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Lancaster 1-1 York
An intense, tight battle between Lancaster and York Men’s Hockey 1st’s teams concluded in a desperately unlucky manner for the home side with victory being snatched away with the last hit of the match.
There was no shortage of competitive spirit between the sides as the contest provided a frantic start. Lancaster were first on the attack, having a goal bound shot cleared off the line within the first minute. A short corner followed for York before another Lancaster attack was well defended by the opposition team.
The pace began to settle down 10 minutes in, with the midfield battle taking centre stage. Both sides displayed flashes of precise, assured passing and skill with the ball, without managing to regularly threaten the goalmouth. York produced a fantastic airborne cross-field pass but the finish was just wide of the left post, whilst Lancaster continued to maintain regular bursts forward.
York produced their best spell of first half pressure when securing three short corners within three minutes, but each time resistance was met in the form of a defensive block or save to maintain parity. Lancaster then created a couple of effective attacks in the minutes leading up to half time, but at the break it would be fair to conclude that York had a slight edge in the game.
The visitors continued to be the stronger side for the first ten minutes once play restarted. Two short corners were spurned before York’s Leo Wotton was sent to the sin bin. Despite the man advantage, Lancaster remained under strain, but soaked up the pressure and started to gain the upper hand in the contest as York grew increasingly frustrated at their wasted openings.
After 15 minutes of the second half, there was a definitive switch as Lancaster became the more dominant side, having performed so admirably at the back for so long. Missing both a chance when through on goal, and a short corner attempt, they continued to turn the screw winning a further three short corners. Whilst the first two came to nothing, the third produced the first goal of the match, a scooped finish by captain Matt Abell from a short corner following 27 minutes of second half play.
A boisterous home crowd made themselves heard as belief began to build that Lancaster would secure the victory, having lost and drawn in the previous two years. However, following their goal York, began to move onto the front foot once again.
As the clock ran down, it seemed the stage was set for Lancaster to secure a fantastic victory, but an immensely disciplined performance was blemished in the cruellest of manners. In added time, Lancaster had a player sin binned, before York player Laurie Torrington scored from a short corner in what was the last meaningful contribution to the game.
The contrast in supporters emotions was vast. Whilst Lancaster were deflated, York fans invaded the pitch. However, nothing can detract from the excellent peformance that Lancaster contributed to an incredibly engaging match.