Terriers Collared By Strong Wallingford Side
By Paul Harvey
Harsh scoreline masks a competitive game until the final 10 minutes
The Terriers tasted their heaviest defeat in nearly a year as they went down 5-2 to a strong Wallingford side, as they graced the newly laid Birch Hill pitch for the first time this season. An evenly matched first half gave way to a convincing win for Wallingford in the 2nd, as the Oxfordshire side took a firm hold of the game, and ultimately ran away with late goals to give them a deserved win, albeit with a slightly flattering scoreline.
The first half was one of the best games of hockey that the Terriers have been part of this season - two well matched sides, playing competitive hockey and creating chances at both ends. Wallingford took the lead after pressure midway through the half, but the Terriers fought back quickly, with Ollie Clayerson scoring his first goal for the Terriers with a mazy dribble and shot from the edge of the D.
The Terriers started brightly in the 2nd half, and earned their first penalty corner quickly. A nicely worked move saw the ball injected to Dominic Harvey, who sent a disguised slap across the face of the goal where Robbie Campion was able to scrap to get the ball across the line. Alas, the lead was shortlived, as Wallingford were level within a few minutes as they took advantage of some slack defending to drive home from 10 yards out.
With the match level, it was Wallingford who stepped up the pace, as the Terriers struggled to get controlled possession of the ball as their more experienced opposition began to dominate in midfield. A third goal came from a quick breakaway, and with 10minutes left, the Terriers began to commit more players forward as they sought out a leveler. Wallingford took the opportunity, however, to catch the Terriers on the break, adding a 4th through a penalty corner before a penalty flick in the final minutes added a 5th.
Overall, the Terriers can have few complaints with the defeat against the strongest side they have faced this season. The scoreline was harsh, but was a reflection of the deserve of the side to push forward and get something from the game. Next up, a return to Cantley Park as the Terriers welcome Newbury & Thatcham.