Oban hockey club strengthen their grip on league title

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After the ‘Beast from the East’ saw last week’s game postponed, Oban were back in action against third-placed Giffnock.

Having lost to Giffnock earlier in the season, the team knew this would be a tough encounter.

In typical Oban style, a goal was scored in the first 10 minutes of the game with captain Ali Burton firing home from a short corner. Moments later, star striker Stuart Head scored Oban’s second from open play.

After a strong start, the team then found themselves under pressure from a resurgent Giffnock, who launched numerous counter-attacks and forced three attacking short corners inside the first half.

Oban’s defence was proving to be impenetrable, with each short corner saved from Giffnock scoring.

However, the breakthrough came for the opposition and Giffnock struck the ball home after finding a way past keeper Andy Head diving away to his right.

At 2-1, the pressure was on and Oban had to dig deep to see off the Giffnock attacks. Just before half-time Oban got lucky and were awarded a short corner.

After the ball deflected off the Giffnock keeper George Gauley scrambled to the ball and managed to push it over the line before Giffnock’s defenders could get there.

At 3-1 up going into the second half, the team knew they had to work hard to hold onto the game. To make things worse, Jack Anderson, who had provided great stability in defence, had to leave the game.

It was time for a change of tactics and Oban amended their formation to a more defensive 5-3-2. The plan worked and Giffnock were not able to break through the strong Oban defence.

The smell of victory was in the air and Oban launched several counter-attacks of their own to put Giffnock under pressure once again.

Yet another short corner was won, and the ball was passed back to key midfield player Zeph Petit, who fired home with sublime accuracy, ensuring Oban sealed a 4-1 victory to further extend their lead at the top of the table.

The team travel to close rivals Hillhead on Saturday.

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