Slazenger went out in the first round of the Hockey Association Trophy on penalties, but could hold their heads up high after a fantastic comeback on Sunday. With several key players absent owing to injury, Slazenger struggled to contain Stockton’s lively forward line in the first half and soon found themselves 3-0 down.
By the start of the second half, Slazenger had come to terms with a difficult bumpy pitch and pulled a goal back through Richard Whawell from a penalty corner. However, Stockton hit back almost immediately and at 4-1 down Slazenger appeared condemned to an early cup exit.
But showing great team spirit, Slazenger began to put some passing moves together and the experienced Simon Chamberlain narrowed the deficity from the penalty spot.
Slazenger’s midfield of Paul Wiper and the Swinden brothers then took charge. Stockton struggled to repel Slazenger’s pacy attacks and at one point were reduced to nine men after a series of poor stick tackled were punished by two yellow cards.
Slazenger completed their comeback as Alec Gilston converted two open play chances. Slazenger went close to clinching the tie during 15 minute s golden goal extra time with Gilston missing his hat-trick by inches.
This left the match to be decided by a penalty stroke competition which Stockton easily won 3-0