Frustrating start for Dragons after second successive defeat

Hockey
Hockey

A frustrating start to the new East League Premier B season saw Bourne Deeping suffer a second successive defeat at Norwich City on Saturday.

The hosts, who finished in a strong position last season, were more clinical than Bourne Deeping which proved the difference.

With a few key players missing, there was an opportunity for some new faces to stake a claim for their place in the squad.

The game started in very similar fashion to the week before with the Dragons having good periods of possession and looking dangerous in the right areas.

However, it was Norwich who scored first and then very quickly added a second - this was against the run of play but the hosts were clinical with the few opportunities they had.

Bourne Deeping responded with a good passage of play as Chris Clarkson found Simon Miles on the base line and he played the ball across the circle for Stuart Biggs to deflect in to the goal.

This seemed to spur Norwich on and they scored a third and fourth goal before half-time, both coming from clinical finishing in the circle

The second half ebbed and flowed with both teams creating chances but neither being able to convert.

With five minutes left, the Dragons won a short corner which was converted after a slick routine involving Miles and Biggs.

Unfortunately a final short corner awarded as the final whistle was blown was unable to be converted with the same prowess.

Bourne Deeping are yet to concede a goal in the second half of a game this season, something for the coach to build on.

In hindsight they will feel that if they had been more clinical they could have a few more points on the board.

There are plenty of positives but also plenty to work on and they host Ipswich & East Suffolk on Saturday.

Man-of-the-match was debutant George Collins.

Bourne Deeping 2nds were brought back to earth after last week’s opening win as they suffered a 5-2 defeat against Cambridge City.

Straight from push back Cambridge showed their very aggressive and attacking play, but a top-level performance from Graham Brewer matched their level of aggression and hunger for the ball

Disappointingly in the first 10 minutes City managed to scrape a short corner from which they finished with one solid strike into the bottom left corner.

After bombardments of attacks from City, they managed to play a passing game around the Dragons defence to win another short corner which they accurately hit into the bottom right corner.

This inspired Bourne Deeping with great passing play from Phil Arnold and Tavers splitting their defence apart and making great use of the wings.

Unfortunately this was not enough as City manged to catch Bourne Deeping on the break and added a third goal before half-time.

With great runs from James Gregson and passing play from the wings, Bourne Deeping went close after the restart with Robin Edlington seeing an effort saving.

After another short corner was converted by City for their fourth goal, Bourne Deeping hit back to get a goal with a superb finish from Tom Bettinson into the bottom left of the goal.

City responded with yet another converted short corner but, in the final minutes of the game, a short corner was converted by Rich Arnold with a powerful flick into the roof of the goal. 

Man-of-the-match: Graham Brewer.

A poor 10 minute period shortly into the second half cost Bourne Deeping 3rds as they went down to a 5-3 loss against St Ives 2nds.

Having taken the lead through a Ewan Howitt goal and a Simon Goode assist, Bourne Deeping then equalised from the spot via Olly Vartan not long after the second half started to bring the scores to 2-2.

Three goals then came quickly before Vartan got what could only be considered a consolation goal late on. This was a combative performance which ultimately came up short.

A goal with just 90 seconds remaining sentenced Bourne Deeping 4ths to a 1-0 defeat away at St Neots.

The game started at a blistering pace with both sides having their share of possession but not troubling the keepers.

A tactical change encouraged the home side who had their best spell of the game so far but the defence held strong with Lewis Stedman having a blinder in his new centre back role.  

Zach Morley was also having a great game, keeping his man out of the game while also helping start many attacks

The hosts started the second half like a team possessed and, while having a lot of the ball, failed to break down the defending visitors. 

Chances were now coming and a couple of smothered shots from the away keeper kept St Neots at bay.

Sam Bradshaw found himself in an excellent position but failed to convert while the home keeper made the save of the game with an outstanding stop to deny Tim Keisil.

With time ticking down an error in the Dragons back line left the St Neots player to wander unchallenged into the D. He was stopped but the ball fell to another attacker who rocketed the ball into the goal.

The Dragons could not muster an equaliser in the remaining 90 seconds and left empty handed despite an amazing effort all-round which leaves a lot of positives for the season.

Man-of-the-match: Lewis Stedman.

Bourne Deeping 5ths overcame bogey side Louth to avenge a heavy defeat from last season with a 2-1 away victory.

They had travelled with a degree of trepidation as last year’s similar fixture had produced probably the 5ths worse performance of the season.

The trepidation seemed correct as Louth started strongly in the first half but strong performances from Knipe and Blackler in defence frustrated them.

Bourne Deeping continued to push forward and, midway through the first half, a well-taken long corner by Windsor out to captain Foston allowed Gray to open the scoring.

Shortly afterwards a further long corner from Windsor produced a fine cross from Donellan (later named man of the match) for Waters to add a second.

This led to Louth being more reticent in their game with Allen and Gosnell demonstrating flowing attacking moves to contain them and even the exuberant Phipps utilising the space to move forward.

The second half was more even but a very well struck penalty corner routine from Louth was too much for the rarely troubled keeper Ashby and really opened up the game.

With both teams pushing for a further goal, the final whistle was a relief for the Dragons as they made a winning start to the season.

After defeat away at Wisbech the previous weekend, the Bourne Deeping 6ths produced a positive response with a 1-0 home win over Leadenham.

Right from the outset they were clinical in passing and destructive up front often troubling an aged Leadenham defence.

Mark Cox constantly picked out Alex Flint and Ethan Edwards on the wings as well as playing a few tidy one-twos with forward Harry Wakeham.

However, it was Harry Moss who was most troubling, constantly running riot among the opposition’s midfield and, after his saved shot, Will Gray slapped the ball in to the back of the net to give the Dragons the lead. 

After the interval Leadenham started strongly but the consistent back three of Eoin Briggs, Mark Lovejoy and Geoff Wadsworth ensured keeper Jack Langley was only called into action on the occasional time.

The Dragons kept up the pressure though with chances for Wright, Wakeham and Flint. The final 10 minutes were the most uncomfortable as the opposition had a flurry of short corners, but they held out to the end to register their first win of the campaign.

Bourne Deeping Ladies produced a dominant display to run out 9-0 winners against Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

The emphatic victory took their goal tally to 19 from their opening two league games after a tireless team performance.

Goalscorers were Sophie Brittain (4), Izzy Oakley (3) and Joanne Beacham (2).

The Ladies Seconds got their season off and running with a 3-2 victory over Spilsby.

They started off playing at pace and a quick-fire start was rewarded with an early opening goal.

This put Spilsby on the back foot but, despite their pressure, the Dragons were unable to extend their lead in the first half.

The Dragons seemed to lose their rhythm after the break and Spilsby equalised, but this woke the Bourne Deeping side back up and they regained the lead.

Spilsby refused to roll over through and levelled again after a goalmouth scramble, but the Dragons produced a rousing finale and netted the winner from a short corner.

Bourne Deeping Ladies Thirds made the short trip to RAF Cranwell to face Leadenham, but were on the wrong end of a 8-0 away reversal.

Despite some strong tackling in midfield and defence, the hosts raced into a 6-0 half-time lead with two own goals helping the Leadenham tally.

Although the Dragons went close in the second half and were more fluid in their passing, Leadenham scored twice more in the second half.

With several new players and the team getting used to playing together, there are green shoots of some excellent play that the 3rds can build on in the season to come.