Toothless Hampstead fall to canny Cannock
A goal in either half cost Hampstead & Westminster dearly against English League premier division leaders Cannock at Paddington Rec on Sunday. When the two teams met back in October, Hampstead earned an impressive 4-4 draw away from home. But this time
A goal in either half cost Hampstead & Westminster dearly against English League premier division leaders Cannock at Paddington Rec on Sunday.
When the two teams met back in October, Hampstead earned an impressive 4-4 draw away from home.
But this time they suffered from a "lack of bite in the final third", according to skipper Adam Gapper, and consequently failed to find the back of the net.
The game was played at a fast pace throughout, with both sides looking to drive forward on the break and create pressure on the respective defences.
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Johannes Witt, Ben Rogers and Scott Webster looked particularly lively for Hampstead but chances were few and far between.
Both sides were restricted to one penalty-corner each in the opening half hour, though neither side could convert.
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Then, a fluke deflection fell kindly for Cannock star Brogdan, who rounded the home keeper to open the scoring.
Hampstead pressed for an equaliser in the second half, but with 12 minutes remaining Cannock grabbed their second. Johnson finished off a sweeping midfield move to seal the points.
"We were very disappointed because we drew with them away from home, so we thought we could at least match that result," said Gapper.
"It was a pretty even game - if anything, 2-0 makes it seem harsher than it was.
"There was a lack of bite in the final third, but we can't blame the strikers for that. It's a team thing.
"We didn't make the most of our penalty-corners."
Hampstead remain seventh in the table, two places below where they finished last season.
On Saturday, they face fourth-placed East Grinstead at home. The last time the two clubs met, Grinstead won 7-2.
Hampstead squad: Bevan, Cornick, Davis, de Jong, Edington, Finding, Fox, Francis, Fulford, Jean-Jean, Keys, Leadbitter, Naylor, Reidel, Rinne, Rogers, Simkin, Smith, Webster, Williamson, Witt.