Depleted King’s Lynn Pelicans lose at league leaders Norwich Dragons

HOCKEY - Bury Men's II v Pelicans
HOCKEY - Bury Men's II v Pelicans
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Norwich Dragons men 2 Pelicans men’s 1st 0

Pelicans travelled to league leaders Norwich Dragons on Saturday looking for their first win of 2017.

Unfortunately they had to try and do this without their captain Gav Johnstone.

They did however have Otto Esse back in the side and Olly Batterham back at the heart of the defence, David Grady also returned to the 1st XI.

The first half was very much end-to-end and both sides could easily have found themselves in front, in fact it was Pelicans who had the better chances early on.

A fine pass from Seth Walpole found Will Sheerin who rounded the goalkeeper but before he could get a shot in he was fouled and won his side an early short corner. Up front Henry Frost had a very productive first half and caused the home sides defence a lot of problems, his 3D skills set up chances for Josh Widdowson and Esse but both were denied by the goalkeeper.

At the other end of the pitch however the Pelicans defence of Sam Major, Batterham, Iain Page, Lee Dowers and Grady were kept busy as Dragons looked dangerous on the break and showed why they were top of the table and pushing for promotion.

Craig Green in goal had an outstanding game and kept the score line goalless at half time thanks to a string of fine saves, which included two from point blank range.

The second half was slightly more one way traffic as Dragons pushed forward and had the luxury of four substitutes on the side-line while Pelicans only had the one which meant the longer the game went on the more tired they became.

Half chances fell the way of Major who pushed forward, as well as Frost and Esse also causing problems again.

But finally the home side broke the deadlock and this time Green couldn’t save his side as had done all afternoon, a good run down the right was finished off right in front of goal by the Dragons centre forward. A second goal arrived soon afterwards from a penalty corner.

There’s no doubt with their regular players that Pelicans could easily have come away with something against the league leaders.

Next weekend Pelicans go in search of their first win in five games as they host UEA who they beat in a seven goal thriller earlier on in the season, 2.30pm push back at Lynnsport.

4Way Refrigeration MoM: Craig Green.