Lewes Under 18, 9
Reading Under 18, 1
Written by Paul Spruce
On paper this was always going to be an exciting game to watch and there was an expectation that Reading would field a strong side. In the first minute of the game Reading showed us what they were capable of with a strong attack leading to a short corner. Keeper Sam Brooks showed some brilliance and almost made light of their shot, with a great save.
Lewes immediately counter attacked and a truly outstanding solo effort from Mat Hickman gave them the lead. Five minutes later Hickman got his second and Lewes started to dominate the game. Wave after wave of Lewes attacks through Baxter, Cope, Wycherley, Tapping & Donaldson really provided a spectacle and it was ten minutes before half time that Hickman scored his third and ended the half at 3:0
Reading started the second half with renewed vigour, but the excellence of England U16 Centre Half, Harvey Waller, the speed and commitment shown by the Clarke twins was too much for them and it wasn’t long before Hickman had bagged his fourth goal.
Lewes were now in complete control and further goals came from Sam Murray (2) Tapping, Cope and a fifth from Hickman. Reading scored a consolation goal and had several chances to score more but the solidity shown by Lloyd & Rhodes, in defence made in very difficult for them to penetrate.
This was a great team effort, with everyone really giving 100%, and does bode well for Lewes when they next play in the semi finals and finals in Oxford on 6th May.
Written by Charlie Wycherley
Southern Premier Lewes took on National League champions Reading at U-18 level on Sunday at the Southdown. Lewes have never played Reading at any level of hockey before so supporters could be forgiven for expecting a reverse.
However Chris Marchants side were exremely well drilled and prepped despite having a couple of notable absentees. Matt Hickman was simply unstoppable scoring all five of his goals from reverse strikes and so one would be forgiven to think it was all about one person who Chris Marchant undoubtedly gets the best out of. But this performance was all round brilliance right down to the two fifteen year olds. Matt LLoyd had an absolutely outstanding first half at centre back. Maxwell Rhodes a technically excellent right back and 16 year old Harvey Waller simply ran the show at centre midfield. Alex Donaldson does not play right midfield but he put in a faultless performance and his link up play with Rob Cope and Oli Baxter up front helped Hickman in his goal fest. Readings spurt was broken in the second half and others got in on the act with Sam Murray scoring a brace and Rob Cope a well taken goal and Alex Lloyd from a short corner although he did have an enforced rest!
The Lewes crowd could not believe what they had just seen and the finals are in two weeks time.