East League division 3SE

WITHAM Hockey Club men's first team stayed second in East League division three south east with a win at Brentwood.

Even after their victory against Wapping the week before, Witham understood they had to heavily up their game to secure three points and they started well, seeing most of the possession and clearly dominating.

With good build-up play by the whole team, the ball made its way to Dan Metcalfe, who made a powerful run from the midfield and found centre forward Matt Campbell in Brentwood’s D.

Campbell was surrounded by Brentwood defenders, so slipped the ball back to Metcalfe who guided the ball into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.

The young Brentwood squad quickly reacted but found it tough to breach the Witham defence as Tony Hicks and Kevin Reeve used their experience and keeper Neal Hadgraft prevented a couple of speedy drag flicks from going in.

Witham continued to defend well and with a quick counter-attack started by Brett Parker, the ball was played to Chris Smith and he coolly put it past the Brentwood keeper.

The umpires called an end to Witham’s successful first half but with a short corner still to play, there was time for one more goal.

A smooth injection to Smith allowed saw him slip the ball to Metcalfe and he secured a 3-0 lead at the break.

Witham began the second half much like the first and it wasn't long before they had their fourth goal as a Billy Belsham short corner strike clattered into the back board.

Brentwood then began to use what little motivation they had left and nicked a cheap goal as Witham over committed to their attacks and they soon grabbed a second, but unlike in some other fixtures this season, Witham did not self-destruct and clawed back possession.

Desperately wanting another goal to give the game the scoreline it deserved, Witham continued to create chances, two of which fell to Ashley O'Shea and Archie Mountier, who were unlucky not to put them away.

Just as the game looked like it would end without a fifth goal, though, man-of-the-match O'Shea cleaned up a scrappy attack by putting the ball away with a technically superb reverse stick shot to make it 5-2 at the final whistle.