Upminster hosted Wapping at Coopers in the season opener looking to give a better account of themselves this season than last, which culminated in a deadline day goal difference survival.
The match started with both sides beginning brightly, with it appearing that Upminster had spent the summer doing something other than supping cocktails and having BBQs. Through the perpetual engine that is Dave Young, Upminster fashioned some good chances, with Mike Scrivener tapping in at the far post to give the home side the lead. He soon doubled the lead in true Scrivener style by being in the right place at the right time to guide home from close distance.
Upminster then lost Young to prior commitments, defensive stalwart Andrew Berry to a hamstring injury, and promptly conceded a soft goal just before half time to give Wapping a lifeline.
Despite a positive start to the second half, the first half enthusiasm began to wain and it became apparent that a hard summer of training culminating in being able to eat 3 burgers, 2 sausages, 4 chicken wings, some halloumi and half a jacket potato isn’t the greatest fitness preparation for a season of hockey. Wapping drew level from a short corner and the game was in the balance.
As the game stretched Scrivener combined with Chris ‘Makelele’ Abrey to deftly slot home in very un-Abrey-like fashion to give the home side the lead. Sadly, the lead was shorter than Anthony Scaramucci’s White House tenure and Wapping converted another penalty corner.
As both sides tired Upminster may consider they had the better of the play in the closing stages, but were unable to create any glaring opportunities to score. Upminster will hope to get their first 3 points of the season next week when they travel to newly promoted Crostyx 2s.