Brooker takes positives from defeat

Old Georgian's Chris Shannon and keeper Tom Millington fail to stop  Steve Campbell from giving Banbury the lead
Old Georgian's Chris Shannon and keeper Tom Millington fail to stop Steve Campbell from giving Banbury the lead

Banbury manager Steve Brooker saw enough in his side’s second half display against Old Georgians to suggest they have a chance to end their losing South Premier Hockey League run at Havant this weekend.

Banbury got a lesson in the realities of life in division one on Saturday, meeting one of last season’s top sides Old Georgians who thumped the hosts 7-4.

The Banbury defence and midfield were strengthened by the return of Josh Nunneley and Tyson Nunneley plus new signing Max Grosmith but the side is not yet settled into life in a higher division.

Banbury took an early lead through Steve Campbell but OG’s equalised within a minute through Adam Beere. They went on to score three more goals before halftime through Nick Cooper, Louis Holmes and Ryan Van Der Reit to take a firm grip.

Banbury started the second half without George Brooker who was in the sin-bin for ten minutes and OG’s caught the home defence out with another quick break with Holmes bagging his second goal.

But Banbury’s second half performance was much improved and a sustained attack from the restart resulted in a penalty which the impressive Josh Nunneley coolly placed in the roof of the net. Despite a better showing from the home side, the visitors extended their lead with another penalty corner as keeper Scott Reynolds was unable to reach another fine finish from Van Der Reit.

Again Banbury pressed from the restart with fine work down the right hand side from Richard Hobley producing a cross that George Brooker was able to slam home from short range.

Even when the concession of another penalty corner saw Van der Reid complete his hat-trick, Banbury fought back with a long clearance from defence carried forward by Richard Foreman with Simon Boardman sliding in at the far post to score.