Hockey ace claims another hat-trick

Gorleston 6, Dereham III 2

HOCKEY: Burrage-sponsored Gorleston played host to Dereham thirds, and maintained their unbeaten run this season.

Both teams started well in an open game enjoyed by both sets of players and the officials.

Gorleston gradually exerted pressure on the Dereham defence and won a number of short corners.

Goal machine Suraj Rajput opened the scoring from one of these, powering the ball home from the top of the circle.

Despite a number of other opportunities, it was the visitors who scored next, also from a short corner, Gorleston’s keeper Barney King deceived by a bouncing ball that crept over the line.

Gorleston continued to pressurise the Dereham defence with strong and determined play from the centre midfield of Richard Pallant, Simon Long and a cameo appearance from Andrew Lilly.

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Gorleston had a ‘goal’ disallowed in place of a short corner, but the home team took the lead for the second time when Rajput scored again, from another short corner.

With ascendancy in the game flowing from one team to the other, the score remained unchanged at half-time.

The second half started with a shock for Gorleston as Dereham gained the upper hand for a while and levelled for a second time, as the home defence failed to clear its lines.

However, the season’s statistics tell their own story, Gorleston score a lot of goals in the second half of games.

Despite their equaliser, Dereham were struggling to keep pace with Gorleston’s continued running and ball distribution, particularly through the defensive unit of Martyn Vaudin, Kev McDonald, Herman Cheung and Jason Austin.

The penetrating wing play from Mark Vaudin and Suraj Rajput began to tell on the visitors, and a break down the left flank saw Richard Pallant set up to strike a perfect first-time shot on goal and restore the lead.

With their noses in front again they piled on the pressure. Simon Long was unlucky when his shot came back off a post and evaded Neil Hudson who was following up.

Rob Harlow made his presence felt, storming up from defence to win a short corner. Rajput repeated his performance from the previous weekend and completed another hat-trick, again converting a short corner with a powerful strike.

The goal of the game came from Jason Austin. He carried the ball from defence, worked his way through the Dereham midfield and defence, evading tackle after tackle and smashed the ball through the keeper’s pads.

After three quick goals, Dereham had no answer to Gorleston’s game. Monty Raymont was introduced for the final quarter of the game and he won another short corner with only a couple of minutes remaining.

This time the ball was swept back to Mark Vaudin who scored the final goal of the game.

Squad: Barnaby King; Herman Cheung; Kev McDonald (C); Rob Harlow; Jason Austin; Martyn Vaudin; Suraj Rajput; Simon Long; Richard Pallant; Mark Vaudin; Neil Hudson; Andrew Lilly; Monty Raymont; Russ Crawford.