The Men’s 2nd team arrived at a cold HMS Temaraire after a roller coaster of a boat journey across the Solent. After the previous week’s disappointment at losing a match they should have won, the team were determined to put this right and with a full squad they took to the pitch in a positive mood to face Petersfield. From the very start the team began to fashion some decent chances. The midfield of Ethan Edmunds-Lamb, Steve Holbrook, skipper Mike Dodds and Will Bevan were getting the ball though to the forward duo of Thomas Young and Aaron Edmunds-Lamb who caused Petersfield problems throughout the match. Petersfield, however, held firm whilst creating chances of their own to which the defence of Peter McKnight, Steve McKnight, Archie Clark and Johnny Kirby, with Lewis Wells in goal, were equal to. Unlike the previous week the team had substitutes ready to come on with Toby Noyes and Charlie Randerson introduced to try to break the deadlock. Just when it looked like the first half would finish goalless captain Mike Dodds found Thomas Young who managed to beat the keeper with his shot and Toby Noyes was on hand on the far post to deflect the ball into the back of the net to score his first senior goal. This was to prove the final act of the first half and was a fair half on reflection as although it could have gone either way at this time, the Island was just edging it on possession and chances.
Bouyed from the late goal the team came out hard in the second half, however Petersfield were raising their game too and the chances at both ends were few and far between. After coming on just before half time Charlie Randerson was playing superbly to justify being Wightlink Player of the match, feeding and supporting the forward line whilst being a total nuisance to the opposition when trying to attack. Veteran World Cup star John Pearson was introduced to add some wiley attacking and experience to the team but even he found it tough on the pitch. However, it was to be another junior, Ethan Edmunds-Lamb, who was to make the breakthrough later in the second half – picking up the ball on the left side of the D, taking on and beating 2 defenders before finishing past the keeper to put the Island 2 goals to the good. More chances came to put the game completely out of Petersfield’s reach but the team were unable to capitalise and with less than 5 minutes left Petersfield pulled one back when their skillful veteran forward was given one too many opportunities to score and duly did so. This was to prove a very nervy finish to the match with two controversially given last gasp short corners, one of which was on full time, deservedly kept out to leave the Island 2-1 winners against what proved to be a very capable Petersfield outfit.
Many thanks to Elaine Spear for umpiring.