- By Daryl Boyce
Leicester City Hockey Club men's first team took on Hampton-in-Arden in a South East Division Three clash on Saturday 15 February.
The home side started poorly and a well-drilled Hampton side took full advantage to establish a two-goal lead. The first goal came as an inability to clear the ball from a short corner saw the ball find its way past keeper Harry G and the second from a cross to the top of the D that was swept in by an unmarked midfielder.
The visitors were dominating possession and came close to adding to their lead with a couple of efforts that slipped just wide of the posts. But the hosts weren't out of it as Dec and Tim both went close before Harry W provided a glimmer of hope with a well taken goal just before the half time whistle.
With City trailing at HT, Paul decided to throw half of the Haribo on the floor as coach Elsbeth stressed the need for discipline and better ball retention, especially around the opposition D.
The team talk had the desired affect as the home side raced out of the blocks and were level early in the second half as Liam scored with a powerful hit from a short corner. City edged ahead soon after that as a goal bound effort from Karl hit a foot on the line and a penalty stroke was duly awarded, Liam calmly slotting home from the spot.
With Paul pulling the strings at the bottom of the diamond, City started to play some really good hockey and soon added to their lead. First through Harry W, whose shot took a wicked deflection off a defender on its way in to the net, and then from Rahul who grabbed his ninth of the season to put pressure on absent top scorer David M.
Jamie, who had played a major part in the previous two goals, was unlucky not to score as he skewed wide from a narrow angle before City finished the scoring as a long ball from Graeme caught the opposition defence flatfooted giving Harry W plenty of time and space to grab his third.
The visitors still posed a threat on the break and won a number of shorts but these were comfortably dealt with by keeper Harry G and the back four. With a couple of minutes left on the clock, City were lucky not to see their Keeper sin-binned as Harry G blocked the path of a Hampton forward who was chasing down a loose ball.
Final Score - Leicester City Hockey Club men's firsts - 6, Hampton-in-Arden - 2
Goalscorers - Harry W x3, Liam x2, Rahul
Squad - Harry G (GK), Declan (C), Liam, Boyce, Henry, Luke, Graeme, Karl, Tim, Rahul, Harry W, Jamie, Paul
MotM - Harry W - three goals and a menace throughout
DotD - Harry G - being floored by the youngest of the Hampton forwards