A dramatic penalty shootout against Reading has seen Wimbledon retain their title in the Men’s Hockey League. It was an extremely close-run match, during which Tom Carson took Reading into the lead in the first quarter and Alastair Brogdon scored for Wimbledon in the second.
The match kept both teams on their toes throughout, with the first quarter proving promising for Reading when Carson sent a quick backhander into the bottom corner moments before quarter-time. It was halfway through the second quarter that the field was levelled by Brogdon. Despite a clear chance for James Jewell to take the score to 2-1 to Reading, a wide shot ensured the score remained at 1-1 when the half-time whistle blew.
The final quarter offered more excitement. Pieter Wiegman executed an impressive tackle to prevent Carson turning and Roper was sent to join Sloan in the sin bin, leaving Wimbledon with nine players to Reading’s 11. Wimbledon battled through until the team was back to full strength, however, with both sides fending off attacks and pushing the match into a shootout.
Final penalty shootout
Sloan and Jackson were both unable to outsmart the goalkeeper, but Steven Ebbers put Wimbledon into the lead. Atkins failed to even up the tally for Reading; however, after a miss by Roper, Simon Mantell hit home to make it 1-1. Brogdon and Carson both missed before Ball and Shingles took the score to 2-2. Next up was Mantell, making it 3-2 before Ebbers also scored to equalise at 3-3. Carson scored with his second shot of the shootout; however, Jonty Clarke hit wide. Goalkeeper Alexander once again denied Brogdon, followed by a save by Bailey from Jackson. Two fails ensued by Roper and Shingles, leaving Ball to strike home for the win.
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