A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match report – Southgate 0-3 M1s (Premier Division Phase Two Top Six, 9th March, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe made it back-to-back wins to end Phase Two as they won 3-0 at Southgate on Saturday evening courtesy of goals from Alex Pendle, Tim Guise-Brown and Louis Duprez.

Holcs, having already secured a fourth-placed finish, travelled to the Southgate Hockey Centre with just 13 players due to a host of injuries but put in an impressive performance to take the three points and head into Phase Three off the back of two consecutive victories.

Pendle gave Holcs the lead with his second goal in as many matches, forcing a save from close range before tidily finishing off the rebound. Guise-Brown added a second with a great drag-flick midway through the third quarter before Duprez, deployed in a more advanced role than usual, deflected a pass across goal in just three minutes later.

The first quarter was a scrappy affair, though there were chances at both ends. Barry Middleton forced a good save from South African Anton van Loggerenberg on the reverse early on before Ollie Payne made two good saves in quick succession at the other end.

It was then Holcombe’s turn to work the ‘keeper again, with Tom O’Keeffe’s hit stopped well by van Loggerenberg.

Pendle came close to opening the scoring early on in Q2 as he deflected narrowly wide from Rhodri Furlong’s pass.

The goal came after good work from Guise-Brown down the right-hand-side following an aerial, he won a penalty corner and then saw his drag-flick deflected off-the-line by Kwan Browne. Holcs worked the ball back into the circle, with Pendle seeing his first effort blocked by van Loggerenberg before squeezing the rebound past the ‘keeper.

Pendle was involved again as he and captain Rob Field almost linked up for a chance at a second, before Guise-Brown saw another penalty corner effort charged down.

Payne made a great save from a Southgate penalty corner at the other end to keep Holcs’ clean sheet intact, before two consecutive Southgate corners one again worked the Great Britain goalkeeper after a initial mis-trap at the re-award.

A scramble in the circle followed Payne’s save as Southgate looked to loop an effort over the ‘keeper, with Holcombe eventually winning a free hit to clear the danger and head into the half-time break a goal up.

Duprez saw a powerful effort well-saved early on in the third period before Guise-Brown was brilliantly denied by van Loggerenberg at another penalty corner.

At the next corner, however, there was no stopping Guise-Brown as he scored his second in the last three matches and made it two goals in Holcombe’s last two away matches. Furlong forced van Loggerenberg into action again before Middleton won the corner, Guise-Brown dispatching the drag-flick to double Holcs’ lead.

Duprez then deflected in for a third just three minutes later before Southgate almost reduced the arrears near the end of the quarter, firing an effort into the side-netting.

Payne made another good save at a Southgate corner early on in the last quarter, with a second effort high over the bar before another string of corners ended in a shot off-target from the hosts.

Holcombe sat deep late on to keep their clean sheet intact, defending well to limit Southgate’s chances with tired legs starting to show as the hosts enjoyed a three-man advantage in their squad.

The hosts did still win a penalty corner on the final whistle, with Middleton clearing off-the-line with a huge deflection away to ensure Holcombe took the three points and kept a fifth clean sheet of the season and move to the top of the defensive rankings, with just 20 conceded in 16 matches.

Holcs will now face Old Georgians, Hampstead & Westminster and Beeston in Phase Three as Pool A features the same teams as last season. Fixture details will be announced shortly, with Phase Three starting on Saturday, 16th March.