Men’s 1st Team survive battle in Lingfield
HC Knole Park’s Men’s 1st Team played 4th in the table Clapham Common on Saturday. In an extremely tough match the Men's 1st team persevered to win 8-3 and regain their place in the top two of the London League.
Clapham had given Knole Park their toughest match in the first round of matches and so it proved again as Clapham got off to a superb start. Committing many attacking players into the D they had a three verses David Gough-Cooper in goal and they passed it around him to open the scoring. Unphased, Knole Park’s Duncan Parnis took the ball on from the re-start and after a couple of smart one-twos with Matt Hebden, he rolled the ball onto Adam Ward to equalise from close range. Unfortunately this only seemed to spur Clapham on as they capitalised on some uncharacteristic outletting from Knole Park and scored a very quick reply. 1-2 to Clapham.
As the half wore on, Knole Park made a few changes and started playing much better. Mike Legon won a penalty corner which Duncan converted with a drag-flick off the top, before Ollie Bingham slotted a goal of his own after a very positive run from centre forward Adam Ward. Just before half-time debutant Steve Paler put Duncan in after a lovely one-two. He rounded a couple of defenders, before slotting a backhand strike in from an acute angle.
The second half was a much improved performance as youngsters Lars Hansen, Indy Morris and Ben Dawkins started to influence the attacking prowess of the Knole Park team more. Indy won a penalty corner which Duncan duly converted. Player of the Match Lars then rolled in Steve Paler for a chance, however, unfortunately his debut goal will have to wait as his shot was half-saved by the Clapham goalkeeper, but thankfully for the team Duncan was following up and was able to tap the ball in from close range. Adam added his second after another super run from Ollie Bingham. Before Ollie was involved again as he, Jago Ongley-Dellar and Duncan linked up for a full pitch attack which resulted in a penalty corner. A very smart move and Duncan’s fifth of the match saw Knole Park take a commanding 8-2 lead. Clapham did score one more goal in the second half, however Knole Park ran out deserved 8-3 winners.
Next week the team travel to Chiswick in the search for three more points and to try and continue their fine post-Christmas form.