Melton hockey: Creed hat-trick propels Seconds to Boots win

Jason Creed struck a hat-trick for Melton Seconds against Boots EMN-160217-123149002

Jason Creed struck a hat-trick for Melton Seconds against Boots EMN-160217-123149002

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Melton Second XI produced their best win of the season on Saturday by beating promoting-chasing Boots with a good all-round team performance.

The home side started strongly with some solid play from the back four and went ahead when good work from the right wingers Stark and Willcock earned a short corner which Creed flicked past the keeper after a one-two with Willcock.

Melton continued to look solid, limiting chances for the opposition and went further ahead thanks to a straight strike from Creed after good work from Willcock to win another short corner.

In the second half Melton knew Boots would hit back hard and the visitors pulled a goal back five minutes after the break.

But Willatts and Ross held firm to weather the storm as the hosts gradually got back into the half.

A good pass from Diamond to Willcock set Melton on the breakaway and Creed ran half-the-length of the pitch to slot it past the keeper and complete his hat-trick.

Melton hung on for a well-deserved three-point victory.

Melton: Taylor, Creed (c), Merrison, Frederick, Stark, Diamond, Hopla, Willatts, Willcock, Herricks, Ross, Heartford.

* Melton’s Fourth XI travelled with 10 players after a late illness withdrawal, but put up a very creditable display.

Harborough, masquerading as Northampton Saints Sevenths, started strongly with their very experienced midfield causing plenty of problems.

They scored two early goals and only some good defence from Hunn and saves from Cliffe kept Melton in it.

Harborough scored a third just before half-time to give them a seemingly unassailable lead.

But the second half was a revelation. A positional change gave Melton impetus and they took the game to their hosts.

Young full-backs Pedlar and Wells really gave it their all, despite playing in unfamiliar positions, and up front Frew and man-of-the-match John got stronger by the minute.

Excellent breaks exposed the Harborough defence and Shelton capitalised on an excellent passing move between Snow and John to score from an almost impossible angle.

Harborough were still dangerous on the break and Cliffe had to pull off some excellent saves, but the final word went to Melton.

A clever switch from a short corner set up Shelton to add his second and cap an impressive individual and team performance.

Melton: L. Cliffe, D. Pearson, A. Pedlar, A. Wells, N. Buttery, H. Snow, G. Hunn, A. John, M. Frew, N. Shelton.

* The First XI’s difficult season continued with a 6-0 defeat against an impressive Warwick University side.

Despite some brave resistance and spells of good hockey, Melton had no answer to the students’ speed and stick skills.

The third team continued their good run of form with a 4-1 win to go top of the East Midlands Division One.