Old heads beat young legs
Everyone scored but Charlie
11.30 - Men's 5's stepped out of the confines of their convoy to watch a spritely youthful Saffron Walden side going through the motions of well organised warm up.
11.40 - Saffron Walden are still warming up as Wapping kit up and rub their weary brows.
11.50 - Saffron Walden are doing their tens. Wapping are stretching, yawning, putting on shinpads and the like.
12.30 - Wapping are 3 nil down having let the Saffron Walden forward line walk straight through the team to smartly finish on repeated occasions. It was the hockey equivalent of giving the youngsters a head start by closing our eyes and counting to a hundred only to fall asleep whilst a scout troupe took our wallets and drew penises on our collective face.
It wasn't all bad, Wapping were making inroads upfront but the ring rust of these old prize fighters was visible and numerous first time shots were dealt with smartly by a more than capable Saffron Walden keeper. Then Wapping discovered the power of the short corner. The keepers Achilles heel. The end of the first half showed a silver lining as Charlie Ballentine's daisy cutter off a shot was passed goal-ward beyond a perplexed keeper by one of his own players. 3-1 - Own Goal (whatever Charlie says). With some of the cobwebs starting to clear, Wapping went into the half time huddle with some positives at the end of a very patchy display. Joel Marsden marshalled the team well, focussing on the positives and looking for his team to get the basics right. Other more surly members of the team suggested getting a bit more heavy handed and make them think twice before wandering through the middle of the pitch.
The second half was a different team. More positive in passing, challenging for the ball and dominating the vocal battle. Great work from Ed Towner at the back with constant positive chat. Wickes dropped deeper heading off the troubling runs from their front line and distributing smartly for fast counterattack hockey. The change in the team paid dividends.
Winning our second short corner of the game, Phil Beer deflected a shot beyond the keeper picking up a well taken goal. From the third short Dave Charlesworth swept in from the back post beyond a beaten keeper.
Wapping were now 3-3 after a dismal start, Saffron were crumbling with every attack only to be saved in the open play by their keeper playing out of his skin. New boy Harith Aldeghather doing excellent work with defence splitting passes and a smartly worked two on one put him through on goal but he was somehow kept out by their in form goalie. Dan between the Wapping sticks was also keeping busy and a crucial save from a two on one with the game tied ensured Wapping were still in the ascendency.
Wapping snatched the lead from a fourth short after a direct shot rebounded out to Matt at right slip who dispatched it beyond the keeper from top D. Making it a record five goals from five short corners, Oliver Perez deflected past the keeper from Joel's weighted ball from left slip.
The death knell was sounded for a saffron side just waiting for the final
whistle as Wapping 5's captain shrugged off some heavy tackles to release the perfect ball to Charlesworth to take a touch for a rapid low reverse stick shot beyond a sprawling keeper. A 6th goal, one
from open play, completed an astonishing turnaround through which every player in the forward line shared in the goals. The streak remains intact. Onward and most importantly, upward.
MoM: Gus Turner- solid work
DoD: Charlesworth - bad chat