Alexander strikes to end Hampstead & Westminster’s losing streak in Premier Division

Hampstead & Westminster's matchwinner Richard Alexander (centre). Pic: Mark Clews

Hampstead & Westminster's matchwinner Richard Alexander (centre). Pic: Mark Clews - Credit: Archant

Richard Alexander’s second-half goal was enough to ensure Hampstead & Westminster returned to winning ways in the men’s Premier Division with a 1-0 victory over Southgate at Paddington Recreation Ground.

H&W had lost their previous three matches but the result moves them above Sunday’s opponents into fifth in the Pensions Men’s Hockey League ahead of this weekend’s visit of Brooklands MU, who picked up their first win of the season against Reading.

It was Hampstead who got off to the brighter start as intricate play between Tom Kavanagh, Matt Botha and Will Naylor forced the Southgate keeper to pull off a fantastic save to keep the hosts at bay.

The visitors responded in kind with swift counter-attacking, with captain Toby Roche’s diving tackle and keeper Harry Gibson’s sharp reactions keeping the scores level at the interval.

The pace showed few signs of abating upon the restart, with the desire of both teams to create opportunities allowing the midfielders plenty of space to cause havoc.

The breakthrough finally came after another flowing Hampstead move resulted in a short corner.

A good flick from Neil Hamilton landed at the feet of Richard Alexander, and the midfielder instinctively buried his effort into the roof of the net.

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Southgate fought desperately to restore parity, but for all their pressing in the final 10 minutes, excellent composure and ball retention from the home side enabled Hampstead to record their third victory of the campaign.

Hampstead & Westminster face Brooklands on Saturday in their final home game this season (2pm).