Maidenhead Mens 1s apply pressure to rivals
By Maidenhead Hockey Club
Brown hopes Maidenhead HC's big win over OMT ramps up pressure on title rivals
Maidenhead HC captain Chris Brown hopes victories like Saturday’s 7-1 success over OMT will ramp up the pressure on their rivals for the MBBO Regional 1 title.
A second half blitz saw the league leaders clinically dispatch OMT with Matthew Heller netting a hat-trick and David Tyler bagging a brace.
Matthew Keylock and Stephen Roe were also on target illustrating the depth of Maidenhead’s attacking options.
Brown knows they’ll need to utilise all of those options if they are to see off their title rivals and gain promotion, and he’s keen to ensure they don’t take their eye off the ball for any of their upcoming games – particularly Saturday’s banana skin clash at bottom of the table Wallingford 1sts.
“There are a couple of sides alongside us vying for the title,” he said. “And that means they’ll be pushing hard each week to ensure they don’t slip further behind.
“Hopefully those sides will slip up at some point in the season to give us an extra buffer and gap but we’ve got to make sure we don’t allow them to close the gap on us too quickly or easily.
“Ideally by the time we play that last game against Oxford OBU (rescheduled from January 5) we’ll have the title or promotion sewn up, but experience tells us that it usually comes down to those close games at the end of the season.
“It means we can’t afford to take our eyes off the ball in any of the games leading up to it.” Maids failed to take their chances in the first half on Saturday, but were back to their clinical best after some constructive talk at the interval.
“It was good to come back from the break with a win and to improve our goal difference,” said Brown. “After the OBU postponement we switched our attention to OMT and were really focused.
“We took our chances really well in the second half, having made it a bit easier for their keeper in the first half. They had a bit of pressure at 3-1 but we were able to step up a gear and take the game away from them.
The way we play we don’t just rely on one person for goals, we don’t just have one focal point. We attack with a number of options.
Brown and his players will be mindful of another slip up, earlier in the season, when they travel to Wallingford on Saturday.
“They’re a side that have been at the lower end of the table for a number of years, but they tend to get out of trouble with their form at home in the second half of the season,” he said.
“They’re not a bad side and have some good players but consistency across the squad is their problem.
“We let our first points of the season slip against bottom of the table Sonning so that will be in our memories on Saturday. We don’t want a repeat of that.”
Oxford OBU, who didn’t play on Saturday, have dropped to second after PHC Chiswick’s 5-2 win over Marlow. Chiswick are three points adrift of Maids with OBU – who have a game in hand – a further point back.