Melton Hockey Club’s First XI ended the first half of the East Midlands League season in impressive style with a fine 4-2 victory at Ashby.
They travelled to the Division One high-flyers on Saturday, looking to continue their impressive away form, but against a side which had conceded only nine goals all season, Melton knew they would have to be at their best to compete.
From the first minute the visitors set up to keep things tight, and Ashby had the best of the opening exchanges as the Reds struggled to get going.
As the pressure built, Melton failed to clear a ball and Ashby fired in the opener.
Rather then dispiriting the away side, Melton started to grow into the game.
And when McQuillan’s run down the right was stopped illegally, Pollard swivelled and fired past the Ashby keeper from a scrappy penalty corner.
At half-time Melton were well in the game and starting to impose themselves more. T
The second half started with the visitors attacking more, while keeping things tight at the back.
And the increased ambition was soon rewarded, when good play down the left found McQuillan at the top of the area.
As his shot looped up and then dropped, Kendall nipped in and diverted the ball past the helpless keeper with an overhead touch.
At 2-1, Ashby were visibly rattled, and Melton looked more and more dangerous on the break.
Taylor stole possession back high up the pitch and crossed to the back post for Jacob who showed experience beyond his years to drift the ball into Kendall’s path to deflect in a second.
The 3-1 lead was just desserts for their hard work, and although Ashby started to push back and create chances, Melton’s keeper and defenders continued to put their bodies on the line, blocking time and again.
Ashby eventually pulled one back, but Melton were not in the mood to capitulate.
After another smart break from Courtman and Kendall released Hewitt driving through the middle, the latter was scythed down on the edge of the area.
Hewitt dusted himself down to take the resulting penalty corner, and flicked the ball past the keeper to make the points safe at 4-2.
Melton showed calm heads to run the clock down for an impressive away win, and go into the mid-season winter break well-positioned in fourth place and within four points of second-placed Ashby.