HBU SHOW THEY HAVE THE CLASS FOR EUROPE
HBU 5 v 4 Uri (2nd leg)
HBU faced Uri of Switzerland in the 2nd leg of the European Cup this weekend 24th November, and had a tall order in terms of turning the first leg score around.
In the away leg 2 weeks ago United went down 7-0 despite being only 1-0 down at halftime. HBU would have it all to do on the home leg and maybe an impossible task.
With Roller Hockey being an Amateur sport in the UK it is always the priority to put on a good spectacle for the supporters and also show good examples of the sport to the future players to keep the progression and the inspiration for people to carry it on. A crowd of 400-450 were at the Arena to support their local team in this Professional Competition on the European stage to enjoy a European match.
The proceedings started with a minutes Silence for a Life time member Derek Hudson who passed away on Thursday 22nd November, he contributed to HBU for many years, as a player, coach, advisor and supporter. Derek’s father was a founder member of the club in 1924 and the Hudson family have been members over the years and been part of the successes of many players and teams and it is with sadness we say good bye but with joy we remember.
With this HBU had to bring a performance together and that they did. The game was very much a building affair with both teams looking for the momentum not rushing any chances, the Swiss were looking cautious not wanting to lose the work they had done in the first leg and just wanting to secure their place in the next round. United stayed disciplined and to the strategy, Uri mainly had majority of shots but they were not from areas of risk and Jay Williamson in the United net was looking very confident.
United were playing some excellent hockey and were looking every part the stronger of the two teams, With United making its first changes of the game the goal came with Captain Simon Hosking taking the lead role and volleying the ball home with an exceptional finish and filling the United players and supporters with belief.
United continued to play with this control and structure we have not seen for some time and with Jay Williamson making some outstanding saves they were chipping away at the Swiss confidence.
19 yr old striker Rodrigo Carvalho in his first season with United saw an opportunity and was through when he was taken down in front of goal and awarded a Penalty. United’s Fabio Vicente (22) who also is in his first season at United stepped up to the Penalty and finished without hesitation. United were in control and 2 – 0 up at half time.
After the break United returned to the lineup that started the game but the Swiss were quick to start getting shots in at the HBU defence and at Williamson. The Swiss looked as if the luck was on their side and very soon were level in the space of just one minute of each other with two deflections off HBU players, both shots were not goal bound and there was nothing Williamson or HBU could have done and was very unlucky.
However United’s work achieved over the first half was lost almost instantly and they would have to regroup. United looked uneasy and had lost the structure they had, the game became a little scrappy with both teams countering a lot, but making for very exciting watching with more team fouls being committed. However this gave Uri the chances they needed and again they scored twice more giving them a 2 – 4 lead and HBU looking out of shape.
Manager Phil McVey called a much needed Time Out, which might just break the game and help United re-group. It did just this with a few small changes to the line up United came out strong and began to again rebuild a momentum and controlled attack. It was not long before they were rewarded with Rodrigo capitalising on a one on one opportunity to beat the goal keeper, 3 – 4 now and the crowd and the players were lifted in belief. You would have expected Uri to try to hold up the game and not be going for goal as urgently with the score in their favour plus the away goals but however the Swiss made another error under the United pressure bringing down Vicente and conceding a 2nd Penalty of which he made no mistake in converting putting all level 4 – 4. The crowd were alive and the team responded, with two minutes remaining that opportunity came that the supporters so wanted.
Uri attacked and Williamson not only making the save he made an inch perfect pass 3/4’s of the rink to Carvalho who was one on one with a flick past the defender, the goal keeper saved and padded the ball out straight back to Carvalho who instinctively volleyed the ball in the far top corner to an erupting crowd and United the lead at 5-4. United had the lead – a great comeback and again Uri continued to go for chances and made some very rash challenges that could have been awarded a Blue card but with only seconds to go.
Uri were through on the result from the first leg but the United crowd and support were only interested in the result on the night and had the most entertaining match to be played at the Bay Sports Arena since it opened.
Manager Phil McVey said: “I told the players before the game we go for the win and give the supporters what we know we can do and what they want. If we have a 5 goal lead and still have time then we go for the 8 needed, it wasn’t to be but it was one of the proudest moments I have had as a manager at HBU, it wasn’t just the victory, it was the style in which we played. You would have to go back a long way to the last time we put on such a stylish team performance. With and without the ball we were excellent. I am so pleased for the players they all stepped up to what was asked! and to do it tonight in Memory of great HBU player (Derek Hudson), what more could you ask? This season was all about development and bringing the young players through but I am in no doubt if we play like this for the season we can be the UK champions!”
HBU Man of the Match: Fabio Vicente – Controlled the game and deadly finishing from the penalty spot.
Team List: Eddie Mount, Joe Singleton, Karl Smith, Myles Barker, Rodrigo Carvalho (2), Simon Hosking(Capt)(1), Neil Austin, Tom White, Fabio Vicente(2)