Updated: Nov 22, 2021
20th November 2021
Yate 1 [2-2] Bristol & West 2
Report by Josh De Witt
Bristol & West returned to their COVID-19 stomping ground to face a gnarled and bitter foe. Yate the hockey team, the club and town.
In dimming light on a cloudy Saturday, the whistle was blown and the fray commenced.
The first moments were filled with a re-acquaintance for the notoriously bouncy and pacey playing surface. Owing to this Yate threatened early and found themselves ahead due to a slice of fortune. A thunderbolt short corner, struck a Bristol stick, taking to the air and striking the net in white flash.
The shock jolted a stuttering Bristol needing some illumination and sparkle into life. Grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck, the away side began swamping the left and right channels with wave after wave of fluid play.
The Yate defensive dam became increasingly creaky as the orange flood, led by Dan Ott and Kian Goodwin, sought to bust the blue.
Burst it did. Tom Varney Wiseman played in an imperious Goodwin who levelled to make the score line representative of the possession, territory and chances created.
Patient build up and oil slick passing continued, as chance on chance was crafted with the Yate back post akin to the M5 on a Friday evening of a bank holiday weekend. Despite the heavy torrent of traffic, sunshine bliss evaded Bristol.
Simon Barrett came closest to putting his side ahead taking a beautifully weighted pass by Kian into his stride and striking masterfully at full tilt beating the keeper and the near post.
Following a brief pause for citrus sweetness, fluid intake and midpoint review, the second half commenced.
The half began much in the same vein as the first had ended. Bristol setting camp in the Yate half, poking and probing at a growth of defensive decadence. As the air was filled with the sound of carbon on carbon, Bristol struggled to break down the challenge now facing them.
Through the clatter, Yate found chances on the break and against the tide found themselves with a succession of short corners.
One of these saw the ball out to the left castle, the Yate striker let fly on a venomous slingshot that sunk fangs into the backboard.
Bristol didn’t blink, as they flew out of the blocks excerpting the pressure as they had in the first half. This forced Yate deeper into their half and into more desperate hacks in around the D which gave Bristol no reward.
Enter a rested Phil Brown, with a pat on the bum and a whisper in the ear from Captain Si Barrett he came on to set the ship on course.
Queue his moment of titanic proportions. Receiving the ball on his back foot edging away from goal, he danced with the devil avoiding the incoming clattering. Making space, he struck past Yate’s flailing keeper to equal the game, 2-2.
Bristol & West continued to apply pressure, effectively halving the pitch with Yate firmly camped in and attempting to weather the storm by any means possible. Unfortunately, Bristol could not make the total domination amount to a winner despite coming close in the dying moments.
At the final whistle, Yate the team, the club, and the town no doubt sighed in relief. A point gained for them, two lost for Bristol but a performance befitting a team with realistic aspirations for the top echelons of the league.
Goals: Kian Goodwin & Phil Brown
Man of the Match: Will Madge
DOD: Josh De Witt (for turning up at the wrong meet!)