Beeston Ladies firsts made the trip south down the M5 on Saturday to face top six rivals, the Bristol based, Clifton Robinsons.
Off the back of an impressive draw against Hampstead and Westminster, Clifton have been having a strong season and would be a challenge for the Nottingham side.
And it was the hosts who started the stronger of the two. Beeston struggled to find any rhythm and Clifton capitalised creating the earliest chances.
In the 21st minute a stray Beeston pass saw Bea Bell fighting for the ball in midfield where she was disposed and Catherine Macaulay was put through one-on-one against Steph Tirrell. A quick shot beat the Beeston shot stopper to put the home side in the lead.
Eight minutes later a hopeful ball was fired into the circle on Beeston’s left and after some confusion and missed traps in the circle, Phoebe Richards slotted home from close range to put the hosts in a commanding 2-0 lead with less than half an hour gone.
Beeston, who had been growing into the game following the early exchanges started to find space and create opportunities.
Just before the half time interval, four summer signings from Loughborough combined to get Beeston back in the side. Hannah Grieve fired the ball out to the right finding Ella Cusack with pin point accuracy, Cusack proceeded to play the ball forward to Lucy Millington who in turn found Cerys Miller with a smart pass across the face of goal for a tap in.
Beeston continued where they finished before the half time interval and within three minutes won a penalty corner. A well-executed routine saw Hannah Grieve connect with captain Lauren Burrell to draw the sides level.
The game had hardly settled down after the goal when four minutes later Beeston won another penalty corner. Sophie Robinson found Hannah Grieve who, after playing a crucial role in the first two goals, completed the comeback with a quick shot from the top of the keeper beating the Clifton goalkeeper.
As Clifton attempted to get back into the game, they allowed space in behind and Alice Huddlestone had opportunities to tie the game up for the guests but couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Clifton fought hard in the final quarter, but a well organised Beeston defence were defiant, and a remarkable comeback was complete.
The 2-3 win for Beeston sees them pull four points clear of Clifton in sixth place and close the gap on Wimbledon in fourth to nine points.
Head Coach James Sordillo said, “we weren’t at our best in the first quarter, we struggled to get up to the pace of the game and needed quicker thought process and quicker ball speed.
The group did exceptionally well to comeback against a strong Clifton side.
Once we went back to our basics and stuck to the game plan we started creating enough chances and I felt it was only a matter of time before we were back in the game”
Beeston Ladies host Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday 26th February at Nottingham Hockey Centre. The game starts at 2pm and entry is free.
*Main image @asandysmith Beeston prepare for a penalty corner.