Home Score: 1 - Opposition Score: 3
Match Result: Loss
Halslemere two goals down after ten minutes was the story of the match.
Portsmouth & Southsea, second in the league to Haslemere lying third, attacked in traditional triangles and their two early goals proved to be telling. After that, the remainder of the half was even and Haslemere came close with a succession of half chances.
The second half was energetic but a breakaway third put the match beyond reach for the blues. A well taken goal from Roberts after slick passing on the break from Potter and Wheeler made an interesting 'last five' but too late in the match to change the enevitable result.
Home Score: 3 - Opposition Score: 2
Match Result: Win
US Services 2-3 Haslemere Masters
An away match to United Services was always going to be as much a test of commitment and mental toughness as hockey ability; and so it proved.
US started energetically but Haslemere’s strategy of putting nine men behind the ball and countering gave them equal dominance in the midfield. James, Wild, Ashford, Reeve & Mitchell were once again resilient in defence and kept pressure away from Jenkinson during much of the first half.
Haslemere broke the deadlock after 20 minutes, Lawson, Martin and Potter pressing forward to release wing-half du Plessis to strike home.
US broke back five minutes later to draw level at half time.
The second half saw further pressure from the home team but Jenkinson’s excellent keeping kept Haslemere in the match along with Daniels constant stealing of the ball. The speed merchants upfront had more chances and it was du Plessis who scored a second following a Roberts-Wheeler-Krens combo.
Haslemere were in buoyant form and stretched their lead even further ten minutes later. The best goal of the match following text book interplay: an arial from Mitchell, a dodge and quick pass from Reeve, a darting run from Lawson, a selfless touch from Roberts, a sprint and shot from Krens finishing with a subtle reverse flick from Wheeler. 25 short seconds from one D to the other… and into the back of the net.
Haslemere closed ranks in the final stages, and although US Services consolation goal made the last few minutes tense, Haslemere’s intelligence and physical work proved the difference between the two well-matched sides.
Haslemere, lying second in their Wessex League, take on third ranked Portsmouth & Southsea next week followed by unbeaten Winchester the week after.