Despite dismal weather, a rather ill captain Shaun Wilson and no Mark Bowen, Keswick started the game well. Playing good strong passing hockey and keeping to the high press and pressure, Keswick manged to produce a couple of chances that flashed across the goal but were unfortunately not converted.
The first scare for Keswick came in early in the first half when a break from Southport resulted in a short corner. However, Keswick’s defence held true and the ball was cleared by 1st defender Thomas Morgan. Keswick kept pushing and battling, and eventually the high press proved too much for Southport; Rikki Barnes collected the ball and expertly passed to the club's newest father, Rob Cook, who lifted the ball onto the end of his stick and deftly lobbed the keeper from the top of the D and into the net. A firm goal of the season candidate.
The first half continued in high spirits with Keswick maintaining the majority of the position. Keswick’s defence proved their quality time and time again by stopping every challenge and break that Southport attempted. The second goal came 25 minutes into the first half when Keswick’s patience and passing paid off, with Rob Cook receiving the ball in the D and expertly flicking it into the bottom corner, not giving the keeper a chance. The half continued very much the same, Keswick dominating and with the strike force of Rob Cook, Ben Harrison, Rikki Barnes, Mark Proctor, Charlie Jackson and Luke Heap piling on the pressure, Southport didn’t have much to say.
The half time break seem to revitalise Southport and they came out fighting. Keswick were hard pressed for the first 10 minutes as Chris Mattear, Jamie O’shea, Robert Owen, Paul Sloan, Tom Morgan and Clive Swanston continued to absorb the attacks and short corners which arose. Midfield continued to back up the defence and attack and thanks to a beautiful bit of passing between Luke Heap, Rob Cook, Mark Proctor and Charlie Jackson ended with a well worked team Goal for Rikki Barnes.
Keswick and Southport continued to battle with short corners at both ends being expertly saved by Gary Tupper and the Southport keeper. The ball continued to switch sides, Keswick still maintaining the majority of ball, however one of these attacks nearly ended up with a flick to Southport. Luckily the umpires smiled on us for that moment and only awarded a Short corner which was saved and cleaned up by the Keswick defence. The final goal came a short while later from Robert Cook to complete his hat trick and put the thought of obtaining a point out of Southport’s minds.
The game ended 4-0 to Keswick; a well-deserved score and a great performance from all members of the team.
MOM- Robert Cook