Rob O’Brien took his goal tally for the season to 20 as Southampton pulled off a remarkable 4-2 win over Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 high fliers London Edwardians at Battersea Park.
They achieved the victory over the promotion chasing city side with a threadbare squad – a bare 11 players travelling to South London, half of them reserve teamers !
O’Brien described it as “an outstanding performance from a team that has not played together before and with no one on the substitute’s bench.
“The determination and passion shown from the players was second to none.”
Anxious not to turn the ball over or chase the play, Southampton quelled LE’s attacking intentions and snatched a first half lead through O’Brien himself.
By half-time Edwardians were deservedly on level terms, but Southampton restored their lead, again through O’Brien, after an aerial pass by Dan Brackstone picked out the visitors’ top scorer.
Having been undone by one counter-attack, Edwardians were undone again three minutes later when John Nurse rifled home a third from the top of the D.
Southampton weren’t finished with Blackstone setting up O’Brien to tee up a fourth goal for Simon Watson – the three goals coming in the space of five second half minutes.
London Edwardians, who lie fourth points behind R2 leaders Croydon & Old Whitgiftians, clawed a second goal back in penalty corner overtime.
The result secured a comfortable mid-table spot for Southampton and sent confidence soaring ahead of Sunday’s England Hockey Vase semi-final tie at Surrey Division club Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians.
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