MINEHEAD Hockey Club’s men’s firsts travelled to Ottery St Mary last Saturday as they continued their search for a first win of the season - but came away with a 4-1 loss.

The “six pointer” cliche was mentioned by plenty as they came up against another team propping up the league. Further selection challenges meant yet another new starting 11 with just the one sub on the bench and a third keeper of the season in Eli Hayes - hopefully no more injuries in the keeping department any time soon. There were ominous signs as S&O’s five strong bench warmed up.

A scrappy start from Minehead saw a flurry of short corners given to the home side. Pressure eventually told and Minehead quickly found themselves 2-0 down inside the first ten minutes - predominately masters of their own downfall. Eventually following a change in formation Minehead grew into the game and gained a foothold in midfield with the change in setup. The game remained competitive right up to and after half time with both sides missing chances.

A further scruffy short corner shortly after half time saw the home side stretch their lead to 3-0 but finally fortunes changed for Minehead. A period of concerted pressure ultimately saw the home side goal keeper lose his head and swiftly get carded for dissent. Facing 10 men with no keeper Minehead capitalised scoring one and very nearly two more. Sidmouth and Ottery looked totally flustered until the sun bin ended, they were fortunate to still be 3-1 up. In the final quarter with Minehead down to 10.5 players due to hamstring issues fitness and numbers finally told and Sodmouth scored a late fourth.

The game ultimately finished in a 4-1 defeat meaning the hunt must go on. Morale remains remarkably high in the camp given the circumstances and league position so here’s hoping we can register that win before Christmas!

The Second X1 hosted the unbeaten top of the table West Dorset, and the usual tough match was the order of the day. Dorset took the lead with a well worked goal, but Minehead levelled from the restart with a counter attack finished off by Will Reed. Dorset slotted a second to go into the break with a lead. A well worked move saw Luke Barker slot an early equalizer, but after a frustrating run of play Dorset slotted a late goal to snatch the win. Glenmore Bakery man of the match was John Clegg for a solid performance around the park.

The Third X1 fielded a squad with more fresh players and returning players for their clash with Yeovil and Sherborne. The visitors took advantage of a sleepy start by the Seasiders to score two quick goals, but skipper Briggs’ men did not panic, and the rest of the half was evenly matched with joint Glenmore Bakery Man of the match Joe Sealby causing trouble in the attack, and Will Giles settling the defence . The second half saw Minehead keep possession, leading to a stocking-clad Ben Druitt field goal. Several penalty corners should have brought the hosts level, but they failed to capitalise on what should have been golden scoring opportunities.