LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 1 at Leicester Westleigh Men’s 1st XI 5

MRHA T2 – East Midlands 1

Saturday 3rd November 2018

The sun rose over a chilly Leicestershire as the two teams at the bottom of the league prepared to battle it out. Town, emboldened by their strong performance last week against Melton were looking to extend their lead over Westleigh.

A strong mix of veterans and newcomers took the game to Westleigh early. Passing was strong and the coach’s favourite Tommy Ross worked hard in the middle to keep the game flowing. Pete Hayes returned from his training camp in Spain to take up a role in the middle, having been replaced by new signing Hugo at bottom of the diamond. Town’s strong play did not last, as complaints about the pitch and some silly errors allowed Westleigh to breach the defence. Veteran centre back and Joe Wick’s personal trainer Mark Dalby worked tirelessly at the back to prevent Westleigh from penetrating the defence again. Despite the best efforts of the experienced defensive unit, Westleigh were able to put away three more goals past goalkeeper Alan. The youth squad, comprised of the cohesive unit of Ollie Jephcott and Jono Griffiths, alongside Ollie Taylor and Chris Hastings worked tirelessly up front to even the score, but to no avail.

The half ended with Westleigh 4-0 up, leading captain Pete to deliver his most delicate, supporting team talk to date. Inspired by his words, Town started the second half with renewed energy. Half backs Liam, Nathan and Mike worked well delivering the ball up the wings. A plethora of short corners were given in Town’s favour, with frustratingly few looking threatening. Persistence, though, paid off eventually. Ollie Taylor was able to do what seemed impossible; deflect the ball in from the back post. This stunning piece of hockey gave new fire to the Town players, but Westleigh were quick to try and respond. An exceptional use of footwork down the right wing gave Westleigh a threatening attack, fortunately stopped at the top of the D. Mark Dalby’s apprentice Rory Cook enjoyed a quick chat with the umpire regarding some of the decisions, quickly quashed by Hayes. Town continued to look threatening as the game went on, coming tantalisingly close to crossing the goal line on several occasions. A green card for Hayes for a minor tantrum late in the second half left Town vulnerable, but the team rallied and continued to keep Westleigh out, although goals remained elusive. A late break from Westleigh allowed them to put one more past the keeper, leaving the final score as 5-1.

A disappointing result for Town, but the season is young and as the squad settles in the wins are sure to come.

Man of the Match – Liam Brown

Categories: Match Reports