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Hockey: Northop Hall suffer second straight defeat

NORTHOP Hall’s poor start to the North Hockey Men’s League Division Two West campaign continued on Saturday as they lost 8-0 at home to South Cheshire.

They have now lost both their opening games and need to get themselves back on track this weekend when they go to Liverpool Sefton.

Hall opted to try a half-pitch press tactic. All looked good for the opening five minutes but South Cheshire got a lucky break to open the scoring.

From the restart, Hall again set up the press to make it difficult for South Cheshire to break them down.

On 15 minutes, Will Dunn was sin-binned after bringing down an opposition runner.

Facing a depleted opposition, South Cheshire doubled their lead and added a third before Dunn’s 10-minute spell on the sidelines ended.

With Hall chasing the game, they started to leave gaps at the back, which their visitors exploited leaving Mike Burgoyne exposed in goal.

With a couple more players back next week, Hall will need to raise their game and get back to the quality hockey they played last season.

Hall 2nds slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Chester 3rds.

Both teams made their intentions clear as early chances were created by both sides but it was Chester who drew first blood, counter-attacking from a Hall short corner.

Another Chester counter attack and a smart finish saw Hall concede their second but the visitors pulled one back through a penalty stroke, Craig Williams sending the keeper the wrong way.

In the second half Hall’s midfield was weakened significantly as veteran Barry Dunne was forced off the pitch with sunstroke.

Hall, without a substitute, were forced to carry on with 10 players and Chester took full advantage with two further goals.

Hall were then down to nine players after a dismissal for abusive language and they didn’t get back into the game.

Hall 3rds lost 11-0 at Sales 2nds while Hall 5ths lost 9-1 to Oswestry 2nds, Kyle Jones scoring after sterling work from Harpal Panesar and Connor Leckenby.