Sorry Stu­dents hit for six as Read­ing in­flict one fi­nal blow

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - By David Cor­bett

LOUGH­BOR­OUGH coach Jerome Goudie ad­mit­ted his side were brought back to re­al­ity af­ter con­clud­ing their sea­son with an­other thump­ing league de­feat.

Just days af­ter de­fend­ing their na­tional stu­dent ti­tle with a hard-fought win over Not­ting­ham in Bath, they were given a les­son in fin­ish­ing by a Read­ing team that has of­ten flat­tered to de­ceive this sea­son.

The stu­dent side have mus­tered just one point from 18 fix­tures – a bat­tling 2–2 draw with Sur­biton ear­lier this month – and they end the cam­paign with a mi­nus 45 goal dif­fer­ence, with their fi­nal de­feat the heav­i­est of the sea­son.

How­ever, Goudie ad­mit­ted the ex­er­tions of a vic­tory in the BUCS fi­nals took their toll against a Read­ing team who are now ac­tively build­ing for the fu­ture.

“Hav­ing ac­com­plished our aim of re­gain­ing the BUCS ti­tle on Wed­nes­day, the guys found it very dif­fi­cult to get to per­form where they know they can,” he said.

“The match against Not­ting­ham took a lot of our fo­cus, which took a lot of time and en­ergy out of the guys.

“It wasn’t just phys­i­cal en­ergy but mental, too. It’s dif­fi­cult to then be 100 per cent come the Sun­day af­ter that.

“The score­line was very re­flec­tive of the game. They’ve got a Cup semi-fi­nal com­ing up so they had a lot of ob­jec­tives, whereas for us it was the last game of the sea­son with noth­ing rid­ing on it.

“It’s been tough. But the se­cond half of the sea­son we’ve im­proved in each and ev­ery game. We’ve had small goals to set our­selves and we made some real strides be­fore fo­cus­ing on BUCS.”

James Car­son put Read­ing two goals up in­side the first seven min­utes be­fore fur­ther strikes from Ki­ran Pa­tel and Ben Boon gave them a com­mand­ing ad­van­tage. Lough­bor­ough’s El­liot Smith pulled one back from a penalty corner be­fore Boon scored again and Rhys Do­herty com­pleted the rout from an­other set­piece.

“That in­ten­sity is im­por­tant for us. We got two goals early on which all but killed the game and made it a com­fort­able vic­tory and one we felt we de­served,” said Read­ing first team man­ager Chris Davey.

“We’d lost three in a row be­fore that which were games that summed up our sea­son. We were los­ing by the odd goal and the mar­gins are so fine in the divi­sion. “We gave away too many silly goals across the year. We played well enough to de­serve bet­ter but let one or two silly goals in at the wrong times and you can’t re­ally af­ford to do that. “But we’re a young side. We’ve got a cou­ple of old heads in there but we’ve been play­ing with four or five un­der-18s who have re­ally made con­tri­bu­tions as the sea­son has gone on. It’s a time of re­build­ing, but hope­fully it sets us up nicely for the next cam­paign.” As Read­ing look to a cup semi-fi­nal clash with Brook­lands this week­end, Goudie is also cast­ing his eye ahead with op­ti­mism – de­spite a sober­ing sea­son of re­sults. “The ma­jor­ity of our play­ers are still in and around the squad next year which is a big boost. We’ve only got four guys grad­u­at­ing out of 26, so we’ve got a very young squad who will be look­ing to build,” he added. “The min­utes and the ex­pe­ri­ence they’ll have got from this sea­son will be vi­tal, and it’s the same for me. “It’s a dif­fer­ent group to ones we have had be­fore, and we’ve def­i­nitely taken things for­ward for the next sea­son as well as the ex­pe­ri­ences we’re gain­ing from that.”

KEY PLAYER James Car­son Read­ing

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