Preston Hockey Club men’s 1sts knew the importance of their forthcoming game over the Pennines against Sheffield and returned with a terrific 4-1 victory.
Four games into the season and both still without points, both teams recognised that victory in this early, bottom-of -the-table clash could kick start their poor seasons.
Preston seemed to have no issues with nerves as they settled into the game and took an early lead as Owen Fletcher won a penalty corner, Adam Wilson’s dragflick eluded the home goalkeeper. The forward delighted to get on the scoresheet having missed the previous week’s game.
Sheffield were always a threat and despite only having scored one goal in four matches were aggressive in their attacking play. The Preston defence remained resolute, with goalkeeper Matt Potts looking in fine form and Preston were able to make it 2-0 after 25 minutes when an over committed Sheffield defence failed to deal with a long aerial pass through to Keenan Quill who coolly applied the finish.
The Yorkshiremen resorted to long aggressive passes and their persistence paid off as almost immediately defender Jack England was sin binned for a poor challenge. Opportunities flashed past Potts’ near and far goalposts and the resistance was finally broken a minute before half time as Tom Brammer deflected home a long pass from Bill Hearne to make it 2-1.
The second half got underway and the visitors refused to allow their lead to slip, mounting attacks of their own through midfielder Grady Wing, a former Sheffield player himself who showed exceptional form on his former home ground.
The visitors continued to push and while the game became fractious and heated , they were able to keep their cool. They had an excellent opportunity to extend the lead when sharp work from midfielder Tom Galloway earned a penalty corner.
Up stepped defender Kayron Stagno who’s magnificent dragflick rocketed high into the Sheffield goalkeepers top left corner to ease Preston nerves.
Sheffield continued to fight for a way back into the game but the Preston defence stood strong and the result was secured when after more good work from forward Fletcher, Adam Wilson grabbed his second, a powerful strike from a half clearance from the Sheffield defender.
Preston welcome the visit of Deeside next weekend.