EML Division 3NW
Horncastle Men’s 1sts 3
City of Peterborough 4ths 2
After two weeks of disappointment due to inclement weather, Horncastle Hockey Club’s Men’s Firsts welcomed City of Peterborough Fourths for their first league game since December 10.
Horncastle started strongly, taking early control and dominating possession.
But in spite of this Peterborough looked dangerous when on the ball.
Some resolute defending by Horncastle’s backline kept them at bay, allowing them to build from the back.
With Horncastle creating chance after chance, the only thing missing was the the finishing.
After several balls flashed across the face of the Peterborough goal and a number of penalty corners were defended well, the ball fell to Nick Bennett on the edge of the Peterborough D.
Bennett rounded two defenders and flicked the ball past the Peterborough keeper into the back of the net to give Horncastle a deserved lead.
The second half saw the hosts double their advantage as J. Cartwright brought the ball out of defence and found C. Foster, who was one on one with the Peterborough keeper.
Foster drew the keeper wide before calmly finishing with a reverse stick strike into the far corner.
After the re-start Horncastle were straight back on the offensive, Foster squaring the ball to the onrushing D. Seymour to sweep the ball home.
Despite Horncastle’s three-goal cushion, Peterborough started dominating the game and Horncastle’s lapse allowed Peterborough to take the initiative, scoring twice in quick succession to gain a foothold in the game.
Horncastle managed to re-group and see out the game, though credit must go to Peterborough for their tenacity.
On Saturday Horncastle travel to face Spalding.
EWL Division 4NW(N)
Haverhill Ladies 1
Horncastle Ladies’ 1sts 1
Following last week’s strong performance against Peterborough, Horncastle Ladies took to the hockey pitch once again in their game away against Haverhill.
After a long drive the game finally commenced with Horncastle, in their new purple away kit, disorganised to begin with due to a rushed warm-up.
This allowed Haverhill too many attacking opportunities, but the defence stayed strong, intercepting balls and picking up the opposition’s attacking players.
Great play was seen from E. Tokelove, who consistently released the ball down the pitch, giving Horncastle some much-needed respite.
The midfield worked the ball up the pitch, allowing the forwards access into the D, but the much-needed Horncastle goal wasn’t to be.
Late into the first half, Haverhill broke through the away team’s defence, creating chaos in the D and scoring the first goal of the game.
Shortly before the half time whistle blew, Horncastle conceded a short corner which led to a strong save by keeper Neame.
Horncastle returned to the pitch after an intense team talk with coach Mark Johnston, re-energised and determined.
The midfield pressed deeper into Haverhill’s defence, creating some goal scoring opportunities.
Brilliant runs down the wing were made by Hopwood, with Cannon supporting in the middle.
Within minutes of the second half, Roark and H. Wood managed to capitalise on this forward play.
Working together, the two players skilfully entered the D and - with a solid shot on goal from H. Wood - Horncastle levelled the scores.
Finally settled into their positions, Horncastle improved but found Haverhill a very evenly matched and competitive opposition, who pushed them hard.
There was a lot of ball movement from both ends of the pitch, some great channelling from defender A. Tokelove and some fabulous breaks through the defensive line by the midfielders.
One of which enabled Rourk to drive into the D and take a strong shot across the goal.
The ball hit the post hard and rebounded out, and with no forwards quite close enough to get a stick on it Horncastle’s hopes of snatching victory disappeared.