Melton Hockey Club: First XI up to third after Leicester win

Jason Creed restored Melton First XI's lead against Leicester EMN-171024-190642002
Jason Creed restored Melton First XI's lead against Leicester EMN-171024-190642002
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Melton Hockey Club First XI returned to winning ways on Saturday following their tough away loss to Nottingham Trent University.

Hosting Leicester, Melton faced another side with a much younger average age, and found the same spirit and determination which had been evident in their opening two games of the season.

The home side started brightly and forced the inexperienced Leicester side back, earning several short corners.

Despite some dangerous Leicester breaks, Melton managed to keep their foot on the gas and eventually broke the deadlock.

Good work by Taylor, Pollard and Willcock saw the latter eventually poke the ball across the penalty area to the waiting Kendall, who dispatched a shot high into the net.

The visitors responded well, and moved onto the front foot, and facing several skilful youngsters, the Melton backline found itself stretched.

Eden in goal made several key saves, while Taylor, Messina, Brown, and the debutant Montague-Smyth, battled to keep the attackers at bay.

Despite the home side’s resolve, eventually, a well-struck short corner put the visitors back on level terms.

Leicester continued to press in the second half, but Melton began to carry a bigger threat on the counter.

After the older of the two Eden brothers won the ball in midfield, he released Willcock, who in turn squared for the on-rushing Creed to calmly slot the ball past the keeper.

At 2-1, the game became stretched, with Melton’s defence and midfield once more making a telling contribution to keeping out Leicester.

When the visitors did break the back line, Eden junior was in inspired form to keep Melton’s lead intact.

With the game on a knife edge, Willcock broke away again and found Kendall in the area. He turned and slotted home his second of the day to give the hosts some valuable breathing space at 3-1.

Melton ran the clock down and never really looked like conceding again as they earned a win which lifted them to third place in the East Midlands Premier Division.

The performance also raised confidence ahead of their trip to struggling Nottingham on Saturday.