A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match report – Wimbledon 3-1 M1s (Premier Division Phase Two Top Six, 29th February, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe suffered a third consecutive Premier Division defeat as hosts Wimbledon ran out 3-1 winners at Raynes Park High School on Thursday night.

Ian Sloan, Charlie Stubbings and former Holc Sam Hooper gave Karl Stagno’s side a three-goal advantage before Tim Guise-Brown pulled a goal back for Barry Middleton’s men with 13 minutes remaining.

Sloan gave the London side the lead inside three minutes from a penalty stroke after Hooper saw a sliding penalty corner effort illegally stopped on the line.

Holcombe responded well initially, forcing some good defensive work from Wimbledon before the hosts won a free out, Stagno’s side then creating a couple more chances of their own.

First, another corner effort was charged down by the number one runner before Ollie Payne was called into action to keep the deficit down to one.

Middleton and Rob Field then linked up well down the right-hand-side to find Alex Pendle in the circle, the Elite Development Programme (EDP) forward rounding Ore Ogunlana before squeezing in a reverse flick which was superbly deflected away from goal by a covering defender.

Pendle saw another chance fall his way moments later – Middleton found Tom Russell who played Pendle through on goal, this time his shot was scuffed and Ogunlana made a comfortable save.

Wimbledon started the second quarter brightly, forcing Payne into good saves twice either side of Stubbings’ goal from a clinical counter-attack on 25 minutes.

Louis Parker came close with a deflection from Field’s pass after a driving run, Ogunlana making a brilliant, low, diving stop to stop the forward from scoring on his first Premier Division appearance of the campaign.

Guise-Brown forced a save from a penalty corner as half-time neared, with a combination of the Wimbledon backline and Ogunlana then stopping another two or three Holcombe efforts in quick succession to keep their clean sheet intact.

The third period was a much quieter affair, the sole big chance coming Wimbledon’s way via a penalty corner, which Hooper clinically dispatched past Payne with 51 minutes played.

Sam Taylor excellently put an end to a dangerous Wimbledon attack early on in Q4 but it was Holcombe who piled on the pressure for the rest of the quarter.

Pendle and Jake Owen first forced good saves from Ogunlana before Middleton’s side won a penalty corner, which Guise-Brown drag-flicked into the top corner.

That reduced the deficit to two with 13 minutes to play, giving Holcombe faint hopes of a comeback, before Ogunlana made another good stop a few minutes later.

Russell was then denied from a deflection late on as Holcombe pushed for another but their possession was to no avail as Wimbledon held on for the three points and to move six points clear of Holcs in third.

Holcombe now take on fifth-placed Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday (6:30pm) at Holcombe Park, with the Londoners just three points behind Holcs.

Entry is free at Holcombe Park tomorrow and updates will be provided on social media.

Congratulations to Tevin Petersen who made his Premier Division debut in the match.