Grantham Hockey Club

Long Sutton 2-5 Grantham – Deserved Away Win

East League Division 6 NW (N) – Long Sutton 4ths 2-5 Grantham

A full complement of Grantham men travelled to Long Sutton for their fourth league game of the season and came away with a well earned 5-2 win.

The first half began with Grantham in the ascendency as David Nix, Oli Phillips and Adam Phillips worked well in the centre, testing the opposition’s keeper early on. The combination of a strong centre feeding the wingers Will Hill and Simon Curzon-Hepworth allowed Grantham to score their first goal through Adam Phillips.

The momentum remained with Grantham but a number of missed tackles within the midfield allowed Long Sutton to break through and claw back a cheap goal at the expense of the experienced backline of Andy Willey, Graham Johnson, Nick Jacks & Neil Hanlon.

It was shortly after that Grantham were given their first yellow card with Adam Phillips being sent to the benches following being dragged to the ground by the opposition and dissenting. Unfortunately for Long Sutton this fired up Phillips when he returned and a well-worked short corner earned him his second goal of the day.

The first half finished with Grantham remaining the dominant force but another card was given to Jem Hill, once again for dissent, something which captain Johnson was quick to stamp out at half time.

A reinvigorated Grantham began the second half with vigour and following well-practised routines from Declan Curzon-Hepworth and Mark Pearce it was possible to build from the backline and reward David Nix with a goal to increase the lead to 3 -1. Long Sutton were quick to respond and close the gap, however Grantham remained determined and Oli Phillips was unlucky not to score after a slip from the oppositions back line left him one on one with the keeper.

Once at full strength again Grantham produced a number of textbook passing routines, keeping the ball well out of reach of the opposition before finding Ali Phillips once again and he completed his hat-trick.

Unfortunately Grantham’s full 11 did not last long as the response from the opposition was to force players off the ball with a number of bone-crunching tackles. Oli Phillips was unlucky once again as, following a Tom Daley-esque dive across the goalmouth he connected with the ball to send it soaring into the net, only to have it disallowed for an earlier infringement, losing the much desired advantage.

David Nix was then hooked over by a Long Sutton defender and was reprimanded by the umpire for retaliation, and received the third and final card.

With both teams down to 10 men the game proceeded in much the same way as the start with Grantham dominating the midfield. Similar to the first half David Nix returned fired up from the bench to supply Oli Phillips with a superb pass onto the left wing who then placed it through Long Sutton’s defence to Paul Hollingworth who finished with sublime accuracy.

This first league win of the season was achieved under difficult circumstances for Grantham who hope to extend their winning ways against Alford in the coming week.

Harrison Green man of the match was Adam Phillips.

Team: A Manguzis (GK), A Willey, G Johnson (C), N Jacks, D Nix, J Hill, W Hill, O Phillips, A Phillips, M Pearce, S C-Hepworth, D C-Hepworth, N Hanlon, P Hollingsworth, D Sykes (umpire)

Grantham Hockey Club – friendly, welcoming Lincolnshire hockey club