Winning goalscorer, Tori Wensley. Photo c/o Andy Smith

England Hockey Investec North Conference

Brooklands Poynton 1 – 2 Beeston
Brooklands Hockey Club, 1st October.
Beeston Ladies 1st XI maintained their excellent start to the season with a hard fought win over Brooklands Poynton in Manchester on Saturday.
Heading into the game, both teams had won their opening two league games, Beeston beating Sutton Coldfield and Belper at home while Brooklands had taken maximum points from away trips to Loughborough and Sutton Coldfield. Brooklands had been forced to play their two opening matches away due to the fact their George Road home had been re-surfaced from a sand dressed pitch to a waterbased, and Saturday saw the inaugural match on the new surface.
The game began at a quick tempo with Beeston making the early pressure before Brooklands came back strongly and deservedly took the lead after a period of pressure. Beeston dusted themselves down, and despite a partisan crowd and raucus atmosphere at times, they slowly started to exert their own stamp on the game.
It wasn’t until after half time that they were able to level the scores, but five minutes into the second period, captain Sophie Robinson reacted first to a delfected ball from Eloise Stenner across the ‘D’ and she fired the ball home past the helpless Brooklands goalkeeper.
Implementing the tactical tweaks that coach Colin Clarke had imparted on his team during the break, Beeston continued to dominate both possession and territory but despite winning three second half penalty corners they couldn’t find the crucial second goal.
With just six minutes to go though, Issy Davison’s driving run created the space to thread a pass to Paige Gillott. The 18 year old, playing by instinct fired a powerful sweep towards the bottom corner of the goal where Tori Wensley’s outstretched stick deflected the ball into the back of the net.
Now in the lead, Beeston had to negotiate the final five minutes, and with the help of a couple of excellent saves from Nat Robson as Brooklands threw everything forward, they did just that to claim a big three points on the road to maintain their 100% start to the season.