Hockey Ladies top the league after Lauren Johnson’s late strike in Teddington

Lauren Johnson (right) scored a crucial winner in Teddington for the Ladies last Saturday
Lauren Johnson (right) scored a crucial winner in Teddington for the Ladies last Saturday

Eastbourne Ladies are top of the table after a fine league victory at Teddington.

Lots of pressure was applied to the Teddington defence in the first minutes of the game and Eastbourne won a corner. After a tussle in front of the goal Hannah Williams slotted the ball home. Both teams stepped up to try to get the next goal and Teddington attacked at pace but were calmly dispatched by Eastbourne’s defence.

Soon after a good counter attack saw Tash Gale find the back board with a strike at goal. Not to be outdone, the Teddington defence continued pushing and got one back late in the first half.

An injury to Vix Wright, who had been solid at the back, was a concern for Eastbourne as they approached the second half. Teddington came out of the blocks hard, attacking at pace and were rewarded with a second goal. At 2-2 the game was heated, both sides pushing for the winner. With 19 minutes to go, Lauren Johnson took a quick free hit and buried the ball into the goal.

With a quarter of the match to go, Eastbourne had to dig deep to hold back the determination of the Teddington side and the game finished 3-2. Eastbourne have played all opposition in the first half of the season and remain at the top of the league, unbeaten.

The first Saturday of the Christmas period for Eastbourne men turned out to be more of a nightmare rather than a festive season to be jolly.

Eastbourne travelled up to Wycombe who were one of three teams (including Eastbourne) who were level on points in third position. Eastbourne took the lead through a short corner. Steve Perry flicking hard towards the back post where Henry Adelston touched in.

Wycombe equalised after a brilliant initial save from Adam Cro was put in by a Wycombe forward. Eastbourne took the lead once more as Harrison Hubbard, finished off a short corner routine. It was soon 3-1 after Matt Robinson’s skills bought him towards Wycombe’s base line and finished on a tight angle. Slowly Wycombe pushed until they won a short corner which deflected off Matt Waddman and slipped past the Eastbourne keeper for 3-2. Eastbourne were trying to play out the half but a green card to centre back Matt Waddman saw them concede while down to 10 men.

Wycombe started the second half well and a short corner broke down and fell to one of their players, he slotted a reversed shot through the smallest of gaps to make it 4-3 to Wycombe.

This is how the majority of the half stayed with both teams creating chances to score. But it was in the last five minutes where the action truly heated up. An Eastbourne chance and after a scramble the ball was flicked at the goal by Matthew Pusey which hit a Wycombe defenders body. Easy decision for the umpires who awarded a penalty stroke. Up stepped Andy Klien to have a chance to score the equaliser but unfortunately his effort was saved down low by the keeper who kept it 4-3.

Even after Eastbourne’s best efforts they couldn’t break their opponents down and full time was blown with the final score being 4-3.

Eastbourne have their last league game before Christmas against West Hampstead tomorrow where a win is vital if Eastbourne want to stay in the promotion fight.