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White strikes and Rhydding are up
7:54am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Sport
Ben Rhydding 1 Gateshead 0
Ben Rhydding secured promotion with three games to go after beating Gateshead in Saturday’s top of Division One clash.
With two teams guaranteed to go up, Rhydding can now be certain of second place at worst, but will hope to finish the job off in style by winning the title.
Ben Rhydding hit the pitch hard and even in the warm up looked like they meant business.
Kieran Borrett and Neil Sugden were impressive in the middle and Gateshead didn’t know what had hit them.
A couple of early chances did not produce an outcome and the game became very tight and a spell of end to end hockey entertained the grateful crowd.
Great aerial balls from Connor Dowley made good connections with George Sweeting who is always prepared to run hard, but Gateshead defended intelligently and released the pressure with clinical composure.
Rhydding matched this at the other end with immaculate positioning from skipper, Dave Exley and selfless bravery from Tom Zillessen.
Keeper, David Carter impressed and proved impossible to beat.
Knowing that the game was going to be won on margins, both sides came out hard in the second half.
Will Musgrave sent some lethal balls into the front third but Gateshead continued to hold firm.
They even got wise to the big balls in from the Aussie, Tynan Cassidy.
The tension on the pitch and amongst the crowd was tangible as everyone felt a key moment coming.
And sure enough it did. Danny Foster stepping infield to find Connor Dowley who slid a gorgeous ball to Musgrave.
He delivered an inch perfect, flat reverse cross into the D for Josh Sykes who was perfectly placed on the post but the Gateshead keeper pulled off a great reaction save.
Alex White seized upon this with equally quick reflexes and slotted into the gap on the post to score the winner.