HBU Continue Strongly in the Premier League as focus now moves to European Cup Match
Match 1 – Bury 0 v 9 HBU (Kings): Date: 05.11.11 / Location: Soham / Time: 19.15
Match 2 – HBU 9 v 3 Manchester: Date: 06.11.11 / Location: The Herne Bay Arena / Time: 11.45
This weekend Herne Bay United became the first club in the history of English roller hockey to top both senior National Leagues at the same time.
HBU (Kings) won both premier league games without getting out of 3rd gear. Their 1st match of the weekend was away to old rivals Bury. Historically this has always been a difficult fixture for United, who have failed to win in their last three visits. It was a different scenario this year, Bury are in transition, having lost a couple of senior players they now have young side with potential. United took the game to Bury straight away and were rewarded when Brendan Barker put United ahead in the first minute. Bury’s tactic was to let United have the ball and then try and hit them on the counter attack. They did manage to create a few chances this way but United keeper Jay Williamson pulled of a string of fine saves to deny Bury a way into the match. United continued to create chances of their own, and 2 more goals from Barker, 1 from Luciano Difeo and a scorching slapshot from Danny Butcher put United 5-0 up at the break.
With the game effectively won United took their foot of pedal and for the first fifteen minutes of the 2nd half there were no goals from either side. However with 10 minutes remaining in the game United upped the pace of the game again, and 4 more unanswered goals (1 from Difeo, 2 from Barker and 1 from Joe Singleton) saw United run out comfortable 0-9 winners. United keeper Jay Williamson was named Kings Fish Bar Man of the Match.
The following morning United faced Manchester at the Herne Bay Arena. Like Bury, Manchester also have a young side this season. Again United were first to score, after a steady start Barker put United 1-0 up with 16 minutes to go in the 1st half. 6 minutes later Danny Butcher scored to put United 2-0 up. Against the run of play Manchester pulled a goal back a minute later, Will Herbert scored with a superb slap shot which found the top corner of the net. United though were dominating possession and were creating plenty of chances. 4 more unanswered goals from 4 different players (Simon Hosking, Danny Butcher, Karl Smith & Joe Singleton) gave them an unassailable 6-1 lead. Manchester did pull one back (A. Lawler) on the stroke of halftime to make the score 6-2 at the break, but it looked extremely unlikely that United would let a 4 goal lead slip. United controlled the second half from start to finish, and despite an early goal from Manchester’s young striker (Holt-Dunning) 3 more goals (1 each for Tom White, Karl Smith & Simon Hosking) United ran out comfortable 9-3 winners. Kings Fish Bar Man of the Match was awarded to Danny Butcher.
United goal scorer and man of the match Danny Butcher said: “We were very professional this weekend. We never got out of 3rd gear in either game. We know we will have to improve if we want to win the league this season, but at the moment all we are looking at doing is winning every game we play. We want to put the game out of the reach of our opponents as quickly as possible, then concentrate on our team game. Once we are 4 or 5 ahead we want to change focus and concentrate on passing & moving. If the goals come then they come, we are a team with a lot of young players in, and the gaffer is trying to being us on. It is a steep learning curve for us youngsters but we want to improve and I think we are.”
HBU team: (Bury game: Jay Williamson (GK), Dave Garlick (GK), Joe Singleton (1), Karl Smith, Danny Butcher (1), Joel De Figueredo, Simon Hosking ©, Neil Austin, Luciano Difeo (2), Brendan Barker (5)) (man of match: Jay Williamson).
(Mancherster game: Jay Williamson (GK), Dave Garlick (GK), Joe Singleton (1), Karl Smith (2), Danny Butcher (2), Joel De Figueredo, Simon Hosking © (2), Neil Austin, Tom White (1), Brendan Barker (1)) (man of match: danny butcher)
Whilst United were playing Manchester, HBU (Reserves) were playing in a National Division 1 tournament in Soham. Report sent in separately
HBU club coach Phil McVey added: “We are now top of both the Premier League and Division 1. Our aim to stay at the top of both these leagues for the rest of the season. In respect of the first team, we have won our first 4 matches comfortably without playing at our best. We know it’s only going to get tougher from here. We need to continue to work hard in training, we have competition for places and no player’s position is guaranteed. We have a number of players pushing for a place in the side, Pete Halvorsen & Richard Walker to name just 2. Aarron Bowyer has also put himself into contention with 5 goals today in the national division 1 tournament.
I am still looking for huge improvements from the 1st team. We have looked like we have not got out of 3rd gear, so far we haven’t had to. We still need to work on finishing our chances, we are only scoring about 1 in 10 at the moment. This will come though. The most pleasing thing is that we are creating the chances.
To be top of both national leagues is a special achievement however I want to be top of both leagues come the end of the season. I am very pleased with the Reserves, they lost their first game, but showed great character in winning the 2nd game against Maidstone. This is the character that I am looking for in players. The reports I have received back are that all of players acquitted themselves well.
We now look forward to our next game which is away to Austrian side Dornbirn in the CERS cup on 19th November. Our next Premier League game is at home to Peterborough on 4th December. Our next National Division 1 tournament is at Houghton Regis on 8th January.”