Ian Bassett celebrated his comeback from injury with a goal brace which swept Trojans to a 2-1 win over Sunbury & Walton Heath – and within sight of dismantling Winchester’s position as season-long Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 leaders.
The victory, achieved after the Surrey side had snatched a first-half lead, maintained Trojans’ position as joint divisional leaders, albeit with a massive 19-goal difference to make up.
But, if Trojans win their two away days at City of Portsmouth (Saturday) and Basingstoke (Sunday) this weekend, they will go top – and go into their March 9 title showdown at Winchester on top of the table.
Bassett, a behind the scenes workaholic at Stoneham Lane, had missed Trojans’ previous four games through injury.
But he marked his comeback in style, initially with a shot-on-the-turn equaliser and then Trojans’ winner from a crisp penalty corner routine.
Bassett acknowledges that breaking down opposition teams at Stoneham Lane has become difficult.
“We have got ourselves into such a strong promotion position that teams turn up to play defensive hockey, trying not to lose, which is just what Sunbury did,” he said.
“When teams pack 11 men behind the ball it hinders our natural fluid attacking game, so we have to adapt.”
Good news for Trojans is that relegation threatened City of Portsmouth are in desperate need of points and Basingstoke lie fourth in the log, so this weekend’s games will probably be open, attacking affairs.
And the Winchester-Trojans showdown promises to be anything but a defensive occasion ...
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