LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 3 vs Northampton Saints Men’s 2nd XI 1

MRHA T2 – East Midlands 1

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Following a disappointing 4-0 loss last week, the Men’s 3rd XI were looking to get back onto the winning form they had been on previous weeks. Town faced Northampton Saints 2nd XI in what could be considered a must win game for both teams.

From the off it was a close game, with neither team looking their best for the first ten minutes of the game. Each team had several scoring chances within this time, however, both teams failed to convert any of their chances and the game remained goalless.

Following this was a fairly dominant period of play from Northampton, due to both a lack of composure from Town and some very direct and effective counter-attacks from the opposition. This resulted in an abundance of scoring opportunities presented to Northampton, which lasted around ten to fifteen minutes. Due to some exceptional saves from Jaimin Metcalf, as well as some mistakes in the D from the opposition, Town managed to prevent Saints from going ahead in the game.

The lack of goals clearly started to frustrate the opposition, leading to an increase in the number of mistakes they were making. Their frustration became even more apparent after one of their players decided he would push Jono Griffiths to the ground after the whistle had been blown for a foul against him. This resulted in a green card for the opposition player, which felt very generous considering what had happened. However, Town still made the most of the one-man advantage gained, with Jono scoring not too long after the incident with a calm flick over the grounded keeper into the back of the net.

With not long before half time the tides began to change and Town found themselves becoming the stronger team, with the opposition becoming more and more frustrated. This rewarded Town with a short corner moments before the end of the half, which Town failed to convert after a very elaborate routine resulted in the ball being passed out of play. Despite being the weaker team overall in the first half, Town found themselves 1-0 up at the halfway point.

The halftime talk was a relatively positive one this week, as Town knew they had gained the mental advantage over their opposition and the inspiring words of the captain made sure that they did not start the second half in the same manner in which they had started the game.

The hockey was much smoother from Town at the start of the second half, with a massive reduction in the amount of times Town were losing the ball. This in turn reduced the amount of chances Northampton were receiving, which increased the frustration of their players, resulting in more mistakes from them.

Town found themselves creating many more chances than they had in the first-half and not too long in to the half Town found the back of the net again. This time the goal came from Matt Horsfall, with what will likely be the goal of the season. Matt found himself at the top of the D surrounded by opposition players, who were swiftly beaten by Horsfall, and then ball was then flicked into the air and volleyed beautifully past the keeper to make it 2-0. Town followed this up by creating several more scoring chances, whilst mostly restricting the number of chances that Northampton were getting, however the game remained 2-0.

With around ten minutes left, Northampton managed to get back into the game after converting from an aerial over Town’s defense. This changed the flow of the game drastically, with the opposition now pressing much higher and an increase in the amount of mistakes Town were making.

Fortunately for Town they restored their two-goal advantage over the Saints, with around five minutes left, thanks to a goal from Elliott Crocker. This relieved most of the pressure, however Northampton did receive two late short-corners, neither of which were converted, and the game finished 3-1 to Town.

MOM went to Matt Horsfall, mainly due to his incredible goal.

This win takes the Men’s 3 XI up to 5th in the table with an away trip Nottingham next week in what should hopefully be another win.

Categories: Match Reports