HOCKEY: Horncastle men extend winning start to season

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

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Horncastle 1st XI 9

Spalding 3rd XI 2

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men’s first team went into the fifth game of the season looking to extend their winning start to the season.

They got off to a better start than the previous week and their early domination paid off when Nick Bennett darted forward to touch past the on-rushing defender to Cam Foster, who was on hand to open the scoring and strike the ball past the keeper.

Horncastle didn’t rest on their laurels and continued to press the Spalding team whenever they got the ball and this pressure soon resulted in a second for Horncastle when Bennett superbly slotted the ball past the keeper. Two shortly became three from a short corner when Foster placed the ball into the bottom corner and not long after it was four after a good passage of play down the right hand side led to Dave Seymour picking the ball up, swivelling and smashing into the corner of the goal.

However, the game was far from over and this was proven when Spalding grabbed two quick goals just before half time.

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

The visitors started the second half looking to get back into the game, but the resilient backline of Murrell, Castleden, J. Cartwright, A. Cartwright, Partridge and Yeldham had other ideas. The defence provided a solid base for Horncastle to go on and score many more goals. This base was built upon by the creative midfield trio of Bennett, Scott and Bee who provided the frontline of Bradley, Seymour, Foster and Gray with an abundance of chances.

Horncastle extended their lead through Bennett who superbly added three more goals to his tally from a succession of corners. It then became 8-2 when the ball fell to Foster who had the simple task of tapping into an empty goal following good build-up play.

The scoring was completed when Bennett deflected the ball into the goal from a Scott shot from the edge of the D.

Horncastle were joined by the owners of sponsors One Stop Spas, showing their support and happy to see the hockey club performing well on the new pitch which their donation helped make possible.

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team action. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle are participating in the County Championships with their first match of the competition against Bourne Deeping next Tuesday (October 25) at 8pm. Anyone with any interest in hockey or curious to see what it is all about is encouraged to come down to the astroturf, at the playing fields, to see the sport in action.

Ely Ladies 1st XI 6

Horncastle Ladies 1st XI 0

The first 10 minutes of the game were very end to end with Horncastle holding their formation well and repelling any attacks.

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team and sponsors One Stop Spas. Photo: John Aron

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team and sponsors One Stop Spas. Photo: John Aron

Relief came in the form of Fliss Beall running the ball down the right wing on three occasions but unable to find the final ball.

Ely started to get the upper hand and the pressure began to tell on the Horncastle midfield and defence. Ely scored their first goal from an intercepted pass and, despite solid goal keeping from Laura Neame and tremendous tackling from the Tokelove sisters, Horncastle were unable to prevent two further goals before half time.

Stephanie Brayshaw moved into the pivot roll after the break, whilst Emily Tokelove picked the ball up inside her own half and with a determined run took on three Ely players, but her final shot just missed the far post.

The midfield continued to show great energy with Alice Cannon, Lottie Hopwood and Bea Spendlove working hard end to end.

But Ely again seemed to raise their game and scored a forth goal which took the wind out of Horncastle. Ely continued to attack and Horncastle conceded a flick which was sent low towards the bottom corner, but saved by keeper Neame.

Ely continued being the more dominant side and scored a further two goals before the final whistle.

With solid performances from all, including an excellent effort from Bea Spendlove, the player-of-the-match went to Alex Tokelove for a determined display and a number of timely tackles.

Horncastle’s first County Championships match is on Thursday (October 20) against Louth at 7.45pm. All welcome.