Hampstead & Westminster start well after winter break at Wimbledon
PUBLISHED: 12:38 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:38 16 February 2019
Hampstead & Westminster’s men bounced back from their Indoor Finals heartbreak with an historic win at Wimbledon in the Premier Division.
The visitors trid to control the game from the start, but saw Ed Horler hit the crossbar from the top of the D for the hosts.
However, Hampstead began to cut out their errors and take charge to force several short corners as the first half ended goalless.
Wimbledon made a strong start to the second half, with both sides having chances, and Hampstead struck on 49 minutes as penalty-corner specialist Matt Guise-Brown converted from a set-piece.
Hampstead’s defence held firm after that to deny the home side a reply, keeping their discipline and bagging the three points to keep pace with Surbiton, who had beaten Exeter University earlier in the day to remain top on goal difference.
With third-placed Beeston dropping points, the top two now have a five-point cushion over the pack and Hampstead host Reading at Paddington Rec on Sunday as the race for the play-offs hots up.
The women were also in action at title contenders Wimbledon after their return from the winter break was extended by a week due to a frozen pitch.
Hampstead came under early pressure, conceding a couple of short corners, but stood firm and began to grow into the game.
The deadlock was broken when a Westminster short corner was deflected in off a Hampstead stick just a few minutes before half time, but the visitors made a strong start to the second half and created good scoring chances.
Tactical changes made during the interval paid dividends as Hampstead got a foothold and levelled when Lauren Turner forced the ball over the line after an excellent double save from the Wimbledon keeper.
Not to be outdone, Roxy Giafrancesco showed her class with a couple of smart saves in the closing minutes as it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Next weekend sees a double header at Paddington Rec as Hampstead & Westminster host fellow title hopefuls Cambridge City and Harleston Magpies on successive days.