Banbury must get over the opening setback at Havant

Banbury's Charlotte Boland challenges PHC Chiswick's Ceilidh Walker during Saturday's opener
Banbury's Charlotte Boland challenges PHC Chiswick's Ceilidh Walker during Saturday's opener

Banbury will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat at Havant this weekend.

A solitary goal from PHC Chicwick’s Rhianna Buchanan condemned Banbury to a 1-0 defeat in Saturday’s South Clubs Women’s Hockey League opener.

Banbury knew it would be a physical game based on previous encounters in division two. Chiswick tried to enforce their dominance from the start but that did not phase Banbury.

Both sides played some positive hockey with Banbury finding gaps in the Chiswick defence early on, Natasha Roberts picked out long balls from the midfield and a decision went against her at the crucial moment. Against the run of play, a Chiswick move found Buchanan free on the back post, who slotted home just before halftime.

After the restart, both sides fought furiously with Chiswick making attempts to bully Banbury off the ball. Molly Levene battled well as Banbury improved their structure, stopping Chiswick from penetrating down the middle of the pitch.

Pip Jones showed her experience when making some good passes through the midfield, providing more opportunities for Banbury. A short corner in the last minute gave Banbury the chance to equalise but they were unable to convert.