Match Report – by Terry Oakley
Invicta versus Peterborough
11th February 2023 at Bay Sports Arena, Herne Bay
3 Marc Gonzalez
5 James Shelton
6 Peter Halverson
7 Joe Peters
8 David Martindale (Captain)
9 Alfie Sheppard
10 Jack Thomas – Goalkeeper – 1st Half
18 Connor Botting
22 Archie Franks
23 David Beeson – Goalkeeper – 2nd Half
1 Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper – 1st Half)
2 Tom Hillam
3 Jake Reed
4 Declan Lander
5 Michael Carter (Captain)
6 Harry Hillam
7 Josh Aaltonen
8 Luca Oakley
9 James Berry
10 Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper – 2nd Half)
Referees:- Clive Bassom and Kevin Hopkins.
As with all Premier League matches this season, that I have witnessed, this game started at a frantic pace. A flurry of attacks from Peterborough resulted in shots on target from Jake Reed, Michael Carter and Luca Oakley (twice) that were confidently dealt with by the Invicta goalkeeper, Jack Thomas. Invicta for their part also placed two shots on target which were comfortably palmed away by the Peterborough goalie, Anthony Williams. Jake Reed then burst forward down the left and hit another of his trademark slapshots only for Jack Thomas to produce a fine save to deny him a goal. Declan Lander then also made a fine run down the Invicta left and his shot was parried away by the Invicta goalie and Michael Carter, up in support of the attack, just failed to connect with the rebound. Both teams, at this stage of the match, were employing the carousel but without it producing any decisive gaps that could be attacked by either team.
Anthony Williams, in the Peterborough goal, was then called into frenzied action as he made a double save from Joe Peters and David Martindale. Finally, after 12 minutes of play the first breakthrough came. A clever run down the right hand side of the Invicta defence by Michael Carter took him within shooting distance of the Invicta goal albeit from a tight wide angle. Despite the attention of two defenders he managed to get his flick shot away, with very little back lift of his stick, and it accurately found the top left hand corner of the Invicta net. Invicta 0 Peterborough 1.
Invicta responded immediately with an attack that saw Joe Peters flick the ball into the path of Joe Gonzalez and his shot just missed the post by a fraction. Peterborough then took over the initiative again and good breaks by Michael Carter, Jake Reed, Luca Oakley and Josh Aaltonen saw goal bound shots batted away by the Invicta goalie. It felt at this stage of the match that it would be just a matter of time before Peterborough would find the net again and that moment arrived. Harry Hillam intercepted an Invicta pass in front of his own goal and with an electric turn of pace he steamed forward to beat his defender and, without that defender having any cover, Harry found himself in space. He wound himself up and launched an unstoppable reverse slapshot which flew into the top left hand corner of the Invicta net. Invicta 0 Peterborough 2.
Peterborough continued to enjoy the “lion’s share” of possession and looked comfortable in defending against the sporadic Invicta attacks. However, the game was about to serve up a twist. A break forward by David Martindale and a quick pass to Archie Franks allowed Archie to cut across in front of the Peterborough goal. Archie tumbled as he looked to have been fouled by the Peterborough goalie’s stick and a penalty was awarded despite Michael Carter collecting the ball. Peter Halverson took the responsibility for the penalty shot and confidently found the net past the diving Anthony Williams. Invicta 1 Peterborough 2.
A mistake on the half way line by a Peterborough player who’s cross rink pass was cut out by Archie Franks. Archie strode confidently forward but his shot at goal was well saved by Anthony Williams only for the rebound to then be missed by Alfie Sheppard. Thankfully, this did not fluster the Peterborough Team, they kept their lead intact and continued to play controlled hockey. With just 5 seconds left of the first half Jake Reed burst through again down the left and hit a fine slapshot into the top right hand corner of the Invicta net. Invicta 1 Peterborough 3.
Half Time:- Invicta 1 Peterborough 3.
Peterborough continued to pressure the Invicta goal. Another fine break forward by Jake Reed down the left followed by his slapshot hit the Invicta crossbar and the ball was scrambled to safety. This was followed both an excellent jinking run by Michael Carter and his shot also hit the Invicta crossbar. For the travelling Peterborough supporters this was a match that despite continued Peterborough possession you were always concerned that Invicta might break away and hit back. This proved to be the case when Archie Franks broke down the left of Peterborough’s defence and his cross rink pass found the unmarked Marc Gonzalez who swept home his shot under the diving body of Tyler Salmon in the Peterborough goal. Invicta 2 Peterborough 3.
Peterborough continued to press home their attacks on the Invicta goal and Tom Hillam had two good shots from close range well saved by David Beeson in the Invicta goal. It was all Peterborough at this stage and any Invicta attack usually produced a shot from distance which were comfortably dealt with by Tyler Salmon in the Peterborough goal. Michael Carter then intercepted an Invicta pass but the ball spun away from him towards the barrier. However, Luca Oakley quickly latched onto the loose ball and spun into space and hit an early pass to Michael who was already on his way up the rink to attack the Invicta goal. This move now developed into a two on two situation with Jake Reed supporting Michael against two Invicta defenders. Jake’s diagonal run to occupy one of those defenders allowed Michael to dummy a pass to him but instead Michael twisted away from his defender and produced a fine flick shot into the top right hand corner of the Invicta net. Invicta 2 Peterborough 4.
This fourth Peterborough goal then effectively settled this match and they were able to retain possession to run down the clock for the final few minutes.
Full Time:- Invicta 2 Peterborough 4.
Arthur Corr’s (Peterborough Coach) Man of the Match:- Michael Carter. Michael led this young Team by example and with maturity, as well as scoring two goals himself. He was ably supported by Jake Reed and both were able to encourage their team mates to keep possession of the ball for a large percentage of this match.
Invicta, however, proved to be a difficult opponent and were “never going to throw in the towel” until the final whistle was blown. You could never relax against them as they contested each and every ball with determination.
Peterborough played attractive hockey and utilised their explosive speed down the flanks to break free from their Invicta counterparts to launch their sustained attacks on the Invicta goal.
Peterborough will be returning to Herne Bay in the near future to play Invicta again as they have drawn them in the National Cup Competition (Date to be arranged).