Davis Wood Hockey League
East Central Division One
Wotton-under-Edge 2nds 0 Wooton Bassett 4
FACING the unbeaten champions-elect with a goal difference of +105, and the same team who had knocked Wotton’s first team out of the cup, Wotton seconds would have been forgiven for approaching this match with some trepidation.
However, given their performances in 2014 so far, the Blues were determined to take the game to their opponents and not park the bus in a damage limitation exercise.
This policy seemed to be paying dividends in the first half with the home side getting the better of the early exchanges.
However, they couldn’t secure the goal their efforts deserved.
Finally, one of Bassett’s speedy attacks on the break led to an overlap which they clinically exploited; but given the context Wotton took heart from holding their opponents to 1-0 at half-time and Bassett tempers were beginning to fray.
Ten minutes into the second half, after another great run down the right flank from Sam Willcox, Wotton looked to have equalised when Andy Stockley pounced on a quickly taken free hit, but following a long consultation between the officials it was ruled out.
Bassett lost a player to the sin bin and Wotton were very much in the game with Andy Edwards and Steve Dexter providing high energy in midfield.
However, Bassett were dangerous and clinical on the break and a crazy five minutes saw Wotton ship three unanswered goals, which took the sting out of the game.
Basset showed their class, but the scoreline looked unfairly lopsided given the home side’s valiant efforts.
Wotton will be cross that some naivety and tired defending at the back led to those three goals, but they can be proud of their efforts against the team head and shoulders above every other in the division.
The Marches Division Two
Wotton-under-Edge 3rds 2 Lydney 2nds 5
LYDNEY showed why they have one of the few 100 per cent records in West of England hockey with an exhibition of pace and accurate passing in the first 20 minutes.
Resolute defence by Wotton’s back four of Tim Saunderson, John MacKenzie, Pete George and Simon Howard, and good saves from Joss Beeley prevented a goal from open play.
However, the Blues dealt less well with a string of penalty corners which yielded three goals for the visitors, albeit one coming from a penalty stroke after a goal-bound shot struck a defender.
For the remainder of the first half Wotton fought for pride but still shipped another goal following careless loss of possession in the midfield.
The Blues regrouped at half-time and produced a feisty second half, incredibly largely played in the league leaders' half.
Young guns Callum Niddrie, Ben Eames and Pat Carr put in a huge effort for the side to build an attacking platform in midfield.
It was no surprise when Wotton got a goal back from a well-struck Mike Froggatt penalty corner and further reduced the deficit when Edd Hill’s clever pass allowed Olly White to smash home a goal on his debut.
Lydney had the last word when a piece of individual skill saw an unstoppable reverse stick shot flash into the top corner of the Blues’ net.
* Wotton firsts lost 2-1 at Cardiff & Met in De Cymru and The Marches One