Crucial win sees the men's 1's return to the top of the league

After some slight concerns as to the game actually being on, the Men's 1's arrived at a sunny Havant College for a crucial match against the team who they had conceded the leadership of the league to the previous week after two disappointing draws. 

The team talk was all about structure and out passing the oppo with Pewts leading a very technical chat on how we would defend short corners. After 5 minutes of whatever Dobbo quipped "defending shorts is easy lads, just don't concede any!" 

On to the pitch we went and saw that Havant were fielding 5 international hockey players! 2 Polish gents, the Spanish centre forward, the Australian indoor international drag flicker and , oh yes, an ex GB international flown back from Australia to help the Havant push for national league hockey. 

I looked around the lads, saw their focus and thought "we will be ok here". Total domination by us of the first 15 minutes followed which was only interrupted when our player-coach Dobbo got subbed so he could give an impromptu team talk to the bench. We continued to press and were playing all of the penetrating hockey when right on half time Havant were awarded a harsh short corner following a hit into the D from 3 metres. Not looking forward to half time one nil down after having had all of the play the defenders and Pewts made sure it was a non event and we went straight down the other end and got our own short just as the half time whistle went. Dobbo had his skates on and slipped just as he was about to rifle it into the goal apparently. Nil -Nil and we were happy that we had nullified their best players and an increasingly partisan crowd. Team talk was simple; more of the same guys and keep the work rate up; we are fitter, faster, have more structure and have game changers.

Early second half exchanges followed when a break down the left from Grannell saw a dangerous D penetration with our veteran forward Bluett collecting the ball and calmly finishing into the bottom right, past the on-rushing keeper. 

We knew we would now face a lot of Havant pressure and sure enough they pushed us back and won a slew of short corners. After the third blow out they removed their star drag flicker and used a different routine, again to no avail; perhaps we were psychologically winning the battle.

In the 65th minute with the Havant team and crowd becoming increasingly anxious we won a short corner after good work from the forwards. Up stepped Dobbo, slip slap, and from nowhere appeared Walshy to deflect into the corner. 2-0 and it was then very quiet. To their credit Havant really upped it in the last five minutes and finally converted their first short corner, I'll take one from seven all day long! 

The last minute was then spent up in the Havant 23 with us playing keep ball right in the corner much to Havant's dismay; the whistle went and a richly deserved 2-1 win was secured. Togetherness, structure, discipline and execution of our game plan. 

Much banter and decent grub back at the Havant clubhouse with the whole defence up for MOM - Druce winning it for a flawless performance and Fox being DoD for being, well just Jack Fox! Beers, banter and a cracking train journey back followed by too many beers in various parts of London concluded another great away day for the boys! 

9 left to play and we need to win them all starting with another hard game at home next week, to third in the table, Oxford Hawks. They have the leagues leading drag flicker in their midst; Pewts homework this week again please! 

At this stage of the season as much support as possible is needed; lets make Langley Park a fortress!

Neil Goodall
Men's 1st XI Manager

Men's 1st XI into Quarter Final of National Cup

From England Hockey Website:

The Men’s Cup took another step on the Road to Lee Valley this weekend and with a quarter final berth up for grabs there was plenty to write home about over some enthralling ties.

Holders Beeston squeaked past Premier Division rivals Holcombe in a thriller. In a see-saw battle Holcombe led through James day’s penalty corner, only for the Bees to hit back through Mark Gleghorne and a rare Ollie Willars strike. Barry Middleton levelled it up and then Day gave Holcs the lead only for Elliot Hibell to square it again ten minutes from time. The game went to penalties and Beeston keeper Simon Hujwan was the hero of the hour as his saves handed Beeston a 4-3 win and a place in the next round.

Canterbury, buoyed by their first league win of the season on the Saturday put Isca to the sword with a 7-2 win, Kyle Cramer helping himself to a brace alongside five other scorers. The other Premier Division side, Brooklands MU were in ruthless form with a 3-1 away win over University of Nottingham ensuring them safe passage to the quarter finals. Brooklands, finalists in 2014 took the lead via a Matthew Symonds penalty corner and the ever-dangerous Richard Slater notched a second five minutes later. Although the Students pulled one back, Stefan Ray-Hills made the game safe with a third for BMU in the 55th minute.

Bowdon avoided the upset of perennial giant killers Banbury as Ben White and David Egerton’s doubles as well as a goal from rising star Liam Kennerley fired them to a 5-2 win. Bromley and Beckenham made the long trip to Alderley Edge and came away 4-2 winners thanks in part to Peter Dobson’s brace.

