Team Men’s 2nd Team
Opponent Worcester 7
Date November 11, 2023
Result Loss
Score 1 – 2

Worcester Men’s 7s 2-1 CoB Men’s 2ndXI

Goalscorer: Ben Matthews

It was a late autumn away trip to the Worcester International Hockey Centre.  A very long 67 mile round trip for the team. The Seconds were on a winning streak with three victories on the bounce and were facing one of the bottom three teams in SW division 10. Unfortunately, the team could not take the usual 15 man squad as some players had to support the first team and others could not make the late start.

On the fantastic water-based Astro the Second team pushed high and had the better of the first 5/10 minutes. Zee who played brilliantly throughout the game (winning Man of the Match award afterwards) worked hard chasing down the opposition winning possession in midfield. He communicated with his team mates and linked up with the new/youth players, gelling really well. The early pressure soon resulted in good chances in the home team’s “D”. Lots of short corners but they all broke down with no clear shots on target. Eventually, this build-up of  pressure told and a pass came from Stan to Anthony who stopped with a reverse block, then he passed to Ben. Ben took the pass and chipped it over Anthony and 3 defenders and left the goalkeeper in shock. Another brilliant goal by Ben, (just like last week’s stylish behind his back deflection into the goal). This time it rifled into the roof of the net…”top bins”.

Somehow the home team soon got into their rhythm and left the visitors under intense pressure. The Worcester crew won many short corners by finding a foot. The visitors’ defensive display was again strong and they held off a very strong attacking display from Worcester in the final quarter of the half. But the build up of pressure eventually led to a defensive error and they got the equaliser, from a scrappy goal.

 Throughout the game the visitors had to get used to a bouncy water-based pitch and slow moving ball speed. This was combined by confusion with similar sounding umpire whistles from the pitch next door. On four occasions all players stopped when the other matches umpire blew loud and it echoed around us.  Fatigue grew in the second half for the visitors and they defended deep and waited for their counter attack breakaways. But throughout this game our youth team players learned how hard it must be to play in the higher divisions playing some of these players in the Worcester set up. But to all of their credit every one of the youth players worked hard and tried to battle for possession just like the whole squad. With only one substitute, tired legs eventually took hold and another defensive error resulted in the home team taking the lead. Edan and Paul both charged after a loose ball in the “D” and clattered into each other. The ball’s deflection found the sole striker waiting to pounce and he scored the winning goal. But with a second wind, the COBHC midfield drove forward and tried to retore the balance. There was clever close passing and the team used the wide players to better effect. Midfield linked up to the striker Anthony more as the pressure grew, Anthony actually megged two defenders on the trot as he drove from midfield, unfortunately for him possession was won back by their third final defender!. These attacks pushed the home team back and the visitors very nearly got a just reward in the final dying minutes. Zee broke the defence and launched a pass across the D . Anthony reverse stick hooked it toward goal, hitting the post, it rebounded/deflected away and was picked up by Ben who sadly hit the side netting.

This was a positive performance from City of Birmingham HC 2s against a stronger than anticipated opposition. The whole team battled hard and never gave up. It was a great test for all the new players, and it will help their experience in hockey.

The whole team should take away the positives as this squad development continues each week.

Categories: Match Reports