Epsom prove too strong for Banbury

Juliet Gardner scored Banbury's opener at Epsom
Juliet Gardner scored Banbury's opener at Epsom

Banbury will be looking to bounce back in Saturday’s South Clubs Women’s Hockey League fixture with Teddington.

They go into Saturday’s division two game on the back of a 5-2 defeat at third-placed Epsom where the visitors were missing Sadie Lapper.

Finding it difficult to adapt to the slow, bouncy pitch Banbury found themselves down early on against an experienced, well-drilled side who pressed very high up the pitch, leaving the visitors with limited options out of defence.

After a spell of sloppy defending, wayward passing and slow reactions, Banbury worked their way up to the attacking end of the pitch. Despite some handy stick work from forwards and high midfielders, which produced several penalty corners, Banbury were unable to capitalise. Juliet Gardner finally scored from a penalty corner but Epsom replied with one of their own before the break.

Having discussed Epsom’s press during the half-time talk, Banbury were able to fight their way into the oppositions D after the restart by utilising the outside flanks with some early passes from defence to leading forwards up the line.

It didn’t take long for Banbury to win a penalty corner, of which a ‘right slip’ was called. With textbook execution of the aforementioned penalty corner routine, Natasha Nunneley scored via a deflection off the right post.

But a determined Epsom side barged their way through the Banbury defence to be awarded with another short corner, as a result of a stick tackle just inside the D. The ensuing short corner saw Epson regain their two-goal advantage.

Banbury then lost central midfielder Charlie Matthews with an injured hand, and the tiring visitors conceded another goal, this time in open play, with a short range shot finding its way past keeper Lotty Andrews.