Many Shades v. Dambusters – Part 1

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With the Hawks‘ first team at home to the Spitfires in the afternoon, the Boxing Day pre-match entertainment shifted to the Silverlake where Eastleigh Dambusters kindly offered to host the Many Shades to help work off the pigs in blankets and set us up for the evening’s turkey curry. There simply isn’t a pitch open in Havant Borough on a Bank Holiday.

Brilliantly refereed to Hampshire FA’s rules, two evenly matched sides battled through four 12-minute quarters. It is difficult to pick out moments of particular noteworthiness from the first quarter, as the Many Shades played a very competent and effective possession game, but had to be alert to Eastleigh’s counters when they got on the ball.  John Kennett in goal pulled off one particularly good save to keep them at bay, but otherwise it was a good shift from everyone.

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Pete B turns on a sixpence

The second quarter saw substitutions to ensure that everyone got a game, and there was no real change to the pattern of the match, with chances few and far between as defences dominated and both goalkeepers looked assured. Keeping much the same side for the first half of the third quarter, we hoped to draw the Dambusters’ sting and use our fresher legs to good effect in the final quarter.

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Lloyd fires in a shot

It looked as if we had managed the tactical substitution game perfectly when mid-way through the final quarter Lloyd Fowler finally broke the deadlock with a cross-shot just inside the far post. However Eastleigh simply redoubled their efforts, and eventually a shot was well blocked by John only for the ball to spin up and over him and under the bar.

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You put your left leg in –
James gets in some hokey cokey practice in preparation for hogmanay

Your Many Shades of Grey players for the day were John Kennett, Barry Ingram, Pete Dolamore, Mick Sidwell, Keith Huet, debutant Phil Hannam, Jeff Pickering, Lloyd Fowler, James McIlwaine, and Pete Brown.
Stew Russell shouted at them a lot. [Didn’t he just – Ed]

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So, with the tie evenly poised at 1-1, we return to Silverlake on New Year’s Day for the “away” leg with everything to play for.