Walpole solo effort earns King’s Lynn hockey side Pelicans a draw in opener

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Sport news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk/sport, @lynnnewssport on Twitter
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March 2 Pelicans Men’s 1st 2

Pelicans opened up their league campaign in Division 2N following their relegation last season with a draw away at fellow relegated side March.

Missing captain Gavin Johnstone amongst others, Pelicans didn’t travel with their strongest squad.

March caused the defence of Sam Major, Lee Dowers, Luke Mitchell and stand-in skipper Iain Page plenty of problems, however they dealt with everything which was thrown at them, as did Matt Bower in goal.

Pelicans looked most threatening on the counter, their midfield of Jacob Marshall-Grint, Seth Walpole, Ed Brown and Emerson Collingwood-Smith were superb throughout the whole game at turning defence into attack very quickly, and it was from one of these that Pelicans took the lead. A well struck pass from Dowers went all the way through to Ian Simons who rounded the goalkeeper excellently to score his first goal of the season.

Simons’s strike partner Henry Frost was a constant threat. More chances fell the way of the visitors but they were stunned as March ended the half 2-1 up; firstly thanks to a penalty stroke following foot on the line and then soon afterwards on the rebound after Bower made another fine save.

Nevertheless Pelicans rallied and despite March having the odd chance in the second half the majority of play was spent inside the March half. Pelicans equalised early on thanks to some individual brilliance from Walpole. After receiving a pass from Brown at the top of the circle he beat at least three defenders before smashing his shot past the helpless goalkeeper.

The best chances fell to Simons, Frost and Collingwood-Smith but Pelicans were definitely pleased with their performance.

Tomorrow they play their first league game on their brand new pitches against Cambridge South at 1pm.

4way Refrigeration MoM: Ed Brown .