Whitchurch Men’s 1s 7 – Brooklands MU 5s 1
Whitchurch 1s returned to action this week against Brooklands MU 5s, a team who gave the Reds a hard match in the away fixture in the first half of season, but also a match in which Whitchurch really began to gel as a team and perform as they can. It was, then, fitting that this match gave Whitchurch a similar challenge and, with the return of several senior players, the chance to show again what is possible from this team.
The game started brightly with Whitchurch having the majority of possession and able to put together some good attacking runs. Brooklands responded strongly down their right wing, with a young but very talented player driving hard and passing well to cause the defence some trouble, but a strong defence of Ryan Murtagh, Steve Kay, Danny Foulkes and James Partington kept close to their attackers and were able to shepherd the ball away. Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh in goal was on hand to make some last-minute saves to cover when Brooklands had got away, and short-corners were dealt with well.
At the other end of the field, a strong run from Felix Jeffreys on the counter-attack led to the first goal of the game, and Jeffreys was on hand again to pass to Ben Kimberley whose strike beat the keeper. The game settled into a pattern of strong attacks by both teams, but Whitchurch were the stronger in defence and rode their luck in attack – with a goal-mouth scramble ending with the ball looping up off the Brooklands keeper and landing at Tom Leonard’s feet for a tap-in measured in inches.
Felix Jeffreys then got his second with more strong attacking play and Jon Chappell’s strong afternoon continued with a run to the by-line and a cross to Martin Beecher who was waiting at the top of the dee to crack the ball in just before half time.
The second half continued much in the same vein, and strong holding play in the middle by Alex Fry, Dale Seymour and Rob Chappell gave structure to attacks and a good base to build from, allowing Jeffreys to score his hat trick. Sadly for the Reds, Brooklands were able to grab a consolation goal after a good attack ended with a strike in the dee being deflected past a diving Sturge by a valiant defending block, and on balance,
Brooklands deserved something for their efforts. With renewed enthusiasm, they attacked again and a diving save from Sturge was the only thing to prevent them doubling their score.
With the time ticking away, Jon Chappell got himself onto the score sheet with a flick to put away a rebound off the keeper’s pads, and the game ended with a satisfying result for Whitchurch who can build on this for their game away at Chester next week.
Warrington Men’s 2s 4 Whitchurch Men’s 2s 0
The end result did not reflect how well Whitchurch played in this match. They travelled to take on second in the league and for long parts of the game Whitchurch completed with the experienced Warrington team.
The first half saw Whitchurch have chances to take the lead as Lockie Price was stopped