Plenty of positives despite the defeat

Natasha Roberts scored a fine solo goal for Banbury
Natasha Roberts scored a fine solo goal for Banbury

Banbury travel to West Hampstead this weekend looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat in the South Clubs Women’s Hockey League

Henley inflicted a 7-1 defeat on Banbury in Saturday’s division three fixture.

A youthful Banbury side went into the opener boosted by the return of some previous players. Banbury found themselves under pressure from the start due to a high Henley press however strong defensive work from Rebecca Atkins and Krissy Bull, coupled with good leads and sound passing from the midfield kept Banbury firmly in the game until a quick counter-attack from Henley saw Lettie Carey score a well-worked goal.

That was followed by an impressive reverse-stick shot from Elizabeth Chambers before halftime.

An encouraging talk from player-coach Sadie Lapper focussed on the positive work rate and passages of play that Banbury had produced. That proved to be the motivation the team needed with Natasha Roberts scoring a stunning solo goal soon after the restart, rounding the keeper and slotting home following impressive build-up play by Jennifer Marsh.

Banbury continued to test the Henley defence with Roberts showing her skill to run past defenders. Unfortunately, Banbury could not find an equaliser and a brief slip in concentration allowed Henley to kill off the game with three quick goals in only four minutes through Louisa England, Georgie Metcalfe and Lara Wilkinson.

Banbury found the resolve to keep working hard for each other and Lapper converted a penalty corner. One final counter attack from Henley saw England score Henley’s final goal.

Despite the heavy defeat, Banbury produced some excellent passages of play. It was not the start Banbury were hoping for but there were many positives to be gained from the performance.