Men’s development team suffered a 2-5 loss away in a tough match against a more experienced Alton team.
With a number of the team unavailable from the previous week the team handed a debut and a chance to shine to no less than three players with two from the junior section. However it was a tough introduction to senior hockey as Alton started the superior side and made things very hard for the Island team throughout the whole match. The defence of Lewis Wells in goal, Carl Joyce, Will Bevan, the returning John Peatfield, and debutante Joe Marsh were put under a lot of pressure and this told early on with two goals from Alton. The side fought hard to get into the game but the midfield of captain Mike Dodds, Charlie Randerson, Steve Holbrook and Nathan Bruce (in only his second senior match) just couldnt quite get the connection up to forwards Scott Bashford and debutante Dan Attrill. Despite this, and to be fair, against the run of play, one promising move was pounced on by Charlie Randerson who fired home for his first goal in senior hockey. The Island brought on another debutante Reuben Smallwood-Butler who settled in well and began to work with the rest of the midfield well to put some pressure on Alton. Not long after the Island managed to win a short corner which was converted by Steve Holbrook, netting his second in as many games and meaning the Island went into half time at 2-2.
Any hopes of pushing to take the lead though were snuffed out in the second half as Alton punished some mistakes in the Island D and swiftly found themselves 2-5 down. The team did rally a little towards the end and one short corner routine was well saved on the line by a defender from a Mike Dodds shot but even had they scored that it would not have been enough to stop sliding to defeat. Despite the loss the team can hold their heads up that although dominated against they did fight back and it was a spirited display from the team, especially from the new younger players making the senior debuts.
Massive thanks to Alton for providing two excellent umpires on the day, it was much appreciated.
Wightlink and DineWight Man of the Match was Reuben Smallwood-Butler who, despite making his senior debut, came on and played really well, exhibiting a number of excellent skills and turning a number of the Alton players inside out.