Thrills galore as St Albans snatch entertaining late win to break Letchworth hearts

PUBLISHED: 16:15 29 November 2018

St Albans Hockey Club's Dillet Gilkes. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

St Albans Hockey Club's Dillet Gilkes. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

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St Albans Hockey Club’s men served up a treat for any watching supporters as their trip to Letchworth became an eight-goal thriller.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

In the end the Tangerines came out on top, winning 5-3 to strengthen their position at the top end of the East Hockey League Premier Division table.

St Albans started the brighter and took the lead when Ian Scanlon’s shot was neatly deflected in by Pete Cornell.

Letchworth, however, got back on level terms quickly when a loose ball in the circle was dispatched past visiting keeper Iain Fraser.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

But without being at their best, St Albans retook the lead with a short-range finish from Dave Williams and a drag flick from Tariq Marcano made it 3-1 at half-time.

St Albans had a number of half chances early in the second half but couldn’t convert and, sensing a comeback, Letchworth battled hard.

They pegged one back through a low short-corner drag flick and looked to have completed the deal when a shot under Fraser’s body made it 3-3 with six minutes to go.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

But the drama was not over and after winning a short corner following a foul on Tom Hudson, Dillert Gilkes smashed in a rebound when Marcano’s initial effort was blocked.

And the victory was sealed when a fast break and cross by Cornell was put into their own net by a covering Letchworth defender.

Tangerines’ captain Matt Davey was relieved with how his team finished the match.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

He said: “Letchworth rallied in the second half and put up a valiant fight but we played a confident and composed last five minutes to retake the lead and put it out of the home side’s reach.”

There was less luck, however, for the ladies who lost 4-0 at home to Cambridge City in the Investec Women’s Conference East.

There was an international feel to the club on Monday night as German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a special hockey masterclass at Oaklands College.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

She has been in Germany‘s senior team since 2006 and was part of the Germany side that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

That was her third Olympics in a career that has seen her win an astonishing 291 caps.

The masterclass was attended by nearly 100 children aged between six and 16 who thoroughly enjoyed the different drills and game-like exercises.

German international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHYGerman international Janne Müller-Wieland led a hockey masterclass at St Albans Hockey Club's Oaklands College base. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

The event was organised by St Albans’ school project co-ordinator and junior German international Paula Kolb.

Former Tangerines’ first-team regular Richard Bayliss said: “Janne was great with the kids and they really enjoyed themselves. This was a super thing to do and it was really nice to have a number of kids from other clubs and local schools come along too.”

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