Hockey: Havering men left empty-handed
PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 February 2018
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Havering’s men were left with nothing to show for their efforts after another hard-fought East Premier B clash at West Herts.
The game was very stop-start, with both goalies being asked to change their tops in the first minute, due to colour clashes.
And Havering’s Lee Bennett could do nothing with a well-placed drag flick which gave the home side the lead later in the first half, having won a string of short corners.
The scoreline remained unchanged as Havering pressed harder in the second half which caused the game to open up.
But all the attacking intent left Havering exposed at the back and when West Herts broke away, they were able to easily work the ball in for a second goal before the final whistle went.
The 2-0 defeat leaves Havering in fifth place with six games remaining and they host Cambridge City seconds at Campion on Saturday.
There was better news for the seconds, who claimed a 4-3 win over Brentwood thirds thanks to a late goal from teenager Luke Clarke.
Havering started well in the rain and raced into an early three-goal lead, with strikes from top scorer Adam Willett, veteran Mike Hinton on his return from a long lay-off and Mike Caruana-Smith.
Brentwood then regrouped and struck back just before half-time to keep themselves in the game, then dominated the early stages ofthe second half and netted two more goals to complete their comeback and level at 3-3.
Two brilliant point-blank saves from Havering goalie Luke Ray prevented the hosts from taking a lead and Havering improved as the game drew to a close with Andy Meehan in particular looking dangerous on the right wing.
Just as it looked as though the points would have to be shared, Ryan Lee surged forward from right back, beat four Brentwood defenders and crossed to Clarke, who finished clinically at the far post to seal the points on his debut at this level.
Two early goals from leading marksman Richard Cast put the thirds on top against Old Loughts Loppers, who scored seven times before stalwart Steve Ashlin’s late consolation.