MILTON Keynes Hockey Club’s men had a weekend to forget as they lost twice on the road at the start of their new season.
First up was a trip to London Wayfarers where things didn’t get off to the best of starts as Frazer McColl was injured.
Cheap turnovers and a sticky pitch resulted in a very scrappy first half in which MK struggled to control the game.
They continued to battle hard restricting the London forward to shots from tight angles, and they managed to keep them out in the first half which ended with no score.
But the home side eventually took the lead early in the second half in what MK believed were controversial circumstances. A short corner was first awarded when the initial shot was waist height and the rebound fell to a Wayfarers stick to fire the ball home as protests from MK fell on deaf ears.
MK pressed forward in search of an equaliser but found no way past the Wayfarers keeper and they were left to feel hard done by as the final whistle went and they had to reflect on a defeat.
Next was another long away trip to Bromley & Beckenham to play a cup match.
With temperatures again very high, MK soon found themselves under immediate pressure and two goals down. However, from the restart an overhead ball by Richard Townsend sent Brett Holland on his way and he beat three defenders and the home goalkeeper to score and halve the deficit.
It was a big confidence boost to the visitors and seemed to rattle the National League side, but Bromley were quick to make amends as they restored their two-goal cushion. However, that was not the end of the first half scoring as Jamie Dodd passed to Ian Brooke who then found Mark Davies who rounded the keeper to make it 3-2.
MK then came flying out of the blocks in the second period and drew level when Dodd found Davies from a free hit and he did well to deflect the ball past the Bromley keeper.
MK started to tire though and Bromley went forward in search of the winner, but with resolute defending the visitors kept the Bromley attack at bay until the final whistle, meaning the tie had to be decided by the drama of penalty flicks.
Bromley changed their keeper who stood one inch shorter than the goal to try and give them the edge and unfortunately it did the trick as they won the shoot-out to progress to the next round.
MK men’s 2nds entertained Henley in their first league game of the season and recorded an emphatic 5-0 win.
They got off to a stuttering start with a few missed placed passes from captain Phil Mayles and James Barrow which gave Henley the first chance of the game which they didn’t take.
MK gathered themselves and got their passing game going in response and a good move led to MK’s equaliser with great work from Mark Davies in the circle, then a quick pass across goal which lead to Ian Brooke firing home.
They then took the lead when more good work from Davies led to him setting up Dave Breuilly to make it 2-1.
It then became 3-0 when Jack Luther tapped in and two more goals followed for Alex Richards and Brooke to complete MK’s superb victory.
MK men’s 3rd team also had an excellent opening day win as they thrashed Oxford 5-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Matt and goals from Dom Tyler and Kevin Mayles, while the Samurai side also enjoyed a win against South Bucks with goals from Mark Ling (3), Giac Palmiero, Ben Jones and Ben Spencer.
MK ladies’ have begun the new season well and beat Aylesbury 4-0 in their latest outing.
Some excellent linking play from Chrissy Little and Becky Goad created numerous scoring chances early in the game and it was an unstoppable strike from Goad which put MK ahead.
Captain Sophie Reynolds then doubled the lead and thanks to some fantastic defending by Steph Bates and Dee Davis they remained 2-0 up at the break.
MK then continued to exploit gaps in the Aylesbury defence in the second half with Annette Van Zyl and Laura Browne working tirelessly to create more scoring opportunities in the D, and their lead was increased by Gemma Meredith who netted twice late on to put the icing on the cake.
The ladies’ 2nds went down 4-3 to Wokingham despite goals from Ellie Walsh, Anya Dunlop and Mally Dolphin. The 3rds had a 1-0 win over Harlow-Wycombe and the 4ths beat local rivals Leighton Buzzard 4-1.