Match Report:
Oundle 1 – 1 Nottingham

Oundle returned to HQ for the 2nd of 4 straight home games. Today they were facing mid table Nottingham 1s. The previous feisty affair had resulted in a 2-1 win for Nottingham, scoring in the dying seconds of the game.

Despite notable absentees such as both the Captain, Vice Captain, and P.Wilson (Phil), Oundle were able to boast a strong squad, with 15 players being available. Today’s game also saw the return of rogue winger R.Cunningham who decided that enough time had now passed since his beloved Sunderland were thrashed by the mighty Toon. Nottingham travelled with a bare 11, which after a quick chat with their captain revealed they had had some late drop outs.

The game began with an Oundle push back, and strangely for Oundle they started quickly, putting pressure on the Nottingham back line. Dalley managed to fire off a couple of early shots which the Nottingham keeper was equal to. Nottingham sat back and soaked up the early Oundle pressure, hoping to catch them on the counter attack.

And that is just what Nottingham did, one of their counter attacks finding an Oundle foot in their D. The short corner was a well worked passing routine and it found the back of The Oundle net. This was also their first shot on target.

With this goal, Nottingham started to grow into the game and Oundle became more reserved creating a more even game. Nottingham came close to adding a 2nd goal from another counter attack, with Nottingham picking the ball up deep and running at the Oundle defence. A cross into the D found a Nottingham stick for a deflection but the forward was not able to get the best contact resulting in an easy clearance for Youngy.

The previous game with Nottingham proved to be a physical affair and today was no different with several collisions occurring, the first being a Nottingham player colliding the one P.Wilson who was playing (Willow), sending the Oundle winger to the ground, and the second when the Nottingham forward found out just how strong and stable Albi was with the collision sending the Nottingham player down and throwing out his hip in the process bringing the Nottingham team down to 10.5 players.

The rest of the half fizzled out without too much incident with neither goalie being particularly busy, both teams headed into the break, with Nottingham still up by 1-0.

The 2nd half started with Nottingham on the front foot, with Oundle unable to get out of their own half. This pressure began to tell for Nottingham as they won a series of short corners in quick succession with one short corner resulting in another short corner. Oundle were unable to clear their lines, the ball consistently finding an Oundle foot in the D. Youngy was called into action on numerous occasions, even going through the back of one of Nottingham’s wingers, which caused outrage, with Nottingham players begging for a flick. This caused the 2nd half’s first flare up with a Nottingham forward making a motion of swinging his stick towards Youngy who was on the floor, Youngy reacted and needed to be restrained as he started forward.

Oundles very own enforcer, a mountain of a man in peak physical condition (sort of) decided that enough was enough. He took on the Nottingham player who was responsible for the majority of the collisions in the first half. Phil Rowbotham, stood his ground, the Nottingham player smashing into him with such force it stunned every single player on the pitch. At the end of it all, Phil was the only one left standing, looking down at his conquered foe with a look of utter contempt.

With no substitutions Nottingham appeared to start to tire as the half wore on, and they started to sit deeper and deeper in their own half. This allowed Oundle space to push up and start to pressure the Nottingham goal. With the Nottingham players deeply compacted in their defensive formation, Oundle were unable to find a way through. Coach Ellis was up from centre back and fired in a crash ball which took a deflection and found its way to the back of Nottingham’s net! Out of nowhere Oundle were level, serial dubious goal claimer Dalley again claiming the final touch but VAR is still making up its mind.

With the final whistle fast approaching and both sides feeling the effects of a closely fought encounter, the game became end to end with the spectators thinking they were at Wimbledon instead of a hockey match. Both sides were stretched but cometh the hour cometh the man, Jimmy Moore doing what he does best ran forward beating Nottingham players left and right and moments later he found himself on the edge of the Nottingham D. He took the ball to the back line before firing in a cross… just narrowly wide of the incoming Dalley who was looking to add his first proper goal of the game.

In scenes which mirrored the end of the reverse fixture, there were again handbags after the game, with Oundles coach Ellis taking exception with one of the more physical Nottingham players, apparently the Nottingham player didn’t know who he was… Never one to back down, Ellis had some very choice words to say, cooler heads eventually prevailed and separated the two players.

We go again next week, at home for the 3rd game in a row for the rearranged fixture vs Loughborough Town 3s in a MUST WIN GAME for Oundle. As a very wise man once said – ‘Up The O’s.’ HWTL.

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