Rotherham unable to get past the tightly parked Leeds bus
RHC V's Leeds 4
Rotherham Men's 1st team played hosts to Leeds Hockey Club this week hoping to extend their unbeaten run to ten games and take a commanding lead at the top of Yorkshire Division 1 in the process. It was never going to be straightforward however as their opponents had a near identical record going into this top of the table clash.
With a near full strength squad the home team started brightly, creating good chances which were only denied by a visiting 'keeper in ominously good form. At the other end, Leeds were struggling to make their plan of relying on quick breaks pay dividends with Tony Cooper in the home goal a virtual spectator in the opening exchanges.
As the half wore on, Rotherham grew more and more into the game and eventually Jack Hartley broke the deadlock with a powerful finish from an acute angle. At the other end Leeds too were starting to look more dangerous, having claims for one goal disallowed and another superb chance brilliantly pushed around the post by Cooper. This pressure eventually told though with a powerfully hit strike from the edge of the D somehow ending in the back of the net despite the keeper's best efforts. The half ended with Rotherham on the attack again, Hartley beating the keeper and wheeling away to celebrate only to see his effort come back off the post.
The second half continued in much the same vein, with Rotherham dominating both territory and possession and the visitors relying more and more on breakaway chances. As the half wore on Leeds retreated deeper into their own half, seemingly happy with the draw, and Rotherham were able to win a series of penalty corners. Unable to convert any of these the final whistle came and both teams took a point.
Rotherham face a tricky away trip to second placed Slazengers this Saturday hopeful of a similar outcome to their opening day encounter which saw a convincing win for the Brinsworth based team.
Match report by Steve Siddle