Melton Hockey: Labouring Firsts draw with struggling Nottingham

Melton Hockey Club's First XI, from left, back - James Hewitt, Craig Durrant, Danny Kendall, Nick Eden, John Judge, Andy Brown, Pete Taylor, Chris Eden; front - Tom Cramphorn, Mark Messina, Mark Smith, Jon Brooks, Samual Pollard, James Butcher. EMN-180602-165638002
Melton Hockey Club's First XI, from left, back - James Hewitt, Craig Durrant, Danny Kendall, Nick Eden, John Judge, Andy Brown, Pete Taylor, Chris Eden; front - Tom Cramphorn, Mark Messina, Mark Smith, Jon Brooks, Samual Pollard, James Butcher. EMN-180602-165638002
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On another miserable wet Saturday afternoon, Melton Hockey Club’s First XI turned in a performance to forget, as they struggled against a side from the lower reaches of the league.

The home side had started well and dominated possession, but, as has often been Melton’s problem this season, they lacked the patience to wait for the chances to materialise.

As the Reds began to force passes, Nottingham started to grow into the game and looked dangerous on the break.

Eden saved smartly several times, but eventually the visitors took the lead, and it could have been worse when a penalty stroke was awarded for a goal-line foul.

But Eden saved, to maintain his perfect penalty record for the season.

A Melton break almost brought the scores level, but after Cramphorn and Pollard combined to tee up Taylor, the Nottingham goalkeeper pulled off an outstanding save to leave the unlucky Taylor scratching his head.

Melton were frustrated at half-time and resolved to improve in the second half.

The effort certainly improved, but the scoreline got worse as Nottingham capitalised on slack marking.

By now the game had broken down into an end-to-end disjointed affair.

But this helped Melton, and they pegged Nottingham back when Brooks found Kendall in the area who swivelled and dispatched a shot into the bottom corner.

The hosts were in the ascendancy, but conceded a soft goal as Nottingham restored their two-goal lead.

Yet as the visitors tired, Melton’s pressure led to several penalty corners, and after several near-misses, the returning Hewitt flicked in a second goal for the home side.

The pressure didn’t let up, and a ball into the area from Judge ricocheted into the path of Pollard who equalised.

More chances followed at either end, and Melton could just as easily have won or lost the game.

In the end though, time ran away and the game ended level; a disappointing result against a side which had been beaten comfortably in the reverse fixture.

Melton will look to arrest their worrying form in the East Midlands Premier at North Notts on Saturday.