Spencer away, Prem - 6 Oct 2007

What can I say - it all looked so good for a quarter. After a tense and tight start Spencer took the lead 0-1, but then Purley slowly began to assert themselves. Good movement on and off the ball saw them stretch the Spencer defence, which allowed them to find men with space and time for a good shot. Mike Barrett duly profited from the good teamwork with 3 well taken goals, and at quarter time it was 4-1, and all was looking good.

It was the second quarter where it all fell apart. Good recruiting over the summer meant this year's Spencer team is a much better unit than last year, and they weren't about to give up on this contest. Spencer's attacking trio started to control the play up front, driving decisively from behind goal as well as up top. Added to that Purley's gave them plenty of possession to work with, as the good offensive play of the first quarter simply disappeared. Too often they forced the play or chose the wrong option, resulting in poor shots and easy turn-overs.

By half-time Spencer had edged in front 5-6, and Purley really needed up their play. But sadly they continued the third quarter where they had left off in the second, giving away too much possession, and playing the majority of the quarter in their own half. There were slight improvements at both ends however, as the defence stepped it up to reduce the flow of Spencer goals, and the attack was move clinical in their finishing, but they still lost the quarter 2-3 to bring the score to 7-9.

With only 2 goals in it, if Purley could turn their form around they were still in with a chance in the final quarter, but they were still giving the ball away far too easily, and Spencer played the possession game. Purley tried desperately to pressure the ball, but having played so much defence they just didn't have the legs to be effective, which gave Spencer plenty of space to add 2 more goals to their tally. Final score 7-11.

On the day Spencer were worthy winners, but apart from the first quarter Purley will not be happy with this performance. It will be interesting to see how Spencer match up against Hampstead and Hitchin - on this form they should be pretty good contests.

Goals: Mike Barrett 3, Jamie Tasko 1, Dennis McKenna 1, Chris Spence 1, Jesse O'Hanley 1
Ref: Simon Peach

Photos by Steve Cluney.