First point, but North Notts let 4-1 lead slip at Old Halesonions

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Promoted North Notts Hockey Club picked up their first point back in Midlands Division One with a 4-4 draw at Birmingham side Old Halesonions on Saturday.

But they came away with a feeling of disappointment after allowing a 4-1 lead to evaporate.

North Notts were looking to build on last week’s nailbiting 4-3 defeat at home by Burton and put early pressure on the home side with an early chance created by Allen Butler.

Old Halesonions were quick to react with offensive play down the Notts’ right hand side, great defending from Anthony Clay and Mark Paulson shutting them out.

Notts were keen to settle into the game, moving the ball into the wide channels via Adam Moss and Marc Johnson to find forward men Nathan Smith and Allen Butler, but being kept out of the D by the home side.

After 25 minutes of mixed possession Notts saw their opportunity to break though when a high lead found Marc Johnson open on the opposing 22 metre mark, who slipped the ball to Allen Butler to find Adam Moss in the back D to slot into the back of the net.

Old Halesonions were quick to react and, after a break down the Notts’ left, followed by a baseline run, they were able to pick out a player in the D to level.

Notts then won a short corner, andAllen Butler stepped up to take the strike and calmly place it into the corner of the net.

This was followed two minutes later by another Allen Butler goal to put North Notts into a 3-1 lead at half-time.

At the break, manager Jay Faulkner’s key words were to stay composed and keep up the offensive work to extend the lead, as Old Halesonions looked like they could still be dangerous if not kept well marked.

Jason Barton quickly put Notts 4-1 up on 38 minutes and a win looked on the cards.

However, Notts hit a flat five minutes and a series of offensive moves from old Halesonions allowed them to close the gap to 4-2.

This was followed by a chain of six short corners in succession issued against Notts, which saw the home side claw back yet another goal.

Notts kept up the offensive work as Nathan Smith narrowly missed out on converting a one-on-one with the keeper, and Allen Butler almost clinched his hat-trick goal.

But it wasn’t to be Notts’ day as, in the closing minutes, a goal scored via a deflection by old Halesonions, which caught an attacker’s leg in the D, was left to stand after a discussion between the umpires.

This weekend Notts are away to Kings Heath and Pinkwick.