City of Peterborough suffered a hugely disappointing loss, 2-0 at Havering in the East Premier A Division on Saturday (October 10).
City travelled in confident mood having thrashed Chelmsford 7-0 with a scintillating display of hockey in their previous outing, but the hard truth is that newly promoted Havering had clearly looked at that result and set their stall out to put together a disciplined aggressive defensive display, based on taking their chances when they could, and this they did to great effect.
City started well and were rewarded with a succession of short corners, which, following a lot of work on the training pitch gave every confidence. However, the Havering ‘keeper was on superb form, keeping City at bay.
And then as City pressed forward, Havering were able to break quickly, and following some slack defending were presented with a straight forward close range finish for a 1-0 lead, which they retained up to half-time, as a number of further short corners for City came and went.
The second half was a more balanced game, although City still had the bulk of the possession, but they failed to create many clear cut chances or short corners. Early in the second half Havering were rewarded a free hit outside the City area, and used the recent rule changes to good effect, luring defender Neil Evans into a deliberate foul, resulting in a yellow card and an upgrade to a short corner, which they duly dispatched for a 2-0 lead.
It was perhaps indicative of their game plan that despite a 2-0 lead at home and the opposition down to 10 men, Havering then went ‘half court’ for the rest of the match, determined to hold onto what they had got – a lesson City could learn a lot from.
City could have, and should have, beaten this Havering side, had they played to their strengths instead of trying to adapt to Havering’s, but, can have few complaints at the result, notably having failed to convert any of approximately 10 short corners, whilst Havering had a 33% conversion rate, having scored one from only three they were awarded all game.
City of Peterborough seconds beat Cambridge University seconds 3-1 in the East Premier B Division on Saturday.
City and Cambridge University firsts meet in the Premier A Division at Bretton Gate next Saturday (October 17. 11am).