Upminster draw positives
PUBLISHED: 11:30 30 January 2015
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Men extend unbeaten run in stalemate
Upminster extended their good run in East Two South with a hard-fought draw in a very tight game against Bedford seconds.
The match started at a frantic pace, with neither side able to control the ball very well and dominate with possession.
Both teams produced a string of half chances at either end of the field, including short corner attempts, but none were taken and the match remained deadlocked at 0-0 at the interval.
The quality of hockey improved in the second half, with both sides passing and moving the ball a lot better than previously.
Upminster man of the match David Hadsley worked tirelessly in the middle of the park to keep Bedford under pressure, but the first goal went to the hosts after a clumsy tackle gave them a chance to score from the spot.
The visitors went up a gear, though, and refused to leave Bedford without at least a point and the attacking play of Steve Wright, Jack Downes and Russ Murphy led to more chances.
The breakthrough eventually came when Hadsley slotted home well from a well-worked Upminster move to level.
And with defender of the match Jack Coleman and his back line working hard in the final minutes of the game, with keeper Phil Dixon providing some excellent saves, Upminster were able to walk away with a good away point.
That made it 14 from a possible 21 points ahead of their home meeting with Blueharts seconds at Coopers tomorrow (Saturday).
The fifth team played host to an Old Loughts Academy side, who turned up with a 16-man squad and large band of travelling supporters.
The youthful visitors had the run of the game from the start, putting Upminster under constant pressure.
But they could not capitalise in the final third, despite forcing 11 short corners in a scoreless first half.
Upminster defended well, to raise hopes of an unexpected victory, and broke the deadlock soon after the restart when Robbie Smith created pressyre and Luke Alexandrou fired home.
John Fortune doubled Upminster’s lead a minute later, turning home a shot that was sailing wide with a slick deflection.
But it was downhill all the way from there for Upminster, as Loughts quickly got themselves back on level terms.
The visitors upped the tempo after that and found their touch in front of goal, scoring five more times to run out convincing winners.
Joel Munday’s tidy finish was some consolation for Upminster, as Alexandrou was named man of the match for a superb performance and Guy Robertson took the defender of the match award.
Upminster’s women edged past Bishop’s Stortford in a five-goal thriller at Coopers to remain fourth in East One South, ahead of their trip to Bromley & Beckenham tomorrow.
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