Melton HC First XI edge out Nottingham students

Robust defence from Sam Pollard EMN-170702-133059002
Robust defence from Sam Pollard EMN-170702-133059002

Melton Hockey Club First XI cemented back-to-back wins as they set out to improve their form going into the final quarter of the season.

Against a youthful and spirited Nottingham Trent University side, Melton knew they would be pushed hard.

Ten-man Nottingham Trent Uni go on the attack against Melton EMN-170702-133042002

Ten-man Nottingham Trent Uni go on the attack against Melton EMN-170702-133042002

A lack of numbers for the visitors perhaps ended up being key as they struggled to maintain their usual high tempo game with only 10 men.

In fact, most of the first half was spent with the home side dominating possession and pitch position.

Melton’s control was finally made to count when Pollard stole the ball and raced through to calmly finish past the Trent keeper.

One became two in quick succession, as another counter-attack set Pollard free down the right, allowing him to square for Sibun to dive in and double the lead.

Conscious of complacency, Melton looked to press on in the second half, but squandered good chances to extend the lead and allowed Trent to come back into the game.

Eden made several important stops to protect Melton’s lead, but eventually the pressure told when the visitors reduced the arrears from a short corner.

At 2-1, the game became stretched with Trent missing one golden opportunity to equalise, just before the final whistle.

Melton clung on, a little relieved to have won the game, but hopefully growing in confidence as they aim to climb the East Midlands Premier table.

They sit seventh ahead of their trip to Leicester Westleigh on Saturday, but just eight points off second place.

* Melton HC Ladies’ XI extended their 100 per cent record in Division One of the county league with victory at Loughborough on Saturday.

A 5-0 scoreline made it 13 wins out of 13 and kept them three points clear of second-placed Ashby with five games of the season remaining.

The top two meet at Ashby on Saturday, March 4.