The flying start to the new hockey season by North Notts Ladies continued with a 3-0 win over Stourport Ladies 2nd to stay top of the Midland League’s First Division.
The triumph meant North Notts have an unblemished record from their opening three games, and a goal-difference of plus-13 (scored 14, conceded only one) that keeps them above the two other sides in the division who have also yet to drop a point, Leek Ladies and Edgbaston Ladies.
Stourport began with early attacks, and proved that they meant business with a chance that missed the target by just a couple of inches.
The hosts had to dig deep and stayed on the defensive until finally beginning to create opportunities of their own, using a flowing formula of regular substitutions. After about 20 minutes, a fine pass found Lil Robinson, who smashed home the breakthrough goal.
A half-time team-talk fired up the squad, and North Notts responded with waves of attacks through the midfield that led to players’ player-of-the-match Robinson striking again. Stourport tried to hit back, only for Amy Butler to add a third goal in the final ten minutes.
Coach Paul Hamnett said: “I was proud we came through the adversity of a team determined to upset our game play. It took time for us to settle, but the scoreline eventually reflectd our efforts.
“We are showing skills of intensity and aggression but must strive to achieve this from the initial whistle, rather than risk punishment. A clean sheet for the second week running was also to be commended.” This weekend, Hamnett’s side are away to Towcester Ladies.
NORTH Notts also progressed to the Second Round of the Investec Women’s Trophy with a 2-1 victory away to a passionate and youthful Stratford-on-Avon side. Captain Nic Fletcher said: “ It was a hard battle on a hot autumn day and, with a squad of only 12 players, we had limited substitute options.”
Meanwhile, in the Notts League, North Notts 2nd lost 4-1 to a well-drilled and physically in-form Nottingham University Ladies 2nd, while the club’s third team lost to South Nottingham Ladies in a very close match.