Disappointing Loss At Holcombe All But Ends Promotion Dreams
Back to the drawing board for a hard working BEHC side
It was a frustrating weekend for Blackheath & Elthamians (BEHC) 2’s as they dropped points in the chase for promotion.
BEHC made the short trip down the A2 on Saturday following an impressive home win last weekend against Old Bordenians.
Hosts Holcombe had claimed 7 points from their opening 14 games as they sat perilously close the relegation zone in a tight bottom half of the table.
With such a confident display of attacking hockey last weekend, Blackheath looked to start on the front foot once more and were rewarded inside the opening five minutes, with their first short corner of the match. An early chance for Mike Benson to have a foothold in the game, unfortunately, the resulting flick went whistling past the right post
With the tempo lifted, BEHC continued to push forward in search of an opener with the home side content to absorb pressure before looking to strike on the counter-attack.
Mid-way through the half, Holcombe’s tactics reaped the rewards as Lucas Gurney picked the ball up on the attacking 25-yard line. A burst of pace towards the D saw him eliminate two Blackheath defenders before firing a shot at Seb Zane’s goal, striking the inside of the near post before nestling in the back of the net. 1-0 Holcombe.
Despite the setback, Blackheath continued to look settled in possession, a flowing move through Oli Ivens, towards the end of the half threatening the Holcombe advantage.
The excellent interchange between Oli Ivens and Chris Fowler released captain Prem Marwaha into the shoulder of the circle. With Ed Thorogood making ground towards the back post, Marwaha’s cross was unable to reach him as the Holcombe defence narrowly deflected wide.
After going into the break trailing the Holcombe side, BEHC continued to create chances in front of goal but were found wanting in the final third as they struggled to get the last touch to finish the chances they were creating.
With just ten minutes to play, and a win desperately needed for BEHC to stay in promotion contention, Coach Bloomfield opted to remove Goalkeeper Zane from the match to gain the extra attacking outfield player.
With time running down, a late barrage of attacks and penalty corners for the visitors came to nothing as Blackheath left the Medway Towns with their fifth loss of the season, effectively ending any promotion chances.
"We are a strong bunch, we have lots of experience and know that anything can happen in hockey. We will keep pushing until it is mathematically impossible for promotion" Said experienced defender Rob Hughes, speaking after the game.
Next weekend, BEHC welcome Maidstone to College Meadow on Saturday at 3 pm.