Hockey: Bury IV v UEA III
Bury IV 0, UEA III 2Determined not to repeat the severe drubbing of the previous weekend Bury set out to be solid for the first half and get a foothold in the game without conceding as they have done recently.
Bury IV 0, UEA III 2
Determined not to repeat the severe drubbing of the previous weekend Bury set out to be solid for the first half and get a foothold in the game without conceding as they have done recently.
Lawson was played in midfield alongside Ballard, Nunn having been called up to play for the third team. With Longfield in goal, Bury lined up Hollins, Chrystal, Cooledge and Staveley across the back, with Gibney and Staines taking the left and right wings respectively and Briggs partnering Ridsdale-Smith up front, the latter making his fourth-team debut.
The formation and tactics paid instant dividends, with everyone in the team knowing the importance of not conceding early, there was great defensive support from both the midfield and forwards, with the defence working superbly and the whole team looking very strong. Both teams had chances, but Bury were playing well and Ridsdale-Smith was showing great potential up front.
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Going in level at half-time was a massive achievement for the team and justly deserved. Re-jigging slightly to allow for the loss of Cooledge, Hollins moved inside to central defence, with Gibney dropping to left-back and Tasker coming on at left-wing.
Starting the second half in much the same spirit as the first, Bury were pushing forward whenever possible, driven by some excellent play from Chrystal, Ballard and Lawson through the middle.
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Gibney was having a fantastic game, now at left-back, solidly protecting that flank and marking their winger out of the game, while Tasker was demonstrating some fine wing play, repeatedly driving in around behind the defence and in across the back line. Some good defending from UEA prevented Bury from exploiting these chances but Bury were doing everything right.
On the right wing Staines was putting on a storming performance, continuing to skin his marker at every opportunity. Attack after attack was created down the right wing but a lack of understanding between him and the forwards prevented the most from being made of these moves. Will Chrystal and Mathew Fildes came on as the half progressed, both to re-energise the Bury attack and to cover for Briggs and Chrystal who had both picked up injuries.
Disaster struck midway through the half. UEA attacked down the right, Hollins went in to challenge the winger but his tackle wasn't strong enough and, pushing through his stick the visiting winger fed his team-mate who slotted past the helpless Longfield.
Increasingly camped in the opposition's half, Bury were mopping up attacks on the break by UEA successfully until, with just a few minutes left, a slip let the visitors in for their second.
Hopefully, the team can build on this performance at Norwich City.