Alderley Edge Men's 1st team secured a vital 2-1 away win against fellow strugglers Wakefield HC in this weeks National Hockey League Conference North match. A true relegation '6 pointer' if ever there was one lifting Edge off the bottom of the table.
Wakefield started the game on the front foot, crashing several dangerous balls into the D. Eventually Alderley got a foothold in the game with defenders Rob Trem and Angus McCormick taking advantage of Wakefield's high press to launch some fantastic aerials for the forwards to run onto.
The growing Alderley pressure told when they won a penalty corner and McCormick dispatched his trademark drag flick to make it 1-0. Alderley continued to carve out chances with Wakefield continuing to press high, leaving themselves very susceptible to the pace of Ben Gregory and Jack Smith to run onto. Edge nearly made it 2 when James Parkin took down an aerial from Trem, beat the last man and then fired the ball past the keeper, but was denied by the post. Half time came with Alderley 1-0 up and the defence hadn't really been troubled after the first 5 minutes.
Alderley doubled their lead early in the second half when a cynical push in the D by a Wakefield defender gave Alderley a penalty stroke. McCormick fired it home for his second of the match. 2-0 to Alderley.
In the final quarter Wakefield threw the kitchen sink at Alderley, but the team held strong. A late penalty stroke was awarded to Wakefield for the ball 'sticking' McCormick on the line from a penalty corner. Wakefield converted to make it 2-1. Alderley survived the final 2 minutes to come away with a well deserved 3 points .
Special mention must be made of all the junior players in the side. Leo Chatzigeorgiou, Adam Robertson, Barney Wright and James Parkin all had a strong impact on the game. LeoChatzigeorgiou was Man of the Match with his superb attacking play down the right side that exposed the Wakefield defenders.
This win could well be a turning point in the season for Edge as they stick to their process and work hard to secure more wins in the second half of the season to retain National league status.
Alderley Edge Women's 1st team drew with Doncaster 1-1 in their Investec Women's National League Conference North encounter. This leaves Edge in a mid table position.
Edge came out all guns blazing with high intensity and drive wanting to impose themselves on the game. After a prolonged set of attacking play from Edge, they were awarded a penalty corner which Sarah Hopkin magnificently converted, her first goal of the season.
Then followed a period of solid defensive play with the ongoing threat of the 'Donny' attack. Doncaster managed to convert one of their chances to make it 1-1 at the finish.
'Player of the Match' went to Edge goalkeeper Rachel Humpherson who kept Doncaster at bay with some impressive saves.
Edge 1s go into the Xmas break a solid halfway up the table and will look to push higher after the break. Before the break comes the little matter of an England Hockey Tier 1 Championship Cup match against local rivals Premier League Bowdon 1's at The Edge, 12:00 pushback on Saturday 14th December .
The Alderley Edge Mens 0'40's Masters team progressed through to the next round of the England Hockey Championship with a comfortable 4-0 win against Chester. Scott Ashdown (2), Phil Benton and Julian Scarsbrook the goal scorers.
Match report by Kelvin Briggs.
Photo courtesy of Steve Bitcliffe Photography.