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Maidenhead Men's 1sts keep their cool to secure vital victory against Bournemouth

Maidenhead Hockey Club’s captain praised his side for keeping cool heads as they came out on top in a nail-biting 4-3 victory over Bournemouth 1sts.

Maidenhead 1sts came into the game at Altwood Park on Saturday with only one win in their last four matches, but they came back from 2-0 down to secure three points and get one step closer to safety in the Premier

Division 2 West.

The home side found it hard to cope with some of Bournemouth’s key players at first but managed to get one goal back before the referee blew for half time.

Brown’s team had the upper hand in the second half, though, going 3-2 up, and despite the visitors equalising they were still able to find another gear and secure the victory.

Brown said: “We hadn’t played that badly to be 2-0 down. Their best player brought out some really good individual quality which was the difference to get them 2-0 up.

“We responded fantastically and finished the first half in the ascendancy. We got a goal back and were really on top. We started that second half in that same vein and dominated from there onwards.

“Fortunately for us, their discipline let them down. They’re a highly competitive side and they let that get the better of them when they were trying to chase the game.”

Two weeks ago, Maidenhead struggled to keep control of their own discipline in a heartbreaking 5-6 loss to Staines 1sts, so to see his side keep their cool while the opposition started to get physical was a particular highlight for the captain.

He said: “I think we’ve always prided ourselves on being a team that doesn’t get overly fixated on arguing with officials or getting lost in individual battles or one-on-ones.

“I think of late, perhaps as a result of games not having gone our way, we may have got dragged into that a little bit. So it was a clear and conscious effort to make sure we kept our heads clear and we concentrated on our hockey and let the officials take care of the decision making.

“I think as one side starts to lose their control and composure, it’s often easier for the other side to keep theirs because they’re seeing the benefit as one side begins to self destruct.

“That was the case for us at the weekend, the more they tried to chase things and lost their cool, the more they lost control and we were able to put our foot on things and control it further.”

With Maidenhead sitting in 9th place, they face rivals Slough 1sts on Saturday in 10th, and then Woking 1sts the following week in 12th.

Brown said: “They remain quite close behind us so it certainly makes this weekend a big game.

“I think it (the result against Bournemouth) gives us the extra bit of momentum into what was always going to be a big fixture.

“We know that if we play our hockey and we do the things we want to do, we’re certainly capable of being an excellent side like Bournemouth.”

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