Some great debutante performances but the Gunning brothers nab a goal each in a well matched contest.
On a bright sunny September Saturday Slazenger’s development team travelled to Huntingdon School to play York. The team was a scratch team with Joshua Swallow and Nick Caldersley making their debut to senior hockey.
Looking at the York team there would be a hill to climb as they had boys aged 15 -16 in their junior part of the team. Undeterred Harry Buttery in goal and a back three consisting of Paul Chilton, Harry Gunning and Dave Gascoigne deflected and kept the oncoming attacks away whilst at the other end of the pitch the front two of Darren Buttery and Peter Gunning had their attacks snuffed out by a particularly good sweeper.
After fifteen minutes the deadlock was broken by a goal with some neat triangular passing from the front three from York. However Slazengers responded with a quick goal themselves, a trio of passes from Harry Gunning, Darren Buttery and Peter Gunning saw the first goal for Slaz with the elder Gunning brother claiming his first for the season.
A tight remaining 10 minutes in the first half let Andy Fisher command the midfield with Nick Claderley showing his ball holding skills on the wing. Unfortunately any attacks from a young Josh Swallow were snuffed out as he was heavily marked, but he showed no fear in his performance. Harry Gunning, who was wanted more of the ball, pulled out of defence chasing the game made a gap for York to capitalise on.
Even the running from Dave Gascoigne couldn’t slow the York attack and they claimed another goal before half time. The second half began with a flurry of activity on the wings, with Chris Gascoigne and Matthew Chilton taking most of the play. Nick Calderly, who had swapped to the centre, was more combative of the three.
Peter Gunning showed some good skill beating the York winger and passed to Harry, his brother. The younger Gunning rounded a defender and passed to Darren Buttery who played a neat one two allowing Harry space to do a neat flick past the keeper making the score 2-2. This would have been a fair result but York drove onto Slazengers, who were tiring now and as they had no substitutes could do little to stem the flow of forward movement with tired legs.
A well placed goal beat Young Harry Buttery in net and as the game was closing a tired defender’s foot stopped the ball on the line inadvertently; a penalty flick against Slazengers saw the game finish with York leading home 4-2. The final scores doesn’t show the good work and team play that was evident through the match though and the team have started the season with many positives.