Southampton University 1XI vs Gillingham 1XI.
After a great win against Salisbury, the 1xi were in high spirits. We even travelled in a team bus and were entertained by DJ Charlie’s seventies love songs. (Stevie ‘Wonder’ Way was loving it)
The weather was terrible with cold high winds biting through our wimp shirts and team beards. Saying that OT still donned a summer beater – just to prove his manliness.
After a very quick warm up on the fast, greasy pitch we were ready for action. We started well, moving the ball at pace and pressuring them into early mistakes. Eddie found himself with space on the right and deliver a quality ball into the D. Steve, who was way out of position, found himself on the other end and his deflection flew high into the top corner. The keeper stranded. In all fairness, it was a lucky deflection but Gillingham deserved their very early lead. 0-1.
The away team continued to press and after 10 minutes they were rewarded by another goal. This one deliberate – apparently! Sam Rutter showed immense skill beating the same man 3 times before moving the ball onto Hugh, who cleverly deflected it sending the stranded keeper the wrong way. Very cheeky! 0-2
Throughout the rest of the first half, Gillingham continued to press and missed a several good opportunities. Snoopy lost his footing on top D and gifted them a rare opportunity to score. Luckily the forwards incompetence and Greg’s long limbs came to the rescue. Dick of the day contention though skip!!
After inspiring words from the captain at half time, surely Gillingham couldn’t let this slip. Now against the wind, the 1XI suddenly forgot how to pass and stop the ball. Southampton sniffed an opportunity and to their credit they did put us under pressure and forced us into some mistakes. They pulled a goal back early in the second half with a rocket shot, beating the keeper at the near post. Tut tut Greg! 1-2.
Gillingham still looked dangerous on the break and aerial balls were finding the forwards in space. Chris had a great opportunity but disappointingly screwed his shot wide. With 10 minutes to go we extended our lead thanks to a clever ball from Chris to OT. His first time shot was too good for the defence and slid under the keeper. 1-3.
Game over? No! Southampton pulled another goal back through a very dubious short corner (fantastic tackle Joe). They tucked the rebound away. 2-3. A time for cool heads and Gillingham had just that. The Final whistle went and another 3 points were safely in the bag. We hadn’t player well but took early chances and worked hard.
After an embarrassing tea in the closed bar we were back on the party bus. Spirits still high and slightly better music.
Man of the Match: Freese (quality goal/tackling)
Dick of the Day: Snoop (Southampton’s best player).