Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies fight back to extend flawless start
Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1s fought back to overcome Yorkshire rivals Wakefield and maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2019/20 campaign.
Their 3-1 victory was the team's fifth on the bounce since the season got underway and leaves them top of the North Division One standings.
'Gate fell behind after Wakefield forward Hannah Norman produced a wonderful bit of skill, scoring with a reverse-stick hit from a tight angle.
The league leaders continued to struggle throughout the first 35 minutes, unable to settle or find fluidity with their passing.
They did however increase the tempo in the second period and started to create chances.
With pressure building, Tilly Hall pounced on a loose ball following a save from the Wakefield keeper and swept home an equaliser.
Shortly afterwards, some nice build-up play between Laura Beardsmore and Anna Blythe set up Lucy Wood, whose strike from the top of the D flew in for 2-1.
'Gate continued to control the game and when Helen Goacher’s powerful ball into the circle was tipped in by Evelyn Wright, the game was out of sight for the visitors.
“The good start to the season is a result of the hard work the players have put in at training and our excellent team spirit," coach Alex Fletcher reflected.
"We now have a tough run of fixtures over the forthcoming few weekends and we are fully focused on these.”
Harrogate will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table when they visit City of York on Saturday.
Harrogate Ladies 2s took a hard-earned point from their away match at Sheffield.
Playing without their regular goalkeeper for the whole match, to get a point against a strong Sheffield side was a quiet victory for the visitors.
Laura Keyser and Jayne Montague combined well on the right with 10 minutes on the clock and found Sam Swenson, who drove strongly into the circle beating the oncoming defender before deftly flicking the ball past the keeper.
The team defended well but an impressive piece of individual skill saw one of the opposition players make it 1-1.
A short-corner then saw Katy Blyth tee up Swenson, who tapped in for her second.
Sheffield came back strongly and scored two quick goals, moving into a 3-2 lead.
A number of opportunities across the face of goal went begging for Harrogate, before Blyth collected one on her reverse stick and pushed the ball home from close range to level matters at 3-3.
Player of the match for Harrogate was Claire Barrett-Mould, whose excellent stewardship in midfield and defence helped her side to a useful result.