Double defeat for Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club at Wimbledon

Hampstead & westminster's Richard Alexander takes on GBs Ashley Jackson of East Grinstead. Picture:

Hampstead & westminster's Richard Alexander takes on GBs Ashley Jackson of East Grinstead. Picture: MARK CLEWS - Credit: Archant

Both ladies and men’s first teams at Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club suffered defeats to high-flying Wimbledon – both by the same 2-1 score.

The men, who secured their qualification for the end-of-season play-offs last week, were 2-0 down at half-time to the newly-crowned Men’s Hockey League Premier Division champions.

And despite a goal back from Richard Alexander, they couldn’t find an equaliser.

However, due to international commitments, the Hampstead side had a new look about it with youngster Peter Makin making his debut and Nick Giles his first appearance of the season.

And the fact neither looked out of place will give the management confidence ahead of next month’s showpiece games.

Hampstead started the stronger and Will Calnan had the opening chance, but the England U21 striker couldn’t keep his shot down.

Finishing would prove Hampstead’s undoing as they had plenty of sustained pressure but couldn’t find a telling final shot.

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And Wimbledon took advantage in the last 10 to score twice.

The second half saw the Hampstead midfield, consisting of James Chaffey, Geoff McCabe and Kwan Browne, continue to link up well and they finally found the breakthrough.

After a long build up, started by Ireland’s Mikkie Watt deep in Hampstead’s own half, Giles found himself on the ball in the Wimbledon D under a pressure, but he managed to square it across the face of the goal for Richard Alexander to deflect home.

The final 15 minutes proved frustrating for Hampstead who continued to be the stronger of the two sides but struggled to find a way past the home keeper who made a string of good saves.

Wimbledon are also top of the Women’s Conference East and their 2-1 victory over Hampstead’s ladies puts them on the cusp of the league title.

But while it was as tough a game as expected, like the men, the ladies can take plenty of positives from the match.

Louise Radford got their goal in the first half, sandwiched between two penalty corners for Wimbledon.

But Hampstead continued to fight during the second half, putting a lot of pressure on the Wimbledon defence.

However, despite the various chances and penalty corners Hampstead did not manage to score another.

The result, combined with those elsewhere mean Hampstead will definitely finish third and they will want to go out with a bang when they host Sevenoaks, the one side who can pip Wimbledon to the title, on Saturday in their final game of the season.