Melton Hockey: Depleted First XI find way to win

Melton's First XI rode their luck, but made it successive wins and clean sheets against Berkswell EMN-181016-121654002
Melton's First XI rode their luck, but made it successive wins and clean sheets against Berkswell EMN-181016-121654002
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After their opening day defeat, Melton Hockey Club First XI made it back-to-back wins with a home victory over Berkswell on Saturday.

Having returned to winning ways the previous weekend, Melton set out to keep their East Midlands League campaign moving in the right direction against a spirited Berkswell team.

Once again the home side looked to start on the front foot despite suffering from a combination of missing players and injuries.

Berkswell had other ideas, though, and, as a result of some sloppy play, Melton presented the visitors with numerous chances early on.

At one point, having gone down to nine players after last-ditch fouls were penalised, the home side had to adopt some truly backs-to-the-wall defending.

As the half wore on, Melton grew into the game, but it was still somewhat against the run of play when Brown set up Kendall in the D to beat a defender and knocked a finish past the keeper.

A 1-0 lead at half-time was perhaps a little fortunate for the Reds, but they had improved.

The second half continued in much the same way, with Melton enjoying better spells of possession, but still finding themselves a little lucky to also not concede.

During one of Melton’s better spells they won a penalty corner when good work by James Blonde and Cramphorn down the left put Kendall in who was subsequently fouled.

Davies’ effort from the resulting corner beat the keeper, but was stopped illegally by a defender on the line.

Davies duly stepped up to send the keeper the wrong the way from the penalty stroke.

At two-nil, chances came and went at both ends, but Eden held out in Melton’s goal to make it back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in several years for the Reds who moved up to sixth in Division One.

Melton’s First XI travel to Northampton Saints Seconds on Saturday, looking to improve their away form.