Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies extend 100 per cent start to the season

The Harrogate players celebrate after Jaclyn Smith (20) broke the deadlock in their clash with Kendal. Picture: Gerard Binks
The Harrogate players celebrate after Jaclyn Smith (20) broke the deadlock in their clash with Kendal. Picture: Gerard Binks

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1s made it three wins out of three for 2019/20, easing to a 4-0 home success over Kendal in North Division One.

As has been the case in both of their previous outings this term, the Ainsty Road outfit struggled to find their rhythm in what was a frantic opening period.

Kendal pressed and harried the home side all over the pitch, and had plenty of opportunities to take the lead.

Indeed, the visitors would have been in command at the interval were it not for a number of excellent saves from Harrogate goalkeeper Sarah Jones.

‘Gate did however manage to make it to half-time still on level terms though yet to get the measure of their Cumbrian visitors.

With a big home crowd cheering for an improved performance, the hosts responded after the break.

They started to move the ball around the park with real purpose, enjoying a greater share of possession and benefiting from some more positive build-up play.

And, just a couple of minutes after the resumption, Freya Wilde picked up the ball outside of the Kendal circle, negotiating her way around multiple defenders before picking out Jaclyn

Smith, who calmly dispatched a strike into the bottom left-hand corner.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the ‘Gate advantage was doubled as Helen Goacher found midfielder Tilly Hall in space.

Hall sent a long pass in the direction of the goal-hungry Smith, who deflected the ball past the visiting goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Having wrestled control of the contest, the hosts began to play with more confidence and went on the search for more goals.

After good pressure from the Harrogate forwards drew a foul, Wilde took a quick free-hit, drove into the circle and found Sarah Proctor, who produced a fine reverse-stick finish.

In the dying moments, Rebecca Sagar added to the goal tally, putting a polish on the scoreline with a smart shot into the bottom left-hand corner having got on the end of a clinical pass from the stick of Goacher.

The win ensures that Harrogate remain joint top of North Division One, level on points with Morpeth.

This Saturday, Laura Beardsmore’s team travel to tackle local rivals City of York, currently fifth in the table.