Slazenger U16 Boys made a great start to 2014 by returning to the top of the YYHL Division 1 following an unbeaten outing to Harrogate on Sunday.
Fresh from the holiday festivities, the team faced main rivals City of York as well as teams from Ben Rhydding and Harrogate.
Slazenger 1 – 1 City of York
Both teams started brightly, moving the ball confidently and creating chances at both ends. It was York who found a breakthrough with just under 10 minutes played, when an attack down the centre of the field produced a probing ball into the ‘D’ to find a striker who had lost his marker giving him time to tip the ball into the top left corner.
The Slazenger boys responded brilliantly to the early setback and within 2 minutes were rewarded with an equalising goal scored by Matthew Stacey, tipping the ball inside the right post of the York goal.
The remainder of the game continued very evenly with neither team managing to create any clear goal scoring opportunities.
Slazenger 2 – 0 Harrogate
The Slazenger team dominated the game from the start so it was no surprise when the opening goal came after 10 minutes when Aidan Hopkinson pounced on a rebound from a Luke Gueli short corner drag flick to fire the ball into the Harrogate goal.
Two minutes later, Slazenger extended their lead when Robert Cann finished off a flowing move involving Will Copley and Isaac Fisher. Despite concerted attacks the team were unable to find the net again. However, Isaac Fisher came very close when his reverse shot from the top of the ‘D’ glanced off the cross bar.
Slazenger 3 – 0 Ben Rhydding
With the Slazenger team now playing confident, flowing hockey, passing the ball quickly and working together, it was only a matter of time before they were rewarded with an opening goal inside 8 minutes. Will Copley finished another passing move with a reverse shot.
Matthew Stacey then scored 2 goals in under 5 minutes. The first picking up a rebounded shot and the second meeting a pass from Will Copley.
In other games, York beat Harrogate 3 – 0 and Ben Rhydding 1 – 0 meaning that Slazenger finished top on goal difference. The game between Ben Rhydding and Harrogate was won 3 – 2 by Ben Rhydding.