Reading just too strong for Wimbledon
10:39am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
Wimbledon slipped to their second defeat of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday as they lost 2-0 at Reading.
A game played in good spirit provided another display of high quality hockey on a lovely Autumn afternoon.
Reading are a very professional, well-organised team and deserve their billing as one of the best teams in the country. Wimbledon matched them in many ways but sometimes hockey is about taking chances and the story is that Reading took theirs and Wimbledon on this occasion, didn’t.
For the first 15 minutes, Wimbledon were under pressure and had goalkeeper Tom Millington to thank for several top class saves.
The game then turned and Wimbledon had what could be classed as the best opportunity to take the lead. Had that been taken, who knows what the result could have been?
However, on 29 minutes Reading scored an intriguing goal. The ball was bouncing high across the face of the goal and Jonty Clarke, in true opportunist mode, dived at the far post to tip it into the roof of the net.
Four minutes later, a soft short corner enabled Richard Mantell to add a second from an unstoppable drag flick into the top left-hand corner of the net.
These goals settled Reading and seemed to unnerve Wimbledon. For the rest of the game, Reading exerted greater control and the Wimbledon performance, though producing some short corners early in the second half, was a little edgy with a number of unforced errors.
The team should still take away some heartening moments from the game.
Tom Millington was outstanding in goal and Wimbledon have the players who can compete at this level. Three regulars, Richard Alexander, Chris Gregg and James Osborn were missing and might have made a difference but on the day, the score reflected the performance.
Wimbledon have had a tough induction to the Premier Division, introducing new players and facing the best three teams in the country in the first four games.
The team has done well, but now is the time to shine. It is so important to put in a strong performance against Canterbury next Saturday and it needs our best players to be on top form.
Team: Millington, Pryce, Dando, Marsden, Bunyan, Burrett, Brogden, Ball, Kinder, Hoare, Hawes, Weir, Mee, Waller, Wood, Roper.