Ruth Dacey’s hockey column: Bankers are hopeful of speedy return for skipper Matt Godden

Matt Godden, Sheffield Bankers
Matt Godden, Sheffield Bankers
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Unbeaten Sheffield University Bankers men’s first side are eager for the return of key midfielder and skipper Matt Godden after two consecutive league draws including last weekend’s 2-2 result away against league leaders City of York.

The Sheffield side were 2-1 up with five minutes to go, in the top of the table clash, after strikes from Will Galloway and George Ashton, however the missing presence of their experienced captain was telling when a wonder strike beat Simon Hibbert in goal, for the spoils to be shared.

However the 23-year-old, who suffered a broken jaw during practice a month ago, is starting non-contact training this week and is eager to return for the crucial home game against City of Manchester Men 1s on the 29 November.

“Watching form the side-lines on Saturday we should have won against York considering how much possession we had and how we controlled large spells of the game,” he said. “We needed to be more clinical in front of goal and should have opened up a gap from them in the second half. Although there was nothing the players could have done about York’s second goal – it was truly incredible.

“I can’t wait to get back training again because it’s been frustrating on the side-lines and I want to come back stronger than ever and hopefully I can help create more chances for the forwards.

“We have done really well so far but we have some really tough games just before Christmas so I want to come in and give the team a big boost and help them get the results we want.”

Last weekend’s result extended Bankers unbeaten run to nine games in the North 1 Division League with 21 points, two behind league leaders City of York.

However Matt has stressed the importance of winning away this Saturday against eighth-placed Preston 2’s as pressure mounts from City of Manchester, just two points behind Bankers, whilst rivals Hallam sit in fourth on 17 points.

“We have to be clinical in front of goal against Preston. These are the games where hopefully we rack up a lot of goals and don’t throw any more points away in a silly draw,” explained the history teacher. “Bankers aren’t afraid of anyone in this league and we have tough games before Christmas against Manchester and rivals Hallam but we want to be top of the league going into the festive period so we are going for the win.”

The head coach Matt Northcott added: “We have the best squad in the league so we need to make that count.”