Whitchurch Mens 1s 3 – Lymm Mens 2s 2
Whitchurch looked to build on their solid result from last week with a match against Lymm 2s at home, and were pushed hard by a Lymm team that were better than their league position suggests.
Andy Magee made a return to the role of goalkeeper several years after his last game for Whitchurch, and provided a solid base for the team. Ryan Murtagh, James Partington and Matt Brooks again had a good game to keep the strong and speedy Lymm forwards at bay, and Jack Barnes continued to build his controlling role in the middle of the field.
Alex Fry, Ben Fry, Steve Kay and Rob Chapelle held the middle of the field and provided width and strength, and Ben Kimberley and Jake Wood were again strong and penetrating from the wings. Martin Beecher continued to get around the back of the opposition’s defence and provided the focus for Whitchurch’s attacks. The Reds went two goals up in the first half after some good work: a short corner game them the first, with the initial shot coming back out and a scramble in front of goal ended with Wood getting the ball over the line. Wood was instrumental in the second, with a strong cross-field pass finding Kimberley whose shot was saved well by the keeper, but Beecher was first to the rebound and picked up another goal for his tally.
Lymm regrouped well, and had much the better of the rest of the first half, culminating in two deserved goals: the first was a driving run down the right, and then an overload in the dee giving them a straightforward tap-in. They followed that up with more pressure in the dee, and a ball came loose to the Lymm striker who executed a fine reverse hit to claim their second.
At half time, captain Alex Fry settled the team and pointed out the areas they were doing well, but the areas they needed to pick up on, and the effects were seen early in the second half as Whitchurch’s control and passing improved noticeably and resulted in a drive into the dee allowing Kimberley to get a short away that went under the keeper and in. The rest of the second half continued in the same vein, with the Reds keeping control better, and Magee making a good save to keep Lymm out. The final whistle was welcomed by Whitchurch who had been under pressure from persistent attacks down both wings. The result sees Whitchurch go up to second in the table, ready for a trip to Bangor University next week.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 2 Bowden ladies 6s 1
Whitchurch Ladies 2s hosted the match against Bowden Ladies 6s. Whitchurch started strong with some good attacks from Ashleigh Heath and Charlotte Lawder.
Ashleigh Heath opened the scoring flicking the ball into the goal and give Whitchurch the lead. Whitchurch were awarded a series of short corners late in the half and a fantastic strike from Jess Kimberley secured Whitchurch a 2-0 lead into the break.
Despite the strong defence and numerous saves from Emma Clarke, Jess Kimberley and keeper Shola Bailey, Bowden managed to score bringing the final score to 2-1. Whitchurch fought hard in the second half to keep their win and managed to keep the score at 2-1. Throughout the match the midfield worked hard to support the attack and defence with some fantastic play from Tracy Tolhurst and Martha Teggin. Hayleigh Busby and Wendy Cooper made some brilliant runs up the wing and helped to pass into the dee for the goals to be scored. Martha Teggin was awarded player of the match.
Next week the 2s travel to Macclesfield 4s.
Ladies 2s with awards for winning Cheshire Division 6 in 16/17.
Chester ladies 5s 6 Whitchurch ladies 3s 1
Whitchurch continued their learning curve on an extremely wet day against a strong Chester team. Without captain Katie Goodwin they fielded a young team containing only three senior players. Whitchurch played beyond their years and gave everything but on the day were beaten by a stronger and more experienced side.
The first half saw Whitchurch defending in numbers with Annie Buckeridge and Emily Lister both playing well in their first game in defence under strong guidance of Mel Reid. They showed fearless determination and tackling everything that came near them and learning as the game progressed. Whitchurch thought they had a goal when Amy Fry shot into the bottom corner but it was disallowed as it was just outside the dee.
Undeterred Whitchurch pressed forward and as their confidence grew they find Fry free in the dee and this time there was no doubt as she tapped in from close range.
The first half ended 3-1 but with Whitchurch still working hard to press the Chester team.
The second half started as the first finished with confidence high and Whitchurch having a lot more possession of the ball. Maddy Sugden in goal continued her excellent form producing a string of fine saves to frustrate the Chester attack.
