North Notts crumble near the end at Bridgnorth

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Two late goals and two late dismissals saw North Notts Hockey Club crumble to a 4-1 defeat at Bridgnorth in the Midlands One League on Saturday.

Notts manager Faulkner bemoaned his team’s fortunes on the day, saying: “We were poor today and never really got going.

“The two hour drive and some interesting decisions let the game run away from us.

“However, as a unit we all know we were far below the expectations we set for ourselves individually and the club.”

Notts travelled to Bridgnorth full of confidence following last weeks 3-1 victory over South Notts and were sporting a new kit supplied by Kukri.

Following the last few weeks of player changes, this week was no different with Johnson, Unwin, Jepson and Greer back into the squad and Smith, Paulson and Allen Butler absent.

Notts were quickly on the offensive with attacks from William Butler and Marc Johnson which were picked up by the Strong Bridgnorth central players.

This did not deter Notts as a ball from Johnson to Butler saw him pick out Russ Jarvis in the middle to the D to send Notts into an early lead after just seven minutes.

Notts kept on the offensive but seemed to lose pace and were looking very disjointed and struggling to win anything in the D.

It was on the 15 minute mark when Bridgnorth were able to find the back of the Notts net when a goalmouth scrap was unable to be cleared.

At the half-time break Notts were very disappointed with their performance with manager Faulkner telling them to forget about the first half and start with a clean slate by building the play and moving the ball around cleanly through the midfield.

The second half started with Notts making several offensive manoeuvres, but still unable to convert anything up front.

But several short corners by Bridgnorth were deflected by Unwin and Butler on the defensive line until William Butler saved the ball on the line with his body which saw a penalty stroke awarded, and Bridgnorth did not delay in converting this.

Notts kept moving the ball through the midfield but still were not able to convert, and a controversial umpiring decision then saw a Notts free hit outside the 22 metre line turn into a Bridgnorth 16 yard hit.

In the confusion Notts were given further insult to injury as Jason Barton was sent off for interfering with play.

This was quickly followed by a bizarre out of play incident which saw a Bridgnorth defender run into Josh Singleton and both players sent off.

Notts were now on the back foot and a series of short corners before the final whistle saw Bridgnorth score two set pieces to push the final score to 4-1.

This Saturday Notts face high-flying Worcester, who boast, Imran Yousaf, an ex-Pakistani international, as their player-coach.