LX 1  v   Morpeth Reivers  2 

Once again LX were obliged to guest players’ Paul Monkman (Ben Rhydding HC) and Fred Mawdesley (GSK South Lakes HC) to enable this fixture to take place on the top class surface provided at the Stan Calvert Memorial pitch of Newcastle University.

In cold, grey but dry conditions, LX began confidently against well organised opponents with a good sprinkling of older veterans. Slowly getting the feel of the game, LX pushed forward through Bob Pursehouse and David Wright, but were unable to trouble the goalkeeper. Just as LX seemed to be getting on top, they were undone by a quickly taken free hit on the edge of the opponents’ ‘D’ which found the right winger unmarked. His aerial ball to the centre forward caught the defence out of position and the centre forward rounded Jim Standish to finish.

Moving forward from the restart, LX made their intentions clear and a fierce shot following a left side long corner brought a good save from the ‘keeper. Maintaining the pressure, LX were awarded a series of short corners but slow delivery meant that a first time shot was not on and the slip ball to the right was easily dealt with by a resolute defence. The 1-0 half time score did not reflect the overall pattern of play, but LX were behind after failing to convert a number of good opportunities.

Determined to level the scores, LX endeavoured to build the pressure, but attempts to bring John Land and Paul Monkman into the game on the wings were snuffed out. With Ray Jeff, Fred Mawdesley and Andy Holden prompting the forwards and Bill Pickersgill and David Margerison holding the defensive line, it seemed that LX were getting on top but a sharp raid from the Reivers caused panic in the LX defence and David Margerison’s clearance struck his own defender’s foot. From the resultant short corner, Reivers were able to force the ball home for a comfortable 2-0 lead. With 8 minutes remaining LX eventually were rewarded with a consolation goal after a cross from the right found Ray Jeff at the edge of the circle. His crisp shot gave the ‘keeper no chance. In a final attempt to level, Graham Martin manoeuvred his way into the ‘D’ but was unable to apply the finish..

Squad:  A. Holden; J Standish; D Margerison; J Land; D Wright;R Jeff; R Pursehouse; G Martin; W Pickersgill; and guests P Monkman; F Mawdesley.

Match Manager: Andy Holden

Your correspondent; Bill Warrender.