GS: Joe Blyth 10-PC Martin Sutherland 22,62-PC,F
Sheffield got their England Hockey Men's League underway with a hard fought 3-1 victory over league new boys Preston.
With a new look team and new look coaching staff in place, the Abbeydale outfit worked hard for an impressive opening day victory. Without the international players that once plied their trade on the Abbeydale turf, the team found themselves playing a much shorter passing game which proved to be highly effective. They squad also ensured they played with the utmost discipline to ensure they kept the team at full strength rather than collect any cards.
The deadlock was broken after ten minutes when vice captain Will Blyth slotted home from a penalty corner. The visiting keeper however, would have expected to do better against a rather weak shot.
The lead was extended after twenty six minutes from the home team's second penalty corner. Will Blyth fired the ball in at pace for Martin Surherland to deflect into the roof of the net.
The teams turned around at half time with the score at 2-0 to Sheffield.
The second half was very scrappy affair with neither side able to impose themselves on the game. Preston seemed to come out fighting but were unable to convert any of their half chances with Simon Hujwan resolute in the home goal.
Eventually, with 62 minutes on the clock, Man of the Match Martin Sutherland dribbled past a number of Preston defenders before firing hard and low to make it 3-0.
Preston rallied to score a consolation goal with two minutes left on the clock. In the end the club will be happy to pick up all three points and start with a win.