Thame battle through to win in tough conditions

Gareth Birkett Thame Hockey Club captain in action
Gareth Birkett Thame Hockey Club captain in action
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THAME first team overcame terrible conditions and battling opponents to record a 5-1 away victory over West Hampstead.

The visitors were sloppy in possession and struggled to deal with a particularly bad pitch.

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The home side gifted Thame with the opening goal in the first few minutes when the last defender gave the ball to Mark Brooks who rounded the keeper to score.

The goal seemed to kick-start West Hampstead who hit back with an equaliser after some poor marking from Thame left a forward free at the top of the area.

The game continued in a scrappy fashion but slowly and surely Thame got to grips with the conditions, their opponents formation and the tempo of the match.

The important breakthrough came just before half-time when captain Gareth Birkett connected well with a penalty drag-flick to put the ball in the bottom corner.

Thame Hockey Club logo

Thame Hockey Club logo

It was Birkett’s drag flicking which was to prove the difference between the two sides as early in the second half he was on target with two more. The first across the goalie into the bottom left and the third looping past the keeper who probably should have done better.

With the score looking a little more comfortable Thame settled down and started to play the ball around.

Midfield general Will Sawrey-Cookson provided the icing on the cake with a smart finish from an impossible angle late on.

Good solid performances from Steve Potter, Alex Merrick and Chris Humphreys meant the visitors managed a win without ever truly playing at their best.

The three points mean Thame sit unbeaten at the top of the MBBO Division Four.

They take on league strugglers Henley at home on Saturday.