Match Report - Premier League Phase 2 Finals – Peterborough versus Herne Bay United - 10th June 2023
Match Report by Terry Oakley
Premier League – Phase 2
Peterborough versus Herne Bay United
10th June 2023 at Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham (This was Peterborough’s home match as Bushfields Leisure Centre at Peterborough was not available)
1 Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper)
2 James Berry
3 Tom Hillam
5 Michael Carter (Captain)
6 Harry Hillam
7 Josh Aaltonen
8 Luca Oakley
9 Lily Messenger
10 Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper – played last 15 minutes of match)
Herne Bay United Squad (HBU)
10 Charles Holmes (Goalkeeper)
3 Finley Kay
4 Nathan Tickner
5 Will Hosking
9 Dougie Epps
23 Ashley Barton
99 Brendan Barker (Captain)
Referees:- Stephane Bauguitte and Neville Davis
Peterborough started the match in their usual style of quick passing and fast movement off the ball by supporting players. HBU seemed quite content to concede territory by placing their four outer rink players, in a box formation, and aiming to thwart the fast thrusting forward play of their opponents. Peterborough worked the “carousel” well for long periods but found it difficult to create the necessary space to place shots on the HBU goal. On the occasions they did they found Charlie Holmes in the HBU in fine form. From this early play it looked like two players had the ability to unlock their respective opponents defences to score....Brendan Barker of HBU and Luca Oakley of Peterborough. Shortly before the first goal was scored Luca produced a strong probing run down the left hand side of the HBU defence and hit a fine slapshot which struck the HBU cross bar. However, just one minute later he worked his way down the right hand side of the HBU defence and as he was being tackled he managed to get an angled, flick shot away, from a tight angle, into the top right hand corner of the HBU net.
Peterborough 1 Herne Bay 0
After 21 minutes of play Peterborough went further ahead with the “Goal of the Match”. Luca Oakley broke up a HBU attack behind his own goal line and went on a fast break forward. He weaved his way past three HBU players and as the fourth defender approached him he placed an accurate flick shot into the top left hand corner of the net which gave the HBU goalie no chance to save.
Peterborough 2 Herne Bay 0
Half Time:- Peterborough 2 Herne Bay 0
Brendan Barker’s powerful, forward runs were a constant threat against Peterborough through this match. And so it proved. Within 2 minutes of the re-start HBU had scored. Brendan made one of his typical, strong runs behind the Peterborough goal. On finding his exit blocked off he spun, shook off his defender, and emerged on the other side of the goal and hit a fine reverse slapshot under the diving Peterborough keeper and into the net.
Peterborough 2 Herne Bay 1
Peterborough continued with their fast moving attacking play and Charlie Holmes in the HBU goal made several fine saves to keep his Team within touching distance of the Peterborough Team and the final result. However, this was not to be as with 3 minutes remaining a break from defence from Michael Carter who then passed to Luca Oakley out wide on the left of the HBU defence. At first it looked as if Luca had mis-controlled Michael’s pass but as the HBU defender was tempted into the tackle Luca spun away from him. He sprinted forward and placed a lofted cross rink pass across the HBU goal to play in his colleague in for a tap in goal...but the pass was deflected by a HBU stick past the helpless goalie and into the HBU net. Luca was credited for this third goal.
Peterborough 3 Herne Bay 1
Final score –Peterborough 3 Herne Bay 1
Arthur Corr’s (Peterborough Coach) Man of the Match:- Luca Oakley – 3 Goals
When both sides took to the rink for this fixture they both knew that the result of this game would have no bearing on the final league table. So, really it was pride at stake for the victors of this match. However, both teams endeavoured to play competitive hockey and served up a well contested match.
At the very beginning of this season the Peterborough Club took a massive gamble by applying to join the Premier League knowing that they had a very, very young Team (they started the season with 3 x 15 year old players and 5 x 16 year old players) that they hoped would quickly learn the “rough and tumble” of what Premier League Hockey was all about. Well, what a season it proved to be! They finished fourth in the Premier League and this was the Club’s highest ever finish.....a truly memorable season in the Club’s history!