02:00PM, Thursday 06 December 2018
Maidenhead HC were back to their clinical best as they swept in five goals against Eastcote on Saturday to maintain their three point lead at the top of the table.
Aqeel Hussain took his tally for the season to seven with a brace, while Phil Cowell, Richard Mulvaney and Callum Turner also netted in a comfortable 5-2 win.
The win extends Maids' undefeated run to 11 matches and keeps them three points above Oxford OBU, who were 5-2 winners over Oxford Hawks on Saturday. PHC Chiswick are a further two points adrift but Maids skipper Chris Brown expects both to push his side right to the bitter end.
“We had some things we wanted to work on from our last game, when I didn’t feel we took enough of our chances,” said Brown. “But on Saturday we were much more clinical.
“They (Oxford OBU and PHC Chiswick) are two very good sides. We beat Oxford 4-2 in our first match of the season and picked up a very good draw at Chiswick a few weeks ago but I expect both will be up there at the end of the season.
“People think that because we haven’t lost a game yet, and have a points advantage, it’s going to be easy for us, but we haven’t even played half a season yet. Things can change very quickly and we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves because of that.”
Last season Maids led the way for much of the campaign before being pipped for the title in the closing weeks of the season.
He hopes the team, who’ve now been together for a few seasons, will learn from that lesson and not repeat the same mistakes. Saturday kicks off one of the busiest weeks in their season.
They go to Reading 3rds on Saturday (4.30pm start), before taking on Marlow in the England Hockey Tier 2 Cup on Sunday.
They’re also set to host Marlow in a re-arranged clash on Tuesday.
It’s likely that a number of first team regulars will be rested for Sunday’s cup clash.
“As a side we’ve developed and grown with each other,” added Brown. “We’ve had a number of near misses over the years and hopefully those have made us a stronger, more well-rounded side.
“The league is our main priority this season, so we won’t jeopardise that for Sunday’s league game, even though we want to continue winning and keep that momentum going.”
Bottom of the table Maidenhead Ladies picked up only their second point of the season as they earned themselves a creditable 0-0 draw at fifth placed Spencers Women's 1sts.
The side put in a resilient display to hold off their hosts, having conceded 38 times in their other matches.
They go to Reading 2nds on Saturday.
Marlow Men’s 1st were left to rue a number of missed chances as they allowed a commanding lead to slip in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Witney.
The visitors dominated the first half and deservedly led 3-1 at the break after goals from Lewis Goodman and Chris Sewell (two).
They should have killed off Witney’s hopes with the chances that fell their way after the break, but squandered a number of opportunities. Witney were revived by their second goal of the afternoon and went on to snatch a third at the death to deny Marlow the points. Marlow are fifth in the table ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ashford.
It was a good day for the club’s men’s teams. The 2nds defeated Milton Keynes 2nds 5-2 with Dan Bradley and Dan Field both netting braces. David Hand also scored.
Stuart Coulton, Richard Spooner and Robin Walls got the goals as the 3rds drew 3-3 with Abingdon 1sts.
There was a 3-1 win for the 4ths over Sonning 4ths, where Gareth Murfitt, Henry Ormond and Tristan Rints netted. Tim Frost scored twice in a convincing 4-0 win for the 6ths over Bicester 4ths. George Evans and Andy Nye scored their other goals. The Strollers also beat 4-0 British Airways 4-0.
Jane Smith netted twice for Marlow Ladies 1sts, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the side from losing 3-2 against Hampstead & Westminster. They’re third in their division.
Elsewhere the 2nds beat Oxford Hawks 3rds 4-0, with D and J Hannah, K Windsor and Emily Miskell on target.
Lesley Noble scored twice for the 3rds in their 4-2 win over Thame Ladies, while Gemma Hitchen and Suse Patterson’s goals earned the 5ths a 2-1 win over Maidenhead 4ths. Krishna Chavda and Talsa Lane scored in the 6ths 2-0 win over Slough 3rds.
Windsor Ladies 2nds extended their unbeaten run to a record-breaking 10 games as they trounced Wychwood Badgers 4-0 at home.
They took the lead through Emma Thatcher, after Clare McKinnel had split the Badger’s defence with a slick one-two with Thatcher. Lucy Smith then opened her account for the club to make it 2-0, slotting home a loose ball in the D. Dana Falkner made it 3-0 as the host’s pressure paid dividends, and the rout was completed a few minutes before the end when Emma Briggs unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. They face a tricky away tie at Oxford Ladies 6ths tomorrow (Saturday) in Division 4.
In Division 1, Windsor Ladies 1sts were left deflated by a last-gasp defeat to Maidenhead Ladies 3rds. The teams had matched each other pass for pass, with Mel Dobson’s goal seemingly giving Windsor a hard-earned point. But, in the final seconds, a Maids’ strike from a penalty corner was cruelly deflected into the net.
Tomorrow (Saturday) they host Abingdon Ladies 1sts at Windsor Boys School.
Windsor Men’s 1sts have slipped to third in the table after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Oxford Men’s 3rds. Marcus Barrow’s goal earned them a point, but they really needed all three to stay in the promotion hunt. They play West Hampstead 3rds at home tomorrow (Saturday).
The 2nds beat West Hampstead men’s 6ths 2-1 at home in Division 5, with Omar Maqsood and Mindaugas Spalgena on the scoresheet.
They play Phoenix & Ranelagh Men’s 2nds away next. In Division 6 the 3rds were thumped 6-1 at home by Wycombe Men’s 4ths. They travel to Oxford Men’s 6ths tomorrow (Saturday).
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All lines are currently blocked between London Paddington and Reading after a person was hit by a train between Maidenhead and Slough.