Alex Harbord’s first minibus journey was a leisurely one due, not only to the 65mph speed limiter but the untimely cutting of the engine at the majority of London’s green traffic lights. Saved only by Oli Brown’s expert knowledge of the backroads of west London.
Oxford University Men’s II rocked up to south London with a historic first full 15 to an away game. Only for one tragic alumni to be keenly awaiting a game. Max Wintle and Theo Hayes instantly stuck up a rare understanding in midfield sharing more than just a few nippy passes, despite a previous misunderstanding on the group chat. After an unfortunate goal by Spencer the pair combined to set Hayes bounding though on goal to rip one low into the back corner of the Spencer net.
For the remainder of the first half the first half Oxford’s high pressure and rolling subs kept Spencer on the back foot but chances went a miss with from Miles Aho and daylight robbery from Spencer Jolly though one-handed catch on an open net from a Spencer defender. Wise words from London old man Alex Ruff coached out a dominant performance from Ben Reeves commanding the defence.
Despite Ryan Power’s Serrano-esque gobbling up of the face-offs Oxford were unable to convert their first half dominance into the score line, due to Bithell failing to make a pass off four successive fast breaks, causing the half to end evens.
After the break Spencer returned with renewed vigour and punished for a number of lapses of defending and inexperience. A flurry of second half goals though some clinical finishing unbalanced the score line and despite a valiant debut performance from Tom Munro in defence the score ran away from Oxford.
In the final quarter Oxford returned with renewed vigour with Captain Alex Harbord scoring a sterling solo goal driving from midfield, not stalling for the first time in the day. Debutant Ben Mynors-Wallis was a key performer constantly harrying the opposition in midfield. Oxford remained dangerous through fast attacks on the counter but the final ball escaped them and they were unable to convert.
MOTM – Tom Munro
Score: Spencer IV 9 – 2 Oxford II
• The wily Alistair Fleming for organising the plays from offense
• Andrew Bithell’s desire to run the entire way through the Spencer team
• Ciaran Gilbride floored by Spencer’s smallest player
• Henry ‘roadrunner’ Petch ceaseless running from midfield
Dick of the day – James Rhodes (writer)
Men's 2nds - Saturday 14th October 2017 - SEMLA East 3 - Spencer 4s Away