Harrogate Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI captain Will Rogers praised his side’s character and determination as they defeated high-flying Neston South Wirral 3-2 to move into third position in North Division One.
Rogers’ troops came out on top of a hard-fought contest thanks to a late goal from Charles Edmondson which gave the Granby-based side a well-deserved three points and saw them leapfrog their visitors in the league table.
The result was nothing less than Harrogate deserved after they started the game quickly and could have been two goals up before skipper Rogers himself fired home from the top of the ‘D’ after beating two players.
The hosts continued to spurn chances, including a missed penalty-flick from Edmondson, and Neston grew in confidence, drawing a smart save from goalkeeper Rob Stanworth from a flick bound for the top corner, before equalising with a second penalty-corner attempt.
Edmondson then netted his first of the day from a clever deflection before half-time, but the away team were fast out of the blocks in the second period to equalise and set up a tense final 30 minutes.
Harrogate were not to be denied, however, and hitman Edmondson was on target again to seal all three points in the dying moments.
“After losing last week, this was an important win for us against a strong Neston side,” said Rogers.
“We are in a fight for third and the lads want to finish the season with an unbeaten run.
“We’ve worked hard in training since the Christmas break and we did everything that we spoke about before the game.
“This was reflected in the performance, where we not only showed great togetherness, but defended as a team and scored a couple of lovely goals.”
Harrogate travel to fifth placed Lindum on Saturday (1.30pm push back), looking for a repeat of their 7-2 victory in the reverse fixture back in October.