|Date||16 July 2015|
|Result||W 7 - 3|
|Match Report|| Old Wulfs 7-4 Barford
Dave Ward (3), Chris Tutton, Matt Griffiths, Ed Hole, Daz Ablard
The firsts played Barford Tigers on Thursday night as we moved into the last few weeks of summer league.
Things started well as Chris Tutton reversed into the bottom corner after a Daz Ablard shot was blocked by the keeper. The rest of the first half however, stopped going to plan. Barford equalised from a penalty corner, before two unfortunate decisions then meant Wulfs had an uphill struggle to get a result. The first was when the ball was flicked into a defenders thigh but the umpire unsighted gave the decision against us and Barford scored from the resulting free hit. The second was, a stick challenged b a Barford player missed this time the decision awarded Barford a penalty corner, which was duly dispatched. A Dave Ward penalty corner reduced the deficit just before half time, but we still went into the break disappointed with the performance.
The second half started as the first had ended, with another Ward penalty corner bringing Wulfs back on level terms, but Barford again went ahead soon after.
This is where things begin to get a bit contentious, where the official story may not match the reality and where the involvement of the establishment in writing match reports may distort the truth. As a fully trained journalist (hint hint potential employers) in a society which appreciates the need for the freedom of the press, this is unacceptable to me, and I am here to tell you the true story. So please, read this before believing Wulfs captain Michael Birch’s basic, frankly childish story of ‘how Tutton got me sent off’.
Around half way through the second half Wulfs played the ball out of defence towards Callum Nightingale, who was in acres of space on the left. In a last ditch attempt to stop the pass, a Barford midfielder threw his stick at the ball to block it. The whistle blew, and players and spectators alike waited for the yellow card that was sure to follow. Except inexplicably, unbelievably, criminally, it did not. Amongst those to voice his frustration was Tutton, who was taking a well-earned break on the sideline after 45 minutes of working tirelessly for his teammates.
Although the comments made were not directly made to the Barford umpire (albeit quite loudly and only a few feet from him) and were made purely as an educational tool for those around him who may not have enough of knowledge of the rules of hockey to understand that the decision was ‘(enter your own word) disgraceful’, Tutton was rightly given a yellow card for the offence, forcing Birch to leave the pitch.
This “tactical manoeuvre”, worthy of Mourinho himself, was rewarded in minutes. Without Birch holding them back the team forced its way back into the game and were soon level again, with Alex Gray feeding Matt Griffiths on the left of the D. Griffiths made no mistake, hammering home into the opposite corner.
Wulfs then waited until the last five minutes to take the game away from Barford. Ward completed his hat-trick with another penalty corner before Ed Hole, aided this time with run from Birch from right back played in Gray who then played in Ed Hole. Seconds later Daz Ablard added his name to the scoresheet, after Callum found space on the back line to set up Daz Ablard, to make the scoreline seem more impressive than it actually was.
Highlights of the game were good performances on debut from Callum Nightingale and Kai Thorpe and the impressive penalty corner conversion rate from Ward. Thanks must also go to Wolverhampton keeper Aaran Weldon, who stepped in again and made some good saves at important points in the game.
Finally, although Birchy coming off the pitch led to us getting an equaliser and arguably won us the game, in all seriousness, sorry for getting sent off. I should’ve kept my mouth shut.