Terriers bounced back from last week's defeat with a well earned draw against a Newbury & Thatcham team who defied their lowly league place with one of the best performances that the Terriers have faced this season. In an evenly matched game, played in torrential rain, Terriers settled well but were unable to create clear cut opportunities from some early pressure. As the first half progressed, Newbury began to move the ball quickly, and it was a rapid transition across the pitch from right to left that led to the first goal, as a overlap down the left saw the ball drilled in and the goal slotted in at the far post.
A 1-0 deficit at half time did not reflect the effort from the Terriers. Last week had seen Wallingford stretch away in the second half, but this time it was Terriers who upped their game. A long corner was worked quickly to Louie Bowbanks who fired the ball in to Paul Harvey as he cut a sharp angle across the top of the D. Paul dipped and drove a hard reverse shot back to the far post where Robbie Campion was perfectly positioned to drive the ball back across goal and in for the equalizer.
The second half continued to ebb and flow, with Newbury distributing the ball well from the back but without a cutting edge threat in attack. For the Terriers, the wide channels proved a rich ground for attacking menacing. In the final minute, a penalty corner was earned, but Newbury came out determined not to concede so close to the end, and the pressure saw a wayward shot and the lost chance for the win slip away from the Terriers.
On paper, a draw against one of the league strugglers, but in truth it was an excellent game of hockey, and Newbury showed they could comfortably move up the league as the season progressed. For the Terriers, another game where the confidence to move the ball swiftly down the channels demonstrated the potential in this young side.
Next week it is league leaders Phoenix & Ranelagh who come to Cantley Park. Hopefully they will bring some sunshine with them after the monsoon like conditions today!