Premier League: HBU Win at Letchworth 3 vs 7.
PREMIER LEAGUE: Letchworth 3 – 7 Herne Bay United
Time: 11.15am; Date: 20.04.13; Location: Letchworth
Herne Bay United returned to the top of the league with a hard fought 3-7 win away to Letchworth at the weekend. HBU having lost their last match away to Kings Lynn, knew that they needed to put things right against Letchworth.
It was the home side that started strongly putting a slow starting HBU under pressure right from the outset. They were rewarded when 3 minutes into the game the ball broke for Letchworth’s veteran striker and captain Nigel Allen who fired the ball home to make it 1-0. United were struggling to play their free flowing game on what is the smallest rink in the country, but they levelled 2 minutes later when Brendan Barker scored from close range to make it 1-1. The game then settled down, both sides were creating chances but United were starting to control the game. United went 1-2 up with 10 minutes left in the half, Barker scoring his 2nd of the game. United doubled their lead 2 minutes later with a brilliant individual goal from Neil Austin, who picked up the ball in his own half, dribbled 3 players before rounding the keeper to score making it 1-3.
United switched off for a moment and were punished when Letchworth attacked immediately from the restart, Nigel Allen rifling the ball home from long range to make it 2-3. Letchworth were not going to give up and they drew level when Craig Gibson scored from close range (3-3) with 3 minutes left in the half. 2 United defenders and the keeper stopped because they heard a whistle. Gibson did not and despite United’s complaints to the referee the goal stood. There were no more goals in the half and the score was 3-3 at the interval.
United were in a battle with their opponents, Letchworth sensed they could get something from the game so were up for the 2nd half. 4 minutes in and United were awarded a penalty after Dan Butcher was taken out in the penalty area. United’s player coach (and captain for the day) Phil McVey stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty home to give United the lead 3-4. This was the lift United needed, 2 minutes later Fabio Vicente scored with a fierce shot to put United 2 goals clear (3-5). Letchworth were now starting to tire, United however were getting stronger, as the game became stretched and they capitalised scoring 2 more through Barker to make the final score 3-7.
After the game United striker Brendan Barker said: “It was important for us to get the win today, after our first loss of the season last week we knew we needed to get back to winning straight away. Letchworth is never an easy place to come, they are a solid side and their rink is very difficult to play on. We were also missing our captain Simon Hosking so we knew it was going to be tough. We now have 4 games left in the season, all of them very tough. We are playing the other 4 teams that along with us make up the top 5 teams in the league, and the next 3 are all away!”
United’s player coach Phil McVey added: “I was pleased with the result today. We play our home matches on the biggest rink in the country so to come to the smallest rink in the country is always hard for us as we find it difficult to play our normal passing game. We had to change our play accordingly and we did. We now go into 3 away games all against the 3 sides who have designs on winning the title. Next Saturday we are away to Manchester, they are trying to win the title for the first time. We go into the match as huge underdogs. Hopefully we will have all of our players available. We are top of league at the moment but you still have to say that we are 4th favourites to win behind Manchester, Middlesbrough and Grimsby, all of whom are our opponents for the next 3 matches, and all of whom have much easier run ins.”
HBU team: Jay Williamson, Eddie Mount, Neil Austin (1), Tom White, Fabio Vicente (1), Phil McVey © (1), Brendan Barker (4), Alex Mount, Joe Singleton & Danny Butcher.