Melton Hockey Fourth XI push leaders Leicester to the brink

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Central Hockey League South East Division Two



The rapidly developing Melton fourth team were desperately unlucky not to take something from the league leaders.

Melton took their customary few minutes to settle in a scrappy opening and were forced to defend well with Cliffe making two smart saves.

But the match took a very different shape as Melton became increasingly dominant with new players settling into the team, and others into new positions after the long mid-season break.

Building from defence, Pateman, Rockett and debutant Exton allowed the midfield to distribute well and create chances through the movement of Buttery and pace of Riley.

Melton were unable to convert several penalty corners, and fell behind after 25 minutes to an excellent flowing move.

The visitors immediately set out to level the scores, but went into half-time trailing.

But Melton continued the second half where they left off with Welch making an impressive debut in central midfield and Parker looking increasingly effective at right-back.

Melton finally converted a penalty corner when Riley’s sharp delivery was slipped by Snow to Cramphorn who struck his maiden goal for the club.

As Leicester’s frustration grew, Melton looked the likely scorers, but against the run of play the hosts repeated their earlier move to re-take the lead.

Despite further concerted efforts the scoreline further flattered the hosts when a long ball was squeezed in at the near post for 3-1.

But it was a performance which showed continued development and offered great promise.

Melton: L. Cliffe, C. Parker, M. Rockett, G. Exton, G. Weatherdon, S. Pateman, H. Snow, J. Riley, N. Buttery, T. Cramphorn, J. Welch, Z. Whittaker, C. Smith.