Mansfield hat-trick as SOHC men’s 1st XI complete stunning comeback

PUBLISHED: 14:55 18 October 2019

Archant

Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club (SOHC) men’s 1st XI sit third in the early season Conference South table after a 3-3 draw away at Shepton Mallett.

SOHC began the game well and forced a number of early penalty corners. However, despite the pressure from the visitors it was the home side who took the lead with a close-range finish after a slick passing move.

Just before the break the hosts doubled their advantage and things looked bleak for SOHC when Shepton Mallett scored a third in the second half to hold a commanding 3-0 lead.

SOHC were given a lifeline when, with 10 minutes remaining, a free hit was taken quickly and the ball worked up field and into the area where Nick Mansfield had time and space to pick his spot and drive the ball home.

Bouyed by the goal, SOHC began to press and they struck again with Mansfield again the scorer and the side's 'never-say-die' attitude paid dividends in the closing stages as Mansfield was again in the right place at the right time to complete his hat-trick and seal a superb comeback.Given the fact that for much of the contest SOHC were well below their best, to come back from 3-0 down with 10 minutes remaining speaks volumes for the strength of character and resolve in the team and bodes well for the rest of the league term.

Three matchdays into the new campaign, just three teams remain unbeaten. Leaders North Somerset are the only side to have a played three, won three, record while Yeovil & Sherborne and SOHC sit second and third respectively with the only other unbeaten records still intact. Tomorrow (Saturday), SOHC are in action at Ottery when Old Bristolians are the visitors (12.45pm).

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