Hampstead & Westminster continue unbeaten start to the new season

Hampstead & Westminster's Marc Edwards celebrates his goal against East Grinstead (Pic: Simon Parker

Hampstead & Westminster's Marc Edwards celebrates his goal against East Grinstead (Pic: Simon Parker/SP Action Images) - Credit: Simon Parker/SP Action Images

Hampstead & Westminster men continued their unbeaten start to the new Premier League season with a 5-1 victory over East Grinstead.

Both teams sat in the top half of the table, equal on seven points, but East Grinstead having played one game more, so this was a prime opportunity for Hampstead to open up a gap between them.

Despite the game being played at Southgate as the Paddington Recreation Ground is still being relaid a good socially distanced crowd made the trip to north London and were rewarded with a spectacular display from the Maida Vale side.

As predicted, the game started with physical play and high speed hockey and it was the visitors who drew first blood, with East Grinstead putting a penalty corner past Toby Reynolds-Cotterill into the bottom right corner of the goal in the seventh minute.

But that was to be as good as it got for the Sussex outfit as just five minutes later ever reliable Matt Guise-Brown fired in a penalty corner for the equaliser.

Hampstead dominated the second quarter, being more decisive in their tackling and holding more of the possession, and in the 21st minute Guise-Brown doubled his tally with another rifle of a penalty corner leaving the East Grinstead keeper no chance.

The 2-1 half-time score only in part reflected the difference in quality of the two teams, as East Grinstead had defended well and maintained their chance to win a point, or even three.

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But their chances of getting something out of the game diminished when Rupert Shipperley finished a wonderful solo run past three EG players to make the score 3-1 in the 38th minute.

With only one quarter remaining East Grinstead hadn’t given up all hope, but after Will Calnan scored a backhand goal in the 49th minute there seemed little hope for recovery.

Finally, after some sloppy defending, Marc Edwards was granted a free shot from the top of the D to seal a commanding 5-1 win for Hampstead to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, hot on the heels of early leaders Surbiton, with a trip to Holcombe on Saturday (6pm).