Romford left empty-handed at Harlow
08:00 23 September 2016
New hockey season begins with defeat
Romford’s men came away empty-handed from their East Five South East opener at newly promoted Harlow.
The visitors dominated possession early on, but Harlow defended well and countered to win a short corner, which James Hibbard cleared at the near post.
Romford then won a corner of their own, with Stuart Boyling pouncing on a rebound to open the scoring.
Garry O’Donoghue doubled the lead soon after, but Harlow hit back on the stroke of half time and struck twice more after the restart, despite the heroics of Tom Woodman, to grab the initiative.
A lapse in defence gifted Harlow their fourth goal, but Woodman produced a full length save to keep out another effort and thwarted a late breakaway to avoid further damage.
There was better news for the seconds, who beat Chelmsford sixths in Division Eight.
Jim Venus and Rob Smith were denied by good saves in the first half at Robert Clack, but a brilliant run by John Koonan set up Smith to break the deadlock.
The pair combined again for the second, before Venus weighed in with a brace to double the home side’s advantage.
Man of the match Smith had the final say, completing his hat-trick and sealing a 5-0 win late on.
The thirds hosted Harlow seconds in Division 10, with their younger players producing some great team play.
Blake Tomlinson impressed on his way to the man of the match award, as the returning Neil Carter also shone.
But Harlow netted the only two goals of the game, despite the best efforts of Jim and Gary Venus and goalkeeper Woodman, saving his second drag flick of the day, to take the points. Romford’s women were denied victory by a last-gasp goal from County Wanderers in Essex Division One.
Leah Butcher and player of the match Zoe Lawrence put Romford 2-0 up, but the home side hit back and then grabbed a share of the spoils from a late, late short corner.
The second string entertained Braintree thirds and fell to a 2-0 defeat.