity Mid-Whits took a very young squad to Sunbury last weekend for the season-opening Surrey Cup tournament. Trinity has won this competition twice in their history but the hosting of the group stages at the start of September has hampered their efforts over the last couple of years as cricket and late summer holidays got in the way. Consequently a different tactic was taken this year, to blood a large number of new faces and introduce them to first team hockey.

Trinity had been drawn into a group alongside a number of familiar teams. Sunbury & Walton, the hosts, competed in the same Hampshire/Surrey Division 2 league last season in which they edged Trinity on both occasions, winning 3-1 and 2-1. London Wayfarers 2′s is a strong team that plays in a different league structure to the Mids, but in a Surrey Cup match-up last year they were runaway 6-0 winners in a one-sided affair. And finally the weakest team in attendance was Horley, who compete at a significantly lower level than Trinity.

Trinity opened their day against pool favourites London Wayfarers. Expecting an attacking display from the opposition, they sat back ready to absorb pressure from the more experienced side. This, however, did not materialise as it transpired that Wayfarers were shorn of a number of their players and were playing with a novice goalkeeper. Whilst Mids did make the odd foray into the Wayfarers’ half, the balance of play remained in their favour so that by half time they had a two goals to nil advantage. Trinity remained under the cosh in the second half and was only kept in the game by two goal line saves by Josh Alexander after the goalie had been beaten. As the defence got used to playing with each other, these opportunities were reduced but Wayfarers managed to score one more to make it 3-0 at the final whistle.

Trinity finally managed to get on the scoreboard following a stunning goal from Josh Wildman

After a short 15 minute break, Trinity was straight back onto the pitch to take on Sunbury & Walton. With the team gelled after one game of hockey, captain for the day – Jake Metcalfe – made the decision to switch to a more attacking brand of hockey in a bid to create the chances they were so lacking in Game 1. Sunbury scored an early goal as the team got used to the new formation, however, as the first half progressed there were fewer defensive errors and Trinity enjoyed the majority of the possession.

Trinity finally managed to get on the scoreboard following a stunning goal from Josh Wildman who dribbled through the entirety of the opposition defence to open Trinity’s account for the day. However, a debatable umpiring decision for an offence the away team believed to be clearly outside the D gave Sunbury the opportunity to get back into the game. A scrappy routine involving a slip left gave Sunbury the goal they needed to regain the advantage, and with two minutes left they looked to have the game wrapped up. However, some strong dribbling from Pete Marriott down the left hand side of the pitch had the Sunbury defence in knots and gave him an uncontested shot from the top of the D. His shot beat the keeper, but was ultimately finished by Bobby Watson from a couple of centimetres, as he looks to build an early lead in this season’s Golden Stick competition.

Following a brief break for lunch, Trinity returned to the field to take on Horley. Knowing they had to record a strong goal difference to progress from the group, the Mids pushed further players up the field and fielded their first choice attacking line for the first time all day. Despite the relentless Trinity pressure, the Horley defence was having a good game with Pete Marriott’s deflection just wide of the left post being the only notable chance. However, as the game progressed Trinity’s stronger depth off the bench came into play, with Marriott opening the team’s account with a deflection at the back post, before Jake Metcalfe doubled the lead with a powerful reverse stick shot into the top right corner. Half-time: Two-nil.

Mids would have to wait for the result of the last match between Sunbury and Wayfarers to find out if they would progress to the knockout stages

Trinity compounded Horley’s misery with three further goals in the second half. First, a break-down in communication at a penalty corner was resolved when the ball was slipped left to Marriott who tucked the ball inside the keeper’s left post. Wildman then notched his second of the day as he dribbled along the Horley baseline before then flicking the ball into the top of the net from a near impossible angle. Josh Leigh recorded the final goal of the day as he tapped in from a lay-off by Wildman near the penalty spot. With Horley failing to offer any attacking threat for the duration of the second half, the match would finish 5-0 to Trinity.

Four points from their three games meant the Mids would have to wait for the result of the last match between Sunbury and Wayfarers to find out if they would progress to the knockout stages. With Sunbury also on four points Wayfarers had to win by four goals for Trinity to go through. However, with the London team keen to leave early to make their train back to their Clapham base, the teams agreed to gift Sunbury the victory to ensure that both teams would progress without having to complete their tournament schedule. Whilst within the rules of the tournament, Trinity felt as though the spirit of the game had been neglected and were disappointed that Sunbury were to progress without having proved themselves against all the competing teams.

Trinity had a number of options when it came to awarding their MVP for the day. James Dugan had stepped up to 1st XI level well and was strong defensively all day, whilst Ali McWilliam not only provided stability at the back but also attacking options and probing balls going forward. Ultimately though, the award went to Josh Wildman for offering the flair that has long been missing from the Trinity attack.

Trinity will now look to bounce back against Beckenham’s HSBC this weekend, before completing their pre-season schedule against Cheam later in the month.

Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian Hockey Club

Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian Hockey Club

Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian Hockey Club are one of Croydon’s leading clubs fielding four teams every Saturday in the county leagues. Traditionally the borough’s most successful club, the 1st XI now play in Surrey Division 1 alongside local rivals Addiscombe and Croydon Old-Whits. Originally founded in 1957 as the old boys’ team of Trinity School, the club now welcomes allcomers and run a very popular juniors’ section on Sunday mornings.

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