Complacency could kill our season, warns WH coach

JACK Beard, the player-coach of league leaders West Hampstead, said his men must avoid complacency following their 6-1 demolition of Staines 2nd II at Brent Cross on Saturday.

The emphatic victory continues WH’s dominance of the Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Regional 1 Division this season.

The Brent Cross outfit remain unbeaten this campaign after winning all of their 10 league games to top the table with 30 points, three points clear of second-placed Slough who they play on Saturday.

But Beard, who returned to West Hampstead to take up the dual role at the start of the season, after a brief stint playing for Premier Division side Hampstead and Westminster, believes the post Christmas games will be harderthan their previous matches.

“The second half of the season will be tougher,” Beard admitted.

“I have been in a similar situation [when playing for another team in the past] and when you play teams for the second time around they tend to be very defensive and hope to catch you on the breakaway.

“We need to assess our situation and avoid complacency.

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“We have a crucial game coming up at the weekend against Slough at home on Saturday.

“If we get the result it will give us a bit of a cushion as they are knocking at the door.”

WH’s strength and depth was apparent in Saturday’s emphatic victory, with their six goals coming from five different players.

Rogier de Roy bagged a brace and Chris Alfrey, Ben Battcock, Mark Little and Harry Willets scored one apiece.

But despite the resounding success, Beard feels his men performed below their best.

“It was a comfortable but scrappy victory and it was nowhere near the best hockey we have been playing,” he continued.

“It was the first game after the Christmas break and we had lost some of our flow.

“We ground out a victory and it was just good to show that we can grind out a result. It was always going to be a tough game.”

WH have a league double-header this weekend.

On Saturday they are home to Slough and on Sunday are away to Rover Oxford.