Crane 4 Dereham IV 0
NE14 Hockey East Men's LeagueDivision 4NECrane 4 Dereham IV 0CRANES were much changed from the previous week but were still strong enough to overcome Dereham and move to the top of the league table for the first time this season.
NE14 Hockey East Men's League
Crane 4 Dereham IV 0
CRANES were much changed from the previous week but were still strong enough to overcome Dereham and move to the top of the league table for the first time this season. Crane also earned a first clean sheet of the season, which was some achievement in this free scoring division being only the sixth clean sheet from all 51 league fixtures played this season.
It was all the more impressive when considering reserve keeper Mike Strudwick hadn't played a game this season but looked commanding charging down several Dereham attempts and dealing comfortably with all that they offered. Missing five first team regulars, Crane were boosted by the presence of Aiden Bloomfield in midfield who was instrumental in the opening goal. A sweeping move originating from defence following a Dereham attack swept across the pitch and Bloomfield found himself in space on the left of the circle, he drew the keeper and flicked the ball across the goal toward the far post where Andy Bristow arrived to deflect the ball at waist height into the goal.
Crane's second goal was created and executed with two moments of individual skill; a Crane penalty corner had been well blocked and the Dereham break appeared to be on, only for Cranes sweeper Phill Larbey to steal the ball back just past the halfway line, a quick glance and a clipped hit pass threaded through the lunging sticks of three Dereham players and found Aiden Bloomfield in space on the left hand side, having held his position after injecting the PC.
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Bloomfield took a look at the goal, cut the ball back across two players and drilled his shot into the bottom right hand corner to make it 2-0. Bristow added a third shortly after, scrambling in deflected free hit from Mark Campbell and allowing Cranes to go into the break 3-0 up.
Cranes were less effective after half time, missing their usual work rate in midfield and allowing Dereham to come into the game a lot more. Nonetheless there were still chances to increase their lead, Bristow supplying first Aiden Bloomfield and then Paul Muchal only to see both miss straightforward opportunities to score. Cranes secured the points with a late fourth and a hat trick for Bristow, credit this time to Craig Bloomfield who was aware of the speed of the Dereham defence off the line and slipped a pass to Bristow to flick the ball home.