Hockey Match Report: Wimbledon 4 East Grinstead 1

Blue skies, sunshine and very cold conditions saw Wimbledon overcome a very good East Grinstead (EG) side. 

With Great Britain captain Ian Sloan and vice captain Phil Roper and midfield ace Henry Weir on international duty, this could have proved a difficult test.

On the day however, this only showed up the depth of talent currently available in the Wimbledon squad.

The game began with energetic Wimbledon running giving the East Grinstead players little time on the ball.

This paid dividends on 13 minutes when the ever buzzing Peter Small tapped in at the far post to open the scoring. Ben Arnold, now fully recovered from injury and in sparkling form, scored the goal of the match on 32 minutes. Swivelling with his back to goal on the edge of the D, he spun and shot into the far corner of the goal.

East Grinstead had looked lively in the first half but high class defensive and attacking play from Michael Hoare and Iain Lewers extinguished much of the Grinstead flourish.  The 2-0 half time score was probably a fair reflection of the game.

EG came out for the second half looking like a new team and initially pinned Wimbledon in their own 25.

However when they did break free it saw them producing the best of hockey of the game with a flowing move up the left hand flank with Johnnie Kinder, Iain Gordon and Simon Mantell all involved as the ball was moved into the D culminating in several close range shots on goal with the keeper prostrate.

The result was a penalty stroke flashed in by Iain Lewers.

Two minutes later on 40 minutes, another fine move produced a penalty corner which Ed Horler drag flicked inside the far post.

At 4-0 it should have been game over but Wimbledon seemed to become casual and complacent and East Grinstead, with nothing to lose, powered back and dominated play for the next 15 minutes and scored through Ashley Jackson’s penalty stroke on 52 minutes following a foot on the line from a short corner. Wimbledon  came back strongly at the end and should have added to their score.

This was a fine team performance which sees Wimbledon move to third place in the Premiership.

Next week sees a home fixture against Holcombe.

  • Team:
  • James Bailey 2, Ben Arnold 3, Ben Tibble 4, Peter Friend 5, Chad Conlon 7, Simon Mantell 9, Peter Small 11, Michael Hoare 12, Iain Gordon 14, Jonny Codling 16, Phillip Ball 17, Iain Lewers 18, Jonty Griffiths 19, Ed Horler 20, Nathanael Stewart 23, Johnny Kinder 32


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