Lesson in finishing

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Mansfield Hockey Club crashed 8-1 away to Nottingham University after crumbling to an excellent second half display by the home side.

The game started with Nottingham having the best of the early exchanges but Mansfield battled hard to keep in the game.

Nottingham took the lead after 15 minutes but Mansfield levelled just five minutes later after some good play down the left.

Jamie Younger passed to Adam Moss who played the ball into the D to Danny Hendrie to strike a fierce shot into the net.

The teams were evenly matched at this stage. However, some good play down the Nottingham left and a cross into the area found a player free on the back post for a simple tap-in goal.

On the stroke of half-time a free hit was awarded to Nottingham on the 5m line which they quickly took to catch Mansfield off guard.

The ball was hit into the area and a cute deflection gave Nottingham a 3-1 half -time lead.

In the second half, Mansfield tried their hardest to get back into the game, but Nottingham were better organised, slicker with their passing, and clinical in front of goal.

Each team had some good breakaways, however, Nottingham scored their five chances, whereas Mansfield failed to convert theirs.

l Mansfield’s second team won 4-2 at home against Kettering to stay top of the league with Adam Denley scoring a hat-trick.

The game started with a lot of pressure from Mansfield only to see Kettering take an early lead against the run of play.

Mansfield continued to press on with Denley scoring his first goal from a long pass by Ryan Ward.

No sooner were the scores level then Kettering restored their lead from a well taken short corner.

In the second half Mansfield were the stronger side but could not break down the Kettering defence until a rebounded shot fell for Denley to score his second from close range to put Mansfield level again.

Kettering were broken and conceded two more quick goals.

A tap-in goal from Neil Hursthouse gave Mansfield the lead for the first time in the game.

This was then followed by Denley scoring again to complete his hat-trick and cap off another good all round performance.

l Despite a hat-trick by Mark Kimberley, Leamington held on to a 5-3 win against Mansfield third.

The game got off to a disappointing start for Mansfield with Leamington’s first three attacks in the first 10 minutes all resulting in goals.

Mark Kimberley started the fightback with a solo run from the halfway line, resulting in a fine shot past the keeper.

Five minutes later Kimberley scored a Mansfield second in an almost an identical way.

The fightback was short-lived as Leamington responded with a scrambled fourth goal, and then effectively made the game certain with a fine strike from the edge of the D with the final strike of the first half.

A revitalised Mansfield dominated the second half, although both sides had good chances and both goalkeepers were on much better form in this half.

The Mansfield domination was finally rewarded with a penalty after Kimberley’s shot from a short corner was saved by the feet of a Leamington defender.

Kimberley converted the penalty to complete his hat-trick.

As Leamington realised they had a fight on to keep their lead, tempers began to flare which eventually boiled over, resulting in both teams losing a player to a yellow card.

Although Mansfield began to press and created several more clear chances, the Leamington defence held out.

and they were clearly the most relived to hear the final whistle.