Tunbridge Wells Men 8 West Hampstead 1
TUNBRIDGE WELLS’ Men moved a step closer to securing promotion from South Premier League Division Two at the first time of asking after thrashing West Hampstead at Kent College.
Elsewhere Banbury, who are second in the table, beat third-placed Guildford so while Wells’ lead at the top is still six points, the latter are now 12 points behind with just five games left and the top two going up.
Wells aim to secure promotion then push on to be crowned champions. Since they play Banbury and Guildford in the last two games, they hope to have achieved that goal before then.
The reverse fixture before Christmas was a narrow 3-2 win for Tunbridge Wells so the expectation was that it would again be a very tightly contested game.
But Wells were confident after a good win at Bournemouth the previous weekend.
They quickly set the tone with Sam George scoring after combining well with Harry Roberts.
A second goal soon followed with George hitting a superb reverse stick strike from the top of the circle.
Ben Allberry found the net from an acute angle with another reverse stick shot to put Tunbridge Wells three up inside 15 minutes and leave West Hampstead well and truly on the back foot.
The visitors managed to pull a goal back after some confusion at the back for Wells allowed a loose ball to find its way to the back post for a tap-in into an open net.
The home side responded in the best possible fashion with two more goals from Roberts and Allberry and they went in at half-time 5-1 up.
In the second half Wells continued to control the game through Simon Hare in the middle with Conor Poulain, David Hemsley and Chris Smith looking very solid at the back.
Two goals from Ben Brandt and another for Roberts allowed the hosts to see out the rest of the second half in comfort.
Wells now travel to fourth-placed London Academicals on Saturday (February 24).
The Ladies will be back in action, too, with a visit to Bromley & Beckenham.