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HOCKEY: Seasiders maintain away-day record
WINCHESTER THIRDS 0 WEYMOUTH 3
WEYMOUTH maintained their 100 per cent record on the road with a hard-fought victory at Winchester.
The result keeps the Seasiders at the top of Hampshire Two due to their superior goal difference, which now stands at 31 compared to Bournemouth Thirds’ 21.
The Seasiders made a nervy start on a bouncy surface but managed to resist the home side’s numerous attacks. Slowly, but surely, Weymouth then began to look more comfortable and eventually made several chances of their own, eventually breaking the deadlock through Andrew Stiles following a fine pass from Matthew Bell.
Leading scorer Stiles received the ball towards the left of the circle and struck a clean hit under pressure across the Winchester goalkeeper.
Left-back Roland Gill then picked up an ankle injury forcing Bell to move into the defence and Matthew Lawes to take up a central midfield role.
As the match moved towards half-time, there was little to separate the two teams in terms of possession but Weymouth were proving more clinical and duly doubled their lead.
Lawes linked up with Steven Membury and, when he struck the ball on the reverse across the goalmouth, there was forward Christopher Fry to turn it in at the far post.
At the interval, Weymouth were grateful for their two-goal advantage particularly given the openness of the first 35 minutes, and Winchester’s boundless energy and confidence.
The Seasiders were well aware the tables could be turned quickly and, at the start of the second half, they were made to withstand a lot of pressure.
Solid defending from the back four and several crucial saves from David Civil managed to keep the home side at bay before Weymouth began to hit their opponents on the counter.
The next goal was always going to prove crucial and it was the Seasiders that got it following a free hit high in the Winchester half.
Membury did the damage by withstanding several challenges and coolly flicking home on the reverse after Matthew Underhill’s ball into the circle had deflected kindly into his path.
That third goal allowed Wey-mouth to play with more freedom and, as a result, they controlled the remainder of the contest.
Winchester were then reduced to 10 players to end any chance of a late challenge when Drewitt was brought down under a reckless challenge as he dodged past the opposition midfield with speed and control.
The Seasiders play their penultimate game of the year at Red-lands this afternoon against eighth-placed Havant and will be at full strength if Gill can recover from his ankle injury.
Man of the Match: Matthew Bell
Hampshire Two: Bournemouth III 2 Portsmouth & Southsea 1, Havant IV 2 Chichester III 0, Southampton II 2 Basingstoke II 2, Southampton Univ III 2 New Milton 6, Tadley 1 Univ of Portsmouth 3, Winchester III 0 Weymouth 3.
Hampshire Two: Basingstoke II v Winchester III, Chichester III v Tadley, New Milton v Southampton II, Portsmouth & Southsea v Southampton Univ III, Univ of Portsmouth v Bournemouth III, Weymouth v Havant IV.
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