South Berks came away from a very wet and cold Ashford with 3 points after a stunning 6-1 performance.
After the disappointment of losing the first game of the league last week the team were desperate for Saturday to roll round to make amends. And boy did they make amends.
Starting positively South Berks took the game to Ashford. Strong running off the ball and good decision making with the ball allowed South Berks to penetrate Ashford’s D numerous times. However the final pass always seemed to be just behind or just in front of the attacker rather than to their stick. Despite chances being created South Berks couldn’t find the back of the goal. All this changed when Mike Bayliss collected a through ball from Sean Hardingham and crossed to the back post giving Dan Ray an easy tap on for his first of the season. Finally South Berks were up and running.
The next goal is already a contender for goal of the season. A flowing move involving 15 passes and all but the keeper, gave Mike Bayliss a simple tap in. Confidence high South Berks were ready to grab another. However Ashford struck straight back through a rocket of a short corner strike.
Remaining positive South Berks took the goal on the chin and continued to play their attacking brand of hockey. Peppering the Ashford goal, the pressure eventually told when Matti Temmink slotted the ball past the keeper. 3-1 at half time and a strong performance meant the half time talk was all about maintaining performance levels.
And this they did.
Despite Ashford starting strongly and with intent as you would expect a home side trying to get back in the game, some stout defending allowed South Berks to weather the storm before hitting on the counter attack. This released Paul Kaplanski to grab his first of the game and the season after some strong work from the midfield. He quickly added another with a fine finish and the game was effectively over.
There was time for Birthday boy Dan Ray to get his second to cap off a strong and professional performance from the men in black.
A great performance in poor weather conditions means South Berks have their first points on the board. Next week they welcome the visit of Abingdon and will be seeking to get another 3 points.