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Hockey: Dramatic Alex Cockram strike saves York from relegation
10:45am Tuesday 3rd April 2012 in Hockey
NEVER-SAY-DIE City of York men’s first XI dramatically safeguarded their North Hockey League premier division status with five minutes of the season remaining.
City of York I needed only a draw at home to Formby I on Sunday, but they had to rely on a goal from Alex Cockram five minutes from time to clinch a 3-3 share-all.
The hosts started in determined fashion, making inroads into the Formby defence creating chances.
However, they found the Formby ’keeper a huge barrier to overcome. Formby forced a couple of penalty corners on 15 minutes, which were dealt with comfortably by the City of York defence.
From the second, York broke quickly and Richard Cockram put the ball away for a deserved 1-0 lead. City of York were unable to extend their lead before half-time, but their dominance paid off early in the second half when Alex Cockram netted.
The home side then appeared to relax and Formby took full advantage, scoring twice in two minutes to level at 2-2. City of York were then thwarted by the Formby goalkeeper and, with ten minutes remaining, the visitors took the lead and relegation was looming.
However, the team showed great character to keep going and with time running out they were awarded a penalty flick.
Alex Cockram was under huge pressure, but he converted to haul his side level and City of York survived a penalty corner scare before the relief of the final whistle.
Despite finishing towards the bottom of the table, City of York achieved their objective of staying in the league following promotion last year.
Relegation befell City of York III after they crashed 6-0 at Yorkshire League division one leaders Bradford I, who scored three times in each half despite the defiance of Brian Ignjatovic in the York goal.
Meanwhile, City of York VI beat Thirsk II 3-0 to claim second place in Yorkshire League division five north and seal a play-off for promotion to division four.
York made hard work of defeating a fairly weak Thirsk team.
A first-half goal from Stu Kerr was followed up by goals from Mark Moisley and Ed Marsden in the second period.
Before the game, both sides observed a minute’s silence in memory of York hockey stalwart Derek Bellerby.
Basement side City of York VII were beaten 2-1 at Ben Rhydding VI in the same division to suffer relegation. Will Broadbent scored with a superb solo strike.
In division seven north, City of York IX went down 3-0 at Ben Rhydding VIII.
City of York X (Badgers Development Team) continued their winning ways, defeating Doncaster 2-0 at Huntington School.
The two sides were evenly matched but, after quarter of an hour, a shot from James Fitton bounced to Matthew Horn and his shot wide of goal was tipped in by Andrew Hyams for a 1-0 lead.
York maintained the upper hand and enjoyed the better of the chances, with goalkeeper Tom Starbuck rarely tested.
New boy Sam Horner added a second York goal three minutes from time to give the Badgers their fifth victory in a row and kept them undefeated in their last six matches.
City of York II, IV, V, VIII and IX teams did not have fixtures.