Harrogate’s first clean sheet earns high praise from happy skipper Lambert

hsb  Harrogate. Steve Couture. (111001M3a)
hsb Harrogate. Steve Couture. (111001M3a)

Harrogate Hockey Club captain Luke Lambert has praised the “great win” over leaders Formby last weekend and encouraged his side to use the victory as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Gate make the long journey to Crewe Vagrants this Saturday (1.30pm push back) after producing their finest performance of the season to topple the North Division One pacesetters last time out.

Crewe were hammered 11-1 when they visited Granby Hockey Centre in the reverse fixture and Lambert has backed his troops to carry out a professional job.

The captain welcomes back Peter Shipston, although will be without the unavailable Will Rogers and Simon Lockwood.

Confidence for Crewe will be high after the excellent victory over Formby, which produced Harrogate’s first clean sheet of the season and comes on the back of a 5-0 defeat away at Sheffield Bankers. Despite torrential wind and rain which caused the game to be halted for five minutes, the home side scored the opener through Lambert just after the resumption of play. Goalkeeper Rob Stanworth made three crucial saves in five minutes as Formby attempted to get back into the game. On the foundation of an excellent display from Harrogate’s back four, with Mark Gibbons and Graeme Bevington winning almost every tackle they contested, Harrogate converted two short corners courtesy of Steve Couture midway through the second period which extended the lead to three goals.

“This result showed that hockey does not always have to be played in the same manner and there is room for an old fashioned approach,” said Lambert.

“Formby’s pace, athleticism, fluidity and multiple substitutions were snuffed out by our nous, dribbling and desire to win. All 12 players delivered on the day. We must continue in the same vein away at Crewe this weekend. Complacency must not set in.”

Harrogate’s ladies side ent down 3-0 in North Division One to lowly Preston on Saturday, before bouncing back on the Sunday to beat Lincoln in Round Three of the Investec Women’s Trophy. This weekend they host Morpeth (1.30pm push back) in the league.

Players from the men’s and ladies came together on Sunday in the Mixed Trophy but lost 6-5 to Leeds Adel. They go into the Vase in search of silverware.