Fixture: Havant v Team Bath Buccaneers, England Hockey League- Conference West (Men)
Date and time: Sunday 5 February 2012
Venue: Havant College
A combination of heavy snow and freezing temperatures ensured that only two National League matches were played this weekend across both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Thankfully for us, Havant on the South Coast managed to escape the cold snap and we were all delighted when it was confirmed on Sunday morning that our game was on.
As we travelled down to Havant we quickly realised that we had an opportunity to extend our lead at the top of the division to seven points.
With ours the only match in the West Conference to survive the weather, it provided us with a chance to heap further pressure on our title challengers. This proved to be the perfect motivation for the squad and we put in a professional performance, coming away with three points.
Havant played very defensively and tried to catch us on the break and it was a tactic that frustrated us for large periods of the game. It was clear that it wasn’t going to be a high scoring encounter and it was a case of remaining patient and waiting for our opportunity to arise.
It did eventually arrive midway through the second half when we were awarded a penalty corner. After a number of attempts were foiled by the pitch, we came up with a makeshift routine and thankfully it paid dividends.
Johnny Kinder was the man to break the deadlock, eluding the Havant keeper with a superbly hit shot.
We then faced an onslaught from the home side and had to be at our best defensively to keep them from levelling the game.
Tom Skinner produced a man of the match performance in goal for us, making a number of excellent saves back at his old club.