LX v Royal Navy

at Portsmouth on 20th September 2020

On a very warm afternoon LX again found themselves playing a younger, very fit and fast Navy side. And indeed early on LX struggled to settle into a sound formation that could cover the many diagonals that the Navy seemed to find. Yet after a shakey start, the hard-working midfield of Conrad, Raj and Rich Slator began to gain possession, enabling some good attacking moves, particularly down the right with Peter Newnham supporting and Zahid losing his marker on the wide outside.

When LX moves broke down, or rather optimistic passes went astray, the Navy moved rapidly, attacking right, left and centre. They won several short corners, generally ably saved by Webby and the defence, until one strong shot blocked again by Webby bounced straight to a Navy forward only 5 metres out and it was 1-0 to the Navy. Playing 1/4s allowed a water break and a smooth changeover of the LX 13 and after the first break, LX produced some excellent attacking efforts, with Trevor Denison and Peter Cowen getting Conrad into the action to level the score at 1-1.

The Second half seemed even more  frenetic than the first with the game rapidly moving end to end until a Navy attack down their right enabled an unstoppable dribble along the back line and a pass wide of Webby for their centre to tap in for 2-1. LX again responded with several attacks, but the Navy defence held firm and another RN attack along the back line, led to a rather rash diving tackle and a penalty flick for the Navy. It was not a good flick, but somehow found its way under Webby to make it 3-1. The final quarter saw LX at its best with the whole team working hard, despite the toughness of the game so far. A “strategic” change, which saw Conrad volunteer himself centre-forward seemed to greatly improve the LX attacking formation and produce a series of penetrating attacks and Conrad scoring his second with a neat swivel and flick into the RH corner of the goal. At 3-2 and with minutes to go, the Navy defence suddenly seemed vulnerable and yet despite several good chances to equalise, the ball seemed destined to hit the keeper, rather than pass him by.

So a very enjoyable game ended with a 3-2 defeat and with the Covid rules there could be no socialising. Dickie Croker for RN collected the 2 teams in safely spaced semi-circles for a final presentation including photographs and wine for the excellent umpires, Ken Veness and Irwin Lasredo (RAF). Our two lady supporters, Anne Webb and Jackie Ray, said they’d also enjoyed their visit to Portsmouth. Many thanks are due to Dickie for enabling this fixture to go ahead and to be a reliable contact and “arranger” throughout.

Team : Dave Webb, Peter Newnham, Gavin Stones, Tochi Panesar, Nigel Guppy, Parmjit Bolina, Conrad Ray (LX Man of Match), Rajinder Bharij, Richard Slator, Zahid Arain, Peter Cowen, Trevor Denison and Geoff Furneaux.