Hayward hat-trick helps Hampstead & Westminster to maintain winning start in Premier League

Hampstead & Westminster's Andy Hayward (left) scored a hat-trick against Canterbury, with the New Ze

Hampstead & Westminster's Andy Hayward (left) scored a hat-trick against Canterbury, with the New Zealand international taking his tally to four goals in two games for his new club. Pic: Mark Clews - Credit: Archant

A hat-trick of penalty corners from Andy Hayward helped Hampstead and Westminster storm to a comfortable 5-1 victory over Canterbury and maintain their winning start in the NOW:Pensions Men’s Premier League.

Having also scored in the dramatic opening-day 2-1 victory over Wimbledon, the Kiwi international has now netted four goals in his first two games for his new club.

Hayward said: “We played better than last week. We were a little bit lucky against Wimbledon, scoring two goals in the last couple of minutes to snatch that win, but this time I thought we combined a bit better and it’s nice to come away with a 5-1 win.”

Canterbury had the first opportunity after an aerial pass from Kwan Browne forced a penalty corner, but brave running from Harry Slater helped to defend the threat.

Hampstead then showed their opponents how to do it, with Hayward scoring from penalty corners at the other end to establish a 2-0 half-time lead.

Canterbury’s aggressive press left them exposed and Canadian star Richard Hildreth smashed a ball past the keeper’s shoulder with a thunderous reverse stick shot to make it 3-0 just seven minutes after half-time, while Hayward claimed his hat-trick moments later with a third penalty corner goal.

Careless tackling in the midfield saw the umpires bring out cards for both teams, with Hampstead reduced to nine men at one point.

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The extra space on the pitch resulted in a number of one-on-one chances that Hampstead were unable to convert, and Hampstead’s new keeper Harry Gibson had to make an outstanding diving save to keep Browne off the score sheet once more.

The visitors scored from the resulting long corner after some fine intricate play in the D, making it 4-1 with less than 10 minutes to go.

However, H&W had the final word as they added their fifth goal of the match, Dave McLean getting in on the action with a fortunate deflection off a defender that wrong-footed the keeper.

Hampstead and Westminster host Cannock at Paddington Recreation Ground at 2pm on Super Saturday – a rare occasion when the men’s and women’s teams play back to back, with the ladies’ first XI facing Teddington.