Hockey: Lancaster and Morecambe keep up pressure on top side Didsbury

Nick Davey.

Nick Davey.

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Lancaster and Morecambe Men’s first team returned from the festive break with a win over University of Liverpool as they look to keep pace with leaders Didsbury.

The visitors arrived in the district in mid-table but are the only side to have beaten the table-topping Manchester side this season.

LMHC began the game well catching the Liverpool defence cold on numerous occasions in the early stages.

Phil McMorris, Nick Davey and Michael Sambell all had early chances, only to be denied by a defiant Liverpool stopper.

The game soon became more even as Liverpool warmed into what became an open and expansive game with both teams attacking with flare and precision with the only thing missing a goal.

Nearing the end of the first half Liverpool began to mount a series of attacks, winning a short corner in the process.

The visitors converted it with aplomb aided by a ferocious wind which caused havoc all afternoon.

Having missed a string of early chances LMHC were seemingly going to head into the break 1-0 down.

However the hosts showed the same resilience they have all season and were level seconds before the half-time whistle.

What seemed a hopeful ball from Sambell somehow found its way to Alex Davidson and with only the keeper to beat he unselfishly squared for Craig Allison to slap home from close range.

Lancaster and Morecambe felt they had the momentum going into the second half and the returning Joey Davidson had an excellent opportunity to put the home side ahead but his drag flick went narrowly wide from a short corner. The game continued to ebb and flow between the sides and LMHC had their defence to thank after keeping a series of Liverpool attacks out, man of the match Simon Mounsey, Andy Crabtree and keeper Mark Hutchinson all making crucial last-gasp interventions.

LMHC were now playing on the counter attack as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

They used this to good effect when a strong Tom Morgan tackle found Craig Allison who linked well with Davey and Matt Lee working the ball into the Liverpool ‘D’.

The ball found its way back to Davey unmarked on the back post and he squared for the progressing Rob Cook who slammed the ball home from close range to make it 2-1 to LMHC.

In the final minutes LMHC had Matt Hartnett to thank as he skilfully cleared off the line from a Liverpool short corner.

Lancaster and Morecambe continue their title push next week as they travel to third placed Liverpool Sefton in what will be another tough encounter.