Young Dons go for it and leave Marsden with a splendid headache

Wandsworth Guardian: Stepping in: John Harris was part of the Wimbledon team that beat Sheffield Hallam last weekend      SP74838 Stepping in: John Harris was part of the Wimbledon team that beat Sheffield Hallam last weekend SP74838

Wimbledon Hockey Club recorded their third consecutive win the MHL Premier Division on Saturday, and such was the manner of victory, Ben Marsden is enduring the kind of selection headache that all player-coaches like.

Two goals from Ali Brogdon saw off Sheffield Hallam in their own manor, lifting the top-flight new boys to fifth, just two points behind neighbours Surbiton.

Victory in the north came despite the absence of four regular starters, including GB London 2012 Olympic star Ben Hawes, giving a quartet of fringe players their chance to shine.

Joining Hawes on the absent register were Johhny Kinder, James Osborn and Chris Gregg – who have contributed eight goals between them so far this season – and stepping in were John Harris, Sam Mee, Andrew Herbert and 16-year-old Jack Waller.

Marsden said: “It was great for some of the lads who have been doing the training but have not been in the team.

“We have great depth, which is great, and last weekend they did more than play their part.”

He added: “They have been playing second team hockey but were fully integrated into the first team last year.

“They have been training every single week, they are always there and chomping at the bit to get picked.

“So when they did, they took their chance and they did really well. It means we have some difficult decisions to make, which is where we want to be.”

Wimbledon go to the unbeaten leaders Beeston this weekend, with Marsden realistic about their chances – although by letting the train take the strain, things could be very different.

“We had this realistic objective from the start of the season, targeting certain teams to beat and we’ve stuck to it and it has seen us into a good position,” said Marsden.

“We have got nothing to lose going to Beeston, we’ll give it our best shot, but we’re really targeting Cannock at home the following weekend for a win.”

He added: “It’s a long journey, but we took the train to Sheffield and it worked well, the guys could relax more and it was only two hours door to door, so we may do that again for Beeston.”

Wandsworth Guardian:

Out: A hamstring injury means Ben Hawes, left, is out for action for the trip to Beeston this weekend

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