Baileans miss out in clash with leaders

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Matlock Baileans 1st X1 1 Beeston 2nd X1 3

Matlock were hosts to top-of-the-table Beeston for their fourth league game of the season on Saturday.

After two great results in previous weeks and seven goals scored, it was set up for an excellent game.

Matlock started strongly, immediately forcing a number of mistakes from the Beeston backline.

After bringing the Beeston keeper into play early on with a spell of sharp saves, Matlock were able to take the lead. A spell of persistent pressure from the hardworking Becky Bowman forced the turnover ball. Bowman pulled the ball back to captain Nic Martin to cross for Sarah Archer to deflect the ball into the bottom corner.

Matlock continued to press and created several more opportunities during the half, but unfortunately failed to capitalise on these. The team was also put under various spells of pressure from a large Beeston squad.

The defence continued to remain strong with player of the match Claire O’Brien proving to be a shield in front of goal, blocking shots, making tackles and distributing the ball. Midway through the second half, Beeston thought they had the equaliser, only for the goal to be ruled out for being struck above the backboard at the first strike.

Moments later though, Beeston did strike back with a confusing umpiring decision upsetting the Matlock side’s rhythm, allowing Beeston to drive into the D to strike a forceful shot at goal.

The second half began in similar fashion with Matlock pushing Beeston hard to take all the points.

Matlock created several opportunities in front of the goal but again failed to add the finishing touches to some great attacking play and again it was Beeston that struck next.

A ball piercing through the middle of the pitch found the Beeston striker who made no mistakes in finding the bottom corner.

Matlock continued to put more and more pressure on the Beeston side as they pressed for the equaliser but continued to be frustrated by the Beeston keeper stopping each and every strike as it came. The final blow came a minute from time, when Beeston struck their third goal after the home team conceded a penalty corner.

After clearing their initial lines, Beeston stole back possession and nipped the ball past the keeper.

This was a disappointing result for the side after playing some excellent hockey.

Matlock travel to Worcester next week hoping to regain their winning form.