Men's 1s refuse to be beaten
By Halifax Hockey
A sensational effort from the Mens 1s saw them grab a 3-3 draw away at Hull
Halifax pulled off a remarkable result on a cold day over on the east coast.
Rocked by the late withdrawal of leading goalscorer Michael Jones and a serious injury to star man Matthew Graham, the men from Park Lane could only muster 11 players for a game against their mid-table rivals.
A pre-kick off dispute between manager Matthew Metcalfe and the umpires set the tone for what would prove to be a challenging afternoon and Metcalfe asked his players to be prepared for a “backs to the wall” display. A change of formation saw Halifax pack their midfield and leave Josh Barron as the loan striker. Barron would prove to be the hero, as his brace pegged back Hull, who were in the lead on two occasions during the game.
The truth was that Halifax were the better of the two sides for the entire second half and their defensive unit of Dave Wheatley, Connor and Josh Sutcliffe and man of the match Olly James were outstanding again.
Hull took the lead from a penalty corner that evaded both Metcalfe and James, before they doubled their advantage with a highly controversial goal; the ball being played dangerously into the D causing Connor Sutcliffe to take evasive action before Hull scored from close range. The umpire ignored Halifax’s protest and gave a goal.
This spurred Halifax on and they got back into the game as Ben Greenwood’s surging run down the left wing found skipper Jake Bamforth in space, who in turn slipped Barron in for a smart finish.
Halifax should have drawn level when Tom Love failed to score with a well taken shot from the edge of the D and George English, who had a strong performance, couldn’t take advantage of the rebound. English was later sin binned for an innocuous looking challenge.
At half time, Halifax talked of maintaining their discipline and sticking to their game plan of frustrating their hosts. They couldn’t have imagined a much better start to the half when Barron and Bamforth carved their opponents apart of Barron finished smartly to draw his side level.
Barron then had two opportunities to grab his hat trick, but was denied by the Hull keeper.
The home side took the lead with 10 minutes remaining, after Metcalfe’s initial save fell to an attacker who had time to lift the ball into the net, but Halifax still had enough energy levels remaining and a change of formation saw them win a penalty corner of their own, which James finished brilliantly, dancing past on onrushing defender before beating the diving keeper.
Barron almost nicked all 3 points in the final seconds, but a fine save from the Hull keeper restricted Halifax to a long corner and, despite the umpires signalling for 1 minute remaining, they blew the whistle before the ball could be played.
Next Saturday see’s top of the table Slazenger’s visit Park Lane for a 2pm push back.