Melton Hockey: Fourth XI go top with Burton victory

Melton Hockey Club Fourth XI - 2015/16 season EMN-150810-161408002
Melton Hockey Club Fourth XI - 2015/16 season EMN-150810-161408002
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Despite taking a squad depleted by injury and unavailability, Melton Fourths continued their bright start to the season with victory at Burton.

Melton dominated early play, but, once again, without breaking through, and a swift counter-attack from the hosts saw Buttery open the scoring.

With Burton beginning to get on top with composed and structured hockey, Melton strangely fell away and failed to play simple hockey.

But after 15 minutes of dominance, the tide began to turn as the visitors worked the hosts out and rediscovered their simple, highly effective hockey, masterminded by man-of-the-match Butcher in central midfield.

A sweeping move led to a scrambled equaliser and from then on Melton’s midfield became totally dominant with incisive passing from Exton, Welch and Wells.

The home side were stung by two more quick goals with Pateman scoring from a break down the right and Whitaker with a tap-in.

The second half continued in much the same way with Melton on top, but unable to extend their lead.

The hosts re-organised and looked to score on the counter-attack which Smith, Pearson and Hunn ably repelled, supported from a couple of sharp saves from stand-in keeper Shelton.

The hosts pulled one back when a sweeping move pulled Melton’s defence apart, but it was not enough to trouble the dominant visitors who are playing the best hockey they have played for some time and sit joint top of the league with Loughborough.

Melton will hope to continue their impressive start to the season on Saturday when they host Northampton Saints Seventh XI (2pm).

Melton: N. Shelton (c), S. Pateman, G. Hunn, D. Pearson, C. Smith, A. Wells, J. Butcher, G. Exton, J. Welch, N. Buttery, Z. Whitaker.