White nets four as second-placed Exiles gain revenge on West Herts
East League 4SW West Herts III 2 St Albans Exiles 7 ST ALBANS Exiles made a late afternoon trip to Watford-based West Herts III to play on a rather gloomy, floodlit pitch. This was the last game before the Christmas break but was the start of the second
East League 4SW
West Herts III 2 St Albans Exiles 7
ST ALBANS Exiles made a late afternoon trip to Watford-based West Herts III to play on a rather gloomy, floodlit pitch.
This was the last game before the Christmas break but was the start of the second half of the fixtures.
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This game had a bit of history, as despite the Exiles winning 5-0 at the start of the season, a protest by West Herts saw the game awarded to them for a minor breach of league rules. However, in the main, it was played in good spirits.
The Exiles performance was a vast improvement on last week's effort at Broxbourne with some fine, fast passing which cut West Herts to pieces.
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Exiles took the lead after about 10 minutes, when good play from Black and Ross found left-back, Nick James all alone in the 'D' who made no mistake from two yards.
Exiles increased the lead minutes later when top-scorer Simon White won a tackle deep in West Herts territory. His pace was too much for the floundering West Herts defenders and he calmly rounded the 'keeper to slot home from 10 yards.
West Herts thought they had got back into the game from a penalty corner, but it was ruled out for being too high, despite hitting the back boards.
However, they were quickly rewarded following a further corner, when James could only watch as the ball sailed past him on the line.
This gave West Herts confidence and they drew level moments later following a repeat penalty corner routine.
Exiles were also denied a goal when the West Herts 'keeper, who had an outstanding match, could only kick the ball into the air for Brian Allen to punt the ball home.
The goal was ruled out for dangerous play, despite a complete lack of any players within yards of the ball.
Exiles were not to be denied and White struck again from a strike from a penalty corner. Exiles could even afford to miss a penalty stroke, when captain Lister fired tamely at the 'keeper.
In the second half Exiles tightened up on West Herts' midfield and probably played some of the best hockey of the season.
Their fast, accurate passing was no match for West Herts who struggled to get the ball into the Exiles' 'D'.
White was always a threat and his hat-trick goal was pretty much a replay of his first goal. Successive penalty corner routines saw White slip the ball to Martin Jones who bagged two goals to continue his own recent scoring run.
White rounded off the scoring to give Exiles an overwhelming victory to cement their second place in East League 4SW and they are superbly positioned for the second half of the season.
The Exiles' next fixture is on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 10.30am against Luton Town II at Clarence Park.
Exiles: Fretter, Bird, Winter, O'Toole, James, Black, Lister (Capt), Freedman, Jones, Ross, Allen, White.