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HOCKEY: Swindon's struggle goes on
SWINDON’S long trek south did not prove a worthwhile trip as they were defeated 2-0 by Plymouth Uni in their last Championship game before Christmas.
The Wiltshire side, who dropped down from the Premiership last season, are fighting against a second successive relegation in the Davis Wood Hockey League and despite a good performance, this latest result did not help them.
Chris Parsons stepped into the sweeper’s role and partnered Dave King in the centre of defence, who proved an inspiration throughout the afternoon.
Also playing well was keeper Alan Gough, who frustrated the students with smart saves early on.
Midway through the first half, though, Plymouth took the lead, when the visitors lost possession and a quick strike into the corner of the goal gave Gough no chance.
Matters went from bad to worse minutes later as skipper Luke Cejer was sent off for a deliberate foul in midfield and was sin-binned for five minutes.
Plymouth did their utmost to extend their advantage after the break, but under the control of Parsons and King, Swindon played some neat hockey.
A number of breakaway attacks and chances just passed them by, with the best opportunity falling to Alex Hynes, who fired inches wide of the post.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes that the students made the game safe when Gough was beaten at his near post.
Swindon battled right to the end and despite a brave display, the Isambard side returned to Wiltshire with nothing to show for their efforts.
Meanwhile, Wootton Bassett maintained their 100 per cent winning record in East Central 1 courtesy of a 12-0 thumping of City of Bath C.
The visitors made a strong start less than a minute in when Kyle Barnes’ cross was kicked off the goalline by a defender and from the resulting penalty stroke, Mark Turner's flick deflected home.
Bath then had a number of chances but the advantage was doubled when Barnes’ shot from a penalty corner was deflected in by Matt Daniell.
Following another penalty corner, Dan Stanley added the third and after the interval it was one-way traffic.
Jake Nunns got the fourth when he picked the ball up from a long corner, beat three defenders and flicked over the keeper.
Barnes burst into the circle and dummied before calmly slotting home and Turner played in Mark Skivington for the sixth.
Man of the match Nunns doubled his personal tally with another solo effort and then Tom Ponting drilled in the eighth.
Barnes set up Jack Twine to convert at the back post and Daniell rounded the keeper to make it 10-0.
Two minutes later Daniell completed his hat-trick when he forced home a rebound from a Nunns shot, before Barnes completed the scoring.
North Wilts were thrashed 6-1 by Isca B in Central 2 while in East Central 2, Wootton Bassett B lost 3-1 to North Wilts A.
Martyn Holmes scored for Bassett B while goalkeeper Mike Hayward earned the player of the match award.
- THE only local side in action in the West Clubs Women’s Hockey League last weekend were Wootton Bassett ladies, who were beaten 2-0 by Jaspers in a rearranged fixture.
Jaspers applied almost continuous pressure on the Bassett goal throughout the first half of the North Division clash.
The visitors were unable to build offensive pressure and were grateful to their goalkeeper for helping them reach the break on level terms.
Following stern words from captain Emma Langdon at the break, Bassett played much more positively in the second period and created chances.
Initially Bassett kept their hosts out following the resumption with Abby Thomas standing firm despite a number of pushes from a physical Jaspers forward line.
However, it did appear a matter of time and eventually Jaspers took the lead when a deflection beat the goalkeeper.
Bassett fought back and won their first short corner of the game, but they were not able to find the net from it.
In fact, a Jaspers counter-attack caught the visitors out of position and a chip over the glove of the goalkeeper stretched the lead to 2-0.
The result sees Wootton Bassett remain fourth in the table as the league enters its Christmas break.
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