HOCKEY: Depleted Swindon avoid third defeat
Updated 3:44pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in By Ned Payne
TEN-MAN Swindon avoided a third defeat in a row in the Premiership as they held Team Bath Buccs A to a 1-1 draw at Isambard.
Injury forced the hosts to play the whole game a man down and from the start they soaked up pressure and counter-attacked when they could.
It was from one of these breaks that forward Tom Gillingham smashed home a cross from Luke Cejer to put the home side in front.
Swindon coped well with the resulting backlash, Rich Edwards marshalling the defence well and Alan Gough making several decent saves.
However, Team Bath made the breakthrough after the interval when they grabbed an equaliser from a penalty corner.
Despite their lack of personnel, Swindon poured forward and Tom Gillingham, Edwards and Jake Biddle went agonisingly close to grabbing a late winner Team Bath also had opportunities but a strong second-half performance from Tom Wickens and Lewis Dyer in defence helped seal a point for Swindon.
North Wilts finally lost their first game of the season in East Central 1 but bounced back in fine style.
A 4-2 defeat at fellow high-flyers Chippenham A on Saturday was followed up by a 3-1 victory at Marlborough B on Sunday.
Chippenham took the lead in the first of the weekend’s games as they capitalised after goalkeeper Neil Smith failed to gather a tame shot.
The hosts extended their advantage after the break, before Colin Fisher set up Darren Hillier to round the keeper and pull a goal back.
However, Chippenham were not to be denied and two further goals rendered a later Darran Cragg effort nigh-on irrelevant.
On Sunday, North Wilts were 1-0 down to Marlborough at half-time, but in the second period Damo Holland levelled with a scrappy goal.
Shaun Montague, Jim Towers and Dan Conneely then combined superbly and Hillier tucked away his second goal of the weekend.
Conneely made the game safe with a third goal as he beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
Wootton Bassett secured a valuable 2-0 home win over Frys as they continued to battle the drop in Central 2.
The first half ended goalless but nine minutes after the resumption, Mark Turner converted a short corner.
In the closing stages, a breakaway resulted in a second goal for Turner and put the result beyond doubt.
North Wilts A held on for a 2-1 victory over Chippenham C in East Central 2.
The hosts took the lead midway through the first period, when George Bull chipped the keeper to bag his first goal of the season.
A fingertip save from Emmerson kept North Wilts in front at the break and eight minutes into the second half, skipper Momi doubled the lead from a short corner.
Bull might have made it 3-0 before Chippenham gave themselves hope, a short-corner shot looping off a home stick to beat Emmerson.