‘We fought like lions. This was the game we had to win. This is what I call a hard-fought victory,” says Pepijn Leenhouts, who dragged Schaerweijde to the first victory of the season (0-1) in the crucial confrontation with Laren on Sunday afternoon. ‘And Jan de Wijkerslooth was a great goalkeeper.’
When last-place Schaerweijde not only gave away the 3-3 in the final minute in the insane battle with HDM (3-4 loss) in the final minute, but also the 3-4 , the neutral supporter felt a sense of pity. Pity for poor Schaerweijde. On Sunday afternoon after the match against Laren, a completely different feeling prevails. The feeling that Schaerweijde learned from that blow against HDM.
Young Dutch talent Leenhouts runs his right hand through his blonde hair a few minutes after the match. He has been tired. He gave everything for sixty minutes. A defeat would have cautiously meant an early knockout. The gap with competitor Laren would then have increased to seven points. But the win has actually reduced the gap to number eleven in the competition to one point. A world of difference.
‘We fought for every meter. That fighting spirit, that is why we won,’ concludes the Schaerweijde defender. ‘At halftime we said to each other: keep your wits about you. We didn’t do that against HDM. We learned from that. You saw that again today. Now we kept going to the end.’
Goalkeeper Jan de Wijkerslooth knows how to keep Schaerweijde going
It is Leenhouts himself who immediately hits the first penalty corner of the match after just three minutes of hockey. His third goal of the season. From the sidelines you expect that the early lead could be the push that the number twelve of the Tulp Hoofdklasse needs this season. But the opposite happens: for almost four quarters it is Laren who bangs on the door.
Schaerweijde is virtually nowhere in the first two quarters – apart from a chance from Australian attacker Patrick Coates. Laren is chasing the 1-1. Kenny Bain shoots wide. Two corners are cleared. Schaerweijde keeper De Wijkerslooth manages to neutralize two other corners, leaving the score 0-1.
Biting on a wooden stirrer, assistant coach Reinoud Wolff sees from the sidelines that Schaerweijde is finding it increasingly difficult. His eyes scan the field for sixty minutes. His mouth screams more and more and louder. He directs each player who has to stand one meter to the left or one meter to the right to the right place using the air raid siren. It is needed. Schaerweijde is staggering.
Frustrated, Kenny Bain smashes a chair with his stick
After Laren misses a penalty corner for the fifth time via Thomas Vis, Bain’s frustration increases. He can no longer control himself. He smashes a white chair next to the dugout to smithereens with his stick. A piece the size of a book flies out. Bain paces back and forth. His anger just won’t subside. He also kicks the chair.
The moment Laren player Jordi Schramel is able to score from close range early in the third quarter, the 1-1 seems imminent. But he shoots straight at De Wijkerslooth. Less than half a minute later, Joaquin Krüger also encounters De Wijkerslooth. Miraculously, the goalkeeper manages to keep his team going at this stage of the match. ” It’s coming, it’s coming ,” Laren striker Bain tells his teammates as a substitute from the sidelines.
“Are you completely crazy or something?”
Halfway through the fourth quarter, the tension also increases at Schaerweijde. While the team tries to keep the spaces as small as possible, it is the Australian attacker Patrick Coates who single-handedly chases the Laren defense. ‘ Pat, what are you doing?! Have you gone completely crazy or something? ‘ assistant coach Wolff screams at the top of his lungs.
Time is ticking away. In the hunt for the equalizer, Laren throws the ball completely open at the back. Suddenly not only the 1-1 can fall, but just as well the 0-2. The game waves up and down. Schaerweijde player Jelle Westendorp shoots the ball against Laren keeper Joppe Boerstra. Bain gets the chance to make it 1-1, but he shoots wide. Schaerweijde captain Jur van den Have misses a chance to score 0-2.
I’m really devastated. I am extremely frustrated. Laren striker Kenny Bain about the defeat against Schaerweijde
The last minute of the match has arrived when Facundo Zarate, one of Laren’s Argentinians, gets into trouble. He dribbles into the circle and gets hit on his stick. Penalty corner for Laren. Captain Pieter Paul Houting, who is on substitute, asks on the sidelines how long there is left to play. “Thirteen seconds left!” he shouts. ‘Everyone come forward!’
Thomas Vis has the equalizer on his stick at the head of the circle. But he drags the ball into the shin of Pakistan wideout Muhammad Rizwan. Referee Coen van Bunge gives another corner. The very last chance for Laren to still achieve a draw. Vis again fires a drag push at De Wijkerslooth’s goal. But he hits runner Rizwan again on his body. This time above the knee. Everything and everyone who cares about Schaerweijde explodes with joy. The first victory of the season is a fact. Finally. After seven league games.
A few minutes later, Kenny Bain’s frustration drips from his face. He is disappointed that Laren has not put the competitor from Zeist seven points behind. He himself has missed three big opportunities.
‘I’m really devastated. I am extremely frustrated. We played poorly. We missed huge opportunities. Me, too. We really should have won this match. We must learn our lessons from this. This is really an unnecessary defeat.’ About smashing the chair, he says: ‘That was stupid of me. I shouldn’t have done that. I will arrange it with the club.’