Hertford VI 1 - 0 Stevenage V
Back to winning ways.
We should have won this rather more comfortably, but couldn’t build on Chris Dean’s 15th minute strike. At least that kept it exciting and entertaining, if not always the highest quality. We dominated much of the game, and had some spells of very good, fluent hockey, but at other times we got very scrappy and unfocussed, didn’t create many clear cut chances and had to scramble away a couple of dangerous Stevenage breaks at the end to hang on for the win. That in itself is progress – we have had so many games against Stevenage’s lower team over the years where we have been the better team but come away without the result.
It didn’t help that we had 7 changes from the previous week and were missing all our recognised strikers (Ewen and Chris moving forward from their usual midfield roles), but against a largely veteran opposition who gave us plenty of time and space, it was disappointing that we couldn’t make more use of the right hand side and, after a very good first 10 minutes, rarely moved the ball back or sideways.
Andy, Grahame and Tom drove through to the 23 time after time but we couldn’t break down a stubborn defence or get the deflections on the through balls. Andy tested the keeper with a full blooded short corner strike but otherwise we didn’t get much on target.
Man of the match goes to Clive, ironically for his only touch of the game, racing off the line for a spectacular save when we had inexplicably lost the ball in central defence and left two Stevenage strikers baring down unchallenged on our goal with five minutes to play.
We will need to raise our game a bit next week, but we’ll bank the points for this one and see how we line up in Sandy.