Blackheath draw 2-2 at home to Holcombe
A 2-2 Draw and B&E give up two points in the chase for the No.1 spot
England Hockey Kent Division 1
Blackheath & Elthamians HC 2-2 Holcombe HC
Scorers: Blackheath & Elthamians: Bloomfield, Mills
Holcombe HC: Davies, Brown
College Meadow, Eltham
After last weekend’s dramatic second-half comeback away at Old Bordenians, 2nd placed Blackheath & Elthamians (B&E) returned home to College Meadow to welcome a resurgent Holcombe
Currently occupying 9th place in the league, Saturday’s visitors picked up their first win of the season last weekend at home, to rivals Gillingham Anchorians.
Having won two of their first three games, Blackheath were looking to extend their unbeaten run and ensure they keep up the chase on early league leaders Cliftonville.
B&E immediately settled into proceedings, winning a penalty corner in the opening few minutes.
The young Holcombe side showed no fear in the attack, winning a series of penalty corners of their own in response, leading to goalkeeper Nathan Bullens having to make a number of top saves to keep his side in the game.
With Andy Perkins in the Holcombe goal standing tall to a series of B&E chances, the game became littered with errors as the hosts failed to perform in the first half for the second week in succession.
Holcombe took full advantage of a lack of concentration from the B&E backline pouncing on a loose ball to put the visitors 1-0 before the break.
With a fantastic goal-line clearance from the Holcombe defence, as player-coach Jade Bloomfield flicked high from an acute angle the game continued to limp towards the half-time interval.
Some choice words from B&E's Bloomfield saw his side come out with the intensity required to wrestle the momentum back into their favour and move their whole side deep into Holcombe territory.
Following some fantastic build-up play from the B&E midfield, Nick Charlish, Dan Moore and Olly Ivens linked up well before Bloomfield ensured Ben Hegerty’s goalbound cross come shot crossed the line with a deflection in front of the Holcombe net to draw the score level at 1-1
B&E with the momentum of the goal picked up the pace and started to dominate the match.
With 15 minutes remaining, the game began to open up; Blackheath continued to pile men forward looking for the goal that would give them the lead. Darting runs from deep in the defensive line by Rob Hughes and Rikesh Patel kept the Holcombe defence on their toes, creating wave after wave of attack for the Blackheath side.
A series of balls flashed across the face of the Holcombe goal and a number of chances went begging as the Holcombe goalkeeper ensured the visitors’ door remained firmly shut.
With time running out, there was still time for the visitors to take the lead after a scramble in the home side's area led to the ball somehow crossing the line 1-2 to Holcombe.
A never give up attitude from Blackheath saw some great link-up play from Tristan Lacon-Allin, Rob Hughes and Nick Charlish. Straight from the restart after going a goal behind, B&E showed their resilience once again, Rich Mills ensured the home side retained their unbeaten streak with a sliding deflection to level the scores ar 2-2 with just minutes to play.
The result sees Blackheath & Elthamians sacrifice two points in the chase for the No.1 spot in the League in a forgettable afternoon at College Meadow.
Blackheath & Elthamians attention now turns to the big away trip next weekend to take on 3rd placed side Maidstone.