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Formby Hockey Club - City of York 1 - 3 Formby

Formby travelled to bottom club York this week and started brightly, retaining possession for most of the first 5 minutes, during which their best chance came from a move involving Ryan Baker's right sideline ball to Rob Baxter, who got it into the circle to Sean Friday, but he was crowded out and his shot missed the target. Switching their attack to the left, Baxter found Sachin Govind whose pass to Josh Birtles saw him get into the circle and attempt a reverse-stick shot that hit the outside of the sideboard. As York came a bit more into the game via their main attacking option of the fast break, Birtles produced one of his less elegant challenges which resulted in the game's first penalty corner. Sam Birtles in goal dealt easily with the attempt, kicking the ball clear over his left sideline. Formby pressed forward after the subsequent long corner to York and Adrian Nash produced a delightful jink along the right basseline, beating at least three defenders before crossing. Unfortunately his colleagues were not in the line of his cross and Formby were caught upfield as the speedy York skipper broke through the centre. With the Formby defenders struggling to get back, he rounded Sam Birtles, and, though forced wide, got in a cross which was bundled into the goal. Formby settled to retaining possession, though when Baxter was upended on the York 22 neither umpire saw any reason to stop play! He retaliated with a nice pass to James Riley in the circle, who really got hold of his shot, only for the 'keeper to make a good save with his right glove. Yet again, Formby succumbed to a quick break on their right, and only a fine save from Birtles kept the deficit at a single goal. On 25 minutes a slick exchange of passes between Will Miles and Sachin Govind saw the latter's shot saved, whereupon Ricky Davis-Guzman was green-carded, apparently for saying something inappropriate, though he didn't seem to know what! Down to 10 men, Formby still pressed and Ryan Baker, Baxter, and Nash combined beautifully to set up Felipe Davis-Guzman who could only be stopped by a blatant stick-tackle in the 22. This, the official couldn't ignore, and Formby had a penalty corner. This worked well, though it appeared that Birtles hadn't really got hold of his drag-flick. However, it arrived at a difficult height for the 'keeper and his attempted block deflected the ball back towards goal. Hampson was on hand with time, apparently , to pour himself a drink and settle back in his armchasir, before he tucked it away (his excuse was that he was hoping Birtles's effort would dribble across the line, but it eventually became clear it wouldn't! Davis-Guzman's suspension expired and he raced back into the action.......and straight out of it again, this time to a yellow card for what the umpire decreed was an "horrendous tackle", which was inrteresting as he made little contact with his oppponent, whose progress was barely interrupted. Nevertheless, he was binned for 5 minutes this time, during which the other umprie held a conference with the two captains about something he didn't approve of. York then succumbed to another Formby attack, conceding a sideline hit in the corner, which the re-restored Davis-Guzman took quickly as one defender dallied and obstructed him without retreating 5 metres. The was a penalty corner in the umpire's book, and, following the half-time whistle, Formby took toll, with a neat deflection by Felipe Davis-Guzman off Birtles's drag-flick, which took some skill as the ball wasn't on the ground. The second half started with Birtles getting in the way in the circle and conceding a second clumsy penalty corner. He made a mends by deflecting the York effort wide to the left of the goal. Having just discussed the importance of not allowing York the quick break, Formby then nearly fell to another, to be recued by a last-ditch Hampson jab of the ball onto the attacker's foot. Formby came the length of the pitch from the free hit and should have extended their lead ass nice interplay between Ricky Davis-Guzman, Baxter and Govind saw him draw his man in the circle before laying a good ball across the face of goal, where nobody seemend to want to finish it off! York's attacking effort was becoming less and less likely to bear fruit as they seemed to be tiring under the Formby pressure. Baxter deliveered a lovely ball to Govind in the York circle, but his first touch was clumsy. Then Nash set Miles up for a reverse-stick shot that was stopped with difficulty by the 'keeper, and Govind lost his footing as he tried to follow from very close range and sat on the ball! Still Formby pressed and a Baxter pass allowed Felipe Davis-Guzman a shot that was blocked. Baxter then picked up an injury and spent some time being massaged by Coach Capper on the sideline. Miles immediately found Williams in the circle but his deflection was cleared. More good work by Baker and Ricky Davis-Guzman supplied the ball to Govind in the circle. He found a defender's foot but the umpire played advantage (somewhat contentiously, as there were a lot of defenders in the way), and Felipe Davis-Guzman's shot didn't get through the mass of players and was deflected away for a long corner. With 12 minutes left Hampson was green-carded for another tackle that didn't seem any worse than a lot York were being allowed to make, but Formby weathered the loss of a man by the expedient of retaining possession, though the York offence had by now been reduced to a series of hopeful thrashes in the general direction of the formby goal-line, most of which were well wide of the goal. As their captain returned, together with the evidently revived Baxter, Formby once again brought the home goal under siege, and this time, after good work by Felipe Davis-Guzman and Govind, Baxter found himself in possession a couple of yards in front of goal with no-one to beat. He duly beat no-one and Formby at last had the 2-goal cushion they wanted to ease any worries of yet another draw! They needn't have worried as the York threat was virtually non-existent by now, and Formby should have extended their lead as Felipe Davis-Guzman got round the defence on the right, but unfortunately his cross to the unmarked Govind went well behind its intended target.

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