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HOCKEY: Captain marvel Harvey fires Weymouth
TADLEY 3 WEYMOUTH 9
FOR their final fixture of 2013, Weymouth travelled to struggling Tadley and took all three points to ensure they finished the year at the top of Hampshire League Division Two.
The win was their 10th in a row, however, Bournemouth’s victory over Chichester means the Sea-siders’ lead remains at three points.
Skipper Simon Harvey scored three in a game that he described as a comfortable win despite his team having Michael Westlake sent off and his side not playing their most fluent hockey.
The hosts scored the first goal of the day from a penalty corner awarded against the run of play. The straight strike from the top of the circle took a deflection off the pads of diving keeper David Civil.
Weymouth replied immediately through forward Andrew Stiles. Harvey picked out Luke Drewitt in space on the right who played in Stiles in the circle to hit the ball inside the left post.
Drewitt then netted himself with the assist coming from Ben Skidmore. Skidmore broke down the left and hit a reverse stick pass across goal for Drewitt to turn in.
Harvey then got his first of the day from a penalty corner. The routine broke down but the skipper was well-placed at the left post when the ball spilled out of a goalmouth scramble.
By half-time, all three forwards had their name on the score-sheet. Skidmore’s second of the season was assisted by midfielder Steven Membury, who then played in Stiles for his second of the game.
At the break, the game was firmly within the away team's grasp. Harvey made it clear that Tadley’s only way back into the game would be if the Seasiders lost their discipline and had players sent to the sin-bin.
Despite a claim for a penalty and dismissal of centre-back Westlake midway through the second half for a late challenge on a Tadley forward, Weymouth remained strong and saw off any hopes of a comeback.
The first goal of the second half was Harvey’s second and from a well-worked short corner in which the ball was returned to Harvey at the left post to slap past the diving keeper.
Tadley then responded to force an own goal that was deflected past Civil by under pressure left-back Matthew Bell.
Again, Weymouth’s response was immediate. Breaking up the right side, Drewitt received the ball in plenty of space and picked out Membury in the circle. The young midfielder turned to his strong side to hit to the left post to continue his recent scoring form.
Harvey could have completed his hat-trick earlier but a shot went inches wide of the left post.
However, it wasn’t long before the right-back got his third, attacking up the right where he was played in by Matthew Lawes.
His shot was again heading wide of the left post but, with Stiles ready to deflect in, a Tadley defender was forced to intervene but could only guide the ball into his own net.
To the home team’s credit they continued to battle forward and converted their third of the game through a deflection from a penalty corner.
Weymouth responded to score the last of the game when Membury assisted Daniel Bowles, also from a penalty corner, to take the score to 9-3.
Weymouth’s first game of 2014 will be away to Bournemouth on January 18.
The Seasiders will prepare with friendlies against Bridport and Gillingham for what is likely to be a fixture that will potentially decide the rest of both their, and Bournemouth’s season.
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