Crickets' Goode saves point with late goal

Ottery Crickets Men' s 1st team travelled for the tough away fixture against second-placed Taunton Vale with an untried team, due to injury and unavailability.

Taunton Vale 4,

Ottery Crickets Men's 1st XI 4

Ottery Crickets Men's 1st team travelled for the tough away fixture against second-placed Taunton Vale with an untried team, due to injury and unavailability.

The Crickets started strongly and played the better hockey in the first 15 minutes. The home team took the lead before the Crickets pulled one back through Matt Kirk with a powerful drag flick into the top corner.

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Vale then took a two goal lead at the start of the second half, as the Crickets dozed off, spurring the visitors into action.

For the second game in a row they found that they were able to chase down a lead and, with the assistance of the home team losing two players to the sin bin for too much chat with the Umpires, they drew level with goals from Nick Goode and Matt Kirk. Goodes' a particularly fine effort running from deep in his own half to calmly lift the ball over the advancing keeper.

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Taunton restored to strength, Crickets found themselves 4-3 down and staring down the barrel of defeat before Goode scored his second with only a minute or two left on the clock.

Ottery Crickets Men's B 2,

Taunton CSA 4

Ottery started brightly against a Taunton side that were also unbeaten from their opening two games. The young Crickets moved the ball around well and played flowing hockey, having the better of the opening exchanges.

From one of these flowing moves Crickets opened the scoring when debutant Ben Garnett found captain Nathan Spargo inside the D. He swept the ball low into the goal past the advancing goal keeper.

This seemed to wake Taunton Civil Service up and the Crickets side had to withstand pressure. The visitors were awarded a short corner and, with a well rehearsed move, Jonty Hoar was beaten at his near post by a deflection from the injector.

The visitors doubled their lead from a counter-attack which was converted at the far post. Crickets managed to force their way back into this encounter with Tom Weeks, who scored for the third week running, by sweeping home a cross from the right hand side of the D. The young side nearly took a lead into the break with a penalty corner being awarded at the end of the half and Dave Ackland nearly converted, his flick saved well by the visiting keeper.

Taunton took an early lead, but Crickets pushed for a deserved equaliser. This left vulnerability in defence which, combined with the makeshift defence, due to player unavailability, led to the visitors gaining a fourth goal with only minutes left.

Overall, the young Crickets deserved more from this match but they were left rueing missed chances.

Joe Randall was superb throughout, breaking up countless threatening attacks with last ditch tackles and interceptions and moving the ball to begin attacks for his side.

Goals: Nathan Spargo, Tom Weeks

Man of the Match: Joe Randall

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