HOCKEY: VAGRANTS were left cursing their luck - and the umpire - after being edged out in an end-to-end North League Division Two West fixture on Saturday.
But once again, the Crewe side failed to capitalise on the promise of yet another early lead, although weak refereeing saw some glaring infringements go unpunished.
Vagrants started confidently and enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, with Andrew Ashworth, James Capper, Dave Johnson and Dave Holland all prominent.
They took the lead in the 14th minute when Jon Beech slipped a pass across the goal for Capper to touch home.
Play then see-sawed with good attacking moves from Vagrants interspersed with Formby pressure.
Holland rifled one shot inches wide as Vagrants looked to stretch their advantage, but Formby fashioned an equaliser following a swift counter-attack on the half-hour.
After the resumption, play again swung to and fro with Steve Bourne, Capper and Johnson taking the game to their hosts while Capper twice came closer to adding to his earlier strike.
But Formby posed plenty of attacking threat of their own and went ahead in the 48th minute when a short-corner routine led to a fierce shot which sailed past the unsighted Vagrants keeper Ravi Kaler.
Vagrants pressed for an equaliser but were unable to break down their stubborn opponents, who held on for the win amid frantic pressure in the closing stages.
The Crewe side felt they deserved at least a draw and will be looking for a reversal in fortunes when they entertain Bolton this Saturday (1.30pm).
Vagrants' seconds went down 1-0 at home to Manchester Trinity and saw defender Adam Borrie taken to hospital with a head wound, while a brace from the freescoring Paul Owen helped the thirds draw 2-2 with table-topping Alderley Edge thirds.
This Saturday, the seconds are at Bolton seconds and the thirds are at Chester fourths. Crewe Vagrants ladies' third team were in action on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Bollington. Alison Smith was the Vagrants scorer.
This Saturday, the firsts and seconds entertain their Bowdon counterparts in league matches.