There was still room for a couple of upsets. The south coast derby between Chichester and Havant finished all square but it was South Premier side Havant who prevailed 4-3 on penalties. Oxford Hawks, also a South Premier side sprung a surprise ousting Conference west outfit Fareham, 5-3. There is one tie still to play as Reading take on Guernsey at Sonning Lane on 4 December.

With all bar one of the ties done and dusted the quarter final draw was done this morning. Holders Beeston will take on either Premier Division rivals Reading or Men’s Trophy holders Guernsey. Bowdon make the long journey to Kent to meet Canterbury whilst Oxford Hawks’ reward for their giant killing is a home tie with Brooklands MU. The final tie is an all South League affair as Bromley and Beckenham are at home to Havant.

Ties will take place on Sunday 5 February 2017 with Lee Valley and finals weekend now getting tantalisingly close.

Men's 1st XI v Oxford Hawks - Match Report

Courtesy of Oxford Hawks Hockey Club

Oxford Hawks 3 - 4 Bromley & Beckenham

South Premier Hockey League

Hawks entertained Bromley & Beckenham on Saturday in a game which would see someone lose their first league points of the season.  Bromley started the game looking like a side with National League experience, and proved far too good for Hawks in the opening skirmishes - forcing the home team to defend deep in their own half.  Bromley took the lead inside two minutes with a well worked goal, and frequently found space at will both in the midfield and also in and around the Hawks D with swift rotations which Hawks found very difficult to pick up.  Another two goals, one a penalty stroke, inside the first fifteen minutes saw the Hawks defence opened up far too easily and left the home side with a mountain to climb.  Hawks however resolutely dragged themselves back into the game and started to assert themselves on the Bromley defence, which didn't look as robust as their attack.  A Jack Biggs penalty corner towards the end of the first half suggested that all might not be lost.

Hawks resurgence continued into the second half and goals first from Ted Bennett following a determined run, and then Jack Biggs with another penalty corner, put Hawks level midway through the second half.  To their credit, both teams went in search of the win and chances came and went at both ends.  The result looked odds on a draw as the game entered its final phases but in the last minute Hawks turned the ball over cheaply in the Bromley half and a swift and well worked counter down the right lead to the ball finding a Bromley player completely unmarked six yards from goal.  To Hawks utter frustration he finished with aplomb in the top corner, and there was no time remaining even to restart the game.  Definitely a point allowed to slip through the fingers.

Match gallery courtesy of Clive Jones here.

1st XI Match Reports - 18/10/2014

Bromley and Beckenham Ladies 1s vs Ipswich 2s
Saturday 18th October 2014, Home
Won: 7-1
Scorers: Emma Greenway x2, Liz Buddell x2, Jemma Stephenson x2, Ellie Hearn 

BromBeck bounced back from their defeat the previous week in fine style with a convincing 7-1 victory over Ipswich 2s. The home side got off to a cracking start, taking the lead within the first minute as Sophie Mitchell pounced on a loose ball and threaded a pass through to Emma Greenway who went round her defender and hit the ball in to the back of the net past the onrushing keeper. Ipswich however responded impressively and 2 minutes later won a breakaway short corner which they duly converted courtesy of a powerful strike from the top of the D. Shortly after BromBeck were hit with a setback as stalwart defender, Jo Read, had to go off with a nasty hamstring strain. Coach David Evans was forced in to a quick reshuffle and after a period of adaptation, BromBeck began to take control of the game, winning a string of short corners from some strong build up play. Liz Buddell was on hand to convert two of these in quick succession with a couple of mighty blows from the top of the D which gave the Ipswich keeper no chance. 3-1 at half time but Coach Evans wanted more and BromBeck duly obliged. The increasingly impressive youngster, 15-year old Jemma Stephenson, bundling home a good ball in from Vicky Golbourn to increase the advantage shortly after the break. Captain Lucy Shepherd then used her trademark strength and tenacity to pass the ball to Greenway who punched in to an open goal for her second, before Stephenson also got her second, reacting first to a good save by the Ipswich keeper by putting the rebound firmly in to the back of the net. Ipswich battled hard and BromBeck had to stay strong in defence to prevent them reducing the goal deficit but there was never any doubt that today was going to be BromBeck’s day. With just a couple of minutes remaining, BromBeck got their 7th and final goal with outstandingly good 15-year old Ellie Hearn topping off a Man of the Match performance with her first 1st XI goal for the club.

MOM: Ellie Hearn
DOD: Jo Read


Bromley and Beckenham Men's 1st XI vs Cambridge City 1st XI
Sunday 19th October 2014, Away
Lost: 3-1