Lacklustre North Notts savaged by Wolves

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Lacklustre North Notts Hockey Club were well beaten 4-1 at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

Disappointed manager Jay Faulkner said: “This is one game we will have to forget about.

“We were out-fought in every area of the pitch and were poor today. We now have two home games in two weeks and must get back to winning ways soon.”

Notts knew would be a tough game after previous meetings two seasons ago.

The game started as Notts expected with Wolverhampton trying to dominate the midfield and move the ball fast on the spongy surface.

From the start of the game it was apparent that Notts were missing influential forward Allen Butler and defender Matt Kanalass.

The early exchanges saw Wolverhampton begin to pressure the Notts team into silly basic mistakes and within five minutes Notts had conceded the first short corner, Anthony Clay on this occasion first to the ball to break down the attack.

Notts themselves were starting to make inroads on the Wolverhampton defence and forced their first short corner on 15 minutes, William Butler coming close, firing the ball agonisingly wide of the mark.

Two minutes later another penalty corner awarded saw Greer spurn a chance when the ball was miscontrolled.

On 25 minutes Notts had a gilt-edged chance but a wayward Hawk pass did not find its intended player as Notts wasted another chance.

Notts’ decline continued on 30 minutes when another short corner for Wolverhampton was turned in after the initial strike was blocked by Clay. On this occasion Notts failed to give keeper Unwin the cover required and the Wolverhampton forward made no mistake to take the home side in 1-0 at the break.

Despite words of encouragement at half-time the first five minutes of the second half were to prove disastrous for Notts, who started the half with a complete lack of passion and hunger for the ball and continued to run the ball into opponents’ flat sticks.

Notts were punished within five minutes when Wolverhampton scrambled in a second and effectively leave Notts falling out of sight.

Three minutes later it was game over as a contest when a strike from the top of the D sailed into the top corner, Notts again slow to react after giving the ball away sloppily in their own 25.

A slight tactical change saw Notts begin to improve, and start to create chances.

Some contentious decisions began to go Wolverhampton’s way leaving Notts more and more frustrated.

However Wolverhampton were two lose two players through seemingly innocuous challenges as the game ran into the dying stages.

On 60 minutes William Butler came close when a rasping strike from the top of the D was somehow kept out by the bemused Wolverhampton defender on the line.

Notts did pull a goal back from a short corner, William Butler to restore a little pride.

But a minute later Wolverhampton delivered the killer blow in the last minute from a short corner to leave frustrated North Notts suffering their third defeat of the season.