Wimbledon secure play-off spot with victory over Beeston, but then disappoint against Cannock

Wimbledon secured their top-four place in the NOW: Pensions men’s Premier Hockey League this weekend.

The Dons, in fourth going into the weekend, beat third-placed Beeston 3-1 on Saturday to leapfrog them in the table and make certain of a place in the play-offs with three games still to go.

The first of those games saw them lose 3-2 to Cannock on Sunday, but with Beeston also losing they remain in third, three points ahead of them and seven behind leaders East Grinstead and second-placed Surbiton.

Wimbledon finish the regular season with games against Reading on Sunday and then Hampstead and Westminster on March 15 – with them, Beeston, Surbiton and East Grinstead all knowing they are already confirmed in the top four.

Wimbledon started well against Beeston on Saturday, dominating the early exchanges and taking the lead after nine minutes when Blake Govers slammed home a rebound after Ali Brogdon’s shot was saved.

Govers added his second of the game in the second half by flicking home a short corner, before Stuart Pilgrim pulled a goal back for Beeston.

With Beeston pushing for an equaliser, Wimbledon killed the game as James Osborn dribbled past a number of players before drawing the keep and slipping the ball to Tejinder Hanspal to score into an open net.

At Beeston the team were on fire. On Sunday against Cannock there was barely a smoulder.

Govers put them ahead early on from a short corner but they were then made to pay for basic errors, with relegation-threatened Cannock levelling from a short corner as Hardeep Singh Jawanda’s effort took a deflection.

Steven Ebbers did put Wimbledon back in front only for Cannock to continue working hard and equalise once more when Nicholas Bandurak slammed a rebound home from a short corner.

A draw seemed on the cards but Cannock won a short corner with seconds to go and Peter Jackson scored it with the last touch of the game.

Feature image courtesy of Rob Holding, with thanks

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