Unbeaten Bracknell HC 2nd have Henley on the ropesBy Libby Mound
November 12, 2009
Bracknell Mens 2nd 4 Henley 3rd 1
Like David Haye and Nikolay Valuev in Nuremberg, two unbeaten heavyweights of the MBBO Division 7 squared up in Bracknell on Saturday.
Bracknell drew first blood when Steve Williams opened the scoring from a short corner with a powerful hit.
The hosts were made to work hard by a counter-attacking Henley team, but still managed to land the next blow when a pacey cross into the attacking circle was met by Pete Bailey, who lofted the ball into the roof of the Henley net.
Bracknell continued to work hard as Henley toiled up front, but when an aerial pass left a Henley striker through on goal, keeper Tom Withey did enough to hold up play while his back line came to the rescue.
Desperate defending kept Bracknell's goal intact, and in the last significant act of the half they went 3-0 up with a predatory strike from Dave Mackinder to put the game almost out of reach.
Chasing a three-goal deficit, it was inevitable that Henley would attack aggressively in the second period and they had Bracknell pinned inside their own half for much of the half, but rarely threatened the goal.
The home side soaked up the pressure and hit Henley on the counter-attack.
Ashley Holden and Pete Bailey worked the ball well, allowing Bailey to sweep home the fourth, and although Henley scored a late consolation, it was too little too late.
Bracknell Ladies 1st 4 Teddington 2nd 2
Following a disappointing defeat at Staines a fortnight ago, Bracknell travelled to Teddington looking to put in a solid performance and take all three points.
Within two minutes of the start Bracknell went 1-0 up as Dash Heaver set up Holly Bentley to deftly beat the Teddington keeper with her reverse stick.
Bracknell’s confidence grew and they dominated for the next 10 minutes, culminating in Doris Percy skillfully converting a fantastic strike into the top corner of the net.
At 2-0 down Teddington came back strongly, but Bracknell, led by some stong defensive play by player-of-the-match Libby Mound, held them off until Teddington broke the deadlock through a short corner strike a few minutes before half time.
Bracknell rediscovered their attacking form in the second half with Percy deflecting the ball past the keeper at the far post after a well-worked short corner.
Teddington fought back to make it 3-2, but Bracknell defended well throughout the second half and wrapped up the game when Percy scored a fine goal from the top of the D to seal her hat-trick.
A well-deserved three points from a convincing team performance which sees Bracknell move up to sixth position in South Division 3A.
Banbury 2 Bracknell Ladies 2nd 5
Bracknell made the long journey to Banbury looking to retain their unbeaten record in Trysports Division 2.
The visitors had a shaky start, conceding an early goal from a short corner, but soon rediscovered their form as they returned to their preferred diamond formation.
However, Banbury still managed another goal to make it 2-0 at the break.
Captain Kelly Lockyer’s stern half-time talk gave the team a much-needed boost and less than a minute from the restart, Rachel Whittle pulled one back on her reverse stick after a great run down the wing from Helen Goodall.
With an injection of pace and a return to the form shown over the past few weeks, it wasn’t long before Bracknell equalised with a top-quality strike from Sarah Camish.
Following another good run from Goodall, Bracknell pulled away with a third goal, Caroline Apsey scoring it at the back post.
With little pressure on the back three, Bracknell were able to control the game and when Suzy Hardingham’s strike from the top of the D was deflected in by Lockyer, the writing was on the wall.
Sarah Camish’s great ball into the D was then cooly converted by player-of-the-mach Apsey into the top right-hand corner to finish Banbury off.
Special mention goes to Steph Newton on her debut goalkeeper appearance.
Bracknell Mens 1st 4 Mill Hill 1st 7
North London was the venue for Bracknell’s latest game in Regional MBBO Division 2 with promising young players Tom Mitchell and John Dye making their first-team debuts.
Bracknell started brightly with poise and purpose creating chances aplenty, but lady luck deserted them as three shots were cleared off the Mill Hill goal line.
At the other end Mill Hill created four chances and put them all away, and despite playing some excellent hockey, Bracknell went in four down at half time.
Bracknell still believed there were goals to be had and this game was far from over.
Four unanswered strikes from Paul Kaplanski, Danny Ray, Sean Hardingham and Tony Heaver brought them to within a whisker of pulling the game back from the brink.
It was all set for the perfect comeback, but Bracknell switched off and Mill Hill seized this opportunity to score three further goals to put the game out of reach for the visitors.
With several first-team regulars missing and players playing with injuries, this was a valiant effort.
The performances from Mitchell and Dye, who stepped up effortlessly, were commendable and this will no doubt be the first of many first team appearances for the duo.
Bracknell Terriers 4 Amersham 0
Tom Scott bagged a hat-trick after his younger brother Peter Scott had opened the scoring in the victory over Amersham in MBBO Division 10 East.
However, the game was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests.
In the first half Bracknell made things difficult for themselves.
Peter Scott latched onto a loose ball and scored with an emphatic reverse stick shot to open the scoring.
Bracknell established some shape and pattern to their game in the second half and wore down Amersham with three further goals.
Robert Badley played an outstanding role with two assists and some intelligent all round play and George Gibson stepped into the side for the first time and showed much promise.