Havering maintain hold on top spot
PUBLISHED: 10:30 20 February 2015
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Title hopefuls teach students a lesson
Havering maintained their hold on top spot in East Premier B ahead of the half-term break with a 4-2 win at Cambridge Univeristy.
The leaders expected a tough contest against a young, well-drilled side and got exactly that, but drew first blood when Paul Johnson slotted home Paul Dover’s clever pass.
The hosts levelled from a short corner, but Alex Simpson put Havering back in front from another slick set-piece.
The visitors had penalty shots waved away, whe Simpson went down under a challenge from the keeper in the D, but went 3-1 up when the same player converted another short corner in the second half.
Cambridge claimed their second with a fast counter-attacking move, but Havering used all of their experience to clinch the points when Gaz Ingram pounced on a rebound when a Harry Andrews shot was saved, to flick the ball home.
Simpson was denied a late wonder goal by a stunning save, while Joe Shearer-Rust denied the hosts with a superb close-range block at the other end.
Havering lead the way by two points and have a 10-point cushion over third-placed Letchworth with four games remaining.
The second string produced an excellent performance to claim a 5-1 win over title challengers Wapping fourths.
A young Wapping side began with intensity and took the lead when a cross from the right was swept home.
But Havering rallied and Adam Willett levelled from a tight angle, before Chris Dunn was fouled in the D and Roger Hiett converted from the spot.
Second-half goals from Hiett, another penalty, Joni Ishikawa and Dunn completed the tally in style.
A depleted third team were put to the sword by a strong Harlow outfit, who took the lead with a well-taken goal after five minutes.
Havering dug deep, but could not convert several short corners and conceded a second soon after the break.
Harlow’s finishing at corners was clinical and they netted four more times to run out 6-0 winners.
Havering’s women produced an inspired performance on the Olympic turf at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre to beat Wapping thirds 6-2 in the Essex Premier Division.
The leaders took the lead when Catherine Semon’s strike was saved and the ball fell kindly for Sue Harwood to slip it past the Wapping keeper.
But Wapping levelled from a quick break and chances continued to come at both ends, before Semon fired home from a short corner to restore Havering’s lead.
Semon made it 3-1 just before half time when she pounced on a loose ball and ran through to place the ball calmly into the corner.
And Havering’s superior fitness told in the second half, as Steph Prowse, Chris Noller, Wendy Schofield and Harwood denied Wapping.
Amelia Acreman, Semon, Anna Webb and Emma Isherwood worked hard in midfield to keep the pressure on and it was 4-1 when Harwood converted another rebound.
Emily Gilkes-Tarsey deflected Semon’s drive into the net for the fifth, before Wapping grabbed their second.
And Havering had the final word when Gilkes-Tarsey saw her corner strike deflected in by Webb.
Youngsters Emily Martin and Tess Meehan impressed after stepping up from the second string, coping well with the pressure in a ferociously paced game.
The fourths earned local bragging rights over Upminster, with a 2-1 win at Coopers.
And for the second week running, it was a birthday girl who proved their matchwinner as player of the match Emma Knight fired home from two short corners.
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