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HOCKEY: Weymouth get back on track
WEYMOUTH 4 PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA 2
WEYMOUTH bounced back at the first attempt to maintain their promotion hopes in Hampshire Two.
Still smarting from their loss at title rivals Bournemouth Thirds the previous week, the hosts came out at Redlands determined to make amends and they did it in commanding fashion against a Portsmouth side that never really posed a threat.
The hosts started strongly and although they struggled for early chances, they controlled the game in the opening stages.
Joe Foot, playing in only his third game of the season, looked impressive from the outset, and it was the attacking midfielder who soon settled the tie with two first-half strikes.
Both scores came about in similar fashion as Foot found space in the circle to slap the ball in from passes played diagonally across goal.
The Seasiders then went on to continue their dominance at the start of the second half.
Dan Bowles, who made a miraculous recovery from a shoulder injury sustained in a mid-season friendly, extended the lead before going on to create the fourth.
Bowles’ clever movement off the ball made him a constant threat and after pouncing on a rebound following an effort from Matt Underhill, he then set up Ben Skidmore with a fine pass after a strong attacking run from Luke Drewitt.
The Seasiders were then unlucky to concede a soft penalty corner after it was considered that centre-back Matthew Bell played the ball deliberately off the baseline as he shadowed an attacker into the circle.
After two failed routines that resulted in further penalty corners, Portsmouth then converted a neat routine to beat keeper David Civil for the first time to make it 4-1.
With the win in the bag, the Seasiders were then guilty of complacency, which eventually gifted the visitors another soft consolation.
The hosts were caught on the break when a Portsmouth forward’s attempt to gain control at the top of the circle saw the ball deflect past Civil.
Weymouth, who remain top on goal difference, travel to third-placed Portsmouth University today. The Seasiders won the reverse fixture but the victory was not convincing and the well-drilled students will be tough to beat on their own turf.
Man of the Match: Luke Drewitt
Hampshire Two: Basingstoke II 0 Bournemouth III 4, Chichester III 4 Univ of Portsmouth 5, New Milton 5 Tadley 0, Southampton II 1 Havant IV 1, Southampton Univ III 2 Winchester III 2, Weymouth 4 Portsmouth & Southsea 2.
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