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Captain delighted by character shown in Maidenhead HC's 4-4 draw with Surbiton HC

Chris Brown believes Maidenhead Men’s 1sts initially showed Surbiton too much respect as they fought back from 3-0 down to claim a thrilling 4-4 draw at Altwood School on Saturday.

Maids have been slowly finding their feet in Premier Division 2 West following promotion last season, but after opening up with successive defeats they’ve now picked up five points from their last four matches. On Saturday Brown helped lead the fightback for the home side by finding the net while Daniel Reid, Matthew Heller and Jack Chapman were also on target. The result leaves them ninth in the table heading into Saturday’s game at fourth placed Bournemouth.

Despite having a couple of medium to long term injuries, Brown is confident the side will continue to improve and stabilise in the weeks before Christmas.

“I think the result was an excellent one,” said Brown. “To go 3-0 down in a game so early on, it would have been easy for heads to drop and for it to be a case of damage limitation. Or, worse, it could have been a really big score. But we kept our cool and stuck to our game plan. We took our chances when we got them and caused them some trouble. There were also times in the game when Surbiton were really strong and we showed even more mental resolve and strength of character to stop them from scoring more.

“That was a real positive but we’re also becoming more clinical in front of goal and that was a big thing for us to work on. We do have a couple of injuries but at the moment the squad is pretty stable. We’re doing ok and hopefully we’ll get a couple of players back in this month or nearer to Christmas.

“November looks like being an important month for us because we’re playing quite a few of the sides around us in the table. But hopefully we will be able to continue with what has worked for us so far.”

The ability to capitalise on the chances that have come their way in recent weeks has really pleased the captain and the character the players showed to battle back was also a massive positive to take from the encounter.

“We knew they’d be a really good side,” said Brown. “And on the balance of things we’re fairly pleased with the point.

“Surbiton scored three goals in the first 20 minutes and I think we gave them a bit too much respect and then we had to try and get ourselves back into the game.

“We managed to get it back to 4-3 and, despite lots of pressure they managed to get an equaliser with five minutes to go. We were pleased to get a draw but realised that we could have maybe held on for all three points. We left ourselves with too much to do. Defensively we were pretty resilient against Surbiton.

“They had a lot of short corners and we managed to limit them to only three goals.”

W Maidenhead Ladies 1sts continue to prop up South Club’s Women’s Hockey League after losing 4-2 to local rivals Marlow HC. The team have only two points to their name heading into Saturday’s trip to East Grinstead Ladies 2nds.

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