Old Southendian Men 1sts 3 Bourne Deeping Men 1sts 3
Bourne Deeping Men 1sts 3
Dragons came back from 3-0 down at half-time to secure a hard-won point at Southend.
This was always going to be a tough game against a side that had lost only one game this season and, to make matters worse, Dragons had only 11 players able to make the long journey.
Despite an enforced change of formation, Dragons started well against a well-drilled home side.
In the early exchanges the Dragons kept the home team at bay and the hard-working new-look defensive back three were able to soak up most of the pressure.
But an attack down the baseline saw the ball played across the D in front of goal and an unmarked Old Southendian had an easy tap-in at the back post to open the scoring.
Not long after, Dragons conceded a penalty corner which was converted after an initial save.
And then, another penalty corner was deflected into the top corner of Page’s goal.
The half-time whistle was a relief for Dragons, but a small change in positions and a new determination saw the Dragons roaring out of the blocks .
It wasn’t long into the half before Bourne Deeping found themselves winning a series of short corners.
The breakthrough came when Ben Slack drifted past the defence to take his scoring tally to eight this season.
The Dragons continued to press and the home side found themselves unable to deal with the mounting pressure.
A remarkable seven penalty corners ensued and finally Slack found Harry Oakley in the D who despatched the ball into the goal.
With the home side in disarray, the Dragons continued to win penalty corners and Chris Clarkson slotted the equaliser.
Dragons continued playing some of the best hockey so far this season, but were unable to steal all the points.
The draw extended a great unbeaten run by the Dragons to four games and moves them to fourth place in division one at the half way point.
This weekend the firsts are at Havering.
March 1sts 6
Bourne Deeping Men 2nds 0
This was a humbling defeat for the Dragons after their recent good run as March showed just why they are sitting pretty in the promotion places as we head towards the Christmas break.
Starting as underdogs, Bourne Deeping competed well in the opening exchanges.
They scrapped and harried March, but as the visitors settled they soon began to pick their way through the Dragons’ midfield.
David Rudd-Jones continued his excellent form up front for Bourne Deeping and could well have given them a shock lead but for an excellent save from the March goalkeeper.
However, chances were a rarity throughout for the away side.
March took the lead and quickly scored a second as they looked to assert their authority.
A third goal was then ruled out as the umpires could not agree on whether the ball had been touched in the D.
March needn’t have worried unduly, they were soon given the upper hand.
Fillipo Pasqualino, making his Dragons debut, had been solid at left back throughout the half until a rush of blood to his head saw him intercept an aerial ball with his stick well above shoulder height.
The umpire had no option but to send Pasqualino to the sin bin.
With Bourne Deeping down to 10 men, March were able to exploit the extra space on the pitch
They scored three quick goals to take them to half-time with the comfort of a five-goal lead.
With the game effectively out of reach for the Dragons, the target was to win the second half and take away some pride from their performance.
Russ Seton and Henry Winfield-Chislett linked up well to provide opportunities for Will Ceraldi and Rudd-Jones with both youngsters relishing the battle up front against a physical March back line.
It was a better second half for the Dragons but they still failed to trouble the scorers.
A poor clearance in the dying minutes of the game saw March score their sixth to complete a comprehensive victory for the home side.
Bourne Deeping now have a break before their next game on Saturday, December 14, when they travel to local rivals Peterborough.
Star of the game was David Rudd-Jones, who was aggressive up front and looked most likely to make the breakthrough for the Dragons.