Roper strikes twice as Wimbledon hammer Canterbury

Wimbledon men 5 Canterbury 0

Wimbledon ladies 1 Chelmsford 1

A double from Phil Roper inspired Wimbledon to a comprehensive victory over struggling Canterbury at the Kings College Sports Ground on Sunday.

The England International was heavily involved in proceedings, registering an assist and missing a penalty stroke in an eventful game.

Steven Ebbers gave the home side the lead midway through the first half, before Roper added a second from a short corner.

Ben Hawes increased the lead after 57 minutes with a penalty stroke, before Roper and James Osborn struck late on.

Coach David Bunyan said: “When you miss a penalty early on, you often wonder how it’s going to go, but strangely, despite winning by five, I was very pleased with the way we defended.

“The scoreline probably flattered us a little bit, then again we did miss a penalty stroke and only scored one short corner so we were deserved winners.”

Wimbledon started strongly and almost scored after three minutes when Roper’s penalty stroke drew an excellent save from Edgar Reynaud in goal.

They took the lead 15 minutes later however, as Dutchman Ebbers slalomed his way through the visitors’ defence before hitting a fierce reverse stick shot into the corner.

Just before half time they doubled their advantage, with Roper flicking the ball into the back of the net following Henry Weir’s short corner.

Canterbury started brightly after the restart, however, it was Wimbledon who scored the all-important third goal as Hawes confidently dispatched a penalty flick, following a foul by Reynaud on Phil Ball.

As Canterbury pushed for a consolation goal, Wimbledon hit them twice on the counter-attack to secure an emphatic victory, first through an excellent solo goal from Roper and then a confident finish from Osborn after Roper’s through ball.

The result consolidated Wimbledon in fourth of their next game against league leaders Surbiton.

The women’s first team were also in action over the weekend, but were unable to grind out a win against a determined Chelmsford side.

Wimbledon took an early lead through Rosie Winter as she deflected a dragged shot from a short corner goalbound.

However, they could not hold onto their slender lead and conceded an equaliser midway through the second half after a speculative long distance hit was turned into the roof of the net by a Chelmsford forward.

Saturday’s result means they have dropped one place to sixth having collected ten points from eight games.

Feature image courtesy of Rob Holding, with thanks

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