Monarchs drop 2 points at home to Staines
By Maidenhead Hockey Club
Staines snatch late draw v monarchs
After the loss at Eastcote the previous week, the team saw the opportunity to get back to winning ways against Staines. The blustery conditions did not make it easy on either team, especially with the sloping pitch at Braywick! The Monarchs started very brightly with some good use of the wings via Colin, Gavin and Zac and the opportunities were starting to come against a wobbly Staines back line. After one quick break which had forced a short corner, JCs injection was returned back to him by Viren from the top of the D and a cool finish which proved too strong for the Staines keeper put the Monarchs 1-0 up. There were further attacks beginning to build as the Monarchs started to push for a second, but the finishing in the final third wasn’t quite up to scratch. Staines were beginning to have their moments too but Sean was hardly troubled in goal, with Nick, Randy and Colin doing a good job in defence in keeping the attacks at bay. Into the second half anf the Monarchs started off well again with some good attacking play but as numbers were pushed forward, the Staines counter attacks seemed to be getting more frequent as the game opened up. Tempers flared with a few cards being shown to players on both side as both teams sensed an opportunity for points. Overall it was the Monarchs who had far more of the attacks, with Tim and aviren coming close and further short corner opportunities being kept out by Staines. The monarchs defence were still fairly solid in marshalling the Staines forward line and James and JC were doing well to pick up from defence and move the ball forward to set off new attacks. However, with only a single goal in the game, nerves started to show and from a quick break away by the Staines midfield, the ball foind its way to a Staines forward near the goal line who tapped in for 1-1 with 5 minutes to go. This was a harsh end to a match where although the Monarchs hadn’t played at their best, hey certainly deserved the 3 points. It was a cruel end to the match from the Moanrchs perspective but the team will pick themselves up and go again next week away to OMT looking to put things right.
The team would like to make one special mention to Sophie Lucas who was one of the umpires for this match. Sophie offered to assist in umpiring her first men’s match and given we struggled for any other volunteers, the match wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t have offered. This was a very tough match to have to umpire given some of the incidents which occurred and cards being brandished but as a team, we’d like to thank Sophie for stepping up and helping us out as well as being fantastic throughout in dealing with some difficult decisions and all the back chatting going on throughout; Sophie is a credit to the club and we are extremely grateful for her help last week.
Of course, Khazi, thank you also for you help in umpiring! Lindsey - thank you also for the great photos taken from the match!
Match Report: VIREN WALIA
Player of the Match: Colin Byrne