St Albans closing in on promotion to new national hockey league
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Hockey Club’s men could take an ever bigger stride towards promotion when they entertain rivals Ipswich at Oaklands College.
The Tangerines sit third in the East League Premier Division after a comfortable 4-1 win away to Saffron Walden on Saturday and face Ipswich, the side directly below them in the table.
And with four teams being promoted to a new third tier in the national league system, a positive result would all but clinch one of those places for the Saints.
Saturday’s victory on the Hertfordshire-Essex border saw Saints ease back into action after the snow of the previous week forced a cancellation in fixtures.
They opened the scoring midway through a first half where they dominated both possession and shots on goal.
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The only reason it took so long to find the net was an inspired performance from the home goalkeeper.
It was youngster and man of the match Luke Kennedy who got it, volleying home after a rebound came back to him, but St Albans needed a clinical short corner drag flick from Tariq Marcano to reach the break in front after Walden had levelled with a penalty stroke.
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It was more of the same in the second half. The Tangerines added a third early on thanks to a deflection from Hugo Christie to another Marcano drag flick and although the keeper once again repelled most of the Saints’ chances, skipper Matt Davey completed the win with a rare goal from open play.
He said: “The result was clear from the first few minutes due to some fast, exciting hockey and we continued this through most of the match. A good team performance.”
The women, who already play at the second tier of hockey in this country, also produced a good team performance as they beat Horsham 1-0 in the Women’s Conference League East.
Their goal came early, Paula Kolb deflecting in from a well-worked short corner, and they should no ill effects to this being their first game in over two months due to the Christmas break and last week’s snow.
Both teams had opportunities for further goals but Saints stayed strong to gain the three points.
They have two away matches this week with Wimbledon on Saturday followed by a trip to Sevenoaks on Sunday.