NEWLY promoted Warwick picked up where they left off last season by opening their Midland League Division One campaign with a hard fought 2-1 victory away at Northampton Saints.
Having been promoted after an undefeated season, Warwick were determined to keep their hot streak going and a solid structure mixed with tireless teamwork saw them take the lead.
Man-of-the-match Stevie Gibson opened the scoring with a fine deflection from a Dave Bryce pass and a short corner strike allowed Aily Smythe to double their advantage.
Northampton capitalised on slow defending to score just before half-time to keep themselves in the match.
The second half was more of the same with Warwick dominating and controlling but they were unable to add to their lead.
A final five minute onslaught from the Saints followed as they searched for an equaliser but Warwick held on for the win and head to Stone this Saturday in search of another three points.
Nick Baker scored a hat-trick as Warwick’s second team celebrated a 4-2 win at home Burton.
Warwick could have been five goals up at half-time but for some exceptional saves from the Burton keeper while two goal-bound efforts were cleared off the line.
Baker opened the scoring with a fine flick into the bottom corner but Burton struck back with two goals against the run of play to hold a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Warwick raised their game after the break with Emlyn Evans proving effective down the right after returning from two years out of the game.
Baker slotted another drag flick into the opposite corner and after a Burton player was green-carded for too much physical tackling Warwick continued to apply the pressure.
James Sear slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs for goal number three before Baker completed his hat-trick late on to earn the player of the match award.
Warwick’s fourth team ended their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 friendly win over Redditch, while the club’s fifth-string side lost their first game of the season 6-2 at Leicester Westleigh.
Warwick Ladies picked up their first point of the season after drawing 1-1 away at North Stafford.
Both sides played cautiously in a first half which lacked many opportunities on goal, although Katie Ranklin was distributing the ball superbly in midfield and picked out some sublime passes.
The defence of Emily Ingle-Tombs, Milla Dent, Helen Barron and Becky Weaver was disciplined and kept the opposition forwards at bay for much of the half.
An umpiring decision a few minutes into the second half caused confusion amongst both teams but a North Staffs players remained alert and managed to slip the ball over the line to give them a 1-0 lead.
This motivated Warwick who fought hard and started to dominate much of the play with Mel Best, Izzy Hurst and Helen Simpson creating more opportunities for the forwards.
Warwick’s determination eventually paid off when Ally Keays provided a quality pass to Lucy McEvoy who produced a clinical finish to earn the visitors well-deserved point.
Anyone interested in joining this progressive sociable club should contact Dom Simpson on 07971 815761 or go to www.warwickhockey.co.uk.