Stafford HC 1st team travelled to lowly Kingswinford HC last weekend, returning with a point in a 2-2.
Although the hockey was not particularly attractive at times, the game did ebb and flow. Kingswinford set up very defensively to try and blunt Stafford and it certainly worked in the first 15 minutes as Stafford could not turn their domination into a goal. Stafford won a number of penalty corners but found an in form goal keeper who stopped everything.
Andy Peatfield had the best chance, beating his man before chipping the goal keeper, his shot sailing over. Then Stafford fell for the sucker punch as Kingswinford had their only meaningful chance of the half, poor marking saw a midfielder slot home after Brad Evans saved the first shot.
Stafford did not panic at half time and came out still playing nice hockey, eventually James Gillingham equalized after he pounced on the rebound from his first shot. Stafford then took the lead after Randall Moore powered in an unstoppable drag flick.
Kingswinford then had to push forward and when Stafford failed to clear the ball, won a somewhat debatable penalty corner and duly equalized.
A disappointing result but a strangely enjoyable tactical affair, a positive note was a lack of any cards whatsoever from two teams and two umpires who were only interested in the hockey being played on the pitch. Great hospitality after the game by the hosts as well, best teas in the league.
The second team bandwagon moved on with an efficient performance from a very determined Stafford team, who knew that a win today would set up next week’s crunch game with Stone.
Stafford dominated the first half and could easily have had more than their 3-2 lead at half time – redditch indebted to their gk who produced a number of saves to keep the likes of Howe and Sunderland at bay.
Fortunately he was powerless to stop Jack Ball.
As the second half wore on Stafford started to put their chances away as our opponents tired, and the final score line of 6-2 did not flatter us – but I would be a little biased.
Stafford go into next week’s game knowing that a win will almost ensure promotion. If other results go our way today, promotion can be sealed next weekend – let’s hope Telford got a win today.
For such a big game against our local rivals it would be great to get as much support as we can – we will be starting at 2:30 in stone, so if you can come down after any games (or before) it would be great!!!
Scorers – J. Ball – 3, C. Sunderland – 1, C. Bishop – 1, OG – 1
MOTM – J. Ball
DOTD – E. Glennon
Kingswinford 2 – 2 Stafford
Goals: Gillingham, Moore
Motm: Randall Moore
Dotd: Brad Evans
Match report to follow
Stafford 2nds rearranged game vs Bromsgrove is confirmed as a 1:30 start at Bromsgrove school (after Telford game). Selection will take place for this game at selection a week on Tuesday.
1pm meet at the clubhouse for a 3pm pushback at Pershore (MAP)
Team for Saturday: