7 October 2012

By Graham Griffiths

Bees win vital match against East Grinstead

 

BEESTON  3-2  EAST GRINSTEAD

East Grinstead manager, Matt Jones previewed the Men’s Premier League match with great accuracy. “Ultimately it will come down to the X factor that star players can bring on the day.” His prophecy proved correct.

The Bees started well, gaining three penalty corners in the opening fifteen minutes. The opening penalty corner saw Beeston take the lead with a Simon Egerton flick in the 12th minute. Ollie Ashdown had a chance for the Sussex side in the 16th minute, but Bees keeper George Pinner kept his effort at bay.  Beeston seemed well on top until a right wing cross was presented to Will Arthur by Pinner; Grinstead accepted the present and duly equalised in the 26th minute.

Beeston eventually regained the lead in the 43rd minute when full back Ollie Willars drove a long pass into the circle and Australian, Craig Boyne, connected with it to give the Bees a well deserved lead. Grinstead had lost their discipline in this phase of the game and Andy Piper and Niall Stott both picked up yellow card suspensions.

Fellow Euro Hockey League side, Grinstead, are often at their best in these situations. They doggedly fought back, and pressurised Beeston with a brace of penalty corners. A moment of brilliance by Mark Pearn saw him ghost around the Beeston defence and slam the ball home for a 57th minute equaliser. The final phase of the match could have gone either way, as both teams looked for the magical winner.

The X factor moment eventually came in the 70th minute. The Bees were awarded an after time penalty corner.  10 Bees swarmed around the circle, as the ball was injected to Egerton. He kept his composure and fired the ball high into the net to give Beeston the points and spark a mini pitch invasion. The large crowd had witnessed two sides which will represent England in the forthcoming weeks in the EHL, in a match of skilled performers.

Captain, Adam Dixon, summed up the day. “We lacked composure today and this is something we will work at early next week. The 18 man squad will leave for Barcelona on Thursday and this was good preparation for our EHL campaign, as it highlighted a few areas that we need to tidy up.”

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