Hockey: Berkswell underline title credentials in top of table encounter

Doug Macklam reports:

Mens 1st XI
BBCHC 4 (Oliver Stuart-Smith 2, Simon Tite 2) v Nuneaton 3

This hotly anticipated local derby and top of the table clash saw Berkswell come out on top on a sunny autumnal day at Westwood Astros. In a match which lived up to all expectations, two sides separated by goal difference, but with Nuneaton possessing a game in hand, set about each other at a frantic pace. The league results prior made this contest too close to call with both teams on the same goal difference, the key difference being Nuneaton’s game in hand.

As is not unusual it was Berkswell who made the slower start and Nuneaton piled on the early pressure. For the most part, an organised defence of Dom Herring, Martin Cross, Duncan Greenshields and man of the match Doug Macklam stood resolute in repelling the exceptionally high press from Nuneaton. However the deadlock was broken by a goal from open play with Nuneaton scoring a well taken goal after a slick passing move.

Berkswell didn’t hang around after this and became more involved in the game, attacking the ball at 50:50 opportunities and beginning to create their own chances. Berkswell were unlucky not to level the scores shortly after with Oliver Stuart-Smith’s shot tipped wide by a very competent Nuneaton ‘keeper. However it wasn’t long before Oliver Stuart-Smith made his way on to the score sheet, converting a short corner move from wide of the left post. 10 minutes later Berkswell forced their way into the lead with another short corner conversion, this time from Simon Tite. This gave Berkswell the lead at the break.

As expected Nuneaton came out hard in the second and pressed even higher. The pressure was soaked up by the defence and the high press allowed Doug Macklam to unleash pin-point areal passes over the Nuneaton forwards and midfield and allow Berkswell to counteract in superior numbers. The next two goals followed in this fashion with Robby Wells and Oliver Stuart Smith creating space up front with wide angled runs, allowing Simon Tite, Martin Stevens and Nick Herring to charge through setting up second goals for Tite and Stuart-Smith. As Berkswell began to sit back and defend the 4-1 lead it became clear that Nuneaton were not in the mood to entertain this. Throwing everything they had at the game Nuneaton managed to develop chances of their own and dug their way back into the game with two more goals before the final whistle. A nervy final few minutes ensued after Nuneaton scored with 2 minutes to go to make the score 4-3 but Berkswell managed to hang on and now see daylight in the league table between themselves and the other promotion contenders.

Mens 2nd XI –gap week

Mens 3rd XI –walkover against Worksop (3-0 to BBCHC)

Long Buckby 2 – BBCHC 1

Up-coming fixtures

Mens 1st XI: Away v Long Buckby (3.00 push back at William Parker School, Daventry)
Mens 2nd XI: Home v Kingswinford (12.30 push back at Warwick Uni)
Mens 3rd XI: Away v Mansfield (14.00 at Goosedale Sports Centre, Nottingham)
Ladies: Away v Birmingham Wasps (16.00 at Aston University Sports Grounds)
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