Whitchurch suffered a big blow when Fry took a ball to the hand and the game was stopped for treatment and to assess the extent of the injury. This shocked the young Whitchurch team and without Fry to lead the forward line their chances were restricted and allowed Chester to dominate the game.
Whitchurch never recovered from this blow and Chester went on to score another three goals before the final whistle and secure the points.
Maddy Sugden was named man of the match.
Golborne Mens 3s 4 Whitchurch Mens 2s 3
Whitchurch Men’s 2s took another young squad to a wet and windy Warrington for their game against Golborne 3s.
The 2s were looking to build on their draw against Warrington the previous weekend and immediately looked to take the game to Golborne. Driving midfield runs by Airan Jones, Craig Hockenhull and Sam Conway were causing Golborne problems, but coming up against experienced defenders, Whitchurch struggled to create many chances to shoot at goal.
As the Whitchurch attacks broke down, Golborne looked to counter-attack quickly, and in numbers. But the Whitchurch defence of Richard Leigh, Danny Foulkes, Rupert Yeoward and Doug Buckeridge were equal to the task.
Midway through the first half however, Golborne made one of their counter-attacks pay. Doug Buckeridge was unable to cut out a long, cross-field pass and Golborne were able to work the ball across the face of goal for the ball to be swept past Neil Jones for the opening goal.
Whitchurch lost their way a little after the goal and Golborne quickly added a second from a short-corner which took a wicked deflection to leave Neil Jones helpless.
The 2s responded well to the second goal and a driving run by Craig Hockenhull into the dee was finished by a brilliant reverse-stick hit to halve the deficit. This was quickly followed by good interplay by Hockenhull and Locki Price on the right wing, leading to Fred Egerton sweeping home at the far post to level the scores.
Whitchurch continued to press as half-time approached. Josh Parry outran the Golborne defence to a hopeful forward ball but his shot was pushed wide by the keeper. With the 2s unable to convert any of their other chances the teams ended the half level.
Golborne regrouped at the start of the second half and worked hard to deny the young Whitchurch players space to run into and the game became a battle in midfield. Chances and shots at goal were at a premium and while Whitchurch were unable to convert any of their opportunities, a long ball into the dee found an unmarked player who squeezed the ball past keeper Jones to give Golborne the lead once again.
Like the first half, the Golborne players tired as the half wore on and Whitchurch were able exert more influence and pressure on the Golborne goal. Josh Parry had a reverse stick hit well saved and from the ensuing melee in front of goal, Golborne somehow got the ball to safety. Craig Hockenhull was thwarted on a number of occasions by good defending.
With Airan Jones on the end of some rough treatment in midfield, the umpired played advantage and Sam Conway did well to win a short corner, from which he himself scored with a fine strike into the far corner of the goal.
Now in the ascendancy, Whitchurch continued to push forward but still couldn’t find the goal their play warranted. Josh Parry produced an outrageous flick to squeeze between two defenders and dart into the dee but was smothered by sheer numbers as Golborne defended deep in their own dee.
In their desire to go on and win the game Whitchurch got caught by a late sucker punch. Golborne took a free hit quickly and fired the ball long, beyond the Whitchurch defence. With a two-on-one break, the Golborne attackers worked the ball around to leave Neil Jones helpless to prevent them from retaking the lead.
Despite Whitchurch’s best efforts Golborne’s experienced heads shut the game down for the remaining few minutes and Whitchurch were unable to create any chances to rescue the game.
This was a tough defeat to take. Apart from the wobble midway through the first half, Whitchurch were always in the game. They showed resilience to come from 2-0 and 3-2 behind and scored three fine goals. The progress of the young players is a continuing highlight. Euan Morris was unable to play most of the second half after taking a painful blow to the knee and James Page did well against some ferocious Golborne defending.
The 2s will look to continue their progress when they entertain Deeside Ramblers 7s next weekend.
Whitchurch ladies 1s game was cancelled as Alderley Edge failed to raise a team, they were awarded the three points taking them to 3rd in the league.