Old Loughts women earn Wapping win
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 November 2016
Men see winning streak end
Old Loughtonians women got the better of local rivals Wapping in their East League Premier Division derby at Lee Valley HOckey & Tennis Centre.
The visitors began with composure and discipline, making second-placed Wapping work hard in attack due to their effective use of a half court press. A quick break from midfield led to a short corner and Alice Melvin fired a drag flick towards the top left side of the goal, but the Wapping goalie made a great save and the game remained scoreless.
Then, after some brilliant link-up play through midfield and up to the forward line, the game changed as connections from Melvin to Lucy Falzon and Maddy Gander-Smith in the D left Gander-Smith to score with a beautiful reverse-stick hit.
Wapping continued to fire balls from midfield into the D, but the tactic wasn’t working for them due to the tight marking and strong tackles from the Loughts defensive line.
However, with the visiting defenders absorbing a lot of pressure from their high press, Wapping managed to get a short corner and a well-prepared routine resulted in a deflection into the net to level things up and leave it all to play for in the second half.
Loughts goalkeeper Zara Rose made some great saves in the second half to keep Wapping out of the game, as the rest of the team put everything into getting another goal.
And a second short corner was Old Loughts’ opportunity as Melvin decided to weave around Wapping’s first runner and used a neat bit of skill to pop the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal to put them 2-1 ahead.
With 10 minutes to go, the game took another turn when a ball from the back hit a Wapping player in the head and play was held up while an ambulance was called.
Old Loughts’ Lisa Posnett used her first-aid training to help check the player for concussion and bandage her up for a trip to hospital and the last 10 minutes were played out calmly by all.
A short corner was awarded to Wapping as the final whistle was blown but Loughts’ captain Chelsey Toms charged it down as the visitors held on for the points ahead of this weekend’s home meeting with Maidstone.
The news was not so good for the Old Loughts men, who saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end in East Premier A.
The leaders started well and a well-taken goal by Shane Martin gave them the lead against Harleston Magpies.
A second goal arrived before half time, thanks to a deft deflection from Mitchell Jones, and the second half started in similar vein, as Will Hopkins slipped the ball in from close range to make it 3-0.
Harleston fought back strongly, though, to shock the hosts and converted well-worked short corners and breakaways to score four unanswered goals to win a seven-goal thriller.
Loughts, after their first loss of the season, will look to bounce back quickly when they visit Saffron Walden this weekend.
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