Cambridge City 1 Felixstowe 2
NE4hockey East Men’s League
ON a chilly Saturday morning Felixstowe travelled to Cambridge looking to get back to winning ways after a hard fought draw the week before.
Felixstowe started the game at a high tempo, closing down the Cambridge midfield and defence at every opportunity. The quick bouncy pitch suited the visitor’s game and created a number of attacking moves that caused the opposition defence problems. Cambridge City defended well however, and used their very skilful right half as an outlet for most of their attacking play. The Felixstowe defence repelled any sight of danger, with Dave Healy and Andy Kelcher putting in outstanding displays throughout the match.
Felixstowe got the break through goal mid way through the first half. Alex Woodhouse took a free hit quickly and won the first short corner of the game for the visitors. He then powered a drag flick into the bottom corner of the goal to give Felixstowe a deserved lead.
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Cambridge upped the tempo of their game after this, but again failed to break down a solid midfield and defence, marshalled brilliantly by the Walker brothers. The first time the home side managed to get in behind the defence led to the equalising goal. An unfortunate collision between the Cambridge striker and James John resulted in a penalty flick being awarded. This was efficiently despatched into the right-hand corner by the Cambridge City forward.
As the half was coming to a close most of the play centred in and around the midfield. In the dying seconds Felixstowe managed to pull ahead once again with a well-worked attacking goal. Woodhouse beat two players down the left before finding David Goode bursting through the middle with trademark pace. He calmly collected the ball and sent Jack Entwistle through on goal. He took one touch and squared the ball to Joe Green, who had no trouble tapping the ball into an open goal.
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The second half began with Cambridge pushing up the pitch, trying to apply more pressure on the Felixstowe defence. The visitors worked incredibly hard throughout the match to shut out any potential danger, and allowed their opposition very little time on the ball to create opportunities. This attacking ploy by Cambridge left space at the back, which Felixstowe tried to exploit at every opportunity.
Cambridge City however, we’re given a lifeline half way through the second half. Routine defensive passing from Felixstowe was cut short following a slip by Andy Kelcher at the back. He recovered well from the mishap, but was then adjudged to have fouled the oncoming striker in the process, giving Cambridge, somewhat controversially, their second penalty stroke of the game.
This time Andy Fothergill in goal stood firm and saved a weak attempt by the Cambridge striker, maintaining the lead that Felixstowe hard worked so hard to gain.
With 10 minutes to play Felixstowe dealt themselves a blow, as David Goode was yellow carded for persistent foul play. Felixstowe dropped deeper to grind out the result, and hit Cambridge on the counter attack whenever possible. Shortly before the final whistle the visitors suffered another setback, as midfield warhorse Matt Walker took a ball to the face, ending his game in an instant. The rest of the team battled on however, and secured another three points to send them up to third in the league.
Next week Felixstowe are on the road again with a visit to Upminster, hoping to pile pressure on the league leaders with another three points.
Man of the match – Andrew Fothergill