Guernsey Press

New year headache on the cards for Guernsey hockey coach

Guernsey’s players have given Ed Benfield the kind of headache every coach wants to have.

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Josh Kendal, right, scored twice for Guernsey in their win at Sutton Coldfield. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32691526)

With at least a couple of established names likely to return to the fold for their next assignment in the England Hockey Men’s Tier Two Championship, having been unavailable for last weekend’s trip to Sutton Coldfield, the largely youthful squad who did the business by coming through that test with an impressive 3-2 win have put themselves right in the frame to feature in round three.

‘We played much better hockey for longer periods of time compared to the first round, created lots of chances and, to be fair, everyone played well,’ said Benfield.

‘Considering we had such a young squad – we actually had two mini buses which were separated into under-21s and over-21s with more people in the under-21 bus – it was very encouraging. Hopefully we will have a couple of others back for the next game and that will give me a selection headache, which is great,’ added the Guernsey coach.

It was one of the youngsters, Elizabeth College forward George Le Roux, who scored an outstanding first goal for Guernsey to give them an early lead at Sutton Coldfield.

The home side then put their visitors under a lot of pressure and although Morgan Clayton made some excellent saves, they drew level before half-time thanks to a penalty flick.

Benfield changed the formation at the interval, going from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3, and it paid dividends as his side dominated the midfield area for good spells.

Josh Kendal restored the lead as he converted a penalty and within a few minutes he had made it 3-1 with a goal from open play.

Sutton Coldfield fought back and narrow the deficit to one, but Guernsey held out for the victory.

‘We were always confident we were going to win because we were always going to create chances – we were not completely under the cosh at the end,’ Benfield said.

‘It was a good weekend away, we were really happy with the win and the team is really connecting.’