Upminster HC Men 1 Vs Bourne Deeping HC Men’s 1st XI
By James Page
In the last away game of the season, Bourne Deeping men’s first team travelled south to Upminster to face a side that was equal on points but was in the relegation zone on goal difference. This was a must win game for the Dragons to keep their league su
Winning the toss and electing to push back into the sun, the visiting side made an early impression by retaining possession well and distributing the ball superbly. A game that was always likely to be a feisty encounter it didn’t take long for the umpires to make their impression on the game by showing the returning Josh Oakley a yellow card for what was deemed to be a deliberate foot. Down to 10 men early on the Dragon’s absorbed what pressure the home side inflicted, defending well and keeping out any penalty corners. Back to full strength the Dragons went on the offensive and were given joy through a series of short corners. The deadlock was broken after a charged down drag flick from Richard Collins was pounced upon by Shane Carlton lurking at the back post to fire the Dragons in front. 0-1. Soon afterwards the dragons doubled their advantage through Chris Clarkson. 0-2.
Half time: Upminster HC 0 – 2 BDHC
Looking to keep the game in their favour the visiting side continued to press and create chances. However it was the home side who struck first in the second half with a very well executed drag flick from a short corner finding the very top left corner of Page’s goal. 1-2. It wasn’t long until the home side equalised when a ball was struck into the D and deflected of an attackers stick to send the ball whistling by the keepers helmet and into the goal. 2-2. Knowing that the draw wouldn’t be enough the Dragons carried on attacking and creating chances. Chris Clarkson struck again and again before finally finding the back of the net and putting the visitors back in front. 2-3. The home side also knew that their league survival was on this game and continued on the offensive looking for the 2nd equalizer of the afternoon. This came when a player was left one on one with keeper Page but as he was closing the player down a defending Bourne Deeping player deflected the ball past Page and into the goal to give the home side their equalizer. 3-3. With only a minute remaining and the Dragons working exceptionally hard, hopes were pinned that their luck would change from previous weeks. Cometh the hour, cometh the men! Some very slick quick passing through Alex Glover, Rich Collins and Chris Clarkson found Nick Glover in space and for him to fire the Dragons into the lead. 4-3. There was little time left after the restart and the game finished with the visiting victorious with the valuable 3 points they needed.
Final score: Upminster HC 3 – 4 BDHC
This weeks man of the match was Richard Collins, putting in a great defensive shift in the first half then bossing the middle of the park throughout the second half.
Next week is the last game of the season against 2nd placed Old Southendian. With league survival not yet guaranteed for the Dragons only a win will decide their fate indefinitely without the need to wait for other results. Push back is 12:30 at the Arthur Mellows Astro.