It was a tense Saturday morning as the Mellor Squad arrived at Norbury for the first round cup game. Phil, our very own Everton Mint, was stretching out on the pitch before the start, and the boys looked a little nervous while warming up, with a big Norbury squad (both in numbers and height) watching to see how their opposition looked.
Mellor started the game showing a new tactical approach. With Alex in mid-field for face-off with his long pole, then dropping straight back into defence, Mellor won possession again and again. A great save by Ned in the first 5 minutes was the beginning of some great defending by the team, with Oli P sprinting down the pitch soon after and wining the ball back with a strong stick check. With a lovely goal by Jamie, and 2 goals from Norbury, the first quarter finished 2:1 down.
Q2 saw a good attempt at a goal by Noah, but the ball didn’t quite make it into the net. This quarter saw some strong defending by Alex, Toby and Joey, and further saves by Ned was making it difficult for Norbury to score, however they did manage to get another in the net. George and Josh both scored this quarter, unfortunately Josh’s was disallowed by a rather contentious stick check. Quarter finished 3:2 to Norbury.
Mellor started to struggle more with possession in Q3, and with a strong Norbury defence, it was a challenge to open up goal opportunities, however Jamie scored a beauty with an assist from George. We continued to win face-off, but keeping hold of the ball was another matter. The boy’s heads started to drop when we finished the quarter 5:3 down.
The final quarter saw another goal disallowed for Mellor, with them scoring when off-side. Josh was determined to secure another goal, and was like a machine barging through Norbury’s defence to bring Mellor 5:4 down, and the boys heads lifted just a little with the possibility of a draw being back in their sights. However, a further goal from Norbury brought home the reality that they had played a brilliant game, and had secured a win of 6:4.
The Norbury lads worked hard for their win today, they were a strong team with some good defending. However, whether Mellor felt they deserved the win was another matter. With some poor conduct from Norbury’s coach, resulting in the ref’s having words with him on a number of occasions about his language and challenging of the ref’s decisions, and the Norbury lads cheering when Mellor’s second goal was disallowed, the Mellor team left with a rather bitter taste in their mouths.
Match Report - Kate Plant