By - Sour
I came up with the title "180" on Wednesday after seeing how far it the drive was to Chester. I did however swear only to use it if we won and played some good stuff.
As it is - I'm happy to do so.
To say that it was a complete 180 degree shift from the Oldham game isn't quite true, there were areas to be improved, hence me feeling comfortable about adding the extra 3 miles/degrees on.
A work commitments, car services and technological issues combined with an agility session at training on Thursday reduced a healthy 14 man squad to a slightly stiff and immobile 10 man side that made English Lacrosse's longest trip in six cars!
The Knights welcomed back Standiford into a D including Davenport and Warwick, and anchored by excellent Webbé between the pipes. Higginbottom, Lacey and an increasingly injured Stewart had the unenviable task of running Iron Man (TM) style midfield, with Ford, Wheeldon and Webb rounding out the squad.
The first quarter was a classic. If you consider two teams failing to maintain possession, throwing passes away and generally not playing all that well classic. Despite playing with the most control and looking more threatening Newcastle only just edged Q1 3-2 on the back of a brace from Ford and a one-man-takeaway-come-clear-come-fast-break-come-dodge from Standiford.
The second quarter was more appealing than the first but ended with the teams in a similar position at 6-4 to the visitors. Towards the end of the quarter the Knights started to show what they can do with some tic-tac-toe fast breaks that saw Webb score 1 of his 3 tallies for the day, and a couple of good saves from the Roman's keeper who was fetchingly attired in leggings of some sort. (NB may actually have just been tight tracksuit bottoms)
There is an oft said saying that "Third quarter win or lose games", and a stern half time of talkings to (most people to everyone) and knee strapping (Webbé on Stewart) saw this come true. The Knights romped out to a 10-5 lead with the Romans' only goal coming off the boot of either their crease man or Standiford - no-one was sure. The men in S&B carried on their jog-and-gun style of offence with the defence playing an increasing part in the transition game as the middies (and attack who dropped back to help out) became less and less mobile.
The fourth was a similar tale and the final score of 14-6 showed a fair reflection of the game, despite Newcastle's players coming up with 16 goals scored between them.
Chester probably won't be too agreived with the score line - and one of their players commented afterwards, "This was probably our best game." It's not all doom and gloom for the Romans though because, as Hull have shown, if you can battle through the early stages of the club, you can pick up scalps with regularity and become a player in the league. I also think there's more quality in the Chester side than in Hull's even today - so they have a solid foundation to build on if they can keep it together.
It wasn't quite a complete 180 shift from the previous week at Oldham, but this game was a step in the right direction for a team that badly needed a win to get over the traditional mid-season slump.
Next week sees the Knights host Liverpool in the first of back to back home games at Broadway West - both facing off at 1400
Webbé managed to scoop the goon award despite an excellent showing between the pipes by leaving Lacey's kit bag in Newcastle. Ford scooped up the virual Mandallion for his 5 goal haul, and a three way tie for Bag between Webbé , Nick and Woody rounded out the awards.
B: TIED - Webbé, Woodrow, Lacey
Webb M 3G
Season Scorers to date
Andy Ford 18
Mark Webb 11
John Wheeldon 11
Nick Lacey 9
Kyle Standiford 5
Andy Higginbottom 2
Robin Webb 2
Sam Ridgeway 1
Liam Thomas 1
Previews, match reports and general musings from the Toon and beyond.