Slazengers started brightly playing away against a youthful Bradford development side. All the team played with confidence and were looking to pass the ball early and making good use of the wings.
Captain Tim Hunter continually linked up well with Matthew Feather on the wing and helped create a couple of goal scoring opportunities that weren’t converted.
Rowan Tejura and Luke Gueli were controlling the midfield and Bradford could only manage sporadic attacks into the opposition half.
The pressure eventually paid off when Tom Pitchforth broke in from the left hand side and rolled the ball, disappointingly for the home team, through the keeper’s legs for the first goal. Half-time score was 1-0 to Slazengers.
The second half started in a more disjointed fashion with neither side really creating much quality possession and it was Bradford who levelled slightly against the run of play with a well taken short corner that just evaded keeper Ralph Toon’s right boot.
Slaz responded quickly with veteran Dave Smyth netting a brace of goals, in quick succession, simply by being at the far post and his team mates finding him with time and space to convert both chances.
This galvanised the home team who then started to press and have more of the possession. Quick thinking and by moving the ball briskly around the pitch ensured the Slazengers defence was out of position, to allow the home team a couple of golden opportunities to score, which they gratefully accepted.
A good natured, competitive game ended 3-3. Slazengers development team’s next fixture is at home against Bradford.
From Andy Fisher
Match played at Bradford Hockey Club on Saturday 19th March 2011