Hampstead & Westerminster women on verge of title after slamming Southgate in superb display
PUBLISHED: 09:30 29 March 2019
Hampstead & Westminster’s women took one more step towards the East Conference title as they made a short journey across London to Southgate on Saturday for their penultimate game of the season.
With two to games to play, they still held a slender two-point lead over Wimbledon, knowing the title would once again be theirs if they take all six points from the last two fixtures.
Hampstead got off to a strong start and had chances galore, with only a well organised defence and good goalkeeping denying them.
However, the first goal was soon slotted home by Melanie Wilkinson after 23 minutes, as the leader took a narrow 1-0 advantage into half time.
After the break, Hampstead came out in dominant fashion.
Lauren Turner scored from a short corner and with momentum in full swing, the scoreline was further extended through Wilkinson and Amy Askew both scoring from open play.
Meg Byas scored the final goal of the game in the 60th minute, confirming the win for Hampstead who are now just one win away from the play-offs for a spot in the Premier League.
Their last game of the season is at Paddington Recreation Ground on Saturday against strugglers Ipswich.
The men’s first team faced a tricky Premier Division clash with East Grinstead at the weekend.
It was second against fourth and it was Hampstead who made a great start when Kei Kaeppeler won a penalty stroke after being taken out by the keeper.
Richard Smith stepped up to slot home to give Hampstead the lead, but despite being the better side for the rest of the half, they could not add to their tally.
East Grinstead came out firing in the second half and despite Hampstead chances for Chris Cargo and Liam Ansell, it was the visitors who levelled.
Stephen Kelly tried an aerial across his own D which fell for East Grinstead striker Liam Ansell to thump past the head of Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, giving the keeper no chance.
That seemed to galvanise Hampstead and their efforts were finally rewarded when Kaeppeler delivered the ball across the D for Welsh international Rupert Shipperley to score the winner.
With one more league fixture to play at Brooklands MU on Sunday, focus now turns to the League Finals at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on April 13.
Hampstead face Beeston in their semi-final, with Surbiton still waiting to learn their opponent.