Slow start forces draw for North Devon Hockey

North Devon Gazette

North Devon 1st XI drew 1-1 at home to Isca 3rd XI on Saturday, in the West Men's Division 2 South hockey league.Â

As has been a worrying trend over the past few games, North Devon were slow to get a foothold in the match. Isca started brightly, creating a number of opportunities in the first ten minutes. It was only due to some sublime saves from North Devon goalkeeper Sam Wormington that the visitors had nothing to show for their efforts. Â

By the middle of the first half, North Devon managed to gain more of the possession, providing a platform for a string of goal-mouth chances, many the work of man of the match Ben Cox with his probing runs from the left flank. Â

However, the home side's good work was undone by a breakaway goal from the visitors, which came very much against the run of play, with defender Mike Cuthbertson finding himself isolated with a three on one attack and Wormington was then unable to keep out the shot on this occasion.Â

North Devon refused to let their heads drop and rallied in the second half. Centre midfielder Sam Kirkness started to dominate in the middle of the pitch. As a result, chance after chance was created in front of the visitors' goal, only to be repelled by a stoic performance by the Isca goalkeeper. Â

However, eventually the pressure told and a rebound slap into the away team's net, courtesy of Gerrie de Beer, after an initial shot by Ben Cox, saw the home side draw level with ten minutes to go.Â

"Two draws in a row have seen us slip from second to third in the league", reported stand-in captain Benjamin Andrews after the match. "Isca were always going to be well organised and hard to break down, as their results have told over the last few weeks, which has seen them creep into the top half of the table. We'll be happy with the point and hope to be back to winning ways with an away victory against Plymouth Marjon 3rd XI next week."Â