LX v Oxted on  21st June 2009

It took LX a little while to get into their stride & it was no surprise when after a somewhat weak LX clearance a finely struck shot from the Oxted left found its way into the LX goal. This, however, stung LX into action & almost immediately from the restart a fine move involving an initial pass from Alan Jackson to Ernie Vickery enabled the ball to be worked finally to Gordon Small arriving at pace into the Oxted circle. Gordon then played a fine one two off the goalpost which then left him with a tap in to level the score. Shortly afterwards Ernie Vickery was forced to leave the pitch rather than risk aggravating a muscle strain & round about that point Alan Jackson decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck by exerting his control of the midfield. This seemed to encourage the rest of the team & LX showed some good touches for the remainder of the game. Unfortunately Oxted then retook the lead with a clever flick which entered the LX goal immediately under the crossbar.

The second half continued in the same vein with both sides playing attractive hockey. Oxted's younger legs created the better chances but Alan Dures was fired up in goal & made a string of fine saves including a brilliant mid-air deflection with his left leg. John Longden too was impenetratable at sweeper. The LX South African wingbacks Hamber & O'Keaffe had by then recovered from celebrating their home country's previous day's victory over the Lions in the first Test & began to push forward. Bob Grenside was working his socks off at left link & the ever resourceful David G.Read began pressing forward whenever possible.At long last the patience of strikers Tony Jones & David Brampton was rewarded by the receipt of  a few well worked passes & from one of these an Oxted defender was deemed to have deliberately stuck out his foot within his circle. Up to the mark stepped Longden to ram home the ensuing penalty stroke & once more level the score. Could LX hold out or even go one better? Unfortunately with about 5 minutes to go Oxted retook the lead from a well struck short corner which gave Alan Dures no chance & in spite of valiant efforts LX were not able to level the score for a third time before the final whistle. The longest day of the year had produced a match which was probably a few minutes too long for LX against their usual younger opponents but the LX side had stuck to their task well & there was no disgrace in defeat to a well-balanced Oxted side.

Praise must go to the two umpires for letting the game flow so well.

Result: Oxted3:LX2

LX were well entertained after the match by Rainer & his side & it would seem likely that next year LX will be given a further chance to knock Oxted off their pedestal !

LX Team; Alan Dures John Longden Laurie O'Keaffe Robin Mayes ( Captain) Max Hamber David G Read Ernie Vickery Bob Grenside David Brampton Tony Jones Gordon Small Alan Jackson
Umpires: Keith Novis( Sussex) & Rainer Vogt(LX & Oxted)