Slazenger’s development team played on Saturday after two weeks away from the field. This was the second, home leg against Rotherham which ended 3-3 in their last encounter. Unfortunately, the second game ended with a draw even after a great performance from a young team, growing in confidence.
The first half started brightly, with a strong surge of activity down the right hand side. Link up play from Robin Brearton, Josh Petty and Issac Fisher split the defence and gave the opposition’s keeper an early test. However, even with continued pressure of an aggressive front line Rotherham’s defensive line held strong.
Several short corners later, and the team had yet to score the decisive opener. A quick move from the right wing, and a powerful cross found veteran striker Ian “Flash” Gordon. It was a simple tap in to secure the opener. However this was disallowed, as it had been decided to limit scoring to junior players only. So it was back to square one for the eager side. A couple of breaks through the Slazenger line tested the mid field, though with the Rowan Tejura and Nathan Crowther holding the line, Slazenger maintained clear sheet through the first half.
Going into the second half, the pressure continued through Slazenger’s strike team, and it paid off with a combination play setting up Robin Brearton for a clear strike on goal; defeating the keeper in a single shot. In the end, this was not enough and while Slazenger had several chances; most notable a shot by Isaac Fisher falling wide of the mark, it was Rotherham who scored next. A brief loss of concentration allowed the equaliser, slipping through the defence and defeating star keeper Ralph Toon.
The scoreline remained 1-1 until the whistle blew. Slazenger can come away confident with the way the team has improved in the last 3 months, though may be disappointed that the possession could not be converted to a decisive win after the two week’s away. Next week Slazenger face off at home against York who sit at the top of the table.
By Ian Hedges
From match against Rotherham Development Squad at Slazenger Hockey Club on Saturday 6th November 2010
Team List: John Toon, Ralph Toon (Keeper), Ian Hedges, Nathan Crowther, Isaac Fisher, Rowan Tejura, Robin Brearton, Matthew Feather, Alan Bates, Josh Petty, Tom Pitchforth, Robert Cann, Andrew Fisher (Captain), Ian Gordon,