Melton 2 vs Northampton Saints 2s 1
Melton faced undefeated Northampton on Saturday, looking to defend their own 100% start to the season.
After an excellent display last week, Melton’s confidence was high. However, a highly organised Saints team proved a tough nut to crack. The game started in an even fashion, although Melton were beginning to ramp up the pressure with a number of penalty corners. The Saints keeper made several good saves from Sam Pollard, before finally being beaten, only for Dan Kendall’s effort to come back off the post.
At the other end, John Morgan in goal was making important saves for the home side too. And when he was finally beaten by a goal bound flick, Freddie Welch was there to produce a superb goal line save high above his head.
Melton's Freddie Welch in action.
It was a crucial moment in the game, followed by another shortly after. James Hewitt’s good work down there right earned the Reds another penalty corner. This time Captain Leo Guy chose to drag flick, dispatching the ball high into the Saints’ net.
Melton Hockey Captain Leo Guy.
Halftime was called moments later, with the game still in the balance. However, Melton started to control the game in the second half, gaining more possession and territory. Chances continued to come, but Dan Kendall failed to make the most of them up front. It took another well worked penalty corner to finally double the home side’s lead.
A cleverly worked move from Rich Randall to Leo Guy allowed Guy to shuffle the ball to Andy Sibun to deflect home the second goal, and the eventual winner as it turned out.
Melton Hockey Club's James Hewitt on the ball.
Melton found themselves under pressure as Saints started to push to get back into the game. The visitors grabbed one back, leaving Melton to hold on for the final few minutes. The defence put in the work, refusing to offer up easy chances. And, as the time ticked away, the Reds started to get hold of the ball and keep possession to take the sting out of the tie. Frustration boiled over for the visitors, with several players sin-binned for desperate fouls as they just could not get the ball back.
Melton earned a hard fought victory to stay top of the table. They travel to third placed Leicester next week.