Hockey: Tynemouth worth the trip

Rob H2

Alderley Edge's Men's 1st team faced their longest away trip of the season to Tynemouth/Whitley Bay and with a 12.30 start it was an early morning departure.

When the game got underway Tynemouth sat deep looking to counter attack and Alderley had good possession without breaking the Tynemouth backline. Ironically the first clear chance came when Tynemouth had committed forward and Ben Gregory raced clear. A piece of outrageous skill beat the last defender but his shot was straight at the 'keeper.

Against the run of play Tynemouth took the lead. A mix up in the midfield gave Tynemouth an easy ball into the D, whilst the initial effort was blocked the rebound fell kindly and the ball was rolled over the line.

Encouragingly Alderley fought straight back and mounted pressure inside the final third and it resulted in Gregory reacting quickly when a melee involving the 'keeper and defenders saw the ball come loose and he forced it over the line.

Alderley started to exert more control with Jackson and Badger quashing any attacking threat and the forwards working hard to keep Tynemouth on the back foot. The hard work paid off as Gregory found space to shoot reverse stick and Adam Wildig neatly deflected the ball past the 'keeper.

Time and time again Alderley were able to create overloads, but due to last ditch defending and the odd poor pass decision they failed to make the most of the opportunities.

The second half was a strange affair as the half started off with bright sunshine, but soon clouded over and the temperature dropped considerably. Tynemouth pushed forward and won a series of corners, which Alderley and Kay in particular defended well. Tynemouth appeared to tire and Alderley were looking dangerous down the flanks, with Hodgson and Coxon linking well, and it was 3-1 when Wildig hit the post and Gregory was on hand to tidy up.

Tynemouth were given a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty corner and although the initial effort was well saved and the ball appeared to come off the body of a Tynemouth player, the Umpire played on and the ball was lifted into the net.

The weather was now very heavy sleet with puddles forming and visibility effected. Both teams manfully played through. Again Alderley showed great resilience and their new found determination was highlighted when Hall found Rob Hughes down the left wing. He beat his defender and got to the base line where his reverse stick cross was perfect for Wildig, who deflected the ball first time into the bottom corner. Hughes continued to dominate the midfield and keep control of the game. He linked with Gregory to set Coxon free and he finished well past the advancing 'keeper only for the goal to be chalked off due to an infringement in the build up.

Alderley played out the remaining time with little alarm and ran out deserved 4-2 winners.

The second team were up against local rivals Stockport. They did not have things their own way and came away disappointed with a 3-1 defeat with James Warburton the goal scorer. With survival the initial target at the start of the season they are still looking good for a top 3 or 4 finish.

The 3s are still 5 points clear at the top of the division following a fine victory 4-1 win over Bramhall with goals coming from Andy Walker with a hat-trick and Andy Bryant. Charlie Parker was the stand out performer following his rise up the teams.

The 4th team are also looking good at the summit of their division, they breezed past Bowdon 11-0. Hat-tricks from Tom Scott and Ben Hodkinson along with a brace from both Louis Godfrey and James Ireland, plus a strike from Jon Wildin rounded off the scoring.

The more youthful 5th team faced the experience of the 6th team and younger legs came through 4-2 amongst the goals were Roland Alston, Chris Sinton and Fin Allenby. A very inexperienced 7th team took on league newcomers and table topping Sandbach and suffered their hardest defeat of the year losing 11-0.

Match report by James Riley.

Alderley Edge Hockey Club, Hockey