Hockey: Fifth consecutive win for Men's 1st team

BG vs Sheff

Alderley Edge Men's 1st team made it five wins in a row in the North Premier division with what in the end was a fairly straight forward victory over Ben Rhydding.

The first game between the two sides was a feisty high scoring affair and similar was expected in the return match. Alderley were very disjointed at the start, turning over possession easily and as a result were on the back foot for the opening exchanges. Ben Rhydding's attacks resulted in Whitehead and Cresey needing to be on their guard. Along with Kay they were able to prevent Ben Rhydding from having any real chances and Alderley were grateful to Ciaran Sanders who was the only player to show composure on the ball and try to get Alderley on the front foot.

The opening goal came when again Rhydding got through against the last defender and this time the forward managed to get into the 'D' and produce a good finish.

This acted as a wake-up call and Bryant became more influential in the midfield as the game evened out with Badger adding a calming influence and Mattingly finding more time and space to launch attacks. There was no further scoring in the first half.

Alderley were much improved in the second half as Ben Rhydding's long ball game faltered. Alderley's previously subdued forwards found more room to stretch the play, soon the Rhydding 'keeper was involved and had half chances which were not quite converted. McCormick went close with a penalty corner and Coxon fired wide from the top of the circle.

Alderley were starting to look like the effective team from before the Christmas break and when Scott Mattingly's penalty corner found the net this pushed Alderley on.

Alderley made it 2-1 when Parr sprang into life, creating a turnover before sending Ben Gregory off on a run across the pitch. He laid the ball off to Joe Coxon who took a touch before firing into the bottom corner.

Ben Rhydding tried to get back into the game. They had crosses into the 'D', a couple of penalty corners plus made use of a good advantage to have a reverse stick strike on target but they were kept out by Riley in the Alderley goal.

On another Rhydding foray forward Alderley countered when the ball was won inside the 23 and quick passing set Ben Gregory free. He held off the would be tacklers until he reached the Rhydding goal where his cross was deflected in from close range by brother Sam to make the score 3-1 and end the match as a contest.

Another fine victory as Alderley sit in the middle of the table with nine points to the next team below them and one team within 5 points above.

The seconds had a scrappy high scoring encounter away at West Derby as neither side was able to break clear as they traded penalty corners and goals. The score was 3-3 at half time and a remarkable 6-6 at full time. Alderley's goals came from a hat-trick of corners from Chris Hardy and one from Laurence Barnes, plus open play goals from Chris Cook and Harry Whitehead. They sit a comfortable 4th in North Div 2.

The 3s sit in the bottom half of the table after losing 4-2 to league leaders Bangor Uni first team.

The fourth string travelled to Neston and had a decent 2-2 draw with goals from Daniel Farrer and man of the match Dan Baylis. They sit 3rd, two points off the promotion places.

The 5th team hosted Denbigh and ran out 2-0 winners, this keeps them in the running for promotion being just two points off top spot.

A 5-1 defeat away at Crewe is not what the 6th team needed as they slip into the bottom half of the league.

However, the 7th teams remarkable season continued as they had yet another resounding victory beating Lymm 4s 5-1 away, goals from Jed Hassid, John Barnes, Charles Barnes, Sean Neary and Charlie Toms wrapped up victory with Morgan Jennings picking up the Man of the Match award. They are second in the table having won 11 and losing just once all year and have a nine point gap to 3rd place.

Photo: Ben Gregory, who had a hand in all Alderley Edge's 1st team goals on Saturday.

Match report by James Riley.

Alderley Edge Hockey Club, Hockey