Pelicans Men 9 Ford 5
Pelicans got back to winning ways on Saturday in a 14-goal thriller at home against 10-man Ford.
Despite still having players missing, Pelicans settled quickly and played easily their best hockey of the season in the first 20 minutes, racing into a 3-0 lead.
Youngsters Toby Hoare and Emerson Collingwood-Smith scored their maiden 1st XI goals following flowing team moves.
Hoare struck from the top of the circle after being set up by Johnstone and then Collingwood-Smith scored a neat deflection after receiving a pass from Simons.
Their third arrived soon afterwards on the break when a Johnstone flick over the top found Simons who unselfishly squared the ball to Widdowson, who finished well.
The visitors were a constant threat, however, and pulled a goal back with a well-struck shot.
Pelicans’ fourth goal arrived after Major broke up a Ford attack and found Allsop whose pass found Johnstone, who beat the visitors’ goalkeeper.
There was still time for Ford to score again before half-time to keep themselves in the game, and they were first to strike afterwards to bring themselves to within one goal. Johnstone then smashed home his second after good work from Frost.
Once again Ford battled back and caused problems for Major, Allsop, Page and Batterham in defence and made the score 5-4.
Upton-Jillings in goal was forced to keep his side in front soon afterwards. From this moment on though Pelicans took control and scored four goals late on to make sure of victory.
Widdowson scored three more from close range to take his tally for the match to four and then Simons netted from a penalty corner to complete the scoring.
Despite the scoreline and the victory, the midfield of Picton, Frost, Collingwood-Smith, Johnstone, Hoare and Dowers were kept busy throughout the half and Pelicans were made to work very hard for their three points.
Tomorrow Pelicans make the long trip to Southend to face league leaders Old Southendians.
4 Way Refrigeration MoM: Josh Widdowson.