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Lancaster 2-3 Manchester
A flat tyre on the coach of the Manchester men’s hockey seconds delayed their game against Lancaster men’s firsts by half an hour, yet left the travelling side unfazed as they edged to victory in a close fought contest.
The first ten minutes began with Lancaster having the better of the chances. Pressure from the short corner forced a save from the
Manchester keeper in the opening minutes of the game.
Manchester sought to keep possession in the early stages, passing the ball around the field nicely whilst Lancaster set out with attacking intent from the off.
A good pass from the Lancaster midfield to the right flank then set up a dangerous run into the box with the ball having to be kicked away by the Manchester keeper. The resulting short corner saw a Lancaster shot go wide.
Another promising Lancaster attack saw Adrian Talbot, Sam MacAllister and Chris Goddard combine together with some intricate passing until Goddard’s attempt was blocked by the keeper.
Some good attacking pressure by Lancaster paid off when they opened the scoring around the 20-minute mark; Joe Purvis slotted the ball away after a good pass by James Perry found him in the ‘D’.
Lancaster’s lead lasted only a matter of seconds as Manchester quickly responded with a goal of their own at the restart. Having
saved a previous shot on goal, Lancaster’s keeper Josh Latham found himself flat on the floor leaving an open goal which Manchester exploited with a shot that bounced in off the far post. The goal came much to the protest of Lancaster who argued their was an infringement in the first shot on goal which should have rendered the follow up shot null and void.
Lancaster kept the pressure up towards the end of the first half with breaks into the ‘D’ from James Perry and a shot from Stephen McGarth which soared wide after some great attacking play had opened up the Manchester defence.
The half finished 1-1 with Lancaster having the best of the chances but Manchester still looking threatening in possession.
A Lancaster miss-pass during the opening stages of the second half saw Manchester take the lead for the first time in the game. The resulting pass into the box was slotted in by the Manchester attack.
A period of threatening Manchester play then resulted in their second goal ten minutes in to bring the score to 3-1 leaving Lancaster desperately chasing the game.
A period of dangerous short corners saw Lancaster’s best chance to narrow the deficit. The first saw a Lancaster shot stopped on the line whilst the second saw Captain Matt Abell’s strike crash into the post. The third saw a fantastic save from the Manchester keeper stop the shot.
Despite the intense pressure Lancaster where lumbering on the Manchester defence, the away side almost scored their fourth goal of the match when the Manchester striker found himself one on one with the keeper with the Lancaster defence in complete disarray. Fortunately for Lancaster, the man halted his advance and tried to turn the last man to get a shot away, his shot soared wide of the post.
The elusive goal finally came to Lancaster in the 53rd minute of the game when Captain Matt Abell scored from the short corner.
Further attempts to push for the equaliser in the latter stages of the game came to nothing however.
The final score finished 3-2 to Manchester.
Lancaster must count themselves unlucky to have conceded defeat in a game which looked throughout to be theirs for the taking. However, a strong defence from Manchester including a stand out performance from their keeper insured that many of Lancaster’s promising attacks came to nothing.