Hockey: Lancaster on top again after narrow win at Wakefield

Hayley Standeven-Johns in action for Lancaster Hockey Club.
Hayley Standeven-Johns in action for Lancaster Hockey Club.

Lancaster 1sts travelled to Wakefield 2nds on Saturday and came away with three points, taking them back to the top of North Division 1 after Newcastle could only manage a draw against Kendal.

Lancaster pressed high early on with Ella Bookless flying down the right looking for the high strikers of Julie Walker and Nat Clark.

Player of the match, Nicola Conway, was instrumental linking the midfield with the forward line and Hayley Standeven-Johns was making great runs into the 
D.

After 15 minutes Lancaster broke the deadlock from a penalty corner with Conway smashing the ball home.

Wakefield came back at Lancaster and their striker equalised when she cleverly flicked the ball over Lancaster’s lunging tackles and into the far corner.

But Lancaster came straight back out of the blocks with Ali Standeven-Johns who raced towards the D and round the back line and her cross found Hayley Standeven-Johns who swept the ball home.

Into the second half and Wakefield upped their tempo, keeping Jayde 
Christeansen and Heather Shackleton on their toes, and they were solid at the back.

Angie Evans-Hill and Beth Andrews worked hard all game and Libby Thwaites was fantastic on her first game back after a two month injury layoff.

Cath Foy made a great tackle in the midfield and found Bookless on the right, who took the ball past Wakefield’s defence and picked out Conway who swept the ball into the far corner, doubling Lancaster’s advantage.

Wakefield had 10 minutes left to try and get back into the game and they played two high strikers to try and get into the D.

They were handed a lifeline when the umpire awarded them a penalty for a soft challenge.

Goalkeeper Leighan Bleasdale went the right way but just couldn’t get enough on the ball to keep it out.

Wakefield pressed high looking for the equaliser but Lancaster kept possession of the ball well and held on for all three points.

Meanwhile, the relatively junior squad of Lancaster 3s took on the experienced Fulwood and were hungry for a goal from the outset.

Lancaster dominated the play in the first half with well-worked plays from Katie Benter through to Sophie Fowler who easily found Yaz Cotton, Diana Taylor and Emily Bamber-Dowthwaite but none could accurately find the goal.

A slip from goalie Sarah Hart left her out of position and with Lancaster already down to 10 players due to sin-binning of Cotton, Fulwood found a deserved 
goal.

In the second half and back up to 11 players, Lancaster once again dominated the play, but despite strong defence from Laura Smith, Liv Taylor and Amanda Bamforth, every offensive play from Fulwood ended in a shot on goal which tested goalie Hart, who denied them every time.

Alison Gardner and Abby Foster were able to make some nice plays from the Lancaster defence up to both Isla Tomlinson and Gabby Batty, but despite their best efforts were unable to find the backboard of the goal.