Walden's hockey men salvage a draw

PUBLISHED: 13:45 17 November 2010

Saffron Walden Men's HC vs Stevenage

Newport.

November 13, 2010.

Photograph by Michael Boyton.

Pic shows: Action from the first half.

Saffron Walden Men's HC vs Stevenage Newport. November 13, 2010. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Action from the first half.

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LUKE Gilson bagged a brace for Walden as they salvaged a point in Saturdays' home fixture against Stevenage.

Saffron Walden 2 Stevenage 2

LUKE Gilson bagged a brace for Walden as they salvaged a point in Saturdays’ home fixture against Stevenage.

It was a welcome point as well as the hosts sit just one place off the bottom in the NE14 East Hockey League Div 2, although captain Andy Boyd doesn’t see that as a fair reflection.

“We have often played well without getting the results,” he said. “But we are a very young side – I think I am the fourth oldest at the age of 20.

“We are still looking for a mid-table position this year and after playing well against teams in the top half of the table we are sure we can pick up the results needed.

“Our problem is that we keep losing players every year as they go off to university or move away, that lack of continuity doesn’t help, but we do have some great youth players coming through.”

With only one win in eight games the home side had a point to prove and opened the game with confidence.

They were unlucky not to convert any of their early openings and fell victim to a long clearance which allowed Stevenage to take the lead.

Walden were then denied an equaliser on the stroke of half time when the umpire blew just before the ball entered the Stevenage goal.

This bitter blow urged Walden to force the pace and within five minutes of the re-start Gilson was on hand to finish off from close range.

Stevenage then re-took the lead via another long clearance but Walden were not finished yet as they lifted themselves once again and, when Stevenage were reduced to ten men, capitalised with Gilson pushing the ball across the goal line.

The final five minutes saw a flurry of fast and furious attacks by both sides as they both realised that the next goal would give them a much needed win.

In the end, Walden were grateful to keeper Tom Chapman for a succession of fine saves to ensure that they held on to their point.

Next: Walden travel to Luton to take on the unpredictable Vauxhall Hockey Club on Saturday.

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