Leadenham 2-0 Grantham
Leadenham 2 – 0 Grantham
Following the Christmas festivities and the Club EGM, a full team and sub (nearly 3 – Blobby and Alex Clark!) took on Leadenham at Cranwell. The weather forecast looked pretty grim, but the showers held off.
The first half was more about remembering how to play hockey, as four weeks break and no practice meant that Leadenham were certainly the slicker in the pass. George Lodge, Graham Johnson, Andy Nix, Nick Jack and Andy Willey in goal, a cameo for Simon Hill, kept attacks under control, also stifling a couple of short corners in the first half.
Strong play by new man Nigel Baldwin and Nick Wraith in the centre midfield also assisted defence and helped bring the ball forward in attack. Wing men Andy Hill and Mark Pearce toiled with some joy, but front men Muz Pirwana and David Braunton didn’t really carve out any real chances to threaten the Leadenham goal in the first half.
Grantham were pleased to remain level at half time.
A formation change moved Andy Hill up front and David Braunton to right wing. Grantham probably had a little more of the play and the game was more evenly played than the first half. Some runs down the right wing and crosses to Muzzamil Pirwani nearly broke the deadlock.
Two short corners for Grantham produced saves or deflections for Baldwin and Braunton, but this time it was Leadenham’s defence’s turn to stand firm.
As you’d expect, the longer the game went on, tiredness crept in, the game stretched and gaps would appear as players strived harder for the breakthrough. It was Leadenham who scored first, counter attacking quickly to outmanoeuvre Grantham’s defence. 1-0.
Grantham strived to try and equalise, following our brilliant comeback at Long Sutton we knew we had done it before.
Another short corner, but no reward. Runs at leadenham by Baldwin, Pearce, Hill, Pirwana and Braunton pushed the game well into the Leadenham half, but another swift counter attack from Leadenham led to a superbly struck goal (unfortunately the wrong end for Grantham), an Aguero-esque volley leaving Willey helpless. 2-0.
Happy to have played, but probably deserving only to loose by one goal, the final whistle came. Some of the silky play just before Chirstmas, is certainly still there, but cobwebs need blowing off!
Now on to two home games at the Mere’s 2pm, if anyone wants to come and cheer us on.
Latest news our last match at the Meres will be 6th February 2pm, subject to the weather.