Victory for Crane
NE14 Hockey Division 4NECrane 3 Norwich Union III 1Crane secured their first three points of the season with a hard fought and well deserved win against a Union side with some talented players.
NE14 Hockey Division 4NE
Crane 3 Norwich Union III 1
Crane secured their first three points of the season with a hard fought and well deserved win against a Union side with some talented players. The scoreline could easily have been reversed had Union kept up the intensity of their first half performance for the whole game, they were causing the Crane defence real problems with their long range passing utilising the tactic of bypassing the midfield to find their skilful wingers. Revan Jones and Andy Hicks were having a good day though and were able to successfully thwart the waves of attacks and on the rare occasion Union did break through, they found Crane keeper Dan Murray wasn't in the mood to concede, despite a scorching shot that rebounded high off Murray's post that threatened to break the deadlock. With the away team dictating the pattern of the game, there was acres of space in midfield but Crane pairing Campbell and Elden seemed unsure how to best exploit it, the deep sitting defence preventing them making the telling passes to the forward line that they would have liked. Crane did start to take control only to concede against the run of play, a long ball finding their pacy right-winger who managed to slip the ball under the onrushing Murray.
Crane pressed on regardless and were soon on level terms, a superbly taken true and accurate strike from Andel Williams into the bottom left after picking up a difficult rebound from the keeper following a penalty corner. Half time came with the scores level and Crane restarted with some fresh tactics which paid off when Crane skipper Andy Bristow picked up the ball deep in his half on the left and carried the ball into the space, beating two defenders before drawing the keeper and squaring the pass to the supporting Williams for his second goal of the game and the easiest he'll score all year. Union responded, but not in the right way arguing with the umpires on every decision as Crane continued to pressurise and they were punished badly for this loss of focus shortly afterwards. Whilst the whole defence was disputing a free hit just outside the area, Mark Campbell stood over the ball and delivered the perfect cross for Bristow to deflect high into the net for a 3-1 lead. Discipline and tempers now lost, Union struggled to reassert themselves and bizarrely failed to utilise their most skilful players giving Crane a comfortable victory.