08:54 Friday 14 February 2014

SLIDESHOW: Title looms large for Uttoxeter Hockey Club's first team


UTTOXETER’S first team took another step towards promotion from Feeder West with a hard-fought win over Bridgnorth.

Becky Cotton and Laura Sims struck the goals before the league leaders held off a late rally from the visitors.

The inclement weather has played havoc with Uttoxeter’s training regime in recent weeks,and the hosts battled to assert their dominance in the early stages.

Possession was split evenly with neither team really threatening the opposition goal.

The breakthrough came for Uttoxeter when coach Kelly Wainwright made an inspired substitution, introducing Cotton on the left.

Cotton immediately sprinted into the D and after some intricate build-up play down the right, the ball was whipped across goal by Sims, and Cotton converted with her first touch.

Going into the second half Uttoxeter knew work was still needed to be done to seal victory.

But once again the hosts were unable to dominate early on.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm and the crucial next goal.

As the clock ticked down Uttoxeter won a succession of short corners.

Sims pushed out to Jo Rea who dribbled past an oncoming defender and threaded the ball through to Caroline Lawson.

Lawson drilled the ball towards the bottom right corner.

Her shot took a slight deflection off the Brigdnorth keeper – but Sims was on hand to pounce and ensure the ball found the back of the net.

Soon after, Uttoxeter had the chance to close out the match.

Lawson picked the ball up on halfway before finding Clare Barowski’s clever run which put her through one-one-one against the Bridgnorth keeper – but her shot went narrowly wide.

In the final 10 minutes Bridgnorth managed to pull a goal back which led to a tense end to the game.

But Uttoxeter’s superb defence held firm to keep a clean sheet and maintain the hosts’ five-point advantage at the top of the table.

Uttoxeter 1XI players’ player: Loz Davenport.

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