Lindum Hockey hit six past visitors Sheffield Hockey in a convincing win under the lights.
The win keeps Lindum top of the England Hockey Conference North, retaining their unbeaten record in the process.
Sheffield were the only team to take points off the Yellow Submarine in the first-half of the season, drawing 1-1 in the reverse fixture.
The hosts came into the game off the back of a 5-1 win against bottom-side Belper, while Sheffield had failed to win in any of their last six outings either side of the Winter Break.
Ben Read had a shot saved in the opening minute as proceedings got off to a flyer in Lindum’s first home game of 2024.
However, in cold and slippery conditions, the first quarter fell into a slow pace.
James Beck had Sheffield’s first effort in the 8th minute, as he dragged a shot wide from the edge of the circle.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring less than a minute later as player-coach Matt Bell tapped the ball home at the back-post.
Captain Rob Johnstone forced a good reaction save from the visiting goalkeeper, as he weaselled his way into a scoring position.
The second-quarter was scoreless, as it went along at a trudge. Johnstone flicked a penalty corner over the top before he went close again a few minutes later.
Sheffield were creating the better chances as the game entered the last few minutes of the half. Although, Lindum were building their play well, without producing a scoring opportunity.
That was until the last minute of the half, when Jacob Barnes’ had the best chance of the quarter. He tipped his effort just over as he came into the left of the circle.
It was a half that brought little excitement, but Lindum had managed to take the lead and contain their opponents.
The change of ends brought a change of energy for the Yellow Submarine. Sam Dixon skied a chance from a penalty corner within the first two minutes, before top-scorer Ben Read doubled the hosts’ advantage.
He wriggled his way in from the left, cutting inside and firing a crisp effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Alexander Findlater and into the far corner.
It brought with it an upping of the tempo, as Lindum added a third and a fourth in quick succession.
Rob Johnstone bundled the ball home from a penalty corner after James Niven’s effort was saved, as the game passed the 40th minute.
Lindum regained the ball straight from the restart and made their pressure pay as Michael Harris set-up Matt Bell for his brace.
Sheffield were struggling through a storm of Lindum pressure, but almost netted before the end of the third quarter.
Their dangerman, Rory Simons, hit the bar in a scramble in-front of goal. Lindum ‘keeper Oliver Carrick made a great point-blank save as the ball rattled around the goalmouth.
As the game entered the final quarter, the home side continued to pill the pressure on a shaken Sheffield defence. Sam Dixon found space in-behind the backline, but fired his effort wide.
The “edge” that Matt Bell predicted pre-match came to fruition as the final quarter became populated by flashpoints.
Sheffield’s Max Sanchez was sin-binned for what was almost a slide tackle on Matt Parker.
A couple of minutes later, Rory Simons clashed sticks with Michael White as Lindum continued their onslaught with the ball.
Lindum put right their earlier missed penalty corners, netting two in the final few minutes to round out a convincing display.
Matt Parker fired over and Matt Bell hit the side-netting in search of his hat-trick before the 59th minute brought penalty corner success.
Johnstone’s stern shot was deflected in off Jacob Barnes, who claimed Lindum’s fifth goal of the evening.
There was time for one more in additional time as captain Johnstone added his second, tapping the ball home after a mess of sticks in the circle.
Lindum Hockey 6-0 Sheffield Hockey:
Lindum’s convincing win extended their overall unbeaten run to 33 games, ahead of a top-of-the-table clash with Timperley next weekend.
An explosion of goals after half-time saw the home side to victory, sweeping past their opponents.
Two late penalty corners sealed a good performance, ensuring that Lindum had beaten everyone in the league at least once this season.