Hockey: Great fightback gives MK ladies dramatic first win

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MILTON Keynes Hockey Club’s ladies suffered a heavy opening day defeat, but produced a fantastic second half comeback to record their first victory of the season against Oxford 2nds on Saturday.

Eastcote left MK with a 6-0 victory last weekend, but the city side were back to their best against Oxford as they edged a seven-goal thriller away from home to claim their first league points.

During the early part of the game play switched from end to end, with both sides going close on a number of occasions, and it soon became clear that the points could go either way as Laura Pellington-Woodrow was forced to make some fine saves to keep Oxford out early on. The visitors went close too, but couldn’t find the goal they were looking for.

Oxford were the first to make one of their chances pay to take the lead midway through the first half, and then again not long before half time to leave the visitors needing to come back from a two-goal deficit in the second half if they were to take all three points.

MK returned to the pitch knowing they were more than capable of the task required, however a sloppy pass allowed the home side to open up a three-goal lead, and the outcome of the game looked in little doubt.

With a big mountain to climb, MK began to build attack after attack on the Oxford goal and knew it was only a matter of time before they finally found the net. And it was from an excellent cross from Max McMenamin, which set up Gemma Little to sweep the ball home past the Oxford keeper, that it came.

Buoyed by this goal, MK continued to dominate possession and the goals kept on coming – the second after an excellent piece of skill from player of the match Gemma Meredith, creating space for a good pass to Sophie Reynolds on the back post who slotted the ball into an empty goal to make the score 3-2.

Alice Vigor, Lindsay Kettleborough, Chrissy Little and Lou Reynolds had to work tirelessly in midfield to deny Oxford of any attacking opportunities and maintain MK’s pressure on the Oxford defence.

And the equaliser came when MK were awarded a penalty flick for a foul in the D which Sarah Lowry fired home to draw the sides level.

With around 10 minutes remaining MK thought there was a winner in the game yet and kept up the intensity of their attacks, but Oxford weren’t going to give up and began to come back at them with chances of their own. But the MK defence of Steph Bates, Jess Barnes, Max McMenamin and Sarah Lowry remained focussed and dealt with anything Oxford threw at them.

The visitors continued to press for the winner and it eventually came via a well-worked penalty corner routine, with Lou Reynolds playing the ball to Sophie Reynolds to score her second and MK’s fourth goal of the game.

MK defended tightly during the final minutes of the game and despite conceding a penalty corner almost on the stroke of full time, their lead remained intact to give them a 4-3 victory and all three points.

Elsewhere the ladies 2nds saw off the 3rds 2-0 when the two MK sides met in league action, while the men’s samurai team were 4-0 winners over Aylesbury 4ths.

The men’s 2nds lost 3-2 to Staines, the 2nds thrashed British Airways 6-0, 3rds lost 5-3 to West Hampstead, 4ths lost 5-3 to Staines and 5ths lost 10-1 to Ealing Lions.