Hertford Mens 6
By Graham Locker
Stevenage (5) 1 Hertford (6) 3
A sluggish start for Hertford against a Stevenage side who seemed decidedly sharper then in previous encounters. Hertford had quite a defensive look about the side on paper but struggled to keep shape although there was some good tackling and attractive passing in a hard fought midfield which set Luke and Richard free up front on occasion. It was the home side, however, that opened the scoring after 15 minutes with their first attack on goal seeing Hertford concede a penalty corner which was duly converted at the second attempt.
This setback seemed to galvanise Hertford into action playing some good hockey from the restart and four minutes later Dave Harding picked the ball up just outside the 23m line and barrelled his way past a number of defenders and into the D before slotting the ball home between the keepers legs to equal the scoring. Stevenage mounted a number of attacks on the Hertford goal and only a clearance off the line by Steve Bailes some excellent goalkeeping from Justin Protheroe, including one super kicked clearance to the side line, kept the scores even at half time.
The second half saw Hertford defend a number of short corners with Justin making some great saves and keeping his defenders well organised. John Andrews stopped Stevenage from taking the lead again 9 minutes into the half clearing off the line following which Hertford took the initiative with Luke Godwin scoring from open play to put the visitors ahead. Ten minutes later Hertford put the game beyond doubt from their best hockey of the day with some excellent movement and vision. From a 16 yard hit on the left, a rocketed pass pin point pass found Jon Durban free and running up the right unmarked and he quickly had the ball in the circle where Daryl and Dave had a scramble in defence before Luke touched Dave's goal bound shot over the line. Hertford then held firm for a welcome 3-1 victory.
MoM goes to Justin Protheroe in his second game for some great saves, command of this area and super kicking.