Goals galore in tightly-fought duel at Hampton
By Craig Ffitch
Rice dominant in the sun!
At the start of the match the Sils could not find a settled pattern of play and in defence the shape was not right. Although there was good tackling from Hill and Wilson, Hampton pressure eventually led to an inevitable goal despite valiant efforts from Ben Rice in goal to keep them out. That moment acted as a pivotal point in the Sils’ play and the mid-field, in particular, started to dominate the match.
Good passing out of defence on the right from Wilson created openings for Hawken and John Rice to move the ball into good attacking positions. Both Leonard and Bridges were able to penetrate the Hampton D and test the Hampton ‘keeper, but it was a fine solo effort from Hawken that resulted in the first Sils goal to level the scores.
Hampton tried to come back, but good defensive tackling and distribution to the mid-field of Rice, Jackman and Solanki prevented too many forays towards the Sils’ goal. A move by Teal down the Sils left put Leonard away behind the Hampton defence. He drew the ‘keeper and put in a nicely timed pass that presented Hawken with an open goal.
Further attacking moves orchestrated by Rice and Hawken eventually created an opportunity for Bridges to move past the Hampton back four and score the Sils’ third leading to a comfortable 3-1 lead at half time.
The second half started much the same way as the first with pressure by Hampton. Despite the tackling of Hill and great play by ‘keeper Rice, Hampton pulled one back which was quickly followed by a short corner which they converted to level the score line. Again, as in the first half, these two quick goals galvanised the Sils. Good, calm and level-headed play from Creed and Hill at the back combined with the dominant John Rice in mid-field restored the balance of play to that which existed at the close of the first half. Bridges put in some testing crosses from the left from which both Leonard and Hawken came close to scoring, but it was Bridges himself who eventually found the net with the winner. Hampton came back strongly, but the Sils defence was equal to their efforts.
The result places the 5XI nicely above next week’s opposition…!