Keswick 4 vs Blackburn Northern 1
After last week’s miserable 7-1 defeat away to Knutsford, Keswick were keen to get back to winning ways against top of the table Blackburn Northern.
A win for Keswick would see them overtake Blackburn, and put them top of the table by 1 point.
From the start Keswick dominated possession, and were looking very comfortable on the ball, already a huge improvement on the previous week.
Keswick went close to opening the scoring early on, when Clive Swanston saw his shot whistle inches wide of the post.
It didn’t take long for Keswick to open the scoring, when Mark Proctor found striker Luke Heap in the box, who finished from close range to give Keswick a 1-0 lead.
Heap then scored his second goal of the game, after some good work down the left-side from Clive Swanston, he offloaded to Heap who finished passed the helpless Blackburn keeper, giving Keswick a 2-0 lead going into half time.
Early in the second half Blackburn nearly grabbed a goal, but luckily the centre-back pairing of Paul Randell and Jamie O’Shea were on hand to cut out the attack.
Keswick then extended the score-line further after they were awarded a short corner.
Swanston injected the ball out to stopper Robert Owen, who offloaded to Proctor for the attacker to strike the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
With Keswick 3-0 up and looking comfortable, Blackburn were then awarded a short corner.
Eager to keep their clean sheet , and knowing how lethal Blackburn are from their set-pieces, man of the match Jamie O’Shea was quick off the mark to close down the attacking short corner, putting his body on the line to get in the way of the powerful Blackburn shot.
Blackburn were then awarded another short corner, but this time the shot took a deflection off a defenders stick and found its way into the net to give them a life-line with 10 minutes remaining.
Blackburn almost got a second goal within minutes from yet another short corner. The ball was flying into the top corner of the net, but luckily for Keswick, skipper Shaun Wilson was on hand to stroke the ball away brilliantly.
With minutes of the game left Keswick found a fourth goal through left-back Robert Owen, scoring his 8th goal of the season. Owen collected the ball on the far left side of the opposition D, and stroked a smooth reverse shot into the bottom corner of the net to put Keswick 4-1 up.
With a 4-1 win Keswick Men’s 1st Team now sit 1 point clear at the top of North West Hockey League Division 2.
Team: Tupper, Sloan, Randall, O’Shea, Owen, Wilson, Jackson, Harrison, Swanston, Proctor, Chippendale, Heap, Mattear.
Next week Keswick face City of Manchester at home on Saturday at 12:30pm in the league.
On Sunday they also play in Round 3 of the England Hockey Cup, away to Triton.