KESWICK WEST CUMBRIA 6 – 0 MOSSLEY HILL
MORGAN x 2
This Saturday seen KWC host Mossley Hill in the first game of the weekend’s league and cup double header.
Wests have had the perfect start to the season so far collecting maximum points with the added bonus of picking them up whilst playing their best hockey in recent years and are deservedly the early front runners. No doubt exciting times at the moment, but with tougher tests still to be faced, the level headed members are still focusing on consolidation as the main objective and rightly so.
Nevertheless their impact on the league following promotion has had to make other sides sit up and take notice and Wests were looking to add further fuel onto their self burning flame against their travelling opponents.
Wests fielded their usual backbone squad but welcomed Paul Crute back into midfield while Elliot Desert was away on International duty.
The game began with Wests on the backfoot and conceded early short-corners while struggling to build any solid play themselves. However, the back stood firm, weathered the storm and maintained the goal-less deadlock courtesy of Mattear and Fennell and some important saves from Dave Harris.
As the half progessed so too did the standard of West’s play and eventually the chances began to come. Morgan and Cook gave the attacks skill and pace and Sutton and Swanston provided the wing over-laps whenever possible although the game was predominantly contested in the center of midfield where the contrasting pairing of Proctor’s energy and Wilson’s composure worked ideally.
Cook and Barnes had a couple of half chances but nothing clear cut and after their bright start, Mossley rarely threatened anything more than that leaving the half to draw out to a tightly contested ,but scrappy 0-0.
A couple of seasons ago, if not the start of this one - Wests might have looked at this score-line as a positive, but with their fine start has come somewhat of an expectation to succeed... and the second half did not disappoint.
The second half started like the first with Mossley coming out of the traps the quickest but soon Wests had a firm grip on the game and then the lead. Tom Morgan burst down the right hand side to the by-line and after evading a challenge, cut the ball back for the ever-reliable Mark Proctor to fire home on the angle.
Clearly rattled but unable to mount a quick response, Mossley fell further behind moments later. After a surging run down the right from Sutton the ball went out for a long corner which was quickly taken by Morgan to Shaun Wilson who’s neat touch set himself up at the top of the D to strike a low back-stick shot into the corner to double the lead for his third goal in 2 games.
Two swiftly became three mid-way through the half and any hopes of claiming a point for the visitors were all but gone. Swanston intercepted a stray ball, offloaded to Barnes a first touch pass to Cook who sent Morgan splitting the defence, clear on goal to round the keeper and complete a fine counter attack.
Wests weren’t done yet and the more the Mossley heads dropped, the more West’s tails went up. The exceptional Rob Cook collected the ball and went on a solo run evading 2 challenges to skip into the D and flick the ball into the bottom corner.
Mossley began to show sparks here and there of what they are capable of but today was not to be their day and Barnes tapped in a fifth from close range after Proctor had done well to cut the ball back from the line for another assist to his increasing tally.
The sixth came in controversial fashion at the end. A flowing Mossley attack was indivertibly broken down via a foot but the game was allowed to continue in favour of Wests who broke on the counter attack. Seth Fletcher in on goal was grounded by Hill’s keeper to earn a short corner which was converted by a Morgan drag.
The cup beckons next from Wests but the league continues next week away to local rivals Glaxo in a match that always lives up to its historical hype.