Roller Hockey, National Premier League
HBU 2 Kings Lynn 3 27/09/2014
Herne Bay United started their Premier League Campaign with a tough first fixture that unfortunately did not go their way.
United have have a couple of changes coming into this season with one of their young stars, Alex Mount, leaving to sign for Portuguese side AD Sanjoanense, and new signing Jordi Saldana from Reus, Spain yet to be selected.
Kings Lynn have proven to be a difficult side for United for the last two seasons. The Kings Lynn matches were key factors in HBU losing the League in 2013 by one point, and in 2014 losing a valuable 3 points at home.
This was without doubt a difficult first fixture for the 2015 campaign for both teams and with them both aiming very much to challenge for the title. Kings Lynn came into this match with confidence with Sergio Hutson recently joining the squad and knowing they have turned over United twice before.
United and Kings Lynn both started strongly, creating chances while energetically defending. But it was Kings Lynn to break the deadlock first with a set play to the far post that United failed to defend properly.
United remained calm playing the ball around nicely in possession and defending well and shortly brought the scores level through Captain Joe Singleton.
United and Kings Lynn kept up the same style of play, probing for opportunities and, with the referees allowing the strong defending, the team foul count remained low. Towards the end of the first half Kings Lynn were quick to pick up on a fumble behind the goal and Sam Kay put the ball over goalkeeper Mount’s shoulder.
Kings Lynn held the 2 – 1 lead into the break, and through a substantial period of the 2nd half. Following a trip and a blue card United were awarded a penalty and although they failed from the spot they did manage to convert from the power play when Fabio Vincente smashed home a rebound to make it 2 – 2.
For the next ten minutes HBU was the dominant side and put Kings Lynn under enormous pressure and made player changes to keep the pressure on. There were plenty of chances, shots and saves but United failed to find the back of the net. With 30 seconds left to play, United suffered the consequences of playing well without the finishing product. After a faultless 2nd half in goal by Daniel Barton, Josh Taylor pounced on a rebound and put the ball into the top left hand corner. HBU had one final chance to put the scores level but Kings Lynn held fast for the win.
Despite the low score, it was an enthralling match for the spectators. United have a strong squad and want to get back to the top of the table; they haven’t achieved this since leaving the Pier Pavilion and this season looks to have even more teams fighting for that title and no easy games. Over the weekend Letchworth also lost their first match to promoted side Halifax and it looks like 2015 campaign is going to be very hard to call!
HBU Team List: Eddie Mount, Joe Singleton©(1), Karl Smith, Lewis Greenwood, Josh Branchett, Neil Austin, Tom White, Fabio Vicente(1), Brendan Barker, Daniel Barton