Roller Hockey: UK’s Premier League is Under way with Herne Bay United leaving it to death to take the first win of the season.
United’s first game of the season was away to Letchworth RHC and would Normally be a good fixture to ease the team into the season, however Letchworth are revived with a good standard of players but with the signing of James Taylor in the summer break, who has returned from playing professionally in Italy. He is a well known player with European Cup trophy to his CV, his presence in any team is going to give a significant boost and to an already well established side a shot at the Title.
HBU Started strongly with first notable changes to their side were Eddie Mount taking the first spot in goal, Lewis Greenwood making his Debut for the Senior team from the Youth Academy and then for Joe Singleton wearing the Captain’s arm band in place of the absent Simon Hosking. HBU were getting chances and Brendan Barker scored just 2 minutes in shocking Letchworth who made an error in defensive marking. United continued with strength, looking as if they were playing with a plan and waiting to catch Letchworth on the counter, taking advantage of the small rink and HBU’s continental player from Portugal; Fabio Vicente who is now in his second season for United finished a well struck slap shot to put United 0-2 up. United looked in complete control with Letchworth unable to get through United’s defense and United finishing the chances that presented themselves with Barker getting his second, Neil Austin and Danny Butcher giving United a 0 – 5 lead. United looked to hold out however United conceded a direct shot meaning Letchworth gained a chance from the dead ball, James Taylor showed his composure from playing in a professional setting and scoring 10 seconds from the half time break. Half time score was 1 – 5 United notable first half performance was Eddie Mount was stepping up into the role and could United continue with this dominance.
Second half United did not get the started they had wanted with Letchworth taking the motivation from the goal just before the break and getting their second just 10 seconds in through Nigel Allen. Letchworth revitalized started to push at United and causing quite an upset and it did just that with Taylor taking the game on, he was creating pressure and won a penalty and made no mistake in dispatching. United looked to have lost the control they had in the first half failing on chances two penalties and a direct, Barker managed to finish United’s 3rd penalty of the game on his second attempt with Letchworth moving before Barker had struck the ball.
Taylor remained intent and scored a good individual effort from behind the goal.
With the score now 4- 6 Letchworth could feel the chance of getting the win and Letchworth’s Matt White brought it even more within their grasp with his first, and with the run of play against United it was not looking very likely.
Then it happened Letchworth had completed the comeback with United again giving away a penalty and Taylor again put it away. United called a much needed time out and Eddie Mount pulled himself from the Net, Jay Williamson stepped up with 5 minutes to go, both Letchworth and United were both on the line of a team foul either team would get that golden chance, but it didn’t come, the match was tense Jay Williamson doing United proud coming in so late, and with just 20 seconds to go HBU’s Neil Austin scored to put the match out of touch and United take the first important win to set the season on it’s way.
United got what they expected and we can be sure Letchworth will beat many teams this season and no doubt be near the top at the end of the campaign, they are also expected to sign 2nd addition soon to join from Italy this will only add to their strength.
The 2013/2014 season looks to be closer than ever with another team pushing for the UK title, last season saw 5 teams push each other and looks like this will be the case again if not 6.
Herne Bay United awarded their man of the Match to Eddie Mount and Karl Smith commented after the game “A very promising start to the season at a tough place to go. Every player played their part but especially young goalkeeper Eddie Mount who was superb in frustrating Letchworth’s new signing from Italy with some great saves.”
United will play at home in their next fixture against RHC Invicta on the 19th October at Bay Sports Arena at 7:15pm.
Team Lists: HBU: Eddie Mount, Joe Singleton(Cap), Karl Smith, Daniel Butcher(1), Lewis Greenwood, Neil Austin(2), Fabio Vicente(1), Tom White, Brendan Barker(3), Jay Williamson
Letchworth: Craig Gibson, Matt White(1), Nigel Allen(1), Andrew Allen(Cap), Stuart Langley, Matt Cosme, Ricky Jupp, James Taylor(4), Ben Howes