Hockey round-up: Men make a point but ladies are defeated

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THE men’s 1st team had already faced their opposition for the weekend twice during the season and both games had been very different affairs with the city side winning the first game 5-1 in the National Cup and Brighton winning by the same margin in their earlier league fixture this season.

Therefore with knowledge of exactly what the visitors were capable of, the men made a conscious effort to start in a very positive manner and try to break the resistance of the south coast team early in the game.

Some great running and pressurising from the forward line forced a number of mistakes in the Brighton defence and MK dominated the early possession but without converting any opportunities.

The hosts’ defensive line of Takher, Anderson, Webster and Pettefer helped keep Brighton’s attack at arm’s length and created waves of attacks down both wings after some great running from Frazer McColl and Woodford.

After all their possession with MK having not managed to take the upper hand in the form of a goal, Brighton felt they still had a chance to compete in the game and towards the end of the first half home goalkeeper Taff Morgan was called into action on a number of occasions to make some crucial saves and keep the scores at 0-0 at half time.

The second half continued in a similar vain with both sides having some good possession - but again it was MK who created a few better opportunities and both captain Brazier and vice Dodd hit the woodwork after neat short corner routines.

Eventually with only 10 minutes of the game left and following the best passing move of the game, the home side finally broke the deadlock. A searching long ball found Brazier who drove into the area and pulled the ball back nicely for Ali McColl who set up Woodford on the post to slot the ball past the keeper.

However, with only a few minutes left Brighton capitalised at a short corner and drew the scores level to leave both sides with a point, and MK sitting sixth in the table.

The ladies’ 1sts team saw an end to their recent good run of results when they slipped to a 3-1 loss at Aylesbury.

Managing to take a squad of 12 for only the second time in six games, MK went into the game confident that they would have the skills and fitness to put in another good performance and come away with three points.

The first half saw some end-to-end hockey, but it was Aylesbury who had the upper hand. The visitors created a few chances in attack too, with superb link-up play down the right from Scott, Little and Meredith.

They failed to find the target though and just before the break Aylesbury hit the opening goal, taking advantage of defensive errors to score.

MK returned for the second period looking to replicate the sort of hockey of recent weeks. Despite this Aylesbury stepped up their game and it wasn’t long before they added a second.

Some solid defending from player of the match Dewhurst and Bates, along with some fine runs through midfield from Davis and Woodford, brought MK some goal-scoring opportunities. And they were rewarded when Goad turned in a Woodford cross to half the deficit.

MK were back in it and went in search of an equaliser, but when they poured forward in numbers they were caught on the break and Aylesbury added a third to make the win safe late on.

The ladies 2nds recently hammered Sonning 7-4, but when the teams met again the Berkshire outfit managed to escape with a 1-1 draw.

In fact it was Sonning who took a first half lead, but MK drew level early in the second period when Makan and Taylor combined well to set up Walsh to slot home from a tight angle. The 3rds were 4-0 winners over Braknell.

The men’s 2nds emerged victorious after a five-goal thriller against Henley, scoring a winner with four minutes left to play.

Anderson got the ball rolling for MK as they played with the wind at their backs in the first half, and they doubled their lead shortly after the break when Spencer fired home from Batey’s shot.

But Henley hit back immediately, and as MK appeared to tire now playing into the wind, the Oxfordshire side managed an equaliser. That wasn’t the end of the scoring though and in the final stages MK nicked it as Mayles fired home into the bottom corner and his side held on. The 3rds drew 1-1 at West Hampstead.