Wisbech Thirds edge out March Seconds in opening day derby

East Men’s Hockey League - Division Three North-West Wisbech III 1 March II 0

Wisbech edged out March in today’s opening day derby thanks to a second-half goal from their captain Dom Stannard.

Both sides missed a series of gilt-edged chances with ‘keepers Gary Sandford and Simon Freear in fine form for their respective sides.

It seemed like the game was heading for a goalless draw until Stannard smashed the ball home from a penalty corner half-way through the second period.

Match-winner Stannard said: “I’m pleased to have scored but the main thing is to get a result and it’s always nice to beat our local rivals.

“We knew it was going to be tough because we made so many changes and the young lads that came in, Jason Esser, Ben Tarratt and George Carter, did a fantastic job.

“There were plenty of chances but both teams lacked a bit in front of goal and both ‘keepers were excellent. Simon Freear had a stormer for us and made some great saves.”

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The home side came flying out of the blocks but couldn’t capitalise on their early pressure and March soon began to work their way into the game.

A number of penalty corners went begging for both sides before Paul Wing spurned March’s best opportunity when he stumbled and fell after rounding Freear excellently.

The game became stretched after the break, with both teams going for the win, and a combination of excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing somehow kept the score at 0-0.

It was left to Stannard to settle the encounter which neither team really deserved to lose.

March captain, Ben Sole, said: “It was a tough and competitive game as it always is against Wisbech and I think a draw would have been a fair result.

“There could have been many more goals scored but it’s the first game of the season so you expect players to be a bit rusty.

“It was a satisfactory performance from us but we’re hoping for better next week.”