Brooker left to reflect on two defeats in 24 hours

Banbury manager Steve Brooker
Banbury manager Steve Brooker

Banbury manager Steve Brooker will be looking for his side to bounce back when they resume South Premier Hockey League action after the Easter break.

A weekend of double disappointment saw Banbury fail to pick up any division one points following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Old Cranleighans and Sunday’s 3-2 loss against Henley.

We know we are safe for next season and we can learn more from a difficult weekend

Steve Brooker

Travelling to third place Old Cranleighians with no substitutes meant that the selected 11 had to dig deep. Keeper Scott Reynolds who again performed well but the home side hit what proved to be the winner with Jimmy Smith finishing from close range.

On Sunday Banbury got off to the worst possible start with Ross Hibberd and Johnny Taylor giving the visitors’ a 2-0 lead.

Banbury pushed back with Tyson Nunnley breaking through midfield to deliver the ball for Steve Campbell to set up Simon Boardman who scored from close range.

Banbury began to dominate and Campbell levelled after the restart but Henley needed a win to be safe and gambled by replacing their goalkeeper with an outfield player for the last five minutes. Banbury failed to capitalise on a penalty corner and Henley broke away to win a hotly disputed penalty corner which Tom Walter converted.

Brooker said: “We showed great character on Saturday to so nearly bring a point back from Old Cranleighians but we failed to take advantage when we could have snatched victory against Henley.

“But, we know we are safe for next season and we can learn more from a difficult weekend than we did from an easy win last week. We still have the chance to finish on a high and then a summer of preparation for next year.”