A well-played match by the 'Wanderers'James Lee

Cambridge Men's hockey 2nds, also known as the Wanderers, came out the victors against Imperial on a cold Wednesday evening in a confident and measured hockey display that probably warranted a higher score.

The Imperial Medics began proceedings by putting the hosts under early pressure, making numerous forays in the opposition third and drawing players out to them in response. However, they were unable to create any clear chances.

These early phases saw each team in fine voice, both attempting to put their stamp on a nascent game which lacked a dominant team as yet. The Light Blues were patient in this, demonstrating tidy passing to knock the ball around the defensive line.

The Medics responded with a surging run and lay off to their Number 10 who swivelled and shot with power but ultimately his effort proved too wide, hitting the side wall.

This was just a preamble, however, with their next attacking phase a moment of pure vision. An Imperial defender saw the Cambridge line high and exposed - he launched a ball far and high into the air. Light Blue 38 Oli Rowlands was in with a chance of prevention and threw his stick into the air but the ball fell behind. It was swept up by an Imperial forward, who, showing composure, skipped past a defender and Toby Fairhurst in goal to convert from a tight angle.

Now trailing 1-0, the Light Blues bounced back immediately and kept faith in the patient passing play that had consistently served them well. This was wise, as forward play drew a short corner which was laid off to Lewis Collins, a picture of calm, who coolly scooped the ball into the left side of goal.

Honours now even, Cambridge built on a half in which they had not only retained more possession and but also demonstrated more creative play. 

In one of these moments a Light Blue forward whacked a fantastic back swinging shot which looked destined for goal, only for the ping of the crossbar to signify that this was not to be. The ball was sent over accordingly.

"A confident and measured display that probably warranted a higher score"

As the second half commenced, Imperial again came out all guns blazing with attacking play immediately bringing the ball to the edge of the Cambridge area. Quick feet saw a nimble turn into the area but, lacking accuracy, the visiting team’s resulting shot was fired into the side netting.

Down the other end the Light Blues remained a threat and were able to win a long corner for their efforts. An airborne ball found its way to the edge of the area, but was shot away. It flicked up off an unfortunate Imperial Medic’s stick and into the top of the goal for 2-1 in the thirty-ninth minute.

With a lead established for the first time, Cambridge maintained control of a game which had been theirs throughout. Flowing attacks showed an intent to carve out a more formidable lead but in one of these moments the Reds were able to pick a gap in the defensive line, ultimately gaining a short corner. The ball came out to a waiting Imperial forward who showed precision in launching the ball through a narrow gap and into the net to restore parity at 2-2.


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The Light Blues had a right to feel disappointed with a goal that did not reflect the run of play, but time was not wasted licking wounds. Pressure was continually applied and another short corner won, this one less clean than the others as it ricocheted around the area. The result was familiar, however, with Patrick Leong-Son able to poke it over the line from short distance to make it 3-2 in the fifty-fourth minute.

After this Imperial grew increasingly frustrated, and the final 10 minutes saw them committing more fouls and losing more ground. Cambridge showed a desire to keep going to the last but were unable to carve any further moments of quality.

"Cambridge built on a half in which they had not only retained more possession and but also demonstrated more creative play"

At the final whistle, Cambridge were the deserved winners, but were perhaps left wondering how their dominance wasn’t quite reflected in the score line.

The result represents a much-needed win for the Wanderers, registering their first in five attempts including defeats against Nottingham, Nottingham Trent and Oxford.

Cambridge next face Warwick Men's 1sts at home in a week’s time, whilst the Medics host Surrey.

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