Tunbridge Wells Hoppers 6

Match date: 15/10/22
Opposition: Tunbridge Wells Hoppers 6
Home or away: Away
Result: 5-5
Scorers: Nick Porter, Steve Lipscombe (3), John McIver
Man/ Woman of the Match Steve Lipscombe, John McIver
Match Reporter Steve Lipscombe

A game of two halves. TW fielded a team of old stagers supported by three talented youngsters, much like New Beccs but without the talented youngsters. Nonetheless the travelling side started on the front foot. Despite spending much of the first 15 minutes in the opposition half however, New Beccs were struggling to get opportunities. This was largely because TW had one rather canny defender who was tightly marking one of the two New Beccs front players and it was difficult to pick out a final ball. The breakthrough came after a bit of a scramble, when Nick Porter was faster to a rebound from the keeper than a TW defender on the back post and he finished from close range. The game continued in the same fashion with New Beccs dominating possession but unable to get into a scoring position, and frustratingly TW scored two goals against the run of play to make it 2-1 to the home side. Then a shrewd tactical switch brought results. John McIver moved up from midfiled to a right wing position, joining Nick running from a deeper central positon, with Steve Lipscombe on the left. Three quick goals for New Beccs (and Steve) followed. After another goalmouth scramble, the TW keeper found himself on his knees with the ball behind him between his kickers. Steve spotted it and scored magnificently from 10 centimetres. The next goal was much prettier as Steve deflected a drive from James Grey past the goalie. And if that goal was pretty, the next was a thing of great beauty as the front three combined to channel their inner Barcelona. Nick played a straight ball forward from the New Beccs half to John McIver, who carried it a few yards before slipping left to Steve as he entered the D. Steve played the ball smartly across the keeper and into the far left-hand corner. 4-2 at the break.

With their tails up and a rousing, 'we've got this game in the bag' type of half time talk from the skipper, New Beccs promptly shipped three goals to go 5-4 down. TW had started the second half aggressively and the damage was done by their youngsters, including one stunning reverse stick strike. New Beccs
were playing too deep and getting caught on the ball, allowing the opposition to take their turn at dominating play and the 3s having to play on the break. A handful of short corners came New Beccs' way and in a, er-hum, well-rehearsed routine, the ball was returned to John McIver, who had injected, and he sneaked it very tidily inside the near post to level the game.