With a number of availability issues this week a depleted Men’s 2nd team arrived at second placed US Portsmouth knowing that failure to win would mean the slim chance of promotion that was still lingering would be exitinguished. The game started pretty well for the Island side and with a few early chances coming the team grew in confidence. A shuffled back line involving Lewis Wells in goal, Carl Joyce. Bailey Woodford, Toby Noyes and vetaran John Pearson (celebrating his 70th birthday the day before) coped well with the atacks that came their way. They were well supported by the midfield of captain Mike Dodds, Steve Holbrook, Charlie Randerson and Ethan Edmunds-Lamb. After those early chances the forward two of Aaron Edmunds-Lamb and Chris Arnold were getting plenty of ball but could not find a way past the opposition defence, though Chris Arnold came very close when a superb deflection forced the oppo keeper into pulling off an exceptional save to keep the ball from looping past him. The opposition were also beginning to create some great ooportunites of their own to score, however, Wightlink Man of the Match Lewis Wells was making some great saves in goal to keep them at bay. Despite their best efforts though it was the United Services Portsmouth who finally took the lead when a scramble in the D was not cleared and fell nicely for one of their forwards to put away for an easy finish. It was hard on the team but they knew they were far from out of the game and tried to put the pressure back on. Unfortunately they were unable to find an equaliser before half time and went into the break a goal down.
After a quick chat at half time the team set about trying to get on the score sheet. Lewis Wells continued his impressive first half disaply with a string of excellent saves to keep the Island in the game and at the other end a good passage of play could have resulted in a penalty corner for the team. However, after not being given, the ball went down the other end where one was awarded to the oppostion instead and they made no mistake to go two goals up. Still the team did not stop fighting and a flurry of chances came their way including a number of penalty corners. Unfortunately from one of these the push out was off target and ended up going straight down the other end of the pitch where a two on one opportunity was not wasted and the Island side found themselves with a huge mountain to climb at 0-3 down. The Island did manage to get one of these goals back with Chris Arnold finishing well after a move instigated by Ethan Edmunds-Lamb and Mike Dodds but any chance of an unlikely comeback was snuffed out when US Portsmouth got a fourth goal. There was a hockey league debut for Anthony Edmunds-Lamb, but he was unable to get off to goal scoring start as the game finished 1-4. A superb effort from the team with plenty of huge positives that they can take forward to next week’s match at home against Wimbourne Warfarers.