LX 65s v  ISCA

at Exeter University on 6th October 2019

LX 65s 2   ISCA 3

The LX 65s team took to the field on a crisp sunny Sunday afternoon at Exeter University to play ISCA (over 55s?). Congratulations to John Wilkins who was playing his first LX match.

Putting an untried group of players together against a regular side with many younger players, albeit sprinkled with 4 LX members, was always going to be a tough ask. Therefore, it was unsurprising that most of the pressure in the first quarter came from Isca as the LX band of 12 worked hard to minimise the hosts’ opportunities and learn more about each other’s playing styles!  ‘Wilko’ played alongside Nigel Guppy at the back with Webby calling the shots from between the sticks. They all had to be on their toes from the off! Although LX went one down just before the break, with Richard Slator, Mike Leatt and Gavin Stones in the middle and Ian Knox coming on at right back, LX managed to wrestle a little more control of proceedings in the second quarter. Following a slick move through the middle, the lively Tim Brothers fed John Housham, as he drifted towards the penalty spot and then foiled the oncoming keeper with skilful timing to coolly dispatch the ball into the net. However, Isca hit back just before half time.

With a little tactical adjustment during the break, LX started to exert more control with better use of width and and height. It was unfortunate that Isca managed a third goal from turnover as, in terms of the balance of play, things were changing. In one of the several attacks down the right, the ball came back into the centre and a deft touch from Tim just outside the D gave Richard a chance to strike from the top left…and what a strike as the ball screamed into the roof of the net. Must be a contender for goal of the year!

Now LX had space to operate. With Gavin in the pivot position and Tony Neave making some searching runs on the left, Andy Fraser was kept particularly busy up front. Pressing hard, LX won a penalty corner, Mike deflected the injection right to Knoxy whose hit towards the far post found Graham Small who we thought momentarily had scored; but the keeper was there. ‘Smoggy’ picked up the rebound only to lift it just over the bar.

This was a really tough work out! LX competed extremely well and as the game progressed and little nuances were sorted, we were unfortunate to come up just short.

Many thanks to the umpires Andrew Harvey and Martin Stoneman, Mike Harris for flawless organisation of the day and Bill, Catherine and Viv for the wonderful post-match social and gourmet experience at Chez Andre.

Reporters: Mike Leatt & Bill Goodridge