Hockey: Beck saves day for Tunbridge Wells in closely fought division

Hockey: Beck saves day for Tunbridge Wells in closely fought division
LOOKING FORWARD: Aaron Leadbeater launches a Wells attack

TUNBRIDGE WELLS Men extended their unbeaten run but missed out on a chance to climb into third place in the South Premier League Division One after a draw at Tonbridge School.

Both sides came into the game with solid starts to the season, and just two points separate eight teams in a tightly contested section.

Wells capitalised on their fast start when Sam George opened the scoring with a powerful strike into the top left corner of the goal.

But the home side could not extend their lead despite creating a number of chances, and London Edwardians started to get into the game.

The home side’s assistant coach Keir Starley, making his debut in goal, was forced to make several important saves.

The increased pressure saw lapses in concentration from Wells, resulting in a series of short corners in the run up to half-time.

Wells looked comfortable with their defensive routine until just before the break when Edwardians equalised with a deflection.

After the break, Wells produced some great link-up play through Aaron Leadbeater and George down the left-hand side but they could not convert their short corners.

Then a smart attack on that flank saw Roberts neatly play Ben Allberry through into a one-on-one with the Edwardians keeper.

He saved the first two efforts but Allberry fired in Wells’ second goal to restore their lead midway through the second half.

Edwardians kept fighting, however, and with 10 minutes remaining they broke away and a shot from the top of the circle took a couple of deflections before finding the back of the net to level the scores for a second time.

With less than a minute on the clock, Edwardians won a long corner and managed to unleash a lofted shot over Starley which looked as though it might snatch victory.

But James Beck, racing back, somehow managed to deflect the ball onto the crossbar and then over the top to safety, allowing his side to hang on for a point.

Wells now face a stern test away to the league leaders Spencer on Saturday [November 17, 12pm start].

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