The Terriers bounced back after last week's 2-0 defeat at local rivals Reading Rovers with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sonning 5s at a sun drenched Cantley Park. In truth, it was one of the poorer Terriers performances, in particular during a disjointed first half performance that reaped two well taken goals nonetheless.
The Terriers squad was stretched thin with half term holidays meaning a number of the team's youngsters were unavailable. In their place, the Terriers welcomed ex-Terrier Alex Fox Harvey back to the fold, gave a Badley father and son cameo with Andrew joining captain Neil Badley, and saw proof that the Chapman family could be a hockey dynasty if Dan could be persuaded to make a permanent switch to hockey.
The first half saw one of the more disjointed displays from the Terriers, with the team struggling to maintain their shape, and with some uncharacteristic mistakes at the back giving Sonning some occasional glimpses at goal. However, at the other end, the Terriers were creating chances, and after a poor first penalty corner routine, things clicked into place with their second opportunity as Austin Jennings stepped up for his first time as penalty corner striker, and promptly dispatched a firmly struck hit hard to the keeper's left.
The lead let the Terriers settle, and a solid ten minutes followed with the ball moved more effectively down the channels. With 30mins gone, and excellent move down the left saw a burst of speed from James Romain leave his marker trailing. James drove into the D, and picked a perfect driven pass across goal, for Robbie Campion to turn the ball in from a few yards out. A slickly taken goal and an excellent assist from James, who worked hard throughout the game.
A half time reshuffle saw Paul Harvey drop into the defence with Alex Fox Harvey moving intro centre midfield and Andrew Badley up to right wing. The shuffle gave the midfield more drive and shape, and provided a solid backline for the half. Sonning played with great spirit, but threatened little in the 2nd half. The Terriers settled into controlling the game, with the ball working down both channels effectively. An aerial into the corner from Paul Harvey was collected by Julian Chapman who drove into the D, where Austin Jennings showed typical bravery to take on the keeper at full stretch for a 50/50 ball. Julian Chapman was again involved moments later, as a mazy run from Andrew Badley saw him drive into the D, lifting the ball over an oncoming defender's stick for Julian to drive the ball on the bounce flashing across the goal.
Terriers played out the final minutes in control, moving the ball across the back line and looking to use the mobility of the forward line to snatch a third goal. The final whistle was a timely arrival, as the makeshift Terriers become the walking wounded. Alex Fox Harvey's reward for a dominant display in midfield was a serious looking knee injury 5mins from time, whilst Andrew Badley finished the match gamely hobbling around up front as the team was in danger otherwise of dropping down to only 10 on the pitch. Final thanks need to go to Dan Chapman, who picked up a hockey stick for the first time in a few years, and ended up proving an immensely solid midfield option for the team. Thanks to Dan, Andrew and Alex for helping out the Terriers this week.
Next week it's a battle for club pride, as the Terriers take on South Berkshire 4s. The squad is stretched paper-thin again, so any aspiring Terriers young or old are most definitely welcome to lend a hand!