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Mens 4th XI - Match centre

Kettering 4
Kettering 3
Sat 24 Feb 13:00 - East Men's Hockey League - Division 6NW (S) Full time

Feisty match against 3's

Injuries mar a good performance.

This week was the match that we were looking forward to in the second half of the season.A chance to see how the 4's stack up against our more illustrious club mates.

The 4's were definitely determined not to make it easy for the 3's. But for the first 5 minutes the 3's pushed forward applying early pressure to seek the breakthrough and put the game to bed. They were employing fast passing along with good movement to get the ball into the wide channels to get crosses into the box. 4's took some risks in defense and these attacks proved fruitless with shots going wide or being saved by Brendan in the goal.

Driven on by the experience of Mark Hawkins , the team came more into the game, keeping their shape and generally putting the opposition under pressure. The game descended into a tetchy affair. With niggles, stick tackles and some words being said between the two teams. This set the pattern for the rest of the game.

The better movement of the 3's eventually caused a breakthrough. With their midfielders finding more space. One particular drive into the D by Geoff Elliott produced a good save from the goalie for Adam Mills to step up and slot home the rebound. Not to be outdone the 4's didn't let their heads drop and continued to persevere to try and match better skill with a higher work rate.

The highlight for 4's, was when a rare attack on the opposition defense caused a penalty corner to be awarded. Lee Paris injected an accurate ball to the top of the D to Tony Heath to collect the ball and strike it down a channel that had opened up in the defense to score into the bottom corner past a sprawling keeper admittedly there was a suspicion that the ball was struck outside of the D but the goal was given.

Further attacks from 3's pushed the 4's back. Desperate defense and goal keeping kept the scores level. But eventually 3 scored another goal from Dan Carter reacting more quickly than the defense in clearance to slide the ball home. Towards the end of the first half, a couple of injuries to Justin Smith (Ankle) and Mark Hawkins (knee) caused a rejig in formation and personnel and the 4's just about held on until the whistle.

The second half was more of the same. A containment exercise with strong robust defense making the thirds work hard for the win. Gavin Ferries took a blow to the face whilst tackling which forced him off for the rest of the match with a split lip and a dazed look in his eye. This was symptomatic of the commitment being shown by the 4's players. Unfortunately, the third goal came late into the third half, with Wallace Cairns, who had provided a threat to the defence the entire game, eventually finding a way through to score.

Next, the fourth team will be travelling away to face Ely 2s.

Team selection

Read, Brendan Read, Brendan
Smith, Justin Smith, Justin
Parkes, Nigel Parkes, Nigel
Bennett, Matthew Bennett, Matthew
Plevin, Tim Plevin, Tim
Ferries, Gavin Ferries, Gavin
Heath, Tony Heath, Tony
Hawkins, Mark Hawkins, Mark
McDowell, Tim McDowell, Tim
Mayes, Ben Mayes, Ben
Paris, Lee Paris, Lee

League round up

Other Division 6NW (S) results

St Ives 5
1
5
Cambridge South 4
0
4
St Ives 4
Cambridge South 5
5
0
St Neots 5

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
4. Cambridge Nomads 3 18 36
5. Ely City 2 18 33
6. Cambridge South 5 18 22
7. St Ives 5 18 19
8. St Neots 5 18 11
9. Kettering 4 18 9
10. Ely City 3 18 5

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