Amber Valley Hornets lost a closely-fought game 1-0 against Staveley at the weekend.
With the prospect of being top of the table in Derbyshire Division One at the halfway stage of the season, this game was expected to be hard fought and played with great passion - and it didn’t disappoint.
Both sides settled into their rhythm from the first whistle and continued to play to full capacity until full time was called.
The Hornets had their first chance on goal when Charlotte Welsby and Sarah Joyce linked well and forced the Staveley keeper to make one of many fine saves but Staveley were soon on the attack themselves and some great goalkeeping from Tanya Rouse and excellent defending from Tracey Bonser, Jennie Bowmer, Kate Turner and Lynn Creswell kept them at bay.
At the other end, Amber Valley Hornets were awarded several penalty corners that they couldn’t make pay, partly due to the Staveley defence getting to the ball quickly and by the time the half-time whistle went, it was impossible to tell which way the game would swing.
The game moved quickly from one end of the pitch to the other and Rach Warner made some timely interceptions, but it was Staveley who made the breakthrough when they showed the importance of penalty corners as a blistering strike from the top of the D went in just inside the Hornets post.
The Hornets had taken a large squad to the game to keep legs fresh and switched the attack around with Ellesha Garner and Jayne Notman rotating and Deb Elliot adding to the midfield, where Bev Allan and Alex Ormston were working hard on either side of the pitch, and Dawn Spendlove had to make a number of good tackles as Staveley surged through midfield.
As the game progressed, both teams had opportunities to add to the scoreline and when Vicki Wain nicked the ball to Sarah Joyce to go one-on-one with the keeper it looked like the Hornets’ hard work would be rewarded, only for the Staveley goalkeeper to reach out a stick and ensure a clean sheet.
The result sees Staveley take top slot in the table, three points clear of Burton 2nds in second place with the Hornets in third place on goal difference.