Banbury must make most of holding the early advantage

Barney Williams gave Banbury a two-goal lead at Bromley & Beckenham

Barney Williams gave Banbury a two-goal lead at Bromley & Beckenham

0
Have your say

Steve Brooker will be looking for Banbury to get back on track against Havant on Saturday.

Banbury go into Saturday’s South Premier Hockey League on the back of a 5-3 defeat at table-toppers Bromley & Beckenham.

We must learn to consolidate our early advantage or we will continue to throw away potential victories

Manager Steve Brooker

Banbury travelled to the undefeated division one leaders with a much changed squad. And, for the third game running, let slip the early advantage.

The home side started at a high tempo, pressing high to put Banbury under pressure in their 25. But the experienced Matt Bull provided some stability at centre back to marshall the defence and keep the home side at bay.

The deadlock was broken by Barney Williams, finishing well at the back post after Steve O’Connor and Kyle White tore down the left flank.

Banbury shocked the home team by doubling their lead. Williams was again on the spot to finish from close range thanks to a Josh Nunneley aerial pass deftly moved on by Max Grosmith.

Banbury looked good until a lapse in concentration saw the hosts break down the left flank and Nick Bluett fired the ball into the D for a deflected goal. The home side were back on level terms shortly before halftime, Simon Boardman was unable to keep out Sam Druce’s deflected penalty corner drag-flick.

Banbury started the second half strongly, controlling the majority of early possession and their positive play was rewarded by winning a short corner that was slotted in the top corner by Josh Nunneley.

But, as in the first half, Banbury were unable to hold on to their lead. Bromley struck back through Ali Faulkner from an improvised short corner after Banbury had kept the three previous attempt out.

The home team showed their class and seized the initiative against a tiring Banbury side which began to suffer sin-bin punishments as frustration mounted. Will Harris and Stephen Roche added two more goals before the final whistle sounded.

Brooker said: “We have lost an early lead in the last three games and must learn to consolidate our early advantage or we will continue to throw away potential victories.

“We must claw some points back to retain a respectable position in the league and restore some confidence.”