|Date||11 February 2017|
|Opposition||BRISTOL UWE A|
|Result||W 4 - 3|
|Scorers||Marcus Bowman, James Lawton Smith, James Lawton Smith, James Lawton Smith|
Escaping the February snow wreaking havoc in Bath, Saturday found Buccs navigating the tangled web of UWE's dead end roads and car parks - an ominous portend of things to come...
Despite Buccs dominating the initial phases of the game, it was UWE who demonstrated they had learnt the most since October in their very first attack, as they froze Buccs' feet to the spot and slipped by to score from their first shot on goal.
Slightly stunned, it thankfully took Buccs just 4 passes from the push back to level the score - BOWMAN to SANDEY to PELLOW to BLAKE BLUMSOM to LAWTON SMITH - who let it go with a mazy dribble and an ice cold reverse shot.
Even with the quick turnaround, Tragedy's icy fingers lurked over Buccs, causing SANDEY to slip like Bambi and gifting UWE a 1 on 1 on goal, leaving NEWMAN thankful his osteopath session the day before let him easily recover the ball from the back of the net.
Unexpectedly 2-1 down, it took the rest of the first half for Buccs to temper the chill in their hearts and reign the slippery UWE side back in. Some late pressure saw Buccs win a series of short corners, leading to LAWTON SMITH converting his second and resetting the game going into the break.
The second half saw Buccs finally begin to thaw out, with UWE unable to cope with a set of quick passes, aerial balls and clever interchanges between the forwards. An ice-shattering tackle from JENKINS saw Buccs break UWE's attempt to get out of their 23, with REEVES putting in the final pass to BOWMAN who broke through UWE's towering ice wall of defenders with a sizzling strike, as though spat out by dragons, into the bottom corner of the goal for 3-2.
UWE began to throw everything they could at the Buccs defence, leading to yet another unforced slip at the back, this time by HILL, who tumbled like a first-time skier on a green slope. UWE were gifted yet another free attempt on NEWMAN, who this time demonstrated how to actually go to ground in hockey by saving the low shot at his near post. The tale of woe would continue however, as further pressure saw UWE win and convert a well worked short corner to tie the game 3-3 with 10 minutes to go.
Angered by this late equaliser, Buccs switched on the afterburners, and with some well-worked movement in the D, earned themselves a penalty flick after BOWMAN was taken out by the goalkeeper just inches from scoring. LAWTON SMITH cooly converted for his hat-trick to put the game at 4-3 to Buccs, with just minutes left...
With the umpires checking their watches, UWE were the Empire to Buccs' Hoth, and through their sheer numbers surging forwards won themselves yet another short corner. An heroic block by LAWTON SMITH saw the initial shot from UWE deflected back to the corner taker, who flicked first time on target hard at NEWMAN. Time slowed. Every Buccs player could see every flake of snow that had started to fall in these desolate northern reaches of Bristol. Each snow flake appeared to tremble under the floodlights. But NEWMAN did not tremble as his lifetime of training and experience for this very moment came to full and glorious fruition: he dived to his right and batted the ball away from goal - straight back to the corner taker for the inevitable second shot and highly likely goal past NEWMAN's prone form.
Time actually stopped.
And restarted with the thunderous crack of Thor's hammer as NEWMAN leapt upwards - like a salmon escaping the clutches of a grizzly bear, like a butterfly seeking the rays of the sun on its wings, like an acrobat yearning for the applause of an audience - back onto his feet in time to deflect UWE's follow up strike far away from the Buccs goal and defiantly leading the Ds into the realms of mythos, plus a handy 4-3 victory against very worthy opponents.
MoM: Goalkeeper NEWMAN, for denying UWE several clear goal scoring opportunities at key moments in the game (JLS a very close second with his match winning hat-trick)
DoD: Skipper BLAKE BLUMSOM, for forgetting to play hockey due to shouting too much
|Nicholas Blake Blumsom||70||Midfielder||Green|
|James Lawton Smith||87||Midfielder||3|