Wilmslow ladies 3s 4 Whitchurch ladies 1s 8
On a surprisingly warm October day in the salubrious surroundings of Cheadle Hulme School, Whitchurch Ladies 1s came out comfortably on top against Wilmslow Ladies 3s, in an end-to-end game featuring some very sharp and impressive goals.
Laura Workman opened the scoring within the first ten minutes, followed quickly by Emma Harper and Ellie Windsor. Lucy Ratcliffe continued her dynamic scoring run with a hat trick, including a clinical finish at the end to kill off the game. Mention must also go to Grace Berry, making her first team debut and delivering a brace of goals.
Despite a late rally by Wilmslow, Whitchurch saw it home to end with the impressive score line of 8-4. Next Saturday’s game is at home against Oxton Ladies 2s at 12.30pm.
Runcorn Mens 2s 3 Whitchurch Mens 1s 5
Whitchurch Men’s 1s travelled away to Runcorn for their third match of the season, and had a hard game against strong opposition. Runcorn came out of the blocks quickly and applied pressure across the width of the pitch. Whitchurch rallied, and a strong move up the right hand side of the pitch with Tom Leonard pushing up and getting a crisp pass across the dee allowed Ben Kimberley to flick home.
This inspired Runcorn to reset and come back stronger with some good movement and sharp passing allowing them to get a goal back a few minutes later. Further pressure was resisted with goalkeeper Aaron Swain coming out strongly to force mistakes from their striker. Despite Runcorn losing a player to the sin bin for two minutes, Whitchurch were unable to convert continued pressure, and on his return the Runcorn player was able to drive into the dee twice and score fine goals on the reverse past a diving keeper to bring the score to 3-1 by half time – which could have been more but for a sublime toe-end save by Aaron from a strong hit across the face of the goal.
At half time, captain Alex Fry settled the team, giving them the areas to work on and the mistakes to avoid, and the results were immediate and impressive, passing in triangles at speed took Whitchurch quickly up the pitch passing players with ease compared to the first half, and after a scramble and enthusiastic tackling in the Runcorn dee, a stick went round a leg and brought Joel Leese down. He stepped up to take the resulting penalty stroke and put it away superbly. 3-2 gave us something to work with, and Alex got the ball moving round from the centre down the right via Jake Wood who drove well down the line to get it to Tom Leonard who won a short corner. The injection came in to Alex, across to Joel, to Tom, and back to Joel who buried it in the Runcorn net.
Determination to win from this point led to more fine movement around the pitch: Ryan Murtagh and Matt Brooks combined well at the back to get the ball up to Jack Barnes who drove forward to get the ball into the dee, and a short corner followed.
Unfortunately from the flick at goal, a Runcorn defender took a ball to the face and required treatment. After the restart, Whitchurch continued to defend against an increasing Runcorn attack, and Aaron Swain continued to help the defence out with some strong saves and some last-ditch tackles from Ryan Murtagh and James Partington allowing them to get the ball away. With two minutes left on the clock, Whitchurch went on the attack again, and after a scramble in the dee, Ben Kimberley came out strongest, putting the ball into the net and giving Whitchurch the lead for the first time since the fifth minute. As Runcorn heads dropped, a quick counter attack with Steve Lloyd’s fast pass across the dee to Jack Barnes who switched it to Ben Kimberley who had an open goal to get his hat trick.
A much stronger second half and a positive attitude were the key to a fine result for the Men’s 1s, keeping them top of the table on goal difference. Whitchurch are at home next week against Neston 6s.
Whitchurch Mens 2s 0 Denbigh 2s 3
Coming off last week’s heavy defeat, Whitchurch 2s were looking to get back to winning ways when they entertained a Denbigh 2s side that had lost their first game of this season, but had beaten Whitchurch twice last year.
Whitchurch started well and immediately took control of the game with most of the hockey being played in Denbigh’s half of the pitch. But despite lots of possession and territory, Whitchurch struggled to make inroads into the Denbigh D. Attacks continually broke down on the edge of the D due to Denbigh’s resolute defending and poor final passes from Whitchurch.
As the half wore on Whitchurch managed to win a succession of short corners, but unusually poor execution meant the Denbigh goal was never threatened.
Despite defending very deep, Denbigh were always a threat on the counter-attack. As Whitchurch players pressed higher and higher up the pitch, long passes out of defence were by-passing the midfield and allowing Denbigh free runs towards the Whitchurch defence.
Mark Sugden, Iain Bones, Richard Leigh and Doug Buckeridge defended well, but Denbigh were still able to force some good saves from keeper Neil Jones.
Just before half-time Denbigh profited from lax Whitchurch marking and fire a long ball forward from which their unmarked striker was able to fire past the helpless Jones. Within moments Denbigh’s lead was doubled from a short corner. Although the shot from the edge of the D was mis-hit, the bouncing ball managed to find corner of the Whitchurch goal.
Frustrated to be 2-0 down at half time, Whitchurch flew out of the blocks in the second half, and immediately put together some good attacking moves. At last the Denbigh keeper was forced into action, and from a rebound, Craig Hockenhull was unlucky to see his flick over the keeper brilliantly stopped on the line and cleared by a Denbigh defender.
Whitchurch continued to pour forward in the second half, but the dribbling of Sy Briceno and Felix Jeffreys was constantly thwarted by good Denbigh tacking, and the attacking interplay of Tom Forster, Pete Scales, Rupert Yeoward, Ben Fry and Josh Parry couldn’t penetrate the massed ranks of the Denbigh defence.
Denbigh continued to be a sporadic threat on the counter attack, but any danger was quickly snuffed out by Bones and Sugden and Denbigh rarely succeeded in getting into the Whitchurch D. However, as Whitchurch became move ragged towards the end of the game, Denbigh produced a final, swift counter-attack which put the final nail in the Whitchurch coffin.
This was a frustrating game for Whitchurch – even the Denbigh players were a little surprised to have won the game 3-0. Ultimately a combination of the Whitchurch forwards having an off-day and the Denbigh defence playing very well contributed significantly to this result. Whitchurch will be disappointed that the Denbigh keeper only had to make one save and that 10 or 12 short corners didn’t yield a single worthwhile strike at goal.
The defeat leaves Whitchurch 2s in 6th place in the league. Next week the 2s travel to Llandudno 2s.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 3 Crewe ladies 4s 1
Whitchurch entertained local rivals Crewe needing to keep up their chase of promotion with another three points.
Whitchurch attacked from the start forcing back the Crewe defence but couldn’t get the vital touch in the dee to give the much-needed lead. Whitchurch rode their luck as a route one ball straight through the midfield picked out the Crewe forward in the dee and forced the best out of keeper Shola Bailey.
As the ball bounced around the Crewe dee they could only clear as far as Tracy Tolhurst who shot into the bottom corner to give Whitchurch the lead. Within minutes a fine individual effort from Ashley Heath gave Whitchurch a comfort zone.
Whitchurch showed their naivety at times abandoning their defensive duties and pushing forward for more goals and this left a Crewe player free in the Whitchurch dee and resulted in Crewe scoring and back into the game before the halftime break.
Whitchurch continued to push for further goals in the second half and ride their luck as Crewe chances came and went. Finally Whitchurch Ashleigh Heath scored her second diving to meet a cross from Hayleigh Busby taking ball, keeper and defender into the back of the goal and another win.
The 2s now have a break for a couple of weeks in the league.