Hockey Match Report: Wimbledon 2 Brooklands MU 1

Wimbledon secured a top four finish and entry to the play-offs in the premier division with a hard-fought victory over Brooklands MU at Surbiton High School.

Brooklands dominated the first 10 minutes but the excellent Wimbledon defence held firm.

Then the game turned. Wimbledon began to raid at the other end and looked dangerous and were rewarded by winning two short corners.  The first, a drag flick from Nathanael Stewart, was well saved by Oliver Clarke in the Brooklands goal. However on 19 minutes the second was whistled into the corner by Johnny Kinder, much to the delight and relief of the home fans.

Wimbledon were now getting into their stride and playing good hockey but Brooklands were also dangerous.  On 28 minutes a Wimbledon attack along the right hand touch line saw the ball partially stopped and then possession regained and the pass across the face of the goal was hammered home by Phil Ball.

In the second half, Wimbledon began to dominate and in one spell had Brooklands pinned into their own D as they had a succession of short and long corners with Simon Mantell hitting the post.  It looked all over but Brooklands came back, aided by a bizarre incident.  What looked like an accidental collision between Jonny Kinder and a Brooklands player laid them both out. Eventually the Brooklands player left the pitch with a suspected broken collar bone and the umpire showed Kinder a yellow card.

Down to 10 men, this would test the Wimbledon defence. Two minutes later, Gareth Hall appeared to be struck in the stomach with the ball and quickly took the free hit. The umpire deemed that the offence was the other way and gave him a yellow card.  Wimbledon were now down to nine men.

The defence held but in the 65th minute Brooklands won a short corner and despite a valliant attempt by keeper James Bailey, the follow up was slid in. The last five minutes were fairly tense as Brooklands strived for an equaliser and Wimbledon had a chance at the other end, but then the whistle went to end an eventful game.

This was another great team result for the club, particularly when you think that seven first team squad players were missing  due to injury or international  call up.  Everyone performed well.

The result means that Beeston and  Wimbledon are in the top two positions in the Premiership and are assured of a top four finish. The other two places are dependent on the results of the last games of the season.

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