OXTON hockey club men’s 1st team were in Yorkshire at the weekend for two matches.
On Saturday they visited Sheffield University Bankers in a Northern Premier League fixture and in a game dominated by a series of controversial decisions from the home umpires were defeated 3-1.
Ali McKenzie hit the post and Gordon Moore had a penalty saved in the first half and the visitors went in at half time 2-0 down.
Oxton dominated the second half and scored after ten minutes, when skilful play down the flank by Sam Cooke set up Nik Heyes to volley home. Oxton should really have capitalised on their possession but were undone as Bankers broke away to score a third goal.
On Sunday they made the short journey to Doncaster to meet a team flying high in National Conference North in the quarter final of the EHL Cup.
From the off Oxton were on the back foot as Doncaster swept the ball round confidently and only dogged and, at times, desperate defending kept the home team at bay.
After 25 minutes the pressure told and a swiftly taken free hit set up the home team’s first goal. It wasn’t all one way traffic, however, and a little more composure in front of goal by McKenzie may have seen Oxton level. The second half was a different story as Oxton upped their game and looked on par with their national league opponents. After ten minutes their efforts were rewarded when Heyes and Bailey combined to set up Moore for a spectacular sliding finish.
It was now Doncaster’s turn to defend as Oxton set up numerous chances with McKenzie, Russell and Parkes all being denied by the home keeper.
With less than ten minutes remaining, and Oxton pressing, a speculative aerial pass out of defence was skilfully controlled by a Doncaster forward who outpaced the defence and gave keeper Green no chance. In the last few minutes Oxton conceded a third and a fourth but this flattered the home team and didn’t reflect the efforts of the Oxton players who had the team from the league above on the backfoot for long periods.
Elsewhere the second team entertained Macclesfield firsts and won their ninth league game in succession to sit at the top of their league, two goals from Callum McDougall and one from skipper Chris Lovell handed them a 3-0 win.
The fifth team scored after 25 seconds through Adam Kohler in their game against Alderley Edge thirds, the floodgates didn’t open though and the visitors equalised midway through the first half, an entertaining game finishing 1-1.