The One That Got Away
By Paul Harvey
Strong team performance fails to bring result for battling Terriers
It's a sporting cliche about "the one that got away", but the Terriers will look back on a 2-0 defeat to Reading Rovers and wonder how despite sustained pressure, countless opportunities in the D , and 8 penalty corners they failed to get a result their positive play deserved. Make no mistake, in a competitive game the Terriers put together some of their best hockey of the season - better results will come from less impressive performances this season.
Terriers started well, learning from the poor first 10mins of their opening away game against Witney, but against the run of play, Reading Rovers took the lead midway through the half with a straightforward penalty corner that saw the ball rattle in with a strong, direct hit from the top of the D. The Terriers looked to strike back, but a run of penalty corners came to nothing.
With the squad stretched thin due to injuries and unavailability, problems mounted as David Murray departed with a hamstring injury leaving the team playing a high tempo game despite no substitutes to offer respite until Paul Harvey arrived to add some experienced to a midfield and forward line composed of an all junior line up for the final 10 minutes of the half.
A solid first half was followed by one of the stronger halves of hockey for the Terriers. Louie Bowbanks was excellent on the left, strong in defence and combining well with Dominic Harvey with patient build up play. Ian Wilson and Neil Badley were rock solid in the heart of defence, and the team worked hard to keep the Rovers pinned in their half for periods of the half. However, whilst opportunities came and went, solid play was not converted in front of goal. Austin Jennings saw a double save frustrate him close to the goal, whilst he was unable to get down quick enough to a well worked penalty corner routine from Ian Wilson.
At the other end, Rovers saw some good fortune with decisions in the D, and another straight strike from a penalty corner saw them double their lead with 20mins remaining. Whilst Terriers continued to press, the patience and discipline of the play for most of the 2nd half deserted them in the final ten minutes, and they become more direct and keen to hit the "Hollywood" pass. A learning for all - working the ball patiently round the pitch will bring rewards in the future, but today, the team didn't get a goal or two that they deserved.