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Mendip hit back after slow start

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

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Firebrands C 2 Mendip Men's 1st XI 4

Mendip got back to winning ways on Saturday and, although the victory was not as emphatic as would have been hoped, it was as good a performance as the team has given this season.

It was not the best of starts for Mendip, however, as they had to play the first ten minutes with ten men due to a mix-up over the start time.

The hosts made the most of the advantage when their right winger escaped his flat-footed marker, who was playing out of position, and slotted the ball past the keeper.

When restored to their full complement, Mendip immediately went on the attack. Liam Young, returning after a three-week absence, used his pace to good effect as strikers Steve Smith and Ian Young caused havoc in the circle.

Chances came thick and fast but luck was not on Mendip's side as Smith hit the post twice and was also denied by smart saves. At times Mendip were vulnerable to the counter-attack and Leigh Taylor had to make an excellent diving save low to his right.

Eventually, the Mendip pressure did tell as the ball broke loose to Joe Thacker, who slapped his shot in off the inside of the post to level the scores.

Firebrands played some attractive hockey but the organised Mendip defence were always alert to the threat, with Thacker and Andy Wood disrupting the hosts' rhythm.

Mendip reached half-time in front as Nick Pang smashed a vicious shot into the circle and Wood deflected it into the roof of the net.

Mendip continued to take the game to their hosts after the break and left-half Josh Sutton beat players at will to open the game up.

Smith raced onto a pass in the circle and rounded the keeper before finding the goal from an acute angle to make it 3-1.

Minutes later, Mendip had a three-goal cushion when Wood nonchalantly strolled through midfield and Ian Young diverted his shot into the net.

Firebrands refused to fold and played their way back into the game in impressive style, pulling a goal back to set up a competitive final ten minutes, but Mendip saw the victory out. Man of the match was Wood.

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