Sudbury return to East Men's League Premier B action in 2020 with 6-2 win against Waltham Forest
Sudbury marked their return to action in East Men’s League Premier B in style with a 6-2 win against Waltham Forest on Saturday.
After a lengthy spell away from league hockey over the Christmas break, Sudbury entertained an experienced Waltham side who, despite inflicting an opening day defeat on the home side, were now sat below them in the table.
With co-captain and goalkeeper Chris Smith injured, veteran shot stopper Andy Stopps was called up and junior players George Bennett and James Preedy were also included in the squad.
Both sides were looking for points to create some distance away from the relegation places and the game started at a frenetic pace, with Sudbury striking first as leading scorer Will Chrystal tucked home.
A lack of team cohesion from the hosts meant that a number of chances on the counter were offered and, though Stopps made a number of key saves, he was beaten by a sublime finish.
Sudbury began to control the tempo and won a penalty corner, a simple routine saw Chrystal’s cross-shot deflected in by a defender.
Young Bennett tucked home a flowing routine to make it 3-1, before Chrystal secured his hat-trick, rounding the keeper and firing home. A fifth goal came from the home side’s second penalty corner, a straightforward routine saw Charles Apter sweep the ball home.
Waltham played for long periods with 10 men as indiscipline and poor tackling was punished with two yellow cards and a green. However, with their deceptively speedy front player they always carried a threat and pulled a goal back with a quick turn and finish at the near post.
Stopps made a flying save to deny them a third and, when Dean Hodgson returned to the fray he won the ball in midfield and released Chrystal to score his fourth with five minutes remaining.
Sudbury (7th) host third-placed Old Southendian this Saturday (2pm).
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