Hampstead and Westminster do the double over rivals Wimbledon
- Credit: Mark Clews
The England Hockey Premier League roared back into action after a Covid disrupted previous season and Olympic summer.
Hampstead and Westminster Ladies started the season with a 3-1 away win over Wimbledon on Saturday.
The match started at a high pace but after a sustained period of pressure from Hampstead, a strong baseline run from Joie Leigh gifted the ball to Sarah Robertson on the penalty spot who eventually slotted the ball in to give Hampstead ladies a 1-0 lead.
Wimbledon kept scrapping and against the run of play managed to win a series of short corners in the second quarter, one of which they capitalised on and sent the two sides into half time equal.
A deflection goal from Lauren Turner in the third quarter broke the deadlock and put Hampstead in the lead.
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A deflection short corner saw Emily Douglas set up Esme Burge nicely for Hampstead’s third goal which proved too much for Wimbledon to fight back from.
Hampstead were delighted to kick start their 21/22 season campaign off with three points against a side who will prove to be a top contender in the league this season.
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Hampstead and Westminster men also started the season with an away trip to Wimbledon, on Sunday.
It was Hampstead’s South African goal machine Matt Guise-Brown who opened the scoring thirteen minutes into the game, beating Wimbledon’s goalie from a penalty corner.
Hampstead continued to dictate the play in the first quarter and it was again Matt Guise-Brown who extended Hampstead’s lead by converting a penalty stroke at the end of the first quarter.
Fresh from his debut Olympic games, Guise-Brown completed his hat-trick a minute into the second quarter - a well-deserved three goal lead with half time for Hampstead who were on fire in the first half and dominated the game.
Wimbledon changed things up in the third quarter by putting Hampstead under pressure higher up the pitch.
It proved to be an effective tactic resulting in Wimbledon players Evan Kimber and Ben Francis netting at the start of the fourth quarter after Hampstead lost the control of the game they had in the first half.
Hampstead sustained considerable pressure in the final ten minutes following a green and yellow card, but managed to reach the end of the game with their lead still intact and win 3-2 thanks to some excellent goalkeeping by Hampstead's Toby Reynolds-Cotterill.
Both sides are back at Paddington Recreation Ground for games against East Grinstead on Saturday and Sunday.