Beeston Late Show Breaks Hampstead Hearts

England Hockey MEN’S CUP FINAL
Saturday 15 May 2010

Beeston 2 (0)
Jamie Parker 62 (F)  
Chris Seddon 66 (F)  
Hampstead & Westminster 1 (0)
Andrew Cornick 51 (PC)  

Beeston lifted hockey’s Men’s Cup in glorious sunshine at Highfields Sports Club thanks to two goals in the final eight minutes of a competitive tie against England Hockey League Premier Division rivals Hampstead & Westminster.

Chris Seddon’s winning goal three minutes from time broke the hearts of the Cup Final debutants from London who had enjoyed the best of the first half and who had taken the lead midway through the second.

Cheered on by a vocal travelling support, Hampstead & Westminster took the lead through Andrew Cornick’s diving deflection at a penalty corner but Beeston equalised inside the last ten minutes through Jamie Parker.  Seddon wrapped things up for the 2008 Cup winners with a low reverse stick shot from the top of the circle with four minutes remaining.

Hampstead & Westminster's Peter Swainson challenges with Beeston's  Sam Dixon during the England Hockey  Men's Cup Final at Highfields, Beeston, Nottingham, 15th May 2010

Beeston mustered the first circle entry after just two minutes but Sam Ward, falling off balance, failed to hit the target. 

At the other end, a minute later, Hampstead & Westminster won the game’s first penalty corner and David Eakins drew an excellent save from England international George Pinner in the Beeston goal.

Hampstead & Westminster enjoyed the best of the opening 15 minutes and had a further chance to open the scoring just before the quarter of an hour mark when Jaime Gonzalez-Laguillo Garcia squeezed the ball through to Jordache Rawson on the penalty spot.  Pinner though was out smartly to smother at close range.

Beeston’s Sam Dixon blazed over the bar after an excellent passing move by the Nottingham side that spanned the length and breadth of the pitch and they won a penalty corner shortly after.  Andrew Monte’s flick from the top of the circle was comfortably saved by England under 21 goalkeeper Ian Scanlon.

As the half wore on Beeston began to assert themselves and their best chance fell in the 30th minute.  Jamie Parker received the ball in space at the back of the circle.  With time to set himself he unleashed a powerful low shot that forced the scrambling Scanlon into an excellent low save, preventing a certain goal.

Playing on their home pitch, the Bees won a second corner just before half time.  This time it was Chris Seddon with the flick low to Scanlon’s right and the Hampstead & Westminster goalkeeper (pictured below) did well to tip the ball onto his post as he dived to keep Seddon’s effort out.

Hampstead & Westminster goalkeeper Ian Scanlon saves a shot during the Men's Cup final against Beeston at Highfields, May 2010

Beeston came out with renewed passion at the start of the second half, winning more ball and controlling better possession than they had in the first.  Despite their efforts though they had nothing to show for it when the Londoners won a penalty corner at the other end with 15 minutes of the second half played.

From a switch at the corner, Andrew Cornick dived courageously to deflect the ball high into the net beyond George Pinner to give Hampstead & Westminster the lead with 51 minutes on the clock.

The goal riled Beeston but still they struggled to penetrate Hampstead & Westminster’s defence.  The Londoners squandered an opportunity to double their lead just before the hour, firing a penalty corner over the crossbar and it was to cost them as Beeston turned the game on its head in the final ten minutes.

On 62 minutes and with Hampstead & Westminster on the back foot, Beeston appealed for a penalty corner at the top of the circle.  As the defence stopped and with no whistle coming, Jamie Parker took full advantage of the lapse to slot home beyond Ian Scanlon for 1-1 and set up an exciting final few minutes.

Beeston's captain Stephen Lawrence lifts the cup after winning the England Hockey Men's Cup Final at Highfields, Beeston, Nottingham, 15th May 2010As Beeston piled on the pressure, Martin Jones then forced Scanlon into a good save with his left glove and it was not long before Beeston netted their late winner.  Breaking from midfield Chris Seddon took the ball into the circle at pace before shooting on his reverse underneath the onrushing goalkeeper to secure the 2010 Men’s Cup and return it to Highfields following its year-long stay at Reading’s Sonning Lane.

Stephen Lawrence, Beeston’s victorious captain (right), said afterwards, “It wasn’t our best game and Hampstead played well.  We kept going until the end and thankfully when the equaliser was allowed it gave us confidence.  Credit to Jamie he kept playing to the whistle.  It was our third final in a row.  It’s a great competition and we had a great crowd here today.  Overall it has been a tough season but looking back it has probably been our most successful.”

Beeston’s winning goal scorer Chris Seddon added, “All season we have been up and down with a ‘never say die’ attitude.  As soon as we got the equaliser I knew we’d go on and win it.  All credit to the lads, our positive attitude got us through.”

Beeston celebrate winning the Men's Cup 2010