Hockey: Tunbridge Wells’ hat-trick hero too strong for Milton Keynes

TUNBRIDGE WELLS Men made sure that their rivals near the bottom of South Premier League Division One did not gain any ground on them with an emphatic victory over Milton Keynes at Kent College, Pembury.

Wells are in 10th place out of 12 after achieving promotion while Milton Keynes are 11th.

But with only two games to go they are safe from dropping back down, with Henley occupying the only relegation berth.

The home side were keen to avenge a surprising and disappointing loss in the reverse fixture early in the season.

With a strong wind at their backs, Wells started fast. It did not take long before they took the lead, Ian Harvey slotting home a precise flick to the goalkeeper’s left.

Connor Poulain was running the midfield and showing excellent form to distribute the ball around the pitch.

This allowed Wells to create more opportunities and demonstrate more of an attacking threat than they had shown in recent weeks.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure and Harvey scored again, followed by a fine team goal involving Sam George and Ben Allberry interlinking well to leave an easy finish for Ben Brandt.

Early in the second half, Milton Keynes pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 but it did not disrupt Wells, who had a well-organised defence and were patient in their build-up play.

The visitors then sat back and did not show the ambition to find another goal that would get them back into the game.

Wells’ patience paid off as they worked the ball around to exploit gaps in Milton Keynes’ defence and George neatly drew in the last defender before slipping the ball to Harvey to complete his hat-trick.

As the visitors tired, Wells once again found the gaps, this time Allberry setting up Brandt for his second and the hosts’ fifth.

Wells will look to build on their form when they entertain Henley at Kent College on Saturday [March 23, 3pm start].

Tunbridge Wells Ladies’ First XI lost a hard-fought game at Old Loughtonians 3-1.

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