Late winner takes Hampstead & Westminster back to the summit in the top flight
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster’s men returned to the summit in the top flight after Rupert Shipperley secured a late 2-1 victory over Brooklands MU with just four minutes left.
Matt Guise-Brown gave H&W the lead at the Paddington Recreation Ground on Sunday with a trademark penalty corner, but Brooklands hit back with 10 minutes remaining.
There was more late drama though as Shipperley struck a decisive goal and, with Wimbledon and Beeston drawing 1-1 in a top-of-the-table clash, Hampstead leapfrogged both teams to claim first place on goal difference.
Hampstead were initially unable to break the deadlock as efforts from Geoff McCabe and Chris Cargo were repelled, along with a barrage of short corner attempts from Guise-Brown – and the hosts were then forced to dig in themselves, with goalkeeper David Kettle making two smart saves down to his left.
But H&W counter-attacked quickly, winning a penalty corner, and Guise-Brown unleashed a bullet into the bottom corner.
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Brooklands’ direct style caused problems in the heart of the home defence after the interval and Steve Kelly was sent to the sin-bin, leaving Hampstead with their backs to the wall – and a scrambled goal levelled the scores.
However, Shipperley did well to get onto the end of a long aerial ball and win a short corner from the onrushing goalkeeper – and although Guise-Brown’s shot was saved, Shipperley pounced on the rebound and buried the ball into the bottom left corner to leave H&W with three victories and a draw from their opening four games.
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Meanwhile, Hampstead & Westminster Ladies struck five times in 18 minutes as they came back from 2-0 down to win 5-2 at Southgate on Saturday and move up to fourth place in the Women’s Conference East.
Hampstead, who welcomed captain Annebeth Wijtenburg back from an ankle injury, were on top in the early exchanges but they fell behind when Southgate broke away following a missed penalty corner – and the hosts doubled their advantage just after half-time.
H&W picked up the pace and improved their teamwork though, and their efforts paid dividends. Jess Orrett struck the ball into the D and Helen Cathcart dived in to deflect it past the keeper – and Orrett then scored herself to make it 2-2.
Fleur Horner had to make an important stop at the other end to keep the scores level, but it was Hampstead who went ahead before racing out of sight, hitting three goals in a little over 10 minutes.
Diede van der Heijde powered her way across the top of the D and scored with a fine shot, while an intricate team move ended with Michelle Borren setting up Joyce Esser, and Olivia Rendall added the fifth goal in a devastating 18-minute spell.