Banbury Men Suffer First Loss
Banbury HC Men’s 1s – 2 Oxford HC Men’s 1s – 3
The Men’s 1s visited Oxford HC on Saturday who shared a place in the top four in the league with
Banbury. It was a game where Banbury will rue missing their chances and the fact that the Oxford keeper got man of the match says a lot about how unlucky the team was not to come away with 3 points.
The first half started with 2 quick goals as Oxford pressed the Banbury defence early and a shot
partially saved by keeper Kit Lamb deflected off the post to an unmarked Oxford forward who slapped the ball into the goal to give them a 1-0 lead after just 5 minutes. But Banbury then took
control and just 2 minutes later George Brooker made it 1-1 with a delightful reverse stick strike
from the top of the Oxford D. Banbury then dominated the rest of the half with man of the match, Tyson Nunneley, and the forward line of Steve O’Connor, Jacob Buckner Rowley and Captain Will Kellet constantly pressurising the opposition D but gaining little in the way of rewards. Come half time Banbury had more than double the opportunities to score than their opposition but with no change to the scoreline.
The second half was much the same with Banbury dominating possession and territory and forcing excellent saves from the Oxford keeper. The defence of Pete Lamb, Sam Chadbourne, Darsh Theara and Josh Nunneley effectively stamped out any Oxford attack with Lamb being especially effective at turning over the ball to feed that hard-working Harry Simons, George Godwin and James Long in midfield. Nunneley and Theara constantly threw aerial passes long to the forward line and both O’Connor and Kellett fed off these and came very close and were denied on the line by the keeper and defence. Then halfway through the half Tyson Nunneley’s penetrating run won a penalty corner which Josh Nunneley despatched with a vicious low drag-flick to give Banbury a deserved lead at 2-1.
Oxford, however, were always dangerous on the break and with 10 minutes to go they scored the
equaliser when their forward was found on the left post unmarked by an unchallenged pass across the D and flicked the ball into the net to make it 2-2.
Despite all the possession, territory, and shots on goal, Oxford took the lead after Pete Lamb was
unlucky to give away a harsh penalty with 5 minutes to go. This was expertly converted to give
Oxford a 3-2 lead. Banbury literally threw everything at Oxford in the dying minutes and hopes were raised when they won a penalty corner, but Nunneley’s drag-flick went wide of the goal and the last chance went begging. The match finished 3-2 to Oxford and Banbury had to deal with their first defeat of the season.
Manager Andy Camp said – “We should have got a result here today given the dominance we had in their D and the shots and chances we missed. To be fair their keeper played very well and kept them in the game, and they were effective on the counter-attack. We need to work on our finishing ready for the next tough challenge against Oxford University.”
Photo: Man of the match Tyson Nunneley wins the penalty corner
Photo: Jacob Buckner Rowley and Captain Kellett close down Oxford
Photo: Josh Nunneley scores number 2 with a rifled drag-flick