Mansfield’s Hockey Club’s penultimate league game of the season saw them play at home against local rivals North Notts in the East Midlands Regional Hockey Premier League sponsored by Ener-G.
With Notts’ chance of promotion gone for this year and Mansfield already relegated over a month ago due to losing 10 points for discipline, the game only really offered bragging rights for the winner and little more.
The bets were on how many North Notts could score since Mansfield have been finding things pretty tough going this season.
However, this proved to be an enthralling encounter and Mansfield put in a sterling team performance in a 1-0 defeat.
Mansfield got their passing game going from the start and had some good possession without creating any chances.
Notts won a couple of short corners, but the Mansfield runners were out quickly and got tackles preventing shots.
On 14 minutes Mansfield were awarded a short corner and did managed to get a shot off only for it to be saved.
Two minutes later North Notts took the lead. From another short corner, a weak shot was deflected and left the keeper stranded and the ball almost trickled in.
Mansfield continued to pass the ball well, they gained a couple more short corners, but they couldn’t convert and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
The second half was much of the same; Mansfield played a good passing game but it was North Notts who at times ought to have done better since it was they who won five short corners and didn’t score.
Good saves from Jay Ward in the Mansfield goal and some excellent defending kept Mansfield in the game.
In the last 10 minutes Mansfield piled on the pressure and had numerous attacks but just couldn’t find a clinical finish.
l Mansfield’s second and third teams had mixed fortunes in their respective games against Newark.
The seconds travelled away and lost 4-1, while the thirds played at home and won 5-0 with a superb hat-trick from Steve Jenks and two from Phil Allen.
On Sunday, Mansfield seconds and thirds then played catch-up matches at home.
The seconds just lost out to a last minute goal, 3-2 against Loughborough Sharks, with Matt Seals scoring both of the Mansfield goals.
The third team managed to draw 4-4 showing great determination, coming from behind four times with goals from Miles Kent, Phil Allen and two from Phil Allen.
This Saturday sees North Notts take on Sikh Union in their last game of the season at Manor Park (2pm).