Rutland 1st XI 5 - 3 Sudbury 1st XI
East Men’s Hockey League
Sudbury’s Jekyll and Hyde season continued with defeat to league strugglers Rutland.
Undefeated at home, Sudbury have struggled on the road this season and travelled the 100 miles to Rutland with a squad depleted through injury and unavailability and drafted Stuart Kevis in at centre back.
Playing a young and energetic Rutland side Sudbury were once again slow to start and were pressurised early on and struggled to retain the ball, however it was the visitors who created the first chance as Edd Griffiths deflected the ball at close range only to see a defender clear off the line.
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The home side retained possession well and were dangerous going forward and from their first real atttack the ball crept over the line off Sam Humphreys stick.
Sudbury had a number of chances to level the score, Leigh Bevan’s short corner strike deflected wide of the post and the home keeper made some good saves to maintain the lead.
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The home side extended their lead after a swift passing move bypassed the midfield and a first time shot flew in at Smiths near post before some poor marking found a Rutland forward clear in the D to make it 3-0. It could have been worse as the home side won a penalty corner on the stroke of half time but Gavin Underhay proved his worth again running strongly to block the strike.
The half-time team talk emphasised that Sudbury were still in the game and had they taken their opportunities could easily have been level. After some stirring and colourful language from Burton the visitors flew out of the blocks, winning the ball and within 30 seconds Griffiths had squared to Charles Apter sporting a new haircut to touch home from two yards.
The visitors then scored a second as good work from keefe who stepped in at right back in the second half found Bevan who released Griffiths to score from close range.
Bevan then came close to equalising but his vicious strike flew over the crossbar.
The visitors were then reduced to 10 as Bosman was sin binned though may count himself unlucky as it appeared to be a differentplayer who made the tackle.
The home side pressed but excellent work from Clubb, Burton and Apter supported by the forwards helped shore up the defence to give the visitors a chance of taking something from the game but as Bosman returned the home side won a penalty corner and a crisp routine found the back of the net via a far post tap in.
Sudbury surged forward and Apter scored his second touching home from close range, Bevan then saw his strike saved by the keeper who new very little about it.
With minutes remaining the home side put the game beyond Sudbury as a straight strike was deflected past Smith from point blank range.
This week Sudbury entertain Cambridge City 3’s at the Cornard astro knowing that a win against the team directly below them will create some daylight to the four teams in the relegation places and hoping that teas will be superior to this week’s non appearance.