Men’s ABN AMRO EHL Ranking Cup
M03: Den Bosch 6 (K Bijen 2, T Boers 2, A Smith, D Wotherspoon) Saint Germain 0
Den Bosch enjoyed the perfect start to their EHL careers with a strong win over a dogged Saint Germain who kept them at bay for long periods but ultimately succumbed to the Dutch side’s greater quality.
In the end, it was goals in the 20 seconds before and after the half-time break that were the crucial moments. The first half was a maze of patience for the Brabant club who found no way through despite a number of corners until the closing seconds of the half.
This time, Austin Smith found the power to beat the defences of the post defender, scoring his first EHL goal since October 2008 when he was with Reading – the longest gap between goals in EHL history.
That gave them a 1-0 lead just before the big hooter and it was doubled 20-seconds into the second half, this time when a scramble bounced off the post. The sprawling Guillaume de Vaucelles was only able to palm the ball into the path of Dylan Wotherspoon who scooped up the chance and bundled home.
Koen Bijen – who was called into the Dutch international panel this week – added a couple of penalty stroke goals in the final quarter to stretch their lead out to 4-0 with five minutes to go.
17-year-old Timo Boers nailed a drag-flick for the fifth before Saint Germain, more in hope than belief, appealed for one back. It came when Charles Verrier smacked a high ball into the circle which hit the post and bounced to Thomas Pauchet – after a brief discussion, the ball in was deemed dangerous.
Boers completed the victory in the closing stages to extend the lead to 6-0.
Umpires: B Bale (ENG), S O’Donnell (IRL)