After an excellent 7-1 win in Coventry a few weeks earlier, the U11 White Tigers went into this contest with confidence running high. Games against Coventry are always a tough contest at this age group, and this proved to be the case on Sunday.
A cagey start by both teams saw little action around either goal, with Thomas and Rowlands proving very solid in D for the 1st line. It wasn’t until the 8th minute the deadlock was broken when Woodward raced clear of the Coventry defence to fire a shot high into the Coventry net.
Nottingham continued to put pressure on the Coventry goal, with forwards J Thomas and Humphries both having efforts well saved by the Coventry net minders. End of 1st – Nottingham 1-0 Coventry
The 2nd period started pretty much the same way, with Nottingham now dominating possession but not finding a way passed the Coventry goalies. However, Coventry still posed a threat on the break, and when they did eventually manage to have a sight on the Nottingham goal, Kembery was equal to it with some important saves. Credit to both Bucknall and Parsons on the first line putting shifts in to limit the chances for Coventry. As in the 1st period, it was a tale of missed opportunities and excellent net minding which left Nottingham frustrated at not adding to the score. End of 2nd – Nottingham 1-0 Coventry
With the 3rd period under way, and a very slender one goal lead, nerves (amongst the watching parents) begin to jangle. Sensing a chance of a result Coventry begin to take chances and push forward in the hope of sneaking a goal. But both McKenzie and Blakeley on the 2nd line and Harrison and Wisniewski on the 3rd were having none of it. All 4 D-men were snuffing out any attack before Coventry could get a shot on goal. Chances again went begging for the White Tigers, as Brown, Jones, Insall and Hayman all had efforts well saved. It wasn’t until the 42nd minute that Nottingham finally made the breakthrough their play deserved. Malek used his pace to skate away from the Coventry defenders, and calmly lifted his shot over the net minders pads. Coventry heads dropped, and minutes later Malek got his second of the game. An almost carbon copy of his first goal, he put the game out of Coventry’s reach and posted Nottingham the W. End of 3rd – Nottingham 3-0 Coventry
A gritty team performance, most pleasing was how the players defended as a team. The shot count of 30 – 6 emphasised just how well they battled when Coventry had the puck, limiting their chances to a few speculative efforts. Next game is a tough trip to our neighbours in Sheffield. Both teams enter the game with 100% records. Should be a cracker!!!