This is our joint Masters' team with Petersfield HC
HHC Captain is Adrian Potter
League: Mercian Wessex Masters League Div 2
Current Position: 8
Total Goals: 36
Total Cards: 0
LATEST MATCH REPORTS
vs Salisbury - 11 Nov 2017
Home Score: 2 - Opposition Score: 3
Match Result: Loss
The collection of dubious hockey pedigrees which comprises the NDWs came into this game against fellow strugglers Salisbury Strollers with chance to write our names in the history books as the first NDWs team ever to win two consecutive matches (we have only been going a couple of seasons so it’s not that bad). Inspired by this tilt at immortality the team put it all together in the first half. The midfield trio of Adrian Potter, Gavin Marshall and Mark Bilsland controlled the game and the NDWs were pressing strongly, being rewarded with a series of short corners, on the third of which Stuart Martin bundled home a rebound off the keeper following a Gavin Marshall strike. A few minutes later the active Seymour Lightman exchanged passes with Potter and found himself clear with a shooting opportunity. In matches at this level the quality of advice from teammates can sometimes be confusing, and with half the team yelling “Shoot” and the other half bellowing “Pull it back”, Lightman sensibly opted for the latter and Potter was able to sweep the ball home for a 2-0 lead at half time, with NDWs defence having rarely been troubled.
Glory beckoned. Sadly it was not to be. Positional changes by the Strollers in the second half, coupled with their two or three good players stepping up more, left the NDWs clutching thin air as Strollers excellent centre forward dribbled through twice. A draw was still possible but then NDWs conceded a penalty flick which was converted. A flick might have been awarded at the other end when a Strollers player stopped a goal bound drag flick with some of the more sensitive parts of his anatomy, but the umpires awarded another short corner and the general feeling was that they were right to do so.
There wasn’t a lot in it despite NDWs having many more chnaces than Salisbury, including a disallowed goal from Adrian Potter. But the grip which NDWs had on the game in the first half simply evaporated in the second. Fitness may have played a part but was not the whole story. We must now start the long process of putting together an unbeaten run of one match again.
vs United Services Portsmouth - 04 Nov 2017
Home Score: 4 - Opposition Score: 2
Match Result: Win
By start of play this had been downgraded to a friendly as it appeared that US Portsmouth could not get enough players for a league match, despite in the event turning up with 11. Suspicious mutterings in the home camp were no doubt inappropriate and most of us were just glad to get a game.
The opening exchanges were fairly even, though there was a scare when a scooped shot looked goal bound, only for Matt Wild to get a stick on it well above his head. After 20 minutes NDWs midfield trio of Adrian Potter., Gavin Marshall and Mark Bilsland started to exert control and there were some good attacks down the right with Julian Dean and Neil Francis looking dangerous. By half time NDWs were ahead and had scored all the goals, although unhappily one was a deflection from an otherwise impeccable Ian Burnham into our own net. However, Adrian Potter and Gavin Masrhall had scored at the correct end.
Keeper Ian Burnham.having picked up a knock, NDWs played the second half with a kicking back, a role shared by Robin Mitchell and Ian Burnham. This should have meant we leaked goals, but although the opposition got one back, the defence was solid. NDWs added to their score with goals from Neil Francis running out 4-2 winners, a welcome change from recent results.
For perhaps the first time this season the team moved the ball well, although it has to be said that they were not under a lot of pressure. The midfield was allowed space to play and they used it. Distribution from defence was also good. Players are starting to know where they should be and if we can keep a relatively settled team we should be able to put together a run of good results.
vs Portsmouth and Southsea @Petersfield HC - 11 Feb 2017
Home Score: 2 - Opposition Score: 4
Match Result: Loss
Report by GC:
The Ne'er-Do-Wells put out a strong squad for the return match against League leaders Portsmouth and Southsea, in the away fixture the Ne'er-Do-wells went down 4-1 and broke Richard Thompson. This time to avoid injuries the Squad and substitutions were managed by the equivalent of Steve Maclaren's "wally with the brolly" on the sidelines.
The scoreline belies the fact that this was a very evenly contested match, but for a rare 7 minute period in the second half, but for that a draw would have felt correct result.. But like the England Rugby team , teams have to take their opportunities when they are offered. But dear reader back to the plot, sorry match.
The game started with high tempo hockey from both teams, and the petersfield forwards Julian Dean and Ali wheeler were getting success stretching and bewildering the Portstmouth defence ably prompted by Tony Richards and Adrian Potter and Nick Budden. Conversely the Portsmouth tactic was long hard hit balls into the D , and getting a touch or deflection past the keeper, the Ne'erDo-Wells had been warned , and after twenty minutes this tactic led to Portsmouth and Southsea taking the lead. However the Ne'er- Do-Wells were up for this match and Gavin Marshall was showing all his old skills and fitness in launching attacks , and the Ne'er-Do-wells were awarded a short corner , and the much practiced sophisticated routine was demonstrated as Nick Budden slammed home the equaliser.
So the halftime score was 1-1 and Ne'er-Do-Wells were well in the contest but in 7 fatal minutes early in the second half, three goals to the away team took the match away, some of it caused by a drop in concentration and intensity. Thereafter Ne'er-Do-wells consolidated , scored a fantastic goal , with an intricate flowing passing move featuring Simon Atherton, Mark Bilsland , Adrian Potter, and Nick Budden , and being finally despatched by Nick Lawson.
Overall an excellent match, well umpired with good player behaviour, and generally a fantastic advertisement for the Vets hockey league, and shows the very small difference between teams at the top and bottom of the league. Inspired performances from Adrian Potter and Gavin Marshall and Nick Budden, and the usual customary excellence from the evergreen Ian Burnham in goal. Next week its Salisbury, and hopefully back to winning ways.
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