Melton Hockey: Firsts’ winning run ended by Derwent

Andy Sibun, who teed up Meltons equaliser, is sent flying EMN-170221-114118002
Andy Sibun, who teed up Meltons equaliser, is sent flying EMN-170221-114118002

High-flying Derwent ended Melton’s three-game winning streak, but the hosts felt they had done enough for a share of the spoils.

Buoyed by their good form in East Midlands Premier, Melton went into the game against second-placed Derwent in confident mood and started brightly, pushing the experienced visitors back.

Pete Taylor stands firm under pressure in defence EMN-170221-114132002

Pete Taylor stands firm under pressure in defence EMN-170221-114132002

But despite the early pressure, Derwent took the lead when indecision in the Melton defence led to a soft goal.

Melton could have buckled, as Derwent grew into the game, but as the title contenders looked to score from a short corner, the hosts bounced back in some style.

The ball ricocheted up into the air inside the home penalty area, and Judge volleyed the ball clear into midfield.

With Derwent caught up the pitch, Fleming switched it to Hewitt who in turn released Sibun away down the right wing.

With defenders struggling to get back, Sibun squared the ball for Kendall who fired the ball high into the net, finishing off a move which had swept from one end of the pitch to the other in a matter of seconds.

The equaliser spurred the home side on and they pressed forward again for what remained of the first half, and Derwent were fortunate to go in at half-time on level terms.

The second half saw the visitors improve and it became an attritional game, with the umpires having to resort to giving cards out to both teams.

With the match in the balance, chances were at a premium, but it was Derwent who eventually took the lead when a short-corner routine was allowed to dribble into Melton’s goal.

It was harsh on Melton who had done enough to earn at least a point, and there was no way back, despite pinning the away side back for most of the final 10 minutes.

The First XI, who lie sixth, return to action with an away game against fourth-placed Ashby on Saturday (1pm start).

* It was another good weekend for Melton’s Fourth XI who lifted themselves off the foot of the Central League South East Division Two with their second successive win.

Melton travelled to West Bridgford and hit their Ninth XI for six, following up their four-goal home win over Hampton-in-Arden the previous Saturday with a 6-3 win.