Wimbledon close gap on the leaders

Phil Roper of Wimbledon. Credit hockeyimages.co.uk 450

Wimbledon cut the gap at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division to just one point after they won and leaders Holcombe were held to a draw against Reading on Sunday.

Wimbledon recorded a comfortable 4-0 win at Loughborough Students, who lost for the 10th consecutive league game.

Phil Roper (pictured) and Phillip Ball scored in the space of three minutes to give the visitors the advantage, with Ian Sloan and Ben Arnold wrapping up the points in the second half.

Meanwhile, Holcombe slipped up at home against Reading after a 1-1 draw.

Sam Ward’s 10th goal of the season rescued the leaders a point after he cancelled out Montgomery Jefferson’s second half opener for the visitors.

Surbiton survived a second half fight back to stay third after a 4-3 win at Hampstead and Westminster.

Chris Cargo gave the host a fifth minute lead converting a penalty corner, but Surbiton were ahead at the break thanks to Dave Beckett and Robert Mugridge.

David Goodfield scored straight after the break and Alan Forsyth made it 4-1 a minute later with his 13th of the season, and despite goals from Richard Smith and Kwan Browne, Surbiton held on.

Elliot Hibell scored a brace to help Beeston to a 3-0 victory at Canterbury.

Mark Gleghorne was also on target with a penalty stroke, his 14th goal of the campaign, as he remained the division’s top scorer.

Elsewhere, East Grinstead claimed an emphatic away win, hitting Brooklands MU for six.

Ross Stott and Tony Wilson both scored two, with Sam Driver and Ashley Jackson also on the scoresheet to give the visitors their biggest victory of the season.

Men’s Conference East

A bumper haul of goals allowed Sevenoaks to go back to the top of the Men’s Conference East on goal difference after beating Wapping 6-2.

They are level on points with both Teddington and Southgate. Southgate drop to third after a surprise 5-2 defeat at Oxted.

Oxted were trailing 2-1 with 11 minutes remaining but a late scoring spree saw them to victory.

Teddington kept the pressure on at the top after a late Andrew Pett strike earned them a 5-4 win against West Herts on Saturday.

In the other games on Sunday, Cambridge City won 4-1 against Richmond and Brighton and Hove picked up their second win of the campaign with a 4-1 defeat of Indian Gymkhana, Joe Naughalty scoring a hat-trick.


Men’s Conference North

The University of Durham recorded their tenth win in as many games with a 5-3 victory at home to Doncaster. Elliot Dowley led the way with a brace.

Bowdon scored a last-minute winner for the third game running as Mike Shaw’s last minute strike resulted in a 3-2 win over Preston. They move up to second in the table.

Oxton also scored late, as a Jonathan Hodgkinson goal saw them beat Sheffield Hallam 3-2, a result that sees them move off the bottom of the table.

Leek are now bottom after a 3-1 loss to Deeside Ramblers and a single Will Fleet goal saw Cannock beat Olton and West Warwicks 1-0.


Men’s Conference West

Second played third in the Men’s Conference West as Team Bath Buccaneers and University of Exeter played out a tight 3-3 draw.

Team Bath were three goals up at the break through Matthew Boote (2) and John Jackson, but Exeter rallied in the second half as strikes from Ben Stevenson, Tom Watson and Mark Loughrey earned them a share of the spoils.

Cardiff and Met seized the opportunity to increase the gap at the top, coming from behind to beat Isca 2-1 and go five points clear.

Fareham moved off the bottom of the table with a much-needed 3-0 win over Chichester. James Seager scored twice.

The University of Bristol now prop up the table after a 1-0 loss to Cheltenham and the University of Birmingham beat Old Georgians 3-1, Josh Kelly netting a brace.

* The above photograph shows Wimbledon’s Phil Roper. Credit: Hockeyimages.co.uk

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, 26 November 2016):

Men's Conference East: Teddington 5, West Herts 4.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, 27 November 2016):

Men's Premier Division: Brooklands MU 0, East Grinstead 6; Canterbury 0, Beeston 3; Hampstead and Westminster 3, Surbiton 4; Holcombe 1, Reading 1; Loughborough Students 0, Wimbledon 4.

Men's Conference East: Cambridge City 4, Richmond 1; Indian Gymkhana 1, Brighton and Hove 4; Oxted 5, Southgate 2; Wapping 2, Sevenoaks 6.

Men's Conference North: Cannock 1, Olton & West Warwicks 0; Deeside Ramblers 3, Leek 1; Oxton 3, Sheffield Hallam 2; Preston 2, Bowdon 3; University of Durham 5, Doncaster 3.

Men's Conference West: Cheltenham 1, University of Bristol 0; Chichester 0, Fareham 3; Isca 1, Cardiff & Met 2; Old Georgians 1, University of Birmingham 3; Team Bath Buccaneers 3, University of Exeter 3.