Bishop Stortford 3
Pelicans Men 4
Pelicans grabbed their first away victory of the season on Saturday in what was a real rollercoaster ride of a game.
They were indebted to match winner and hat-trick hero Ian Simons who struck with three minutes of the game remaining.
The visitors found themselves 2-0 down inside the first 10 minutes, first thanks to a penalty corner and then on the counter attack.
In previous years this would have been enough to condemn Pelicans to defeat but they immediately went about putting it right.
Their passing became crisper and they started to create chances. Simons scored his first thanks to a well struck penalty corner which beat defenders on the line.
Youngster Collingwood-Smith, who has impressed this season since breaking into the 1st XI, had a golden opportunity to score his first goal of the season but mishit wide of the target.
However soon afterwards Johnstone smashed home the equaliser from close range. At half-time Pelicans knew the importance of the next goal and it was they who got it.
Captain Henry won the ball at the back before releasing Widdowson who found Simons on the dead ball line unmarked and he skilfully lifted the ball over the keeper.
The home side bounced back and equalised soon afterwards on the break. From then onwards Major, Henry, Esse and Allsop were forced to defend for their lives with all four making goal-saving tackles. Bower in goal also repelled the home side on occasions.
The midfield of Frost, Collingwood-Smith, Walpole, Johnstone and Picton also worked tirelessly to keep their side in the game. Nevertheless after soaking up the pressure Simons won the match late on with a fine solo effort as he dribbled the ball expertly from one side of the circle to the other before firing an unstoppable reverse stick shot past the goalkeeper.
Despite being reduced to ten men for the final two minutes Pelicans claimed what felt like at times to be a real smash and grab.
Pelicans return to Lynnsport tomorrow looking to make it back-to-back victories against West Herts.
4 Way Refrigeration MoM: Ian Simons.