Hampstead & Westminster climb into top four after first away win

Sam French (left) was on target for Hampstead & Westminster. Pic: Mark Clews

Sam French (left) was on target for Hampstead & Westminster. Pic: Mark Clews - Credit: Archant

Hampstead & Westminster climbed into the top four in the men’s Premier Division after securing their first away win of the season on Sunday.

Matt Guise-Brown put Hampstead ahead in the 24th minute at East Grinstead in Sussex, sending a short corner into the roof of the net, and Mikie Watt and Rupert Shipperley both went close before Sam French converted a penalty corner.

The visitors thought they had gone 3-0 up when Guise-Brown scored another penalty corner, but the umpires ruled the strike out and, instead, East Grinstead fought back to level the game.

Hampstead remained calm though, gradually getting their passing game back on track, and Chris Cargo and Geoff McCabe had efforts on goal before Jonny Codling won a decisive penalty corner and Guise-Brown hit the winner six minutes from time, registering his 10th goal of the season.

That victory took H&W above Beeston into fourth place and they can move further up the table this weekend when they host third-placed Surbiton, who sit one point ahead of them.

Meanwhile, Hampstead’s ladies were also victorious in the Conference East, securing a 2-1 home win over Cambridge City and climbing into third position.

They started a little apprehensively and fell behind after a penalty corner rebound but then started the second half strongly - and when Annebeth Wijtenburg sent the ball into the D, Cressida Grant was on hand to deflect it into the net.

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Hampstead took the lead shortly afterwards, with Grant finishing again after good work from Amy Askew, and although the final 10 minutes were unnecessarily hectic and exciting, they secured all three points at Paddington Recreation Ground.

Hampstead lie five points behind the top two teams, Sevenoaks and Wimbledon, but can gain ground on at least one of their rivals this weekend as the pacesetters are facing each other, while H&W are visiting fifth-placed St Albans.