Alderley Edge Men's Men's 1s have given themselves an uphill battle for National League Conference North survival after slipping to a last minute 4-3 defeat to Belper.
Edge started strongly and forced numerous penalty corners and saves from the Belper Goalkeeper.
Alderley's Dom Graham converted a penalty corner on 14 minutes to take the lead. Belper created chances of their own, an equaliser came from a penalty Stroke. Edge responded well and after good work from Ben Gregory, his pace was a constant threat throughout. His deflected cross was superbly finished by Simon Parr with an overhead smash Roger Federer would have been proud of.
Edge continued to create some glorious chances but failed with the final pass or shots to beat the keeper. Belper equalised from another penalty corner after a couple of good saves by James Riley and some resolute Edge defending, but Belper kept the ball alive and forced it in to make it 2-2.
It was a similar story in the second half with Belper playing long and seeking corners and Edge looking dangerous on the counter. Edge put themselves in pole position when Ben Gregory ran through, rounded the keeper and scored from a wide angle to give Alderley a 3-2 lead with just 5 minutes to play. Belper then forced a penalty corner and scored to draw level.
With the last attack of the match another penalty corner was awarded to Belper . The initial shot was saved but the rebound was scrambled in to give Belper a dramatic late 4-3 win. With just two games to go, two wins are required by the Alderley lads to have any chance of retaining National League status.
Alderley Edge Women's 1st team drew 3–3 with Beeston in their Investec Women's National League Conference North encounter. The first few minutes of the game were strong for Edge with fast passes around the back and multiple good attacking chances. Beeston countered by winning turnover ball, attacking quickly with numbers forward to open the scoring. Edge continued to attack, Zoe Thomas finding the back of the goal for an equaliser after great play by Lara Tabachnik, 1-1 . Unfortunately this score line was short lived with Beeston scoring from a deflected penalty corner, making it 2-1.
Edge began the third quarter ready to be more aggressive and take the game to Beeston. Initially this plan didn't work, with Beeston scoring for the third time after another quick break. This left Edge with it all to do going into the fourth quarter 3-1 down. In true Edge style , the Ladies left their best play to the final quarter, with Sarah Hopkin sliding the ball into the bottom corner at a penalty corner and scoring one of the best goals of the season - a powerful run and smash hit from the edge of the D into the top corner of the net ,3-3.
Special mention for Edge keeper Grace Hardy for some important saves at critical moments, Izzy Moores who took two blows to the head and Sarah Hopkin the outstanding player of the match
A gritty Edge team performance finding a way back to gain a point.
Special mention this week to Alderley Mens 3rd team who beat Moseley Hill 3-1 to win their league and the Boys under 12's who became Cheshire champions.
Match report by Kelvin Briggs.