By Joe Chapman
Supernova’s thirds were unlucky to lose a cat-and-mouse game against a lively, well-organised Bromley squad.
After a somewhat less than calm display last week, thirds entered this match with a clear goal: play a little less like headless chickens. It was clear that a “tire them out” philosophy would not work against the opposition, in their prime as they still are. So it was that thirds took to the eerily quiet pitch, determined to out-smart, rather than out-run, the dynamic youth squad.
The first half started with Harry Low’s whistle, and immediately came a test to Nova’s calm exterior – a Bromley goal. But the first-attack division of Nicola, Hannah, James and Pete played calmly and coolly, with captain Nicola smoothly slotting home a drop-off to keep everyone’s heads up. Into attack went Louise, Marita, Andre and Rich, also showing cool heads under some tight front-defence. Bromley once again scored a long shot, which was not to be the last from a team for whom shooting and collecting (since all their boys grew a foot) is their bread and butter. In response, having played down her own shooting ability before the match, Marita proved herself wrong with an absolute bullet from just inside the touchline. Once again Bromley sunk a long shot, and once again Nova responded, with James slotting away a sublime long-range effort. After a close-call penalty, Bromley were 4-3 up, and to bring it back two familiar names popped onto the scoresheet – Marita and James popped in a couple of beauties from distance. Another foul from Nova led to a free pass which Bromley put away, taking us into halftime with the scores tied at 5-5.
On came Pippa M and Joe Ch for Rich and Nicola, hoping to fill their impressive boots. Bromley went ahead from the penalty spot and Joe scored one in return from distance. However, things went slightly downhill went Bromley found a rich seam of shooting form, going 9-6 up. Nova stayed nicely focussed while clawing their way back to 8-9 with two sensational, if very different, long shots shots. First Andre aimed for the stars and got something even better (a goal) with a beautifully precise lofted shot from very close to the halfway line. Hannah’s hard-earned veer then dropped in with a swish, despite never going more than a foot above the korf. Bromley unfortunately scored a well-worked drop-off with one minute to play, leaving Nova little time to rescue the game.
The game ended 8-10 to Bromley, with the general feeling that good work was done by all. Where last week’s draw felt occasionally messy, this game felt spacious and inventive, with just the right amount of deference paid to playing proper 4-0 and 3-1. All-in-all, this looked like a team learning the lessons of the past, ready to take its new-found zen forward into a successful season.
Thanks to everyone who played, Bromley for being a tough opposition, Harry for a sterling reffing job, Femke for being our tactical mastermind and Matt being our moral support. Matt gets extra brownie points for his cake, which was delicious, as shown by our reverent silence whilst eating it…