Second placed Stafford HC 2nds faced league leaders Shrewsbury HC 2nds last weekend, narrowly losing 2-1 away.
Stafford are the only team to have taken any points off the Shropshire team in a 3-3 draw in the game at Beaconside in October. They rose to the occasion but were ultimately denied by two smart finishes. Stafford started well, good work through the middle saw Ethan Sweeney and Nathan Silitto create some half chances. It soon became clear though that Shrewsbury were strong defensively.
The opening goal came when a misplaced pass was intercepted and Shrewsbury attacked on the left, the ball was played into the circle and the forward reverse sticked the ball high past Paul Taylor-Grime in goal.
Stafford though kept pressing forward, they won their only penalty corner when Giles Rowden was upended (lol) in the circle, Dave Anderson fired an unstoppable drag flick past the Shrewsbury keeper.
After that Stafford’s defence showed their resolve with excellent commitment, Alex Peatfield, Elliott Glennan and Andy Simms all had terrific games.
Shrewsbury started to get frustrated and started to try and force the ball into the circle to no avail. After the break, Stafford created some sustained pressure but were not able to carve out any meaningful chances. Just as the Riverway team were starting to think of settling for a point, they conceded the eventual winner, another unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
A great game, and the stronger team won but Stafford were able to hold their heads up high after a terrific performance, worthy of a runners up position in the league.