Banbury give leaders a scare before going down

Molly Levene scored for Banbury against Spencer
Molly Levene scored for Banbury against Spencer

Banbury entertain Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday looking to build on their performance at the South Clubs Women’s Hockey League leaders.

The division two strugglers played with excellent determination before going down 2-1 at Spencer.

Despite the conditions, Banbury began play with lots of energy in both attack and defence. Spencer had an early attacking run, which was cut short of a shot on goal by a well coordinated defensive line.

A continued show of strength in defence shocked the opposition, with notably good tackles being made by Sophie Hills and Becca Edwards.

Throughout the first half, the forwards worked hard off the ball and by implementing a well executed press, they forced the Spencer defenders to move the ball wide. That gave the mid-fielders the opportunity to channel the ball and, consequently, led to several turnovers.

But it took an excellent save from goalkeeper Gabi Louro to deny Spencer, the first of many exceptional saves she made throughout the match. Despite some strong driving runs and patterns of play from both teams, chances were not converted into goals by halftime.

After the restart, Spencer gained their first short corner. But fast running out and brave defensive play saw three consecutive corners were stopped before Spencer finally took the lead through Emily Natkiss.

A green card did not reap any rewards for Banbury and another successful short corner saw Stephanie Brooks double Spencer’s advantage.

With time running out, Emily Dove ran hard down the line, seeing off several defenders. Dove’s pace saw her cut back inside and pass into the D for Molly Levene who scored with a first time shot.