Wapping M9 v Rochford M1 (h)
On match-day six Wapping 9 welcomed Rochford 1s to John Orwell, for the days early game.
Wapping had carried out their homework into the opposition this week, making note that Rochford's skipper appeared to be a bit of a start man for them, bagging 13 goals already this season going into the game. The tactic was therefore obvious; man mark him, don't allow him time on the ball, and don't let him get any shots away. The tactic worked for about 2 minutes. With his first touches of the game, Rochford's captain had made himself a great bit of space to turn and run through the Wapping defence to put his team 1-0 up.
The usual cliché's were thrown about - 'heads up', 'switch on', 'start again'... 2-0.
There seemed to be panic in the Wapping ranks, as uncharacteristic errors were creeping in. Whether it was the uncertainty of how to deal with the skill of Rochford's main man, frustration that the ball was regularly finding our centre forwards head from Rochford defensive hit-outs, or that minds had already turned to the evening's Halloween social, it was just not Wapping's day.
4-0 down at half-time meant it was always going to be an uphill struggle from there. Some stern words were had, as we knew we are a far better team than our first-half display suggested. Wapping did improve in the second half and started to show what they knew they were capable of. Unfortunately there were a couple more Rochford goals to report, before a fine passing move down the Wapping right side between Ollie Morgan and Liam Flynn led to Jonny Ellis grabbing a late consolation goal.
MOM went to Jonny Ellis for his usual brilliant work rate and deserved goal, whilst DOD went to Ollie Kean for letting everyone he spoke to for the rest of the day know all about section 9.9 in the rules of hockey.