01:00PM, Friday 17 March 2017
Captain Cautious Chris Brown is warn- ing his Maidenhead men’s 1sts side not to look too far ahead as they zero in on the MBB&O Regional 1 title.
They may have overcome rivals Oxford 1-0 on Saturday to cement their place as title favourites, but skipper Brown believes they must not get ahead of themselves, even with just three league matches remaining.
He cites the example of promotion hopefuls Oxford Hawks who, like Maids, have a game in hand on the chasing pack at the top of the table, but who have probably thrown it away after losing 7-5 to bottom-side Newbury on Saturday.
“We have to stay focused as Hawks proved in losing to Newbury. You can't look ahead to so called ‘big games’, you have to concentrate on the game in hand,” he said.
“The great thing about the Oxford match was that we kept a clean sheet and we produced the performance we needed.
“We dug deep and there was a really good feeling around the team afterwards.
“We now need to build on that feeling.”
Maids hosts PHC Chiswick on Saturday, a team at the wrong end of the table but exactly the type of opposition Brown is warning against.
He said: “Chiswick are unpredictable.
“On paper they have players who can do well at this level and even the one above.
“But sometimes as a team they don't show up, especially on the road.
“We need to be careful of some of their individual stars, we'll want to isolate them.”
He added: “We should have a strong side available although we have a few selection headaches as the 2nds are in a relegation battle and it would be nice to help them out.”
Maids maintained their pathway to the title with a hard fought victory over an Oxford side who were themselves still in the race to finish top. Not now.
Brown was delighted with the result and the levels both sides produced.
“It was a really high standard of hockey from both sides,” he said.
“Both teams had strong squads out and both were used to the full in a fast-paced match.
“It was also a combative match.
“We didn’t deal with their aerial threat initially.
“They like to throw the aerial ball as a way of coming out of defence.
“The second half we were better and we retained possession well.
“We defended well and tracked their runners which was important.”
As for his match-winning goal, Brown says it was lucky.
He added: “We should have scored at the start of the second half as we created a few chances, but eventually the goal came from a shot corner which went wrong.
“The injection ended up on my forehand, and I aimed to put the ball back into the danger area, but it must have got a deflection.
“It wasn’t the classiest of goals, but it was an important one.”
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