Hockey: Hotsticks 1 – Rabat 0

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 19:30

Hotsticks 1 Rabat 0 (H/T 0 – 0) Umpires Paul Brincat Luke Busuttil Leaver

After early exchanges in midfield, Hotsticks spurned an early chance when Julian Zahra lifted the ball over the bar from close range. A penalty corner in the tenth minute was not availed of by Hotsticks and although they exerted further pressure they were not able to break down the Rabat defence for whom Shawn Falzon was a rock throughout the game. From the 15th minute onwards Rabat crept back into the game and by the 30th minute they were awarded five penalty corners which they did not convert. Hotsticks countered with fast breakaways down the flanks and were denied by Falzon when in the 31st minute he cleared off the line following a penalty corner action. A minute before half time Falzon was in action at the other end when from a penalty corner action he hit the post with the Hotsticks goalkeeper well beaten. The half time whistle sounded with the score unopened.

The second half provided us with more thrills. After winning a penalty corner two minutes into the second half, which was not converted, Hotsticks were awarded a penalty stroke in the 46th minute but Shaun Grima pulled the ball well wide of the post from the spot. Rabat countered and hit the side netting in the 51st minute. The game then flowed from end to end and in the 55th minute Rabat’s custodian denied Hotsticks going into the lead. It was Rabat’s turn to go close in the 64th minute when they were denied by the Hotsticks custodian spreading full length to smother an effort from close range. A minute later Ryan George shot Hotsticks into the lead when he lashed onto a rebound from a melee in front of goal – a lead which they hung on to until the final whistle to register a 1 – 0 victory.

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