Harden hat-trick sinks Staines
1st XI extend winning run
With the disruption caused by The Beast From The East well behind us and still high from a superb 3-2 victory away to Banbury, BEHC went into the game knowing that one win from the last three would guarantee survival. With Staines desperately scrapping to stay up themselves, we knew it would be a physical game full of intensity.
The boys started well, taking command and after some neat work in the middle of the pitch won a short corner which was duly converted by the emphatic Chris Harden. 1-0. The good work continued and it looked as if Blackheath may canter into Sunday’s quarter final as an out rushing keeper (what is going on?!) couldn’t get in the way of Chris’ second flick. 2-0. Unfortunately, the boys never quite relaxed and a series of unforced errors gave Staines hope going into the second period.
The tale of the second period would be defined by the ability of BEHC’s defensive unit from preventing the inevitable onslaught. From the off, it was clear that Staines would not lie down and only some last-ditch 1 on 1 defending from Ed Bull, Ben Wyatt and Ben Stafford kept them from getting into the D. The short corners started to flow and a smart routine back to injector, matched by an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net made it 2-1. Frustrations were beginning to show as BEHC were not able to hold onto the ball and a couple of green cards only increased the pressure. This was temporarily relieved when a surging forward Ben Stafford played a ball across goal to find Chris Harden who deflected it past a despairing keeper. 3-1. More Staines corners would come and a questionable p flick was awarded when the post man took one for the team rather than using his stick. 3-2 and the tensions were rising. In a frantic last few minutes Ed Bull’s cat-like ninja reflexes were the only thing in the contest as from point blank range he batted the ball away from the top left corner. James Craigmyle was also kept busy and made a series of good stops.
To the relief of BEHC, the final whistle went and despite a poor performance, the boys can be extremely happy to take the 3 points and continue a winning run which by the end of the weekend had stretched to 8.
MoM: Ben Stafford
DoD: Ed Fleet