Team Yardley Men’s 1st Team
Opponent Stafford
Date February 20, 2016
Result Draw
Score 2 – 2

Goal scorers: Alex Makepeace, Noor Zaman

After last week’s drubbing, Yardley were facing this game against the league leaders and top goals-corers in the Warwick Printing Hockey League West Midlands Division 1, with some trepidation. On the wrong end of an 11-0 hammering when the teams met in November it was always seemingly going to be a backs to the wall job.

However, Yardley rose to the occasion brilliantly and throughout the game were never overawed by their high flying visitors. As expected, Stafford settled into an early and confident passing game but their attacks were well defended by the hosts. Once Yardley realised they were not being over-run they raised their own game and even shocked their visitors by taking the lead after about ten minutes. Yardley’s first short corner produced the goal. Gavin Hetherington’s shot was probably going just wide, but the ever alert Alex Makepeace got a touch to turn the ball into the goal. Yardley were certainly holding their own during this first half with the whole defence responding brilliantly to the task in hand. Gavin Hetherington was leading by supreme example breaking up attacks and bringing the ball out of defence to ease the pressure. Stafford were trying every which way to get back into the game, occasionally forcing keeper Neal Makepeace into some spectacular saves. Eventually, just before half time they did manage an equaliser. A long corner hit created half a chance that led to a crisp shot on goal to level the scores. Yardley were pleased with a share of the spoils their efforts deserved. Stafford will have rued their missed chances and wasted opportunities especially from penalty corners.

Stafford began the second half in determined style but, as throughout the first half, Yardley were holding firm and again Makepeace was called upon to make some crucial saves. Stafford were eventually able to exert a period of pressure and able to grab the lead. Yardley’s heads remained high and during the final quarter of the game managed to apply some of their own pressure which led to a deserved equaliser. A pass in from the right fell to top scorer Noor Zaman who made no mistake to somewhat unexpectedly level the scores. Yardley tried to push on to grab a winner but their visitors too were putting everything into their final efforts. 

In the end Yardley were delighted with their performance in holding their high-flying visitors, knocking them off the top perch and banishing any nightmares lingering from their earlier encounter.

As a result of events in the league Yardley now have a two week break before their final home game, against new league leaders, West Bromwich.

Report by Peter Brainch (Publicity Officer and Club Secretary)

Categories: Match Reports