North Notts’ goal rush is followed by cup heartbreak

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North Notts Hockey Club roared to an 8-0 win over Kings Heath on Saturday to prove they are more than capable of competing at Midlands Division One level.

But on Sunday they suffered the heartbreak of a 3-0 penalty shoot-out defeat in the National Now Pensions Hockey Association Trophy first round against Streetley at Manor Park after the game had ended in a 2-2 draw.

Notts manager Jay Faulkner was in a reflective mood afterwards and said: “After the 8-0 victory at Kings Heath, we relaxed a little too much and were maybe guilty of going route one for the last 20 minutes of the game.

“This took the game away from our very competent midfield and we were unable to attack with significant numbers.

“That said, stability in the league this year is our priority and the HA Trophy could have proved a distraction we didn’t need.

We will re-group and look forward to this week’s local derby against South Notts at Manor Park.”

The two teams had been drawn against each other for the third time in four years and, following last year’s encounter, Notts were full of optimism as they had run out 7-4 winners.

Sunday’s game started end to end. But it was Notts who went ahead as Allen Butler fired the ball across the D where Alex Greer was able to dive into the path and place the ball into the top of the net, leaving the defensive line and the goal keeper stunned.

Streetley were quick to react with a fast break on the 22-minute mark to level the scores, despite some fine work from Notts’ stand-in keeper Adam Bolus.

Notts kept the offensive work and a short corner which was slotted home by Allen Butler.

In the second half both sides pressed hard for the elusive goal and the victory, but emotions were running high as both sides were issued with cards for enthusiastic tackling and dissent.

On the 49th minute Streetly were able to score to bring them back level to 2-2 and then win the shoot-out.

The day before North Notts travelled to Birmingham in their second away game of the season to face Kings Heath Pickwick and coasted to victory.

Notts piled on early pressure and were rewarded on seven minutes when William Butler opened the scoring. Jason Barton, Josh Singleton and then Barton again sent Notts into half-time with a 4-0 lead.

At the break manager Faulkner was keen that the offensive work continued after seeing a 4-1 lead wasted the week before.

But there was to be no such repeat as further goals from William Butler, Matthew Cooper, Fraser Jepson and Allen Butler put the result to bed.