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Ben Rhydding's fitness and tenacity reflected in stylish, emphatic victory
Ben Rhydding 4, Brooklands II 0
Ben Rhydding started their North Premier League campaign in style with an emphatic victory over Brooklands Seconds.
The home side were the only team to have a clean sheet last weekend, and their convincing tally put them at the top of the league.
However, nerves were definitely evident in the first 15 minutes, and dump passes were putting players under pressure and forcing them to turn over the ball.
Rhydding were struggling to find their flow but outstanding defensive work from Connor Dowley, Clemerson, Exley and Jordan denied every Brooklands attempt at getting in the circle, and this helped see their team through this unsettled patch.
David Carter made some astounding saves against two penalty corners, and Sugden and Borrett worked hard to mop up midfield possession early and created many counter attacks.
Intelligent creativity from Musgrave initiated many well-constructed attacks but they remained fruitless.
As Rhydding found their rhythm, they began to look even more dangerous.
George Sweeting got through after a great counter attack and rounded the keeper, who then nibbled him from behind but no stroke was given and the hosts’ best chance so far had gone begging.
It was another impressive counter-attack passage that finally drew the goal – Musgrave to Sweeting to Borrett hammering through, with Danny Foster arriving ready to slide and deflect the last pass in.
Rhydding came flying out in the second half and were soon rewarded, skipper Dave Exley powering up on the overlap to connect with the ball transferred out of traffic and stepped into the D.
He put it on his reverse and slammed it home to make it 2-0.
Now Brooklands began to fade, and their fatigue became obvious as the home side went into cruise control.
Impressive fitness levels meant that Rhydding were able to maintain a ferocious intensity to the bitter end, and the defence joined in all of the attacking moves.
Dowley arrived on the overlap and drove the back line, drawing a corner which Musgrave clinically buried to stretch the lead out of Brooklands’ reach.
Shortly afterwards, Harry Sherlock bravely went for a 50-50 with the keeper, who flattened him and a penalty stroke was awarded. Musgrave dispatched it without a backwards glance.
This was a proud performance that reflected the hard work the side have put in to prepare for the league.
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