Wellingborough Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI – proudly sponsored by prop-search.com - maintained their pursuit of Kettering at the top of East Hockey League 5NW with a dominant 7-2 victory at home against Cambridge City 6th XI.
Buoyed after picking up a valuable away point the previous week, a strong Wellingborough side was looking to reinforce its growing ‘fortress Wrenn’ home reputation. And so it proved - Boro were simply too strong for Cambridge in the first half, getting numbers forward time and again to expose a Cambridge backline that were physical but ultimately lacked the pace to cope with relentless waves of Boro pressure. After a balanced first quarter, Simon Morrissey opened the floodgates with a high quality finish at the end of a high pace intricate passing move down Boro’s right hand side. A ruthless Boro goal blitz followed before the break, killing off the game with four more open play goals from David Marriot, Bradley Ferris and two more for Morrissey, completing an emphatic first half hat-trick for the captain.
Cambridge came out with a point to prove in the second half. Their distribution from the back was old school and direct but high quality and effective. A drilled through ball was deflected just wide to give Boro a wake-up call. Matthew Bicknell regained Boro’s momentum with an instinctive deflected finish to make it 6-0, before a rare Cambridge break ended in a goal after a sharp save from Luke Oakley fell to the Cambridge’s centre forward. Boro’s disappointment in not maintaining a clean sheet is a positive sign of a defence that takes pride in being tough to break down. Andrew Wade, Paul Smith and Morrissey harassed the Cambridge front line throughout, linking with the energetic Max Billson and an always composed and stoic David Langley. Jose Dos Santos and Azaan Shah deserve special mentions for more than holding their own in midfield and maintaining their composure in an occasionally fractious game. They were always looking to get forward, always playing with their heads up, and able to find Dan Hill in space on the right time and again.
As the game became stretched, fragmented and increasingly acrimonious, Cambridge players saw two green cards and a yellow as frustrations grew and they lost their discipline in the final quarter. Inevitably Boro were also drawn into the fray - Smith and Langley both spent time on the sidelines for green card offences. In a final five minute exchange, Marriot rubbed salt into Cambridge wounds scoring Boro’s 7th, before the final goal fell to Cambridge to make the final score 7-2.
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