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York's local rivals run riot on JLD

York's men's firsts hockey side got their pre-season off to a shaky start on an overcast JLD as York St John's men's firsts came out as 3-0 victors.

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[flickr-slideshow tags="mhockey25913" caption="Images: Dan Holland"]

York's men's firsts hockey side got their pre-season off to a shaky start on an overcast JLD as York St John's men's firsts came out as 3-0 victors.

The match started fairly evenly but the visitors were looking the most threatening in the final third; they came close early on but their striker could drag a snap-shot wide of the goal.

After an uneventful first quarter of an hour, York St John finally made the breakthrough they had been looking for. Following a spell of pressure, the visitors finally found room for a low shot that was seen late by goalkeeper Callum Chaundy - he could not get his stick strongly enough to the ball and the away side took the lead.

York, however, failed to muster any sort of response for the next ten minutes as they continued to struggle with York St John's aggressive high line in both attack and defence.

The home side's only real chances of forging an equaliser came towards the end of the first half. A quick shot from Phil Ratliff forced a superb diving save from the opposition keeper. shortly after, Ratliff came close again as he pinged a shot off the base of post after receiving the ball from piercing pass from Nish Selvekumar. Ratliff second attempt from the rebound was, again, well saved by the feet of the St John shotstopper.

The second half started much the same as the first half as York continued to look for an equaliser but St John's high line meant the game culminated into a midfield stalemate. Sam Richardson's partnership with Selvekumar was providing the most likely source of an equaliser.

A mazey run from York's talismanic Hugo Christie was cut back perfectly to Ratliff ten minutes into the second half, but once again Ratliff was denied by the goalkeeper. The home team, evidently, was not finding any luck on the JLD this afternoon.

York St John continued to control the game from the back and with a fifteen minutes left on the clock the visitors managed to double their lead. A dangerous ball through the centre of the D flicked up off a York stick and the ball fortuitously sat up for a St John striker to volley the ball high into the net. Controversially, the York players on the touchline thought the ball was hit above the legal height and that the goal should not have stood.

With York now deflated, it was not long before St John found a third goal when a long shot was deflected towards the far post, providing an easy tap-in for the waiting St John striker. The visitors did manage to bag a fourth goal in the final stages of the game but the referee had already blown for a short corner.

Richardson nearly bagged a consolation goal in the final move of the game, but his shot fired wide across the face of goal after he created the chance from a clever one-two move with Selvekumar. Regardless, a goal for York would have been unjustified in a sub-par performance.

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