HOCKEY: OLTON and West Warwickshire moved up to second in the Men’s Hockey League Conference West following a narrow one-goal win against Cheltenham on Saturday.
Olton are now level on points with Exeter University at the top of the nation’s west league, while Cardiff and Birmingham University give close chase in third and fourth.
Saturday’s game started with neither side able to take a stronghold on the game.
Twenty-five minutes of play had passed and the deadlock was still unbroken.
Following a yellow card to David Ebbage, Olton pressed on and opened their account when Tom Mallett finished over the top of the home side’s keeper to hand the visitors a one-goal lead at half-time.
Olton created the larger portion of chance throughout the second half as Cheltenham’s defence were forced towards their goalline.
As the game went on, Olton grew increasingly frustrated at the volume of chances that weren’t taken.
An injury to Cheltenham’s number one forced a lengthy delay, and meant the remaining 16 minutes of the game had to be played on a different pitch.
When play did resume, Cheltenham equalised in a two-on-one situation.
Unphased, Olton pulled a goal back with seven minutes to go through Daniel Sulway.
Despite some scares, Olton held on to earn their third win of the campaign.
Olton are next in action on Saturday, 12pm, against promotion rivals Birmingham University.
Ladies 1st XI
OLTON Ladies moved off the foot of the Investec Ladies League Conference West after beating bottom club ISCA University 3-2.
Both teams showed positive signs early on as the ball was passed around the pitch fluently, though neither side managed to breakdown the opposition’s defence.
ISCA scored first when converting a short corner. But the scoreline was quickly levelled by Olton skipper Katie Brough, who scored a well-worked goal in open play.
Olton then doubled their lead through Sally Walton as the game approach half time.
ISCA fought back with a marker of their own moments before the half time whistle though to level the game.
Guidance from leading trio Sally Walton, Mark Wilson, and Kerry Thompson paid off as Walton registered Olton’s third and decisive goal with ten minutes remaining.
Olton played out the remaining minutes to pick up their first win of their league campaign.
This week they face Oxford Hawks away.
Picture: Manjit Narotra.