Slazengers wanted a strong response after their recent setback and didn’t disappoint in the match at home against Sheffield Hallam.
From the start Slazengers started with a good tempo and with a slightly altered team formation, played a more pressing game than in their recent performances. Time and again the home team managed to get behind the opposition defence, turn the defenders and create some great scoring opportunities.
That said, Sheffield Hallam had a strategy of their own to try and press the player in possession and force mistakes. They knew the dangers the home team presented after a strong performance by Slazengers in their previous encounter this season. Sheffield continued to press for the whole of the first half but began to concede goals halfway through the half and continued to do so for the rest of the game.
Returning striker Andy Birkett came of the sub bench to start the scoring with a well taken reverse sweep of his first touch of the game. He quickly followed that up with another and the trend was set for the rest of the match.
Slazengers went into the half time break 3-0 up.
Second half the home team had to soak up a bit of early pressure but once the away team had conceded another goal from a well taken penalty corner you could see that Sheffield’s enthusiasm for the game was waning.
It was encouraging to see that Slazengers maintained their focus and hunger for goals. Ian Hedges contributed with a brace, as did forward Steve Johnson, defender Mark Kitchen converted another penalty corner as did Andy Birkett for his hat-trick and Alex Calderley, debuting as a winger, coolly slotted into the bottom corner from the top of the goalmouth.
Goal of the day was started by half back Alan Perry when he spun and outpaced his marker to drive the ball down the sideline to find man of the match Andy Birkett unmarked in the final quarter who drew the keeper of his goal line before deftly passing to Darren Buttery for a simple tap in to an empty net.
Final score 10-1.