HOCKEYFordingbridge 2, IW 4
IW’S unbeaten form continued, but at a cost, as two players needed hospital treatment after this bruising encounter.
In total, four players were hurt during the match but Ollie Jordan and sub Dan Bartlett were both hit with accidental high sticks, requiring stitches at St Mary’s Hospital on the journey home.
The hosts took a surprise lead on the counter-attack but IW bounced back well and two goals from Stephen Woodford, one from a penalty corner, put them in front.
IW were indebted to goalkeeper Tom Speer, who produced a stunning block from a Fordingbridge penalty corner to deny the hosts an equaliser. Unfortunately Speer was injured making the save, and had to play the rest of the game with an painful knee.
In the second half, IW were greeted by driving rain straight into their faces which limited their vision, and they were punished when a Fordingbridge forward ghosted in unmarked and found the corner of the net to give the hosts an equaliser.
Again though this proved a false dawn as within minutes, IW regained the lead as, from another penalty corner following a foul on Colin Simmons, Woodford completed his hat-trick.
With both sides matching each other, IW gained a crucial fourth goal when Rob Forrest was awarded a foul. He quickly took the self-pass and found Woodford, who drew the keeper and flicked the ball into the corner.
After this, the injuries to Jordan and Bartlett happened, and with Tom Gould also carrying an injury from earlier in the match, it meant the IW were playing a well-organised team with only eight fit players.
Tomorrow (Saturday), IW take on fourth-place Havant at Smallbrook, with an earlier than usual start time of 11am.