Sevenoaks Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI moved one step closer to relegation from the Premier Division on Saturday after a 6-0 defeat at home to Wimbledon. This coupled with the University of Exeter beating Brooklands Manchester University means Oaks now sit eight points adrift at the bottom of the table with just four games remaining.
Based on league positions, the game against Wimbledon should have been a close one, with Wimbledon sitting in 8th place and Sevenoaks in 10th place. However, Wimbledon’s league position does not reflect the strength of their squad. For most the season they have been missing their five current Great Britain internationals, but they were all back in the team for the game against Sevenoaks making Wimbledon a very different proposition.
The influx of quality saw Wimbledon get off to a fast start, opening the scoring after five minutes from a penalty corner. A quick fire double in the 12th and 13th minute saw them extend their lead to 3-0. Oaks had a couple of good opportunities to get back into the game, but Andrew Ross missed a penalty stroke, after David Smith was felled in the D, and Tim Warrington couldn’t get his shot away after being played in by Ed Matts. Oaks were made to pay for their profligacy when Wimbledon converted a penalty corner rebound to make it 4-0 after 24 minutes. That was how the score remained until half time.
Oaks responded well in the second half and never gave up. They had some good chances to pull a goal back but finishing let them down in key moments. Wimbledon continued to threaten but largely Oaks contained them until a 60 second blitz midway through the half saw Wimbledon add two goals to their tally to make the score 6-0, which was how it remained until full time.
Sevenoaks now face Holcombe next week at home and will have to win that game to stand any hope of retaining their place in the Premier Division.