Mens 2nd’s (7) vs. (2) Sheffield Uni Bankers 6th’s
Slazenger mens 2nd team entertained Sheffield Bankers on Saturday and made it 3 wins out of 3 with a solid 7-2 victory. Slazenger started brightly and put Sheffield under early pressure only to be thwarted by the Sheffield keeper and some poor finishing. The breakthrough came when Matt Stacey attacked from midfield and after a neat interchange of passing, slipped the ball past the onrushing keeper to give Slazengers the lead. Asad Baig quickly made it 2 with a trademark short corner strike only for Sheffield to hit back just before the break to go in to the half at 2-1.
Slazenger were high on confidence following recent good results and some excellent midfield play between Stacey, Amir Khalil and Ben Graham kept Slazenger on top throughout but the main threat came from Ben Jackson who attacked strongly down the right wing. He created a couple of goals and got one himself to complete a man of the match performance. Further 2nd half goals came from Baig who completed his hat-trick, Stacey grabbed his 2nd and a rare strike from Jez Whawell who attacked the ‘D’ and unleashed an unstoppable shot to wrap up the win. Slazengers will travel to promotion chasing Halifax 2’s on Saturday knowing a win should cement safety and Division 3 hockey for the following season.
Mens 3rd’s (3) vs. (0) Hull University 3rd’s
Slazenger 3s took on Hull university in a match that Slazenger were looking to win in order to keep the promotion push going. The game started very evenly before the new look Slazenger midfield started to get on top, with PJ holding the centre that enabled man of the match Matt banks to run the Hull university players ragged. Eventually the pressure paid of when Sam Haigh scored at the back post to put Slazenger ahead. The game continue to be dominated by Slazenger and eventually PJ scored a second to make it comfortable for Slazenger. The game continued to be played in the Hull half for most of the second half with a late goal sealing the 3-0 win they deserved
Mens 4th’s (1) vs. (0) Wakefield 6th’s
Slaz continued their season with a local derby against top of the league Wakefield 6s. The opening exchanges were fairly balanced with both teams looking strong on the ball. Halfway through the first half Slazenger put some pressure on the Wakefield defence and eventually got the first goal through Tom Hyde. Then Slazenger had a nervy 10 minutes before 10 minutes before half time but manage to keep their clean sheet intact so far.
The second half began brightly for the home side as Dan Cass, Harry Lumb and Owen Bland in midfield looked to control the game. Slazenger continued to create chances but could not extend their lead then Wakefield looked for an equaliser late on but their attempts came without triumph. Slazenger held on to win the match 1-0.
Next week Slazenger welcome Chapeltown 4’s as they looked to extend their winning streak.
Ladies 2nd’s (0) vs. (2) Ben Rhydding 2nd’s
Slazenger went to Ben Rhydding to face a dominant top of the league. Slaz ladies worked well as a team with some beautiful passages of play. They defended extremely well, regularly denying them access for a shot on goal. Stacey Drake, Lauren Carruthers and Nicole Fillingham worked tirelessly in defence. Slazengers were unlucky to concede 2 goals over the course of the game. Player of the match was Nicole Fillingham in defence
Ladies 3rd’s (2) vs. (0) Epworth 1st’s
Ladies 3s came away with a much needed 3 points after a solid performance against Epworth on Saturday which saw them move from bottom of the league. Despite the wind and rain the home side went out strong moving the ball well and creating chances from the outset. Epworth had their fair share of chances in the first half too but Slaz defended well and denied the visitors of any goal scoring opportunities, including a couple of well worked penalty corners. A penalty corner for Slazenger created a further opportunity to take the lead, a strong strike from the top of the Epworth D by Captain Ritchey was deflected wide by a defender straight in to the stick of forward Jess Downing on the right post and was unfortunate to go the wrong side of the post. Slazenger continued to put pressure on the visitors, making the most of the space around the back and down the right flank and were rewarded shortly before half time when forward Caro received a well worked cross from the right and passed to player of the match Gaby Giggal to take Slaz in to the lead.
The second half started slow and slightly scrappy, perhaps as players had gotten cold during the half time break due to the relentless wind and rain, however both the weather and the game improved a few minutes in and Slaz were given plenty of opportunity to break in to the Epworth half with Twis and Loz working well down the left feeding to Gaby who made some excellent runs into space on the left wing. Similarly on the right Emma playing some lovely line balls to Justine, supported by Beth and Lucy in the centre. Centre forward Caro was marked tight throughout the half and battled hard to beat her defender, still managing to send some nice passes into the D but unfortunately none could be converted. Another couple of short corners were well worked by Gaby and Lucy but were denied by the Epworth defence. Slaz continued to apply the pressure and came close to a second following a beautifully executed cross from Justine from the right which was narrowly missed by Gaby on the left post going over the back line.
Slaz began to feel the pressure as the visitors made a counter attack beating the back 3 who were quite flat positionally, however keeper Lizzie made the save to keep the game in Slaz’s favour, The pressure continued for the home side as Epworth were awarded 3 short corners in quick succession all of which were denied by the determined Slaz defence. Finally the pressure eased when at the other end Slaz were awarded another short corner. This time a mis-trap from Ritchey was recovered by Justine and a good call from Caro on the left slip resulted in Slaz’s second beating the keeper on the right post, with Lucy Howarth making sure.
A win for ladies 3s means they are no longer at the bottom of the table but they still have a lot of work to do to avoid relegation.
Ladies 4th’s (0) vs. (12) Rotherham 2nd’s
The ladies 4th team faced Rotherham’s 2nd team this weekend and expected a challenging game with Rotherham being top of the league. However, the 12-0 defeat wasn’t quite expected by Slazengers who struggled to break outside of their defensive quarter for much of the game.
Despite the score line, there were moments of brilliance with Lizzie Tunstall saving a penalty flick in the first few minutes and Josie Hughes making a single handed run for goal shortly before the end of the first half.
Slazengers looked stronger in the second half but by this time, Rotherham were more than aware that they were the stronger team and played a kicking back allowing Rotherham to push forward and focus on shots on goal. Lizzie Tunstall was kept busy and her efforts were awarded by being voted player of the match.