The progress being made by Worksop Ladies 2nd was reflected in a plucky draw against fellow strugglers Ashfield Aztecs 1st in the Premier Division of the Notts Women’s Hockey League.
Earlier in the season, a new-look Worksop side had crashed 4-1 to the Aztecs. But it was so much different this time around as they forced a 2-2 draw and were within a whisker of snatching their first league win of the season after six defeats in ten matches.
“The result shows the improvement that has been made by the team through the first half of the season,” said a club spokeswoman.
“Since that defeat against Aztecs, the team has developed and grown, and we can now go into the Christmas break with renewed confidence and growing self-belief.”
Given that Aztecs themselves had won only one of their subsequent ten fixtures, losing nine, Worksop approached the match confident of revenge. And for the first 15 minutes, they pressed high up the pitch, denying the home side space and time.
The pressure began to tell and Ashfield gifted Worksop possession on several occasions, leading to short corners which, unfortunately, were not converted.
So it was incredibly frustrating when a rare counter-attack by the home side resulted in them gaining and converting a short corner of their own to take the lead against the run of play.
Rattled, the visitors continued to push forward as the game began to open up. But they couldn’t find a finish and they went in at half-time trailing.
A positive team-talk at the interval inspired Worksop to begin the second period as they had played for most of the first, and after forcing several penalty corners, they got their just reward and equalised with a top-of-the-circle strike.
From then on, the match developed into an end-to-end contest with both sides creating chances. But it was Worksop who went ahead from a terrific counter-attacking move.
In response, Ashfield threw everything forward in a bid to find a leveller, which finally arrived after a spell of sustained pressure.
Undaunted, Worksop still hunted for that first victory and were only denied at the death by a superb save from the home goalkeeper.
The result kept Worksop bottom of the 11-team table with only four points. But the signs are there for a rise up the rankings in the new year when their next match is at home to Nottingham University 2nd on January 9.