Another glorious winter morning greeted the boys as we arrived at a respectable 9.45am @ Dover St to take on the Ajax outfit.
Mitch R looked pumped for a banner run through for the big 50th game. He would run out captain along with Harry BG.
Last time we met Ajax they got the jump on us in the first qtr, 5 goals zip. We spoke about not letting it happen in this game. We ran out on the ground full of confidence and through Mitch’s 50 game banner.
Ajax again got off to a flyer, kicking the first 2 goals. What happened differently this time around was the response from all players on the ground. We dug deep and got the teamwork machine cranked up to 11. Jack W was giving us some handy use. Ryan P snapped a brilliant goal and got us on the board. Matty B and Freddie were owning there positions. The run and skill of these 2 boys, regularly sets up opportunities further up the ground. Geordie’s hard work paid off and squared up the scores with another goal. Unfortunately we lost him with a very sore looking thumb in the 2nd term.
It was our turn to slip away in the 2nd term. Harry BG was a standout at CHB for most of the game and was forming a great backline outfit with Mikey P. Their marking was solid. Kaden was brilliant also down back and James P and Nate W were holding their men well. Through Benny W and Mitch R killing it in the middle we looked to pile on the lead and both scored ripping goals. Benny H kicked another goal for the year on his non preferred left foot. The skill this kid showcases each week is nothing short of outstanding. Hudson was having another day out and finished off the good work with another goal. Maxy L was started to pluck a few out of the sky and get himself into the contest. At the half we had a comfy little break.
The message going into the 3rd term was to not let up on the run and carry, tackling and pressure. With Geordie down, we had to look for Mitch G and Will S to give the team some effort in other parts of the ground to which they had been playing. They didn’t let us down and were great. Ryan P chipped in for his second to increase the lead. Thankfully he listened to my pep talk over toast pre game. Sandro was ever the consistent performer again. He’s a dead eye certainty in front of the goals and extended our advantage.
The last term was all about consolidation and maintaining the lead. Kian was important in keeping the Ajax boys away from the ball and had some ripping contests on the crowd side wing. Hugo had a few moments where he won the contest, even when he lost the ball over his head, he battled on well. Jack W again got involved with a beauty of a mark. We were all hoping he snagged a goal, but the kick just faded on the line. Benny H kicked another pearler which saw us have enough goals on the board to ensure victory.
All of the coaches ( past and present ) can kick back over a shandy or two, in our 60s and 70s, saying “I taught him everything he knows”.
That’s why we love watching the boys improve, develop and ultimately succeed more often. We will train Thursday night with the focus on some fun and games.
Enjoy the week off. Heathcote and annual bonfire is calling me!
See you all after the break!
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates!