Northop Hall Mens 2s 2 Whitchurch Mens 1s 2
Whitchurch played Northop Hall this week in a top-of-the-table clash in a tightly contested game at Northop. On a pitch that offered less bounce and more bobble, Whitchurch struggled to find their control, and passes, stops and tackles weren’t to the expected standard for the first half, allowing Northop to attack more freely. Aaron Swain in goal made some superb saves to keep Whitchurch in the game, but ultimately the Northop pressure paid off and they converted a short corner with a hard strike from the top of the dee.
Whitchurch then settled into a better rhythm, defending more consistently against the Northop attacks, with Matt Brooks, Ryan Murtagh and Ben Fry combining well across the back to clear the ball and Alex Fry and Joel Leese working well in the centre to move the ball up the pitch. Jake Wood, Marcus Conway and Ben Kimberley gave Whitchurch width allowing attacks to build down the wings, and good balls into the centre finally led to a goalmouth scramble that Martin Beecher got the last touch on to get Whitchurch back on level terms.
Northop regrouped, and as the game got more intense were able to drive down the right wing, getting a cross past the defence’s attempts to block and giving their striker a straightforward chance on goal. 2-1 to Northop at half time was a reflection of the difference in performance between the teams. Captain Alex Fry gave the team another half-time talk to focus their minds, and the second half started much better for Whitchurch: the passing was better, the control sharper and the marking tighter. For a long time, the game was evenly balanced with both sides having chances, but as the half progressed, Whitchurch were stronger with a number of very close chances – shots across the goal, shots inches wide of the post. With only a couple of minutes left on the clock, Whitchurch moved the ball through the centre of the pitch at pace, with Leese picking out Tom Leonard who buried the ball in the back of the Northop goal.
A draw was a fair result for a game played at pace and with intensity, and it leaves Whitchurch top of the table ahead of Northop on goal difference. Whitchurch play at home next week against Colwyn Bay 3s.
Sandbach Ladies 2 Whitchurch Ladies 0
This week Whitchurch Ladies 2’s travelled to play Sandbach Ladies 1’s. Whitchurch knew it would be a difficult match from the start as Sandbach were only 2nd below them in the division. The game started and both teams were pretty equally matched so Whitchurch fought even harder, attacking strong up the wing and defending the middle of the pitch. Ashleigh Heath and Emily Vernon worked hard to try and get that much needed goal, but unfortunately couldn’t finish it off. Throughout the first half defence was strong from Emma Clarke and Jess Kimberley and Whitchurch didn’t concede any goals. Whitchurch went into the second half with spirits still high, as the score line was 0-0.
Whitchurch went into the second half fighting for a goal, but unfortunately early on in the second half a Sandbach player ran through the Whitchurch defence and fired the ball into the goal past keeper Phoebe Jones who made numerous saves and played a fantastic match. Although Whitchurch’s spirits were dampened they still kept fighting and didn’t give up at all throughout the match. Whitchurch had many opportunities to score their much-needed goal and fantastic play from Tracy Tolhurst, Hayleigh Busby and Beth Sykes nearly secured it but they were unlucky. About half way through the second half Sandbach scored another lucky goal. Despite Whitchurch’s fantastic play they were unable to keep their winning streak. Ashleigh Heath was awarded player of the match and next week Whitchurch Ladies 2’s will play a friendly match against Runcorn Ladies 3’s at home.
Whitchurch ladies 1s 8 Alderley Edge Ladies 4s 1
Whitchurch continued where they left off from last weeks game, working hard and defending in numbers, they frustrated Alderley Edge throughout the match but this week were ruthless in turning chances into goals.
Sue Read opened the scoring for Whitchurch 10 minutes into the game and scored her second minutes later. Ellie Windsor scored a third before the break to give Whitchurch a comfortable lead.
After the break Alderley pushed players forward and forced the best out of Maddy Sudgen in goal and Claire Fitzgerald in the heart of the Whitchurch defence. But after the initial pressure Catherine Reece-Gresty steadied the team and started the team controlling possession and moving the ball through the midfield of Lisa Sullivan and Emma Harper.
As Alderley tired Whitchurch took their chances in front of goal as Grace Berry scored the first of the half and Lucy Ratcliffe dispatched a five-minute hatrick striking three unstoppable shots from the top of the dee. Whitchurch finished the game with Sue Read scoring her third poaching another goal as it bounced off the keeper’s pads.