Bevan keeps cool to give Hampstead timely tonic
Hampstead & Westminster kick-started their English League premier division campaign with victory in a nine-goal thriller at relegation rivals Canterbury on Sunday. The win – only Hampstead's second league triumph of the campaign – lifts them four points
Hampstead & Westminster kick-started their English League premier division campaign with victory in a nine-goal thriller at relegation rivals Canterbury on Sunday.
The win - only Hampstead's second league triumph of the campaign - lifts them four points clear of the relegation places into seventh place.
An attacked-minded home side forced the pace early on, with drag-flick specialist Dave Matthews earning a penalty-corner which he then flicked low and left only for Simon Keys to save well.
But Canterbury weren't denied for long as Greg Nicol fired in a reverse stick shot across the face of the goal for Matthews to expertly tap in.
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A swift response from Hampstead set the tone for a tit-for-tat fixture - Andy Cornick finished a breakaway move to level the scores.
On 22 minutes, a corner for Canterbury gave ex-England international Matthews the chance to grab his second, making it 2-1 at the break.
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Concerted Hampstead pressure in the offensive third meant that the visitors finally drew level as Webster scrambled the ball home on the hour mark.
The impressive Chris Ambridge, who worked doggedly on the right all match, put Hampstead in the lead for the first time at 3-2.
But once again, the lead was short-lived as Matthews slotted home a third.
In a dramatic closing 10 minutes, Webster scored a second to put Hampstead 4-3 up before Nicol equalised for Canterbury.
However, there was time for the winner and Ed Bevan became Hampstead's hero when converted a well-worked corner into the bottom right.
On Sunday, Hampstead entertain Belper at Paddington Rec.