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HOCKEY: Gillingham earns Swindon a point
6:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in Sport
SWINDON missed out on three precious points in the Premiership as they were held to a 3-3 draw at struggling ECV Hornets.
In the only fixture played in the division on Saturday, the Isambard side had a prime opportunity to significantly pull away from the drop zone, but in the end they only just grabbed a point thanks to a late Tom Gillingham penalty stroke.
At full strength minus wide man Luke Cejer, Swindon started brightly and were ahead within 15 minutes as John Scrase cut through the defence and unleashed an unstoppable reverse stick shot.
A defensive error brought about an equaliser for the Exeter side, but Scrase got the visitors back on track when he converted after Tom Wickens’ shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
Hornets pinned the visitors back in their own half following the break, before Swindon came back into the game without grabbing the all-important third goal.
Inside the final quarter of an hour Hornets found an equaliser and with two minutes to play, it looked as if they had their winner after scything through the rearguard with ease.
However, Jake Biddle’s short-corner shot was stopped on the line by a defender’s foot, and Gillingham crashed the penalty stroke above the keeper’s head to rescue a point.
This weekend Swindon face one of their former players in Charlie Rutherford when they travel to Bristol to face Robinsons.
Wootton Bassett and North Wilts men were not in action this weekend, and neither were any of our local women’s first teams.
One side who did play was North Wilts 2nds, who shared a 3-3 draw with Avonmouth 2nds in Berkeley Division 3.
They grabbed a point in similar circumstances to the Swindon men, with Maddie Wojtowicz striking seconds from the end.
Avonmouth took the lead after an intense period of pressure in the first 10 minutes, but North Wilts hit back and several attempts at goal were rewarded when Robyn Matthews finished clinically.
Despite superb defending from Anya Momi and the Emmerson sisters, Avonmouth scored again to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
Following the resumption, Rebecca Bean stole the ball in midfield and set up Matthews for her second goal of the match.
Avonmouth might have thought they had the game winner when they netted a third and later defended a succession of short corners.
But with seconds left, Wojtowicz picked up the ball in the midfield, took the ball into the D and smashed past the keeper to level matters in dramatic style.