Stafford HC 1st team moved into 3rd place in West Midlands Div 1 with an emphatic 6-3 victory away to West Bromwich HC last weekend. It was easily Stafford’s best performance of the season against a good team.
Stafford started well putting early pressure on the home team, forcing them to concede early penalty corners. Giles Rowden scored the first goal of the game after his straight strike was deflected wickedly into the top corner by a West Brom defender. Dave Anderson doubled the lead with a powerful drag flick soon afterwards.
West Bromwich then woke up and were able to create their own pressure, they pulled one back after Ed Handley deflected a cross past a hapless Dan Howe in goal, and then equalised after a nice reverse stick finish from the league top scorer Paul Compton.
Things then settled down until after half time. The strong wind played into Stafford’s hands and they were able to put considerable pressure on the home team, the midfield led by man of the match Andy Barnett kept taking the ball off their counterparts. Stafford grabbed another goal from a penalty corner, Barnett finishing at the far post after an Anderson cross.
Anderson then doubled his own tally when a penalty stroke was awarded after an illegal stop on the line. Barnett got his second after he put away a bouncing ball, the home team were in disarray, compounded by Stafford’s 6th after Rowden robbed the West Bromwich defender and scored from a narrow angle.
West Brom grabbed a late consolation with an excellent reverse stick finish but Stafford shut up shop and took the three points.
Stafford are now the league top scorers and hitting top form, next week they host Pershore HC at Beaconside, 1.00pm start.