Melton Hockey: Firsts fightback fells promotion chasers

Melton Ladies dropped their first points of the season against Market Harborough EMN-170228-143315002
Melton Ladies dropped their first points of the season against Market Harborough EMN-170228-143315002

Melton Hockey Club’s First XI fought back to claim an impressive win at promotion-chasing Ashby on Saturday.

Expecting a difficult afternoon, it looked like being a long day for Melton when they gave the ball away and were cut open to fall behind inside the first 10 minutes.

Melton Ladies are unbeaten in 14 league matches this season EMN-170228-143258002

Melton Ladies are unbeaten in 14 league matches this season EMN-170228-143258002

However, the visitors bounced back with aplomb, turning in one of their best performances against a good Ashby side.

The scores were levelled when Sibun found Kendall who slipped the ball expertly back into Sibun’s path. He in turn squared the ball for Creed to make it one-all.

It soon became 2-1 when good work down the left saw Creed cross the ball into Kendall who turned the ball high into the net.

Ashby pressed hard to find an equaliser, but Melton battled hard to preserve their lead into the break.

The second half continued in the same vein, with things getting even harder for the Reds when their captain Brookes, went off with a badly broken nail and was unable to carry on with blood all over his hand.

Ashby’s pressure eventually saw them level things up when a long ball into the penalty area was deflected on to the post, and bounce in off the unfortunate Eden in goal.

Melton could easily have buckled, but instead they went back on the offensive.

Another quick break saw Brookes, back on with a heavily bandaged hand, win the ball back in midfield and set Creed free.

Running away from goal, Creed struck an outstanding shot past the Ashby keeper when there seemed little threat to the goal.

As Ashby tried to rally, Melton sat back and looked to counter.

Judge found Kendall, who played Sibun away down the right. He squared for Creed to complete his hat-trick in an almost carbon-copy of his first goal. M

Melton out saw the remaining minutes out in relative comfort, to record an impressive away win which moves them up a place to sixth in the East Midlands Premier with three matches left of the season.

The First XI have this weekend off, but return to action on Saturday, March 11 at Berkswell and Balsall Common.

* Melton’s Ladies XI dropped their first points of the season on Saturday when they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at home to Market Harborough Women’s Second XI.

The draw allowed Ashby to cut Melton’s lead in the Leicestershire Division One to just one point.

The two teams meet in a potential title decider at Ashby on Saturday (10am start).

* Melton HC Third XI made it three wins on the trot with a 5-3 win at bottom side Newark on Saturday.

They had failed to win a game before February, but a golden month has lifted them to 10th in the Third XI East Midlands Premier.