Premier League: HBU Win 3 v 2 against Middlesbrough!
PREMIER LEAGUE: HBU v Middlesbrough
Date: 8th Dec 2012; Venue: Bay Sports Arena
Herne Bay United faced Middlesbrough at the weekend and it would be a true test to see where the teams stand in the League this season. Middlesbrough have already faltered and dropped three points, United are still undefeated but it was to be the first real test of the season. Middlesbrough would enter as favourites but pressure was on as they had dropped valuable points so early, United were coming off a strong European win which would hopefully give them confidence and give them the higher ground.
Middlesbrough’s starting outfield players were the England Selection who have just returned from the World B championships in Uruguay finishing runners up. The game started as a tense affair both teams playing a patient and controlled game, United were playing with good movement that looked good but was without direction. Middlesbrough had tested the United’s keeper a couple of times but only from distance and when Peter Lonsdale of Middlesbrough scored the first of the match at 19 minutes it was to an unsighted Williamson. However this lead was short lived as a Middlesbrough error from the back released United’s Rodrigo who pounced and made no mistake of finishing with some individual magic to bring the game level.
Again the play resumed both teams getting opportunities but playing cautiously with control and being cancelled out. United’s Fabio Vicente intercepted and looked to counter but was taken down and what looked to be a clear blue card was awarded with a team foul. With this opportunity gone again United got the next clear chance when were awarded a penalty for a stick lift in the area. Vicente stepped up to take the penalty but rattled the frame, again opportunity lost. It was Middlesbrough who took their next opportunity again Williamson clouded by players was beaten from an unsighted flick from Captain Owen Stewart. The game continued in this way and Middlesbrough had the 1-2 lead at half time.
United remained unchanged and continued in the same manner, but today where United were continuously looking stronger and playing out this difficult period of the game, and Neil Austin with a good finish put United level and now it was all to play for.
Middlesbrough looked to have taken the lead but no goal was given and United were safe. United began to look more and more in control and were moving with purpose, Middlesbrough without the usual depth and only travelling with the 1 sub were going to start suffering fatigue. With 3 minutes to go it was looking like next goal wins and with chances falling to both it was a good team movement counter with 3 against 3 United made the faint and dropped to Austin to finish without hesitation with only 43 seconds on the clock. United played out and a solid controlled performance a great win and Herne Bay United are top of the table the only team to remain undefeated in this season, Middlesbrough have now lost two.
Overall the game was well controlled and solid performances from both teams, the game was refereed fairly and well, there were a couple of possible blue card moments and then the ‘was it wasn’t it’ a goal moment but overall the game was well played and enjoyable.
Herne Bay United’s Neil Austin was named Man of the Match and said: “It is always good to be awarded man of the match but for us to take the win is all that is important, we played well, yes places to improve but we are building in the right direction.”
HBU coach Phil Mcvey added: “this season is all about developing the younger players. However we cannot forget the older ones. Neil Austin may well be a veteran but he out performed everyone on the rink. Just goes to show if you are good enough and committed and do what the coach says then age is no barrier. Well played Neil.”
United are now top of the table and will face Kings Lynn next weekend the 15th December 6:15pm at the Bay Sports Arena at Herne Bay High School.
Team List: Jay Williamson, Joel Singleton, Karl Smith, Danny Butcher, Rodrigo Carvalho(1), Simon Hosking©, Neil Austin(2), Tom White, Fabio Vicente, Eddie Mount