Banbury M4 grind out another away win
An away match in November, and the Mens 4’s had to select a team!
Banbury Mens 4’d took a trip across to Coopers school to meet Bicester. They came back with far fewer practice balls than they went with, indicating Grant Rousseau was back in the side!
Once the game was under way, Banbury started business quickly, with simple but quick two touch hockey, threatening the Bicester D. The Right hand channel was particularly busy, with Mervyn Long, linking with Rich Dudbridge and John Davis. Super sub Rousseau came off the bench early to further strengthen the midfield. Panic started to set in the Bicester defence as Banbury gave them little time or space, with Mike Robinson sweeping up any loose ball. An on form Davis had his eye on the prize, and any sign of a route into the D was seized and it was not too long before he bagged his first. This initial excitement was tempered when Banbury were caught flat footed, as the enthusiastic youth of the Bicester development team weaved through to grab the equaliser.
Remembering how early chances were made, Banbury clawed their way back on top, with the backs dealing robustly with any attack, then recycling the ball to the midfield. Before the break, Davis restored the lead with some fine stick work, and a clinical finish. Bicester had chances, when Banbury lost shape a little in the haste to get another move going. A series of shorts following clattering sticks and phantom feet, were dealt with well be the defenders, with Ady Lamb quickly opening up a channel through to Robinson setting up the trigonometric moves on the right with Davis acting as predator. At half time Davis stated he would be happy to come off if he got a hat-trick. His wish came true with some great link up play with the midfield. A classy finish from Davis gave Banbury the cushion they had been seeking. Further onslaughts on the Bicester goal were foiled by a busy keeper, with golden opportunities dropping to Robinson and Long. By far the best chance fell to Dudbridge, who won barn door of the day, after the keeper had been beaten, miss hitting, the chance evaporated.
Any thought of substitution for Davis was quashed by the umpire when he and a Bicester defender got too friendly with each other. Both were invited to spend the last few minutes as spectators.
Bicester pulled one goal back, against the run of play, giving them hope of sharing the spoils. A further series of shorts were dealt with by the defensive team, and Dr Phil, Ady Lamb and John Davidson kept the young legs at bay. A strong finish by Banbury ensure the points were secured.
Man of the match was John Davis.