Hockey: Ten man Alderley Edge grab deserved point

Alderley Edge Men's first team travelled the short distance to Bowdon for a North Premier division match that would have a major say in who remain in the league for next year.

Going into the match the five teams above the bottom were covered by just five points with the head to head record an important factor.

In an even first half Alderley Edge's impressive backline of Badger, Sibley and Kay coped well with the Bowdon strike force, all of which are part of the clubs National League squad. It was the Bowdon 'keeper that was the busier as Warburton and Andrew Drummond went close.

Coxon's industry kept the pressure on the Bowdon defence and the disciplined performance of the Alderley midfield thwarted Bowdon possession. As the half drew on, Sam Gregory's wing play was the best outlet for Alderley's attack while Bowdon created no real opportunities. Just before half time Alderley Edge went down to ten men but held on to the break.

Ten minutes in to the second half Alderley again found themselves down to 10 as Andy Williams was sin-binned, confusion was caused as he was kept off for the rest of the match.

Bowdon created chances as Riley was forced to save one on one and then James Drummond, Bowdon's South African youth international and brother of Andrew, harmlessly fired a penalty corner over the crossbar.

Alderley went close with a penalty corner of their own when a slight deflection took the ball wide.

Bowdon then opened the scoring in controversial circumstances, a reverse stick cross from the left flew into the D at head height as the defenders took evasive cover the ball was hit on the half-volley into the goal, with the Umpire ruling that there was no danger.

Despite this setback Alderley fought on and tested the Bowdon 'keeper as Drummond again went close. Alderley's industry was rewarded when in a crowded D James Warburton created space and flicked a shot across towards the far post, it evaded everyone including the Bowdon 'keeper.

It was no more than Alderley deserved and they finished strongly, coping with Bowdon's numerical advantage and managed to get through to full time without any major scares. The point means both Bowdon and Alderley are now six points clear of the bottom club and one point off guaranteed safety, the result means that Alderley have the better head to head record following their win earlier in the season.

Alderley Edge 2s continued to keep pace with the leaders in North West Division One, coming from behind win to beat Bowdon 4-3. Trailing 3-1 at one stage Alderley fought back for a fine win with goals from Barnes, Wildig, Baker and an own goal.

The 3s made it 19 straight wins despite going behind for the first time this season, they soon turned on the style scoring 9 without reply, Rob Marks (3) and Richard Williams (2) lead the way with the scoring.

The 4s poor form continued as they went down 8-3. There was no game for the 5s and the 6th team let a 4-1 lead slip to draw 4-4 with Timperley. The 7s lost a 12 goal thriller to Northop Hall 7-5.

Match report by James Riley.

Alderley Edge Hockey Club, Hockey