Birkett goes aeriel and Gunning goes for goal!
A tied affair between two evenly balanced teams produced a well earned goal a piece after 80 minutes of fast and furious hockey in Worksop.
The first half saw a bolstered side for Slaz with Tony Walker, Alan Perry and Chris Hopkinson all standing in for injured or unavailable players. A reunited front two of Peter Gunning and George Fealy saw little of the ball in the first half as a talented number 4 for Worksop ran the play in midfield, in a constant battle with Slaz’s Geoff Birkett. Over the next 30 minutes the midfield players kept to-ing and fro-ing and although Slaz played well the ball was kept in the centre of the pitch as they were unable to get the ball to the wings to push forward.
This season a rejuvenated Matthew Smith had the game of his life in a sweeping role in front of Chris Hopkinson. His energy and tackling earned him many plaudits especially from experienced defender Alex Calderley playing alongside him. With the half time whistle Slaz had chance to regroup and orders were given to tighten up on players, to cut down on loose balls and to get wider to outflank the opposition. A cutting through ball from Calderley onto Elliot Goulding saw the start of a stream of constant attacks and Harry Gunning and Tom Pitchforth both showed great composure on the ball in midfield. Worthy of a mention was Ben Jackson a novice to hockey who in his first game looked like a seasoned pro already.
With the last 10 minutes on the clock Birkett hit a sweet aerial shot that landed on the top of the D to a waiting Peter Gunning. Gunning took the ball with one touch and fired decisively home past a keeper and defender to give Slaz the advantage. This didn’t last long as with a minute to go Worksop took advantage of tired legs and ran through the centre of the field swamping the back four with superior numbers to score leaving honours even on the final whistle.
Man of the Match: Ben Jackson