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Maidenhead HC looking to bounce back after narrow loss last weekend.

Danny Varsalona

dannyv@baylismedia.co.uk

Maidenhead Hockey captain Chris Brown was disappointed not to get the win in a very tight game against

play-off chasing Oxford Hawks on Saturday.

The Berkshire side were on the wrong end of a narrow 1-0 scoreline as Oxford’s Finn Dunleavy scored the deciding goal.

“It was frustrating,” Brown said.

“It was a very close game and, credit to them, they played very well. They had a game plan and they stuck to it.

“We didn’t click on the day but I thought a draw would have been a fair result.”

Despite creating plenty of chances on the day, Maidenhead couldn’t quite find the attacking fluidity they’ve found at other times this season, and Brown was the first to admit that they weren’t clinical enough.

“I think we weren’t composed enough on the ball at times,” added Brown.

“And we didn’t play to our own strengths. But compliments to them – they played very well.

“We didn’t contest the keeper enough. We had a few chances cleared off the line from short corners but we didn’t do enough to test the keeper.”

Despite the disappointing result, Maidenhead were let off the hook by both of their challengers for the title.

Oxford OBU lost a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against Amersham & Chalfont while PHC Chiswick played out a goal-laden 3-3 draw with Old Merchant Taylors (OMT), meaning Maidenhead remain top of the pile by four points, having played a game more than OBU in second.

“We were always aware that there was going to be a slight blip,” Brown said.

“We have four massive games left this season and we just want to put points on the board.

“We’ve had a few injuries and a few availability issues over the last few weeks but we hope we are over those now.

“We were fortunate in a way that the two below us dropped points. But we didn’t capitalise and extend our lead.”

Maidenhead will look to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host 10th-placed Eastcote, and it’s a game that Brown has described as a ‘competitive and physical’ game.

The earlier meeting between the two sides ended in a comfortable 5-2 win for Maidenhead, and the visitors will want more of the same on Saturday.

 A narrow 1-0 defeat at London Wayfarers 1sts means Maidenhead Ladies 1sts remain bottom of Division 1 by a couple of points from Brighton. They host Surbiton 2nds on Saturday.

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