LX -0  v   Royal Navy West Over 55 -0 

Could be billed as ‘the game that almost wasn’t’, what with the snow and the miracles of modern miscommunication. Actually it turned out rather well. Beautiful spring sunshine, excellent ‘state of the art’ astro at RNAS Yeovilton, followed by an agreeable carvery lunch at the Sparkford Inn. Altogether a most felicitous day, only slightly clouded by the result.

The game itself was an even contest, interesting and, at times rather exciting. The opening stages belonged to LX, with incisive passing from Brian Tubb and Sudesh Nayar in midfield releasing strikers Peter Ross, Gordon Small and Rod Cochrane, who all went close with fierce shots and goalmouth scrambles. Gordon was particulary unlucky, when he wrong footed the goalkeeper but rolled his shot narrowly wide. Gradually however, the Navy found their way into the game, and mounted attacks of their own. For the most part, these made little impression on a reassuringly composed back four of Colin Pinks, John Longden, Brian Nicholls and Mark Watson, who played with great authority at sweeper. Apart from a couple of anxious moments, such openings as the Navy did create were seen off by decisive interventions from Bill Goodridge in goal.

The second half took on a somewhat different complexion, with the Navy rolling their substitutes, (lots of them!), and pressing forward in numbers. Their commitment upfield  created spaces which LX were able to exploit from time to time, as often as not thanks to a series of elegantly directed ‘route one’ passes from Mark Watson, and tireless running at the front, particularly by Gordon Small. More chances occurred at both ends, with Barry Sewell, for the Navy, probably the busier of the keepers. Late in the game, on the one occasion when he wasn’t there, two LX players, (who shall be nameless!), collided over the ball as it lay almost stationary a yard out. Clearly not our lucky day!

So, a 0-0 draw. On balance, we would have been pleased with a narrow win, but a bit dismayed if we’d lost. The game was  competitive, but friendly and courteous, (maybe because Tom Darlington had warned us about his  pocketful of cards!). Many thanks to him, and to Ian Tibbitt, for the Navy, for umpiring to a high standard, and of course, also to Alan Walker and Pat McAuley for laying on very pleasant ‘day out at the hockey’.    

LX Team: Andrew Goodridge, Mark Watson, Colin Pinks, John Longden, Brian Nicholls (guest), Alan Jackson, Brian Tubb, Adrian Money (Capt), Sudesh Nayar, Rod Cochrane, Gordon Small, Peter Ross

Match Manager: Adrian Money