Hockey: Harrogate must be more clinical - Bevington

Harrogate Hockey V Chester. (1412064AM1)
Harrogate Hockey V Chester. (1412064AM1)

Harrogate captain Graeme Bevington has told his side they need to be more clinical if they are to turn promising performances into victories, writes Rob Stanworth.

His words come after seeing his side recover from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw away at Preston, but the Granby outfit were left to rue not converting any of their 12 short corners or numerous chances.

In a bittersweet performance, Bevington was encouraged by the fact that his team managed to carve out so many goal-scoring opportunities and believes that they could make their opponents pay in the coming weeks if everything clicks into place.

Harrogate welcome table-toppers City of York on Saturday (1.30pm push back) and then entertain Sheffield Hallam on Sunday (1.30pm push back) in a double-header weekend caused by the recent wintry weather.

York are unbeaten so far this season and average an impressive 5.5 goals per game, in comparison to Harrogate’s 2.2, and were 5-1 victors over the Granby outfit earlier in the season.

“We’re really looking forward to this weekend’s back-to-back games,” said Bevington. “It really gives us something to get our teeth into, but we will only really enjoy it if we play to our potential.

“York are the strongest side we’ve played this season, but we tend to raise our game against the top teams, while we’re pretty closely matched with Hallam and we’ve had quite a few close games against them over the years.”

Reflecting on the Preston draw, Bevington admits that it was a case of two points dropped, but said he would be more worried if his side were not creating any chances at all.

“We need to be sharper in front of goal and this is something that we’ll be working on in the coming weeks. We’re creating plenty of chances, but you can see the pressure building as the game goes on and we make the wrong decisions. We need to be calm and composed and make sure we execute our basics at the crunch time.”

Meanwhile, Harrogate’s ladies side also endured a frustrating afternoon as their game at Bolton was cancelled due to a frozen pitch.

The team were already well on their way to Greater Manchester when they were told the news and they are next back in action on Saturday when they host Newcastle University (midday push back).