WHC win 3-1 in EHL KO 16 - Full ReportPublished: 15/04/2017
Wimbledon 3 UHC Hamburg 1
Leading the English charge in Europe, Wimbledon achieved another club first when they went into the last 8 of the European Club Championships. The challenge was enormous. They had to beat the German side with the greatest record of performances in European club hockey.
Played at the superb Eindhoven hockey stadium in front of a packed house, both sides, bristling with talent, were playing some cagey hockey. The breakthrough came on 14 minutes with a stroke of brilliance from man of the match, Phil Roper. Advancing into the D with the ball on the end of his stick, his path to goal was blocked by the outrushing goal keeper. Phil dummied the shot, went past the keeper and slammed it home, reverse stick from an acute angle.
These matches are played in quarters. To end the first quarter one up was a great psychological boost. The second quarter was end to end with Hamburg coming close from short corners but Wimbledon were still in the lead.
The next goal would be critical and it was another stroke of poise and skill on 35 minutes, this time from Simon Mantell, which created it. Going into the D up the goal line, he dinked the ball over the defender stick to move on and slot the ball across the face of the open goal where Ben Arnold tapped in.
At the end of the third quarter Hamburg struck back. A powerful shot into the D was given the slightest deflection by Julius Schmid to make it 2-1. Further drama unfolded as Wimbledon gave away another short corner and went down to 10 men following a yellow card. However great defending saw them through. Hamburg chose to playing a kicking back for the last three minutes, which was high risk and a situation exploited by Wimbledon for a cool last minute tap in by Phil Roper.
Their next game will be at 1.15 on Monday 17th April, (12.15 English time) and can be watched on-line, free of charge, by going to http://ehlhockey.tv. They will play the winners of the game between Germany’s Mannheimer and Spain’s Club Egara.
Squad: Bailey (GK), Ball, Kinder (Capt.), Hoare, Weir, Ebbers, Mantell, Roper, Stewart, Tibble, Arnold, Friend, Millar, Gregg, Llorens, McIntyre.