Double win for Knutsford Hockey Men.
Knutsford return from a weekend off and return for one thing only – 3 points
KHC Men’s 2nd Team: The time was coming when Knutsford 2nd team new that their attempts at the passing game would come to true fruition. With the bonus of Ed Higgs at the back, the return of Nick Pedlow and with the ever dependable Paul Ford, Dave Riley, Iain Laurence and Ben Cashmore the squad believed we had a chance of beating a team that had only lost in the league once this season.
Knutsford determined to break Chester’s record and break their own succession of Welsh defeats saw the first ten minutes show with David Hickson getting one chance and Richard Jones having 2 but the opposition keeper was up to the task and on form. In seeing this the men in yellow saw the chance to grip the game by the scruff of the neck and the passing at times was superlative, intricate one two’s and sublime through balls, notable performance with the appearance of second team rookie George Nairn, showing that he is ready to step up to a new level. Almost won himself Man of the match for the way he slotted in on the right side of midfield and helped Knutsford dominate the game, with his dynamic runs down the right.
The opening goal was due and it came, from a sprayed out ball wide right to Richard Jones and in his usual fashion took it 15 yards and then creamed it into a packed circle, where the goal poacher himself Mike Leaning popped up and did what he does best and slotted the ball behind the net from the back post. The second team where not done though, still playing a pressing game they pushed forward, yet again the ball was played wide right and Richard Jones smashed the ball in, where Dave Hickson gratefully received and with a deft touch sent the ball goalwards beautifully which had their keeper wrong footed. Dave Hickson always ready to celebrate was just ready to punch the air with joy only to see team mate Andy Wright touch the ball into the open goal to “rob the ball at the last minute” to ensure it went in saw him win Man of the Match again.
Thinking this should be enough Knutsford took their foot off the gas and Chester acted straight away with their striker scoring on the turn. Which left the score 2 – 1 at half time.
Half time team talk from Paul Armstrong with more of the same but the desire to win must be tainted with the reality that you have to work even harder to keep it going.
In the second half there was; numerous short corners for Chester in the second half with Paul Armstrong making some superb saves and the defence standing firm. Ball back at the other end, Dave Hickson had a shot on the half volley which narrowly missed the goal , Richard Jones doing an aerial over the oppositions circle and with Knutsford asleep again for the first 15 minutes and woke up and started to play the first half hockey again and after a few small skirmishes Joel Evans battled through to send a pin perfect pass to Richard Jones in the circle which required a delicate touch to nutmeg the advancing keeper.
MOM Andy Wright for such a superb and indeed spectacular goal. DOD Dave Hickson for well see the reason for Andy getting MOM. Knutsford face Bebington 3s who are 1 place above Chester so Knutsford will need to continue there form and step up to the plate. Final Score: Chester Mens’s 4’s 1 – Knutsford 2’s 3
KHC Men’s 3rd Team:
Knutsford Hockey Club Men’s 3s are making a habit of this. Winning that is! we are starting to look a pretty good side and the great thing about Saturday was that it demonstrates that the 3s are now able to win not only games that we dominate, but also games like this; against a very good side who gave their all, tried different tactics against us, even a bit of strong arm bully boy stuff, but still couldn’t break us down.
Deeside 6s is their vet’s side so they were all 40 odd with one or two in their 50s, but with age of course comes experience and we knew it would be a very hard game against one of the divisions big 5.
This Deeside team had no intention or expectation of losing to Knutsford’s dads & lads combo, but for 10 minutes the ball was all with Knutsford and Deeside were somewhat perplexed as Karl Stanier & Dave Rees bossed the centre of the pitch, Chris James & Matt Lynes ran the forward channels intelligently, and the back 4 of Ollie Lasham, Steve Hope, Andy Lynes & Simon Crabtree were unforgiving in the tackle.
Indeed, Matt Robbins in goal had his pipe & slippers out for much of the 1st 35, after roughly 20 minutes and just as Deeside were building a foothold Dave Rees, Matt Lynes and Will Hewins at right half developed a nice position and Karl Stanier gave Deeside’s ex 1st team keeper no chance.
1 – 0 at half time and Deeside were not best pleased.
Captain Steve hope left his troops under no illusion of what was expected of them in the 2nd half. ‘mistakes will happen at this level so theres no disgrace in that’ he said, ‘but there will be no excuse for lack of commitment or guts’. our heroes responded with continued character and showed a robust approach to the second half, which was required as Deeside’s rambling old boys changed their approach and threw everything hard & deep into their right wing. Simon Crabtree at left back kept the baldy Deeside grumbler in his pocket with the occasional desperate covering lunge from Andy Lynes or Steve Hope.
But Knutsford remained solid and spilt blood for the cause of 3 points. Infact Knutsford could have made it 2 – 0 once or twice but snatched at their chances. Matt Robbins finally got his £5 worth by making 2 top class saves in the closing seconds – saves the like of which arn’t often witnessed at North West Division 9 South. Final Score: Knutsford HC 3’s 1 Deeside Ramblers 6’s 0
The 3s travel to mid table rivals Runcorn 2s on Saturday lacking 2-3 of the older heads, but with luck should welcome back martin baker plus 1-2 others. The U18s however have a big opportunity to cement their places.