Hockey: Ten goal thriller

5 03 2010

After some hard pre-work game preparation, Dumfries captain John McCoskry scraped together a team of eleven to travel to Ayr on Saturday.

Missing their top scorer for the season, Jimmy Clark – who is on 15 goals – the Dumfries captain was looking for some of the other players to get themselves on the scoresheet.

The journey to the game was eventful with snow, sleet, road closures and even a traffic accident to get the day started.

Ayr were currently in fourth place in the league and chasing a promotion spot in the table.

It was Ayr who pressed early and a couple of runs down the Dumfries right were dealt with well by Mike Redman and John McCoskry to keep the ball clear of the Dumfries area.

After about 10 minutes Dumfries took the lead with their first attempt on goal. A side-line hit for Ayr was played back to the right back but his poor control saw Iain Callander steal the ball. He managed to keep hold of the ball, round the last defender and his back-stick effort was lifted over the Ayr keeper and into the goal.

The second goal came soon afterwards when Dumfries were awarded a free hit just outside the attacking 23 metre line. A firm pass by Sandy Rennie found Callander on the base line and he slipped the ball between the keeper and the near post to double the lead for Dumfries.

A chance for Callander to complete his hat-trick was driven straight at the keeper who cleared and striker Kris Martin also had a good opportunity but the keeper saved well.

Dumfries won their first penalty corner of the match soon afterwards. It was Dumfries stalwart Bennett who stepped up to take it. The flick was poor and stopped by the Ayr keeper just to his right.

Ayr then scored two quickfire goals just before the half time break.

The break came at the perfect time for the Dumfries side as they looked to have completely lost the plot after losing the two goals in quick succession.

Dumfries looked to start the second half on the front foot and that was exactly what happened when Callander picked the ball up wide on the right and carried the ball into the Ayr area. He rounded two players before knocking the ball off of the foot of the defender giving Dumfries a second penalty corner of the game. This time Bennett dragged the ball out to Rennie who controlled well and a slight lift on the strike saw the ball fly over the keeper and into the goal.

Ayr soon levelled again. The ball fell to their centre forward who took it round Boulton and fired a shot high into the net and past Moscrop.

Soon after Ayr took the lead and it was their young striker who crashed a shot over the outstretched Moscrop.

A driving run from Dumfries midfielder Andy Ross saw him fouled and awarded a free hit just before the Ayr 23 metre line. Again it was perfect understanding between Rennie and Callander that saw the game tied up at four each. The ball was driven into the space at the top of the Ayr area and the late run from Callander saw him deflect the ball into the bottom corner of the goal completing his hat-trick.

With 10 minutes left, Ayr had a great opportunity to score after a through ball found the young forward clean through with just Moscrop to beat. This time it was a fine stop low to his right from the Dumfries keeper, however it was clear to see that the back line of Dumfries were panicking as the clearance was weak and went straight back to the striker. His shot was driven into Moscrop who was still on the ground and after some scrambling it was Boulton who cleared the ball out of the sideline.

Ayr did get the lead for the second time with five minutes remaining. After somewhat of a scramble around the penalty spot, the ball came out to the top of the area and a driven shot flew past Moscrop in the Dumfries goal.

Dumfries were not going to lose without a fight and they pressed to get an equaliser. A slack clearance from the Ayr right back saw Callander presented with the ball on the penalty spot but he rushed the shot which went narrowly wide.

The Dumfries side were persistent and they were rewarded after some neat skill in the middle of the park saw Rennie fouled and Dumfries awarded the free hit. His square pass to Ross was played early onto Callander. He turned and beat his marker and an injection of pace saw him get between the two centre backs leaving just the keeper to beat. He coolly faked to shoot, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home, much to the delight of his team mates.

The game ended and a second 10-goal thriller of the season for Dumfries should see them hold their place at seventh in the league.

The man of the match could have gone to a number of players in the Dumfries side. It went, however, to Iain Callander who scored four of the five goals for Dumfries which gives him a record of goals in his last games.

An outstanding scoring record for a player who normally plays in centre midfield.

Saturday sees Dumfries playing at home against Hillhead 4s. A victory against sixth place in the league would see them jump above their opponents and all but guarantee safety from relegation.

Dumfries team: S Moscrop, J McCoskry, J Bennett, S Boulton, S Rennie, M Redman, A Ross, B Chambers, I Callander, A Darabi, K Martin.

Dumfries men are currently looking for new players. Anyone interested in playing is invited to training sessions on Tuesday evenings from 6pm-8pm at the King George V Park, Glasgow Road Dumfries. Information can also be sought via e-mail from: hockey@dumfriessportsclub.co.uk .

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