Melton Hockey Club’s new signing Leo Guy made another telling contribution as the First XI moved up to third in East Midlands League Division One.
After scoring and assisting in their previous win, Guy, recently joined from Loughborough Town, was again at the fore in Melton’s 3-2 win at Berkswell and Balsall Common, although this time the sporting gods provided a few slices of fortune along the way.
The away game was at first cancelled as temperatures took a dive, but the game was put back on after the home side decided the pitch was in fact playable, to leave Melton with a rush to the ground.
There was a danger that lack of preparation might see the Reds start slowly, but they were nothing of the sort, and from the first whistle charged forward, dominating possession and looking dangerous with nearly every attack.
Young brothers Freddy and Jacob Welch, making their first start together, never looked overawed by the step-up in levels and both made key contributions in attack.
But it was the slightly older Sibun and Kendall who combined to open the scoring.
In what has become a trademark move for Melton, Sibun burst down the right and squared for Kendall to sweep home. It was the least Melton deserved.
As the pressure continued, Melton racked up a series of penalty corners, but it took until the fourth in the sequence for Guy to find the charmed touch which extended the lead.
Brookes dragged the set-piece to Snow who stopped the ball for Guy who attempted to sling his shot towards the top-left corner.
But the ball slid off the end of his stick, gently nestling in the opposite corner of the goal, and wrong-footing the hapless keeper.
Berkswell tried to rally, but Melton’s tempo was too much as chances came and went for Kendall, Pollard, and Sibun.
Melton needed to take advantage of their dominance, knowing the hosts would inevitably push back at some point, and again, up stepped Guy at the critical moment.
After dribbling around two players at the top of the area, he swung wildly on his reverse, launching the ball goalwards.
As his shot rose, a helpless defender ran across the ball’s path and deflecting it into his own goal as Melton’s goalscorer was once more given a big helping hand.
By half-time the game looked over, but Melton knew they’d be tested in the second half.
The Reds surrendered possession and soaked up pressure while springing counter-attacks.
However, the counters no longer fell quite right, and Berkswell managed to get back into the game with a penalty corner of their own.
A second goal followed as time started to run out, but the new-look Melton have added resilience this season and the hosts never really threatened an equaliser.
With young Jackson making a good debut in goal, Melton played some sensible controlled hockey to grind out the win, but in truth, the result could have been much more comfortable.
On Saturday, Melton host Northampton Saints Second XI (12.30pm start) with a chance to go second.