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University of Bristol Mens 1st XI vs Exeter 2nd XI


For the final match of the term Bristol travelled to newly promoted ECV Hornets in Exeter for what would prove to be a trickier than expected fixture.

From the off it was clear the pitch rather than the opponents would prove the greater challenge, the slippy conditions underfoot made turning difficult and hence it took a while for Bristol to get going. The uni team did manage to pepper the home keeper witha number of shots early on, but too many flashed wide rather than persistently pressuring the keeper. This lack of clinical finishing meant that ECV broke the deadlock first when one of their veterans was allowed to stroll up field as Bristol wrecklessly dived in. Parity was soon restored when a trademark Malthouse flick couldn’t be stopped by the defender on the line. Bristol could’ve claimed the lead had it not been for a more than interesting decision from the umpire as he judged Dave Bates shot to be outside the attacking D. The lead was captured as a foot on the line from Hornets gave Bristol a penalty stroke which was cooly converted by Matt Poole. This should have spurred Bristol on to rack up the score but from the restart Hornets again made the most of the uni teams lazy defending and drew level. Bristol did regain the lead before the half as skipper Phillips slid one past the keeper.

At half time the message from coach Mo and captain Phillips was to play simple and defend better. However this evidently fell on deaf ears as Bristol persisted to lose possession, often in dangerous areas. This wasn’t helped by the centre back pairing of Brown and Brazell slipping continuously as if on ice but Richards, returning from Miami was solid in the net when the Hornets capitalised on a quite literal slip up at the back. Bizarrely it was a short corner that gave Hornets parity as the ball got caught up in the keeper’s pads and Hornets were the quicker to tuck the ball home. It is fair to say this gave Bristol the shock they needed and they began playing with greater impetus. Matt Poole added to his earlier goal as he met a well weighted pass to dink the ball over the on-rushing keeper. Bristol were making the most as spaces opened up in the Hornets defence and the home sides lack of discipline reduced them to ten. The students had more space now to play their passing style of hockey and dividends came as they won a succession of short corners, one of which fresher Malthouse converted to give himself a brace.

The game eventually fizzed out with Bristol happy to secure the valuable 3 points before Christmas which keeps 3rd place secure and the pressure on Firebrands.

This entry was posted on 13 December 2011 at 15:56. You can leave a response here.

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