Debut duo hit hat-tricks as Hampstead & Westminster set the early pace in Premier Division
- Credit: Archant
Two of Hampstead & Westminster’s debutants scored hat-tricks as the men’s team started their Premier Division campaign in style, securing a comprehensive 7-2 victory over Canterbury at Paddington Recreation Ground.
It was the perfect start for the club’s new player-coach Kwan Browne, who arrived from Canterbury during the summer, as he oversaw an impressive, high-scoring win over his former team.
Mikie Watt, who has joined Hampstead after representing Ireland at the Olympics, struck a treble and South Africa international Matt Guise-Brown also netted three times in his first appearance, while Chris Cargo – a third recruit, who played alongside Watt in Rio – was on target too.
While these are very early days, H&W are currently sitting at the very top of the national pyramid on goal difference.
They have made a number of additions following Browne’s appointment, but the new-look side started well on Sunday.
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Watt tapped in from three yards following good work from Sam French down the wing, and the lead was doubled when Guise-Brown expertly converted from a short corner.
Canterbury showed characteristic grit and determination as they hit back with a double of their own to equalise – a neat deflection beat goalkeeper David Kettle before a spectacular volley from Craig Boyne went in off the crossbar.
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Hampstead rallied though and Watt struck twice to complete a first-half hat-trick, re-establishing the two-goal advantage before the break.
Indeed, Canterbury would have been three down at the interval had it not been for a sensational save from a Guise-Brown penalty stroke just before half-time.
The debutant was not to be denied for long, however, and he added two more goals to his tally in the second period, while Cargo also got his name on the scoresheet with a deft finish.
Hampstead visit Surbiton, who finished second in the top flight last year, on Saturday.
The women’s first team were less successful as they began their second season in the Conference East on Saturday, suffering a late 2-1 defeat at home against Wimbledon.
Hampstead started strongly and led for most of the game after a fine first-half finish from Hayley Turner, but they conceded twice in the last 10 minutes and ended up empty-handed. They visit Chelmsford on Saturday.