Monarchs 3 v 1 Staines
By Viren Walia
Monarchs dig deep to beat Staines
Maidenhead Monarchs 3 – 1 Staines 4ths
Due to the relevant league positions and the pre season friendly result the Monarchs thought that it might be an easy game to win except of course Staines had other ideas.
Early pressure on the Monarchs defence kept pushing them back into the circle until a Staines midfielder dribbled through without anyone attempting to tackle, got into the top of the “D” and fired a crisp shot between Connor’s pads and the post into the bottom left hand side of the Maidenhead goal.
Waves of attacks from Staines followed and by a bit of luck and last ditch defending Maidenhead held fast.
Randy got an accidental cut and blow to his head and went off for repairs before returning later in the game to stiffen up the Monarchs defence.
The Monarchs kept attacking the other end and an overzealous tackle on the Staines goalkeeper, led to a green card for Clint but as we explained to the opposition that’s South African Hockey for you and Staines were happy to accept that.
After about 25 minutes Viren found a way through the midfield before getting the ball across to Tim who smacked a shot past the keeper to the far corner to level the game up.
The second half was a better performance from the Monarchs as space seemed to appear across the pitch, perhaps everyone was working harder after the half time team talk.
Numerous opportunities came to the Monarchs forwards but were either mishit, kicked, pushed wide, oh well that is some of the excuses that were given.
The deadlock was broken when JC picked up a poor Staines clearance in the midfield and snapped off a hit into the circle where Tim was lurking, a deft touch past the defender opened up the goal and the sheer speed of his shot left the Staines keeper stranded and the Monarchs two up.
A series of short corners followed and from one of these a wayward Staines foot on the line created the opportunity for Cory to step up, after politely pushing the Captain out of the way and place his penalty stroke to the right of the goal keeper.
There were a few more chances at either end but a relieved Monarchs took the spoils of the win away with them.
Match report: Jonathan Crowther
Man of the Match: Cory Rottier