Hockey: Tunbridge Wells come up short against ruthless leaders

Hockey: Tunbridge Wells come up short against ruthless leaders
MASTERCLASS: Ben Allberry scored one goal and set up another PHOTO: Francis Bridgeman

IN THE tightly contested South Premier League Division One it was always going to be an exciting match-up when Tunbridge Wells visited league leaders Spencer.

The home side are battling it out with Old Cranleighans at the top of the table with the rest languishing some way behind, but there are only three points separating third place from Wells in eighth.

Denying their opponents space, the visitors restricted Spencer to hitting long, hopeful balls.

Wells deservedly took the lead as James Lester stole the ball to set Ben Allberry away. He showed his class in rounding several back markers before dropping the ball back in front of goal for Lester to finish the move with a diving effort.

Harry Roberts could have had a first-half hat-trick except for some last-ditch clearances from Spencer.

But Wells were unable to extend their lead, and just before half-time Spencer won a short corner and their drag flicker levelled the scores.

After the break Sam George won a corner for Wells and Allberry flicked neatly past the keeper to put Wells ahead again.

Spencer quickly equalised from a short corner, their striker rifling a flick into the corner of the goal.

They took the lead from another corner soon after. Keeper James Harris made a fine double save but his teammates could not clear and the ball was forced home.

But after some good work on the right hand from Russell Self and Oli Woodcock, Roberts neatly drove into the D and Woodcock followed up to level the scores again.

There was a tense final ten minutes of end-to-end play as both teams looked for the winning goal.

It was to prove a valuable lesson for Wells in how to be clinical at both ends of the pitch.

Wells now entertain fifth-placed Indian Gymkhana, who are three points ahead of them, at Tonbridge School on Saturday [November 24, 1.30pm start].

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