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HOCKEY: Weymouth succumb to Bournemouth fightback
WEYMOUTH 5 BOURNEMOUTH 6
WEYMOUTH’s opening game of the season at Redlands ended in a narrow defeat against newly-promoted Bournemouth.
Despite a full month of pre-season friendlies, the hosts started poorly and conceded twice in the opening exchanges.
They then found their feet and recovered to even the scores when Andrew Stiles pounced on a rebound and Michael Westlake forced an own goal.
Weymouth then took the lead with all three forward players linking together to open up the Bournemouth defence.
Luke Drewitt beat several men to feed Joe Foot, who drew the Bournemouth keeper before setting up Stiles at the back post for a simple tap in.
It appeared the Seasiders were beginning to take control but late in the half the visitors hit back from a penalty corner to make it all square at the break.
Determined to get back on top, Weymouth then produced their best passage of play early in the second half to move 5-3 ahead.
Daniel Bowles scored with a deflected effort after skipper Simon Harvey had forced a penalty corner, before Matt Lawes netted the goal of the game by sliding in at the penalty spot to convert a fine pass from man of the match Matthew Underhill.
The latter then almost extended the lead even further when he carried the ball all the way up field and rounded the keeper, only to be denied by a tight angle.
Unfortunately for the hosts they failed to continue that momentum and they were soon struggling to play the ball out from the back, enabling Bournemouth to exert a lot of pressure.
This resulted in the concession of two goals which immediately led to frustration with keeper David Civil receiving a warning and Bowles and Drewitt both being sin-binned for dangerous challenges.
In the end, Bournemouth made their numerical advantage count and eventually grabbed the winner to the frustration of Harvey.
The disappointed skipper said: “We have unfortunately allowed a negative aspect of our game to carry over from last season, which is allowing ourselves to be frustrated by opposition and officials and letting it impact on our game.
“Despite controlling large periods of the match and establishing a two-goal lead in the second half, we didn’t cope well once put on the back foot.
“The two yellow cards were completely avoidable and it was only a matter of time before we would concede to give Bournemouth the lead once they had that two-man advantage.”
This Saturday the Seasiders will travel to Portsmouth & Southsea HC where Harvey will be looking for a more controlled performance.
Green Cards: David Civil
Yellow cards: Daniel Bowles, Luke Drewitt
Man of the match: Matthew Underhill
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