Strickland enjoys really four-some start to season

Leyland and Chorley Women's Hockey  Rebecca Halsall

Leyland and Chorley Women's Hockey Rebecca Halsall

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Hotshot Raelene Strickland was the star of the show as she bagged four goals in Leyland and Chorley Ladies’ emphatic victory over Fulwood Ladies.

Strickland’s four goals as well as a brace from Yasmin Bennison and goals from Marie Meagher and Sarah Winstanley sealed an impressive 8-0 win.

Leyland remain undefeated in the league as last season they were promoted as undefeated league champions.

It took just 12 minutes on Saturday for L&C to register their first goal of the season – Strickland produced a fine save from the goalkeeper but on hand was Winstanley who pounced on the rebound to fire home.

Fulwood looked for an immediate response and Becca Halsall produced a fine block to deflect the ball to safety.

After 16 minutes, Winstanley and Strickland combined again and the latter calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Meagher then got on the scoresheet herself as she latched on to a Halsall throughball and she made no mistake, pushing it stick side past the helpless keeper.

Bennison, who was making her debut for the club, then got a dream start as she bagged L&C’s fourth just before the

interval.

Two minutes after the break, Leyland were awarded a short corner.

Sarah King saw her shot excellently saved by the Fulwood keeper but on hand was Strickland, who cleaned up to make it five.

Goalkeeper Alison Clewlow, a spectator for the majority of the game, then produced a fine save, kicking the ball away.

With 10 minutes remaining, King hit a powerful ball to the back post and Strickland tapped in to seal a hat-trick.

Bennison and Strickland added further goals to make it a fine first day at the office for the ladies.

n The men’s second team were defeated 1-0 by Lytham.

Due to various selection

issues, L&C went into the game without a recognised goalkeeper.

The game started lively with L&C gaining early possession and looking like they could move forward quite freely, but they were unable to break down the Lytham wall in the final third.

Lytham withstood heavy pressure all match with their defensive philosophy on the game keeping 10 men behind the ball at all time.

Gary Shivers was unlucky not to see more of the ball when the home team were attacking and looked likely a likely scorer for Reds.

After some words of encouragement from captain Jordan Schultz and Damien Kaighin, L&C came out all guns blazing searching for the breakthrough goal.

Jack Gerrard and Tom McLellan continued to impress but the home side lacked quality in the final third and they were made to pay when Lytham grabbed the winner in the final 10 minutes.

n The third team lost 3-2 against Keswick thirds.

Pat Sullivan and Tony Stevens bagged the goals in a much-improved display before a late goal cruelly deflected in denied Leyland and Chorley a point.