Hockey: Victory keeps North Stafford in Midlands One promotion hunt
NORTH Stafford maintained their Midlands One promotion push with a 3-1 home victory over South Nottingham.
The win against their fourth-placed visitors left North Stafford in second, three points clear of Worcester.
Nottingham University still lead the way, but with only three matches remaining, North Stafford have left themselves in a strong position to make the step up.
South Nottingham's counter-attacking game plan was soon picked apart by the hosts, who took the lead in the 15th minute.
Panasonic Store Camera•20x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens from 24mm...View details
What Digital camera Gold award winning DMCTZ40
SAVE £20 off our store price ONLY with this voucher
Plus you can also claim a SD card or spare battery
Choice of colours, free parking behind store
Terms: Print this voucher and hand in at Panasonic Store Hanley to save £20 off our store price ONLY £269.90
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Steve Rigby scored his first goal for the club with a reverse stick shot into the bottom corner, which handed North Staffs a richly deserved advantage.
And it was soon doubled when Amaan Merali pounced on a loose ball after the Nottingham keeper had made two fine saves.
The visitors reached half-time without incurring any further damage, but came out for the second period on the front foot.
North Staffs, who had showcased their attacking capabilities earlier in the game, were now forced to demonstrate their defensive resolve.
Ben Cantril and Andy Moore at the heart of the North Stafford defence rose to the challenge to snuff out the danger from a much-improved South Nottingham display.
And their steel was rewarded when Aaron Sherwani converted a penalty corner to make it 3-0 and put the result beyond doubt.
South Nottingham, to their credit, continued to plug away and grabbed a late consolation when a loose ball in the D was deflected.
North Staffs make the trip to STONE this weekend, who didn't have the ideal preparation for their derby date after suffering a 7-3 defeat at Worcester.
Richard Stocks proved to be the difference between the sides as he found the net four times, allied to strikes from Chris Miles, Chris Perry and Imran Yousaf. Stone's scorers were Jon Allchin, Lawrence Bassett and Matt Holmes.
STAFFORD showed their fighting spirt to earn a 2-2 West Midlands One draw at Leamington.
Stafford, who sit second-from-bottom of the table, picked up a point thanks to Andy Peatfield's double strike.
Mid-table Leamington were indebted to Jared Fox and Louis Loach for earning a share of the spoils.
BARLASTON endured an afternoon to forget as they were beaten 3-0 by fellow strugglers Evesham in West Midlands Two.
CREWE Vagrants turned in a lacklustre display to lose 3-0 at home to Sheffield Hallam University in North Division One.
The Cheshire side had been thrashed 8-0 by runaway leaders Ben Rhydding the previous week, and their hopes of bouncing back fell flat.
Vagrants forced a couple of early openings, but their performance quickly lacked any cohesion or firepower.
Crewe keeper Kassim Abbas was soon called into action to make a series of saves, but the writing was on the wall once Sheffield grabbed the lead thanks to a tap-in.
The Yorkshire visitors made it 2-0 in the 19th minute, and from this point, any confidence drained away from the Crewe side.
Sheffield added a third in the second half, and could have enjoyed a larger winning margin but for some poor finishing and desperate defending.