Rose still eyes top spot af­ter Ex­eter flop at lowly Fare­ham

Con­fer­ence West round-up

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - By Joshua Richards

UNIVER­SITY of Ex­eter cap­tain Matthew Rose has re­fused to throw in the towel in the race for pro­mo­tion de­spite his team’s 1-1 draw at strug­gling Fare­ham.

Fare­ham are the only club yet to record a home win in the Con­fer­ence West this sea­son, but stunned their third­placed visi­tors on Sun­day when they edged ahead on 18 min­utes, Jamie Rawl­ings con­vert­ing from a penalty cor­ner.

Ex­eter dug deep in the sec­ond half and lev­elled through James Fer­gu­son with 25 min­utes still left on the clock, but could not find a win­ner.

Vic­to­ries for top two Cardiff & Met and Team Bath Buc­can­neers leave Ex­eter eight points off the sum­mit with five matches to play.

Rose, whose team were top of the ta­ble in Oc­to­ber, said: “At this stage of the sea­son drop­ping points is not ideal.

“It wasn’t the re­sult the lads wanted to get, but the boys have been out­stand­ing this sea­son and we still have mo­men­tum be­hind us for the BUCS quar­ter-fi­nal with Durham, who are go­ing well in the North Con­fer­ence.

“Of course we wanted the three points, but the draw keeps us tick­ing over ... we can still get top spot.

“We need re­sults to go our way, but the league is con­gested, par­tic­u­larly the top half of the ta­ble, and any­one can have their day.

“Cardiff have still got to play Team Bath, so some­one will drop points there. There will be chances for us.

“There is no point in us go­ing into games with­out the strong de­sire to con­tinue win­ning and go for pro­mo­tion.”

Ex­eter will hope they can bounce back im­me­di­ately this week­end when they travel to fourth-placed Old Ge­or­gians.

Hav­ing tri­umphed 3-2 in Novem­ber’s cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture, Rose is op­ti­mistic.

He added: “In the home fix­ture we came out on top, so we will be look­ing for the same again.

“We need to bounce back and there is no rea­son we can­not go out and de­liver an­other strong per­for­mance.”

Cardiff & Met recorded their sixth suc­ces­sive Con­fer­ence West win to main­tain their ad­van­tage at the top of the ta­ble.

Af­ter a goal­less first half with Old Ge­or­gians, Luke Hawker opened the scor­ing for the Welsh­men from a 40th-minute penalty cor­ner.

On the hour Nick Cooper lev­elled for Ge­or­gians, but Hawker scored from an­other penalty cor­ner rou­tine with five min­utes re­main­ing to clinch the points.

Team Bath Buc­can­neers re­main hot on their heels af­ter a 6-0 win at bot­tom club Univer­sity of Bris­tol.

John Jack­son and Liam San­ford struck two goals apiece, with Peter Scott and Adam Croutear also on tar­get.

Isca boosted their hopes of survival with a 4-1 win at home to Chich­ester.

Sam Lynch broke the dead­lock on 42 min­utes, but Jamie White­house lev­elled mat­ters on 55 min­utes.

But goals from Lynch, Tim Nurse and Tom Whit­worth in a sixminute spell saw Chich­ester blown away as Isca won for only the third time this sea­son.

Chel­tenham’s mis­er­able form on the road this sea­son con­tin­ued with a 3-1 de­feat at Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham.

Tom Poustie and Ge­orge Sweet­ing had the hosts two goals to the good at half-time.

And though Michael Kelly halved the deficit from a penalty cor­ner, Scott Wall struck to con­demn Chel­tenham to a fifth de­feat from six away games, in which they have scored only seven goals.

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