The middle weekend of BWPL Phase two is always critical and can make or break a team’s chance of promotion and having won the opening three matches in Mid-January the team were sitting in a good position, second in the table. But will four games remaining the team needed two more wins to secure promotion back to Div two for the start of the 2019/20 season.
Day one in Gloucester didn’t get off to the best start as team were beaten by Worthing in a very close game 9-10. Qtr scores 2-4, 1-1, 4-4, 2-1.
Worthing established a two goal lead in the opening quarter and managed to maintain this margin for the majority of the game. We got to within one on several occasions but Worthing would then score the next to re-establish that two goal magin.
The final quarter started with Watford trailing 7-9. Two early man-ups came to nothing as we couldn’t break a solid defensive shape that Worthing have worked on for many months and with their goalie in fine form who must have saved over 50% of our 20+ shots it was starting to get frustrating.
Several failed attempts later and we finally managed to break Worthing with a first time pass and shot from Dávid Koncz however back came Worthing and a goal with 2.36 remaining had them two clear. With time ticking down we won another man-up and we scored via a delicate lob from close in by Steven Behr 9-10.
With 1.07 remaining in the last period and it was getting tense. From the restart Worthing called a time-out they set a move which we defended and recovering the ball with 40 secs to go we advanced. That solid defense we mentioned early came to Worthing’s rescue as they defended manfully and ran the clock down to win.
Defeat means Worthing leap-frog us in the table. We must now beat Southampton on Sunday lunchtime to get us back in the promotion race.
Watford team v Worthing:
Peter Pickford (GK), Nandi Cseh (3), Jared Baker (1), David Koncz (4), Cameron Baker, Petar Djordic, John Pickford, Chris Daniel, Steven Behr (1), Adam Page, Will Eggleton, Sam Hanrahan, Ramon Fernandez.
Saturday evening was spent at the wonderful Italian Restaurant Topology’s, the team had a good meal and then it was back to the hotel to prepare for that all-important game v Southampton on Sunday.
Day Two in Gloucester and the pressure was on for the 1st team as they needed to beat Southampton to get their Championship two promotion push back on track.
The team acheived that aim with a convicing 11-6 scoreline restricting the South coast side to only four goals in three quarters. Qtr scores 1-2, 4-1, 3-1, 3-2.
The game didn’t get off to the best start as Southampton took a 0-2 lead after 5 mins play. A man-up for Watford gave Dávid Koncz a shot from the arc which he buried for 1-2. Further chances for both sides came and when as the qtr closed with Southampton leading by one.
The second qtr and Watford were starting to take control as their defence were nullifying the Southampton attack and up front we were now starting to open up their defence as a Chris Daniel double had us in front at 3-2. Southampton hit back 45 secs later for 3-3 but back came Watford and another man-up gave Adam Page the chance to give his side the lead again at 4-3 and with time running out and only 3 seconds on the clock we won a penalty converted by Daniel for 5-3.
Into the second half and and a quick couple of goals had Watford 7-3 up via Koncz and Daniel again. Southampton pulled a goal back (7-4) but then a period of majors for both sides came to nothing then with 1.50 to go in the third period another goal from Daniel gave Watford a four goal cushion at 8-4.
The final period and an early number of man-ups weren’t converted for either side until with 4.20 to play Watford struck twice to extend their lead at 10-4. Goals from Steven Behr (another lob) and anther Koncz power shot doing the damage. With time running out Southampton scored a double either side of a Will Eggleton goal and the game was over 11-6.
With two fixtures to go in early March in Grantham and a win on the Saturday against Manchester Hawks will see Watford promoted back to Div Two for the 2019/20 season. With Bristol to play in the final game on the Sunday it could be a Championship decider, but before that the team need to get promotion assured.
Watford team v Southampton:
Peter Pickford (GK), Nandi Cseh, Jared Baker, David Koncz (3), Cameron Baker, Petar Djordic, John Pickford, Chris Daniel (5), Steven Behr (1), Adam Page (1), Will Eggleton (1), Sam Hanrahan, Ramon Fernandez, Petar Djordjic.