HOCKEY: A MUCH improved performance was not enough for Yardley away at promotion hopefuls Old Wulfrunians as they fell to a 4-1 defeat in the West Midlands League Division One.
After the traumas of the last two weeks where Yardley tasted heavy defeats against Redditch and Pershore, Yardley knew they were in for another potentially torrid afternoon, but back to full strength, they started Saturday’s match in lively manner.
The visitors knocked the ball around well early on but Old Wulfrunians pressed with full court tactics and made it difficult to play around them.
Yardley’s defence was called into action early on with set pieces and saves on the line from Keeper Neal Makepeace and defender Jeevan Chagger.
Eventually the home side broke the deadlock after the ball scrambled over the line, despite best efforts from Yardley’s keeper.
In spite of falling behind, Yardley upped a gear and forced a short corner. The initial shot on goal was blocked but the ball found its way to Zakariyya Asif who was able to pick his spot to level the scores.
Yardley were somewhat unfortunate in giving away the lead late on when Old Wulfs scored from a short corner.
Going into the second half and Yardley were still showing plenty of fight. A great move forward promised much but leading scorer, Noor Zaman, put his shot straight at the keeper.
Old Wulfrunians added a third from open play after good combination passing. The final goal resulted from yet another short corner to seal a comfortable victory.
The hosts were pleased to keep their ambitions on track and Yardley will have gained confidence from a much-improved effort. They will need to maintain this and more this week, as they entertain league leaders, West Bromwich.