Alford Ladies 1st 6
Spalding Ladies 1st 3
Alford’s ladies hockey team, sponsored by Hodgkinsons Solicitors, played host to local rivals Spalding in the first game of 2013.
Having previously lost in a close fought match away at Spalding, Alford were determined not to repeat the result at home. Both teams started brightly, however it was the visitors’ efforts that reaped the rewards when centre forward Jacqui Hunter, shadowed into the Alford D and was allowed to strike at goal and found a gap between keeper and post to make the score 0-1.
Within minutes, Spalding thought they had doubled their score after a goal initially given by the umpire was rightly overruled by the second umpire, who had spotted a foot infringement by the goal scorer.
Having had a reprieve from the goal, Alford pressed the Spalding defence and midfielder Luan Burton, again showing her dominance, sprinted through and struck the ball from the top of the visitors’ D, flying past the keeper to equal the score at 1-1.
Alford suffered an injury to stalwart midfielder Tracy Le’Gate who had to leave the field of play and her position was taken up by winger Rachel Hickson; who immediately got stuck in showing tackling, defending and midfield work not previously seen from the attacking player.
Alford increased their lead to 2-1 when striker Kelly Tuplin converted a strong strike from a short corner into the bottom right corner.
Within minutes, this lead was increased to 3-1, when Alford’s right winger, Caroline Vickers, found left winger Vicky Allen, who flicked the ball high into the top of the net.
Alford’s league was pegged back when Karen Green hit a shot against the back board to take the score to 3-2.
Undeterred by the setback of a Spalding goal, Alford again pushed into the visitors’ half and Vicky Allen pushed the ball into the net, for Alford to go in at half time 4- 2 up.
A confident Alford side returned to the pitch in the second half, however Spalding had other ideas and were determined not to let Alford run away with the lead and, when striker Breen found the back of the net for a second time, Alford were momentarily put out of their stride and flashes of doubt loomed across the field of play and spectators.
Alford need not have worried though, as Captain Chloe took decisive action. She collected the ball in the defensive D and, on a solo run through the Spalding team, found herself on the edge of the visitors’ D and pushed the ball past the advancing keeper for a richly-deserved goal for 5-3.
Captain Bolland then added to Spalding’s woes and shot the ball through the keeper’s legs to finish the game at 6-3.
Man of the Match went to Captain Chloe Bolland for an inspirational display of leadership and skill. DOD went jointly to Luan Burton and Kate Murray.
Alford’s next game is at Skegness Grammar school on Saturday, January 19 at 11am v Bourne. Supporters welcome.
Alford Team - Carole Jacklin, Nikii Hind, Kate Murray, Becky Murray, Sophie Wood, Erena Rawlins, Tracy Le’Gate, Luan Burton, Chloe Bolland (Capt), Kelly Tuplin, Rachel Hickson, Caroline Vickers and Vicky Allen.