Melton Hockey Club First XI punished by clinical Derwent

James Butcher chases down a loose ball for Melton First XI EMN-191119-123025002
James Butcher chases down a loose ball for Melton First XI EMN-191119-123025002
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Carelessness was punished to the maximum on Saturday as Melton HC Firsts shipped seven at home to promotion-chasing Derwent.

Melton started the afternoon just two points behind their second-placed visitors and with a chance to further their own promotion hopes by leapfrogging their rivals.

Josh Thompson at full-stretch against clinical Derwent EMN-191119-123036002

Josh Thompson at full-stretch against clinical Derwent EMN-191119-123036002

The two sides have played out numerous tight matches in recent seasons, with results going both ways, and often finish close together in the league standings, but Saturday served up a strange result compared to all that has gone before.

The opening of the game was tight, with Melton shading possession, but in what became the story of the day, carelessness led to conceding possession and allowing Derwent an easy opening goal.

A second followed shortly after, with a Derwent player hitting a speculative shot which succeeds perhaps once in every 100 attempts.

But it was that sort of day for the Reds.

Melton almost got back into the game, and still maintained long periods of possession despite the scoreline.

After a cross from the left found its way to the back post, Dave Boyne did as much as possible to score, but somehow, without knowing much about it, the Derwent keeper produced a miraculous save.

It went from bad to worse as the home side gave the ball away twice more deep in their own half, with Derwent converting both times to build a commanding 4-0 lead at half-time.

Dispirited, the Reds tried to get back into it in the second half, but more mistakes followed in a performance in which the whole side were below-par.

Despite pulling back a goal through Leo Guy, who converted a rebound from the once again unlucky Boyne’s shot, Melton were on the receiving end of a further three goals.

Seven-one was a tough result to take, and dropped Melton to sixth in East Midlands Division One.

But they will look to bounce back quickly away to Nottingham Trent Fourth XI on Saturday.