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Maidenhead HC captain Cowell believes second lockdown could work in side's favour

Maidenhead skipper Phil Cowell believes the second national lockdown may have come at the right time to check his side’s faltering form.

While the Maids captain would rather the country wasn’t in another lockdown, he admits it might work in his side’s favour as they look to get their last three defeats out of the system.

Maids got off to a flyer this season, winning two of their opening three games to sit top of the MBBO Premier Division 2 West table after three matches. But three consecutive defeats – the latest of which was a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Woking – has seen them slip down to eighth.

So, while not playing until December 5 at the earliest is a frustration, a four-week reset may just be what Maids need.

“We had such a strong start and were unbeaten and sitting top after three games,” said Cowell. “So to have three defeats in a row is pretty disappointing.

“We just weren’t at the races in our last match against Woking so, while we wouldn’t want to be in a lockdown, the timing of it could work in our favour.

“It’s going to give people a chance to get their injuries right and come back fresh, provided they keep themselves fit over the four weeks.”

The league has emailed Maidenhead asking them to be ready to play their home match with Southgate 2nds on December 5, but it’s still far from certain that the club will get back to competitive action before the Christmas break.

Cowell is, however, still confident at this stage that the league season will be completed.

“It may be that we get two or three matches crammed in before Christmas,” said Cowell. “But we’ll have to wait on further instruction from them on that.

“At this stage I’m not too worried as I think we will be able to get the season in.

“It just depends on whether the Government announces further restrictions. There are other contingencies in place if we lose more time, for example playing each side just once.

“Against a team like Woking, we’ll want to have the opportunity to play them at home to try and pick up those three points.

“We’re hoping we can get the season finished but we’ll just have to see how things pan out with COVID.”

Reflecting on how the tide has turned against Maids this season, Cowell added: “The Bournemouth game which we lost 2-1 was nip and tuck. It could have gone either way really so we weren’t too disappointed with that.

“Then we lost 3-2 at home to Tulse Hill and were disappointed with that because we played some very good hockey.

“Short corners just didn’t quite click on the day. We had a number of them and a number of good chances. Tulse Hill took the few chances which came their way. Losing that was disappointing but we weren’t too disheartened because we’d played well.

“But the Woking game was one of those days where they scored from every attack they had in the first half. At that stage it was just about consolidating.

“We drew the second half 1-1 had a few more chances, but we’ve just got to take that one on the chin.

“We’ve got this break now so hopefully that result is gone and out of the mind and we can refocus on our first three performances.”

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