Hockey - National League challenges at the Edge

Saturday 9th October,
Alderley Edge Mens 1s 1- 2 Preston Mens 1s
The first Saturday of the season that saw both of Alderley Edge Hockey clubs mens and ladies 1st teams playing at home back to back in the England Hockey National North Conference Leagues

Men's 1s welcomed Preston to the Edge for a battle of 2 teams who were both yet to score points in the this season. In contrast to previous performances it was Alderley who started brightest with great intent, drive and determination knowing that a win was needed to kickstart their season.

The first real chance fell to Joe Coxon after some smart interplay between Jack Smith and captain Si Parr, the shot was well struck however narrowly missed. Alderley continued to press and were awarded a short corner however failed to capitalise and went into half time with the score at 0-0.
The third quarter saw Preston awarded a short corner after George Bradbury was deemed to have put the ball out of play deliberately. The resulting short corner was flicked into the goal and Alderley found themselves trailing 1-0 against the run of play.

Alderley again played the better hockey and patient play paid off after the ball was fired into the circle by Parr and deflected into the net by player coach Stefan Ray-Hills. Alderley's celebrations were short lived however as Preston won another short corner which was despatched. 2-1 down with 10 minutes to go and Alderley pressed hard to find an equaliser however could not convert their chances from short corners or open play. The team showed real fight for the full duration of the game and will take this same mentality into Doncaster away next Saturday. Player of the match - Stefan Ray-Hills

The Ladies 1st team hosted Pendle Forest at the Edge Hockey Centre.
Alderley Edge Ladies 1st team 1 - 1 Pendle Forest Ladies 1s team
Ladies 1s were slow to elevate themselves to match pace from the first whistle. This was costly as Pendle took full advantage of this sluggish start with a shock first goal within the opening 5 minutes.

Alderley Ladies 1s started to raise their intensity in the second quarter.

During the third quarter the team lifted their game and were beginning to see more success in entering the attacking circle as Pendle began to tire. In a collective effort with superior fitness showing the team were very successful in not allowing Pendle to outlet down their left hand side. Pockets were opening up for the defensive wingbacks, Sophie Fletcher from left half was cutting passes through the opposition's defence and was rewarded with a couple of penalty corners, however these were well defended by Pendle.

During the forth quarter Alderley 1s were dominating play, pressing high and pressuring every Pendle player ,who had had no answer to Alderley's aggressive play and hunger to equalise. A last 5-minute substitution to bring on Sarah Hopkin was made and in the closing minutes of the game and Alderley won a penalty corner. The initial shot from Lottie Wright was blocked ,Sarah Hopkin reacted quickly to pick up the rebound and to score the equaliser, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Player of the match: Sarah Hopkin.

The Ladies 1s look forward to playing Fylde away at 1.30pm next Saturday 16th October.

Match report by Phil Benton.

Alderley Edge Hockey Club, Hockey