Victory slips away from Oke

By Contributor   |   Supplied Content   |
Wednesday 7th December 2016 10:48 am
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Southern one

Okehampton 4

OKEHAMPTON slipped to third position in the hockey league after twice surrendering a two goal advantage to Exeter University D to end the game 4-4; it means they have taken only one point in two weeks away from home.

There was a vast improvement from last Saturday as Okehampton dominated the first 20 minutes with Nick Luxton controlling the midfield moving the ball frequently out wide.

Sam Whalley up front was a marked man. The young University side were quick to realise his class and made sure there were two defenders closely marking him at all times. Despite this, a determined Okehampton side created opportunities and it was not long before they won their first penalty corner. A firm delivery from James Rogers meant Whalley had acres of space to drag flick the ball into the back of the net.

Okehampton did not sit back after taking the lead, but instead kept the pressure on, with darting runs from Joff Stephens in the midfield and the two wings Josh Speak and Jack Watson working hard to create space for Whalley up front. This patience paid off as they were awarded another penalty corner.  This time Whalley’s effort was dealt with by the sprawling keeper but Rob Hall was in the right place for the rebound and dragged it into the top half of the net.

Although they were two goals down, Exeter University are a well drilled side and started to find a way back into the game with some quick, accurate passing. They were finally able to breach the strong Oke defence and scored from open play with their first attempt on goal. Okehampton started to lose their nerve and a lack of conviction lead to a second goal soon after. With half time approaching the University side were able to create another chance that produced a brilliant save by George Morgan in goal on the second attempt. 

In the second half Okehampton began by enjoying the bulk of the possession, with the wing backs Jaden Read and man of the match Andrew Paterson creating width for the defence and space for the congested midfield.  

Oke won themselves a penalty corner.  This time the University keeper was up for the challenge by saving the first two attempts but he could not keep the third one from Luxton out as he skilfully flicked the ball past the keeper. The next goal came soon after for Okehampton as Luxton setting up Whalley beautifully for him to scramble it past the keeper for his second.

Oke took their foot off the pedal just enough for the opposition to get back into the game. They were able to take advantage of their chances to score one from open play and a drag flick, from a penalty corner, tucked neatly just inside the post. 

With the game at 4-4 it opened up as both teams went for the win. Rogers and Hall masterfully kept the University team away from striking distance and Okehampton came close near the end when Ross Davidson set up Brett Lawson who fired just wide.

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