Scorers: Bean x2
MoM: Tom Bean
DoD: Ames Bell
Another Sunday at Polo and this time, the 1st XI welcomed a tough opposition in Southgate. Coming off the back of two rather convincing beatings by the north London team last season, the team felt they had some wrongs to right this year.
The game started in a laboured fashion from a Canterbury point of view and the team never really grew into any rhythm throughout the first quarter. They eventually fell a goal behind thanks to some lapse concentration in the circle to allow the a Southgate player to drift unmarked for a simple tap in at the back post, making it 1-0.
With some stern words in the quarter-time break, Craig Boyne and Toby Vaughan began to take control of the ball at the back and Canterbury began to build their play up the field, transferring around the Southgate circle patiently, feeling out for any gaps to exploit.
As a result, half-chances fell to Conor Annand and Ronan Taggart who weren’t quite able to convert before Matt Carney set up a counter attack with some composed play at the back.
The ball found Ames Bell out wide who played a searching pass across to Thomas Degiovanni to find a foot in the circle in the same cool, classy fashion as some of his Instagram posts of him lounged by the pool, that were coming out of Malta during lockdown. The first short corner of the game was converted by Tom Bean, via a flick off the keepers glove sending it up into the net – 1-1.
Back level and Canterbury seemed to find the wind in their sails. Despite a constant threat from Southgate’s athletic forwards, the team in green and white continued to look the likelier in the second quarter with another short corner saved well by the Southgate keeper.
The north London side were not so fortunate with the next. After a slip, sold well by Boyne, and spraying the first runner in the mean time, Bean was able to thread this one through the keepers legs to make it 2-1 and establish a deserved lead.
As the second half got under way, the game felt as if both teams were feeling each other out and Southgate began to grow back into the game, earning themselves a flurry of corners of their own. Thanks to brilliant save on the line from Toby and a dominant and composed save from ‘Mr I-drop-dumbbells-on-my-face-for-fun’ Nathan Redman in goal, Canterbury were able to maintain their lead.
The fourth quarter started in very messy fashion with cards being brandished as if Christmas had come early. First James Henderson found himself having a rest, with Toby and Craig to follow for cards which on another day may not have been given.
A rousing Polo crowd were quick to get up behind their team to make up the deficit in numbers on the pitch. With this – and perhaps thanks to a few cards for Southgate too – the team showed enough grit and fight to keep the Southgate onslaught at bay and hold on to their 2-1 lead to record their third win in a row.
Again the team, umpires and officials were treated to Gary’s hot-dogs after the game… a gesture appreciated by all!
The boys travel to Reading for a tough away trip next weekend in search of their fourth win from four.