Banbury Blast a Heroic Hampton
Score: Banbury Men’s 1s - 3, Hampton in Arden Men’s 1s - 1
Banbury fielded a team with new young debutants Sam Crowley, Aiden Stark, and George Godwin coming into the squad including two other youngsters Sam Chadbourne and Jacob Buckner-Rowley. This pre-season fixture upped the ante from last week's friendly tournament where Banbury drew 2-2 with Stourport and beat Khalsa 2-0. As the season starts in 3 weeks' time both teams went into this game wanting to push their squads hard.
Banbury got off to a flying start scoring two well-drilled goals in the first 6 minutes. After a storm of attacks down each flank led by Tyson Nunneley and Sam Chadbourne, Josh Nunneley charged into the opponents’ D passing to Harry Simons who shot past the keeper to make it 1-0 after just 3 minutes. But Banbury didn’t take their foot off the brake when Captain Will Kellett forced his way to the backline and reverse stick passed to Jacob Buckner-Rowley who flicked it through the keeper’s legs to make it 2-0.
Hampton in Arden were rocked by the Banbury barrage and tried to rally but the back 4 defence of the Nunneleys, Chadbourne, and Darshane Theora held firm. Godwin and Simons launched attack after attack down the flanks linking well with the ever-busy James long, Richard Hobley, and Steve O’Connor. It was George Godwin who broke through the opposition midfield and defence to win a penalty corner at the top of the D. This was deftly executed by Banbury as Darshane Theara converted a perfect low drag flick to score Banbury’s 3rd goal in 21 minutes. Hampton could have folded but they rallied to take the game to Banbury and put the young keeper, Aiden Stark under pressure. Stark made some excellent saves and clearances to keep the 3 goal gap, Tyson Nunneley cleared off the goal line, and Rob Taylor expertly cleared a fierce drag-flick off the line at shoulder height at a penalty corner as the pressure built. Just before halftime, Hampton’s hard work paid off when a strike hit the top of the Banbury net like a rocket to make it 3-1 before the break. The half time talk focussed on ball possession and quick passing which turned the game the second half when Kit Lamb took up the keeper role and kept a clean sheet with some deft saves, and the pressure mostly back on Hampton as Long, O’Connor, Hobley, Godwin, and Simons dominated midfield and Crowley, Buckner-Rowley and Kellett put pressure on the Hampton keeper who made some outstanding saves. The best move of the game came in the final minutes when the Nunneleys , Long, and Buckner-Rowley launched a final flowing attack down the right flank, which finished with Kellett’s volley flick being saved brilliantly by the Hampton keeper at the far post.
The game finished 3-1 to Banbury but it should have been more.
Manager, Andy Camp, summed it up - “there were times we were unplayable and Hampton were on the rack. We need more focus and consistency, but I was pleased with the discipline and commitment from the team”
Banbury men’s 1s have 4 more friendlies before the league season starts - this win along with a win and a draw last weekend provides some good momentum.