LX 'A' vs Trojans
on Sunday 5th February
LX 'A' visited Trojans, managed from the touchline by Tubby (Brian Tubb), for their first run out of the new season which leads into campaigns in Scotland, then Italy and eventually Germany. Three periods of 30 minutes were to be played and Trojans fielded a youngish looking squad of 16 players. The LX team of 12 players lacked skipper Ken Wilcock who had contracted flu, and was led by Richard Clarke in his absence. The A team introduced some 'young blood' themselves, with just six players from the successful side that won the European Cup in Rotterdam. The weather had turned from grey to sunny and an exciting encounter was in prospect.
In the first period, LX were stronger, demonstrating a good blend of possession and penetrating attacks. The newly introduced four-man line of defence was firm, the three-man midfield controlled, and the three forwards broke dangerously. Short corners were won, but not converted and clear goal opportunities missed. Trojans played some neat hockey but seldom threatened the LX D. Alan Dures in goal for LX had yet to be tested. The second period continued in much the same vein and, merited by the run of play, Mile Surridge netted from a ball across the goalmouth following a clever set of passes from an LX short corner. This event encouraged Trojans into a more aggressive spell, and for the balance of the second period LX found themselves on the back foot with robust defence across the top of the D. Clearances were hurried and a loss of composure witnessed, Trojans obtained their only short corner of the game, but the LX goal remained largely unthreatened.
In the third period LX fitness and experience came to the fore. LX dominated in all departments blending good possession with incisive attacks. One of these saw the ball move from right to left across the top of the Trojans D, then to left wing David Gill on the line who centred for David Brampton to tap in. A lovely goal. A third was soon added when from a short corner, injector Rod Cochrane gave a short ball to David Gill who flicked the ball into the goal just under the cross bar. A goal for every one (and especially David) to savour. LX played steadily through the rest of the period, during which Trojans failed to exploit a defensive lapse when their centre forward was released on a one-on-one situation with Alan Dures, who saved brilliantly.
Trojans were generous in their praise, acknowledging that LX had won the possession battle, and Tubby made positive comments about the quality of the LX side. It is difficult for the writer of this report to highlight individual performances as all 12 LX players played an equal and important role in their first match and win. Peter Crayford and Adrian Robertson excelled in the back four alongside Percy Steele and David Read. Norman Ballard and Brian Perryman equally dominated the midfield alongside Richard Clarke. David Gill, David Brampton, Mike Surridge and Rod Cochrane all probed and tested the Trojans defence.
Trojans hospitality was enjoyed after the game with excellent food and a flowing jugs of beer. Many thanks to Tubby and all the Trojan hosts. It made a very agreeable close to a very agreeable afternoon.