Beeston beat Holcombe to boost play-off hopes

Gareth Andrew celebrates after scoring for Beeston. Credit David Kissman - 480x320
Two second half goals helped Beeston boost their hopes of a spot in the play-offs when they beat rivals Holcombe 2-0 in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

After a close first half ended goalless, Beeston burst into life with Gareth Griffiths scoring on 42 minutes, while Gareth Andrews secured a second field goal five minutes later to double their advantage.

It was another impressive defensive performance from Beeston, who have conceded the fewest goals in the division – just 17 in 11 league matches so far.

That result leaves Beeston second, still four points behind leaders Surbiton who beat hosts Sevenoaks 3-1 on Saturday with Conor Williamson and Luke Taylor scoring in the first half before David Bartram added a third with 11 minutes left. Tejinder Hanspal scored a consolation goal for Sevenoaks with two minutes left.

Reading put five past strugglers Canterbury – although with the score at 0-1 at half-time the game could’ve gone either way. Ben Francis scored for the visitors after 30 minutes, and that was followed by two goals from Richard Mantell and others from Lee Morton and Ed Carson.

East Grinstead remain fourth after battling to a 2-1 win over Brooklands MU. Simon Faulkner scored for the hosts after 12 minutes, only for Peter Flanagan to level for Brooklands. But Faulkner’s second sealed the win on the hour mark.

Wimbledon are fifth and poised to climb up the table should their rivals falter. They won 3-1 at Hampstead and Westminster after goals from Jonny Codling, Chad Conlon and Ed Horler. Matt Guise Brown had given the hosts the lead with a 14th minute penalty corner, but it proved to be a false dawn.

Men’s Conference East
Southgate leap-frogged rivals Cambridge City in the Men’s Conference East table, beating West Herts 2-1 while Cambridge had to settle for a 4-4 draw.

Two goals from John Sterlini proved enough for Southgate to come from behind to beat West Herts after Will Alderton’s early strike.

Cambridge City are now one point behind Southgate after an eight-goal thriller at Chichester.

The home side took the lead in the opening minute through Alex Holton, only for Cambridge to hit back with goals from Euan Gilmour, Nat Farrant and Warren D'Souza to lead 3-1.

But Chichester shared the spoils thanks to goals from Luke Emmett, Ollie Baxter and Jack Lerwill, while Alex Parker scored Cambridge’s last.

Top of the league before the winter break, Oxted dropped to third after a 4-2 home defeat against Teddington, for whom Matt Daly scored twice.

Brighton & Hove stay fourth in the table after a 5-3 victory over Old Georgians, while Old Loughtonians won 4-1 against Richmond on Saturday evening.

Men’s Conference West
Late goals from Sam Hatherley and Ethan Hoddle helped Havant battle back and take a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw with top of the table University of Exeter in the Men’s Conference West.

Duncan Scott and Conor Caplan had put the visitors ahead, but Havant hit back to secure a point – but they still drop to fifth in the table.

Cardiff & Met stay second in the table after an impressive 4-1 away win at Isca.

Goalless at half time, the game sprang into life with second half strikes from Rhys Gowman (2), Rhys Bradshaw and Luke Hawker giving them the win.

The University of Birmingham stay third after a 3-1 win over Olton & West Warwicks, while Team Bath Buccaneers’ 3-1 win at Cheltenham saw them go above Havant.

Elsewhere, Clifton Robinsons remain at the bottom of the league after losing 3-2 to visitors Fareham.

Men’s Conference North
The University of Nottingham strengthened their lead at the top of the table with a 3-2 away win against Cannock.

Second half goals from Noah Darlington and Adam Laitt helped the University of Nottingham take the points.

3-1 down at half time, Loughborough Students battled back to draw 3-3 with Deeside Ramblers. Tendo Kimuli gave Loughborough the lead, but it lasted just four minutes before Graham Allwood levelled for Deeside and Joe Wright and Edward Peel added more goals to put the visitors ahead.

But second half goals from Tom Crowson and Seb Ansley ensured Loughborough stay second in the table on goal difference.

Bowdon are third after a 2-1 win at home to Leeds, while the University of Durham won by the same margin at Doncaster. And Preston remain bottom of the league after a 2-2 draw at home against Sheffield Hallam.

* The above photo shows Beeston’s Gareth Andrew reeling away after scoring against Holcombe. Credit: David Kissman. 

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Men’s Hockey League are available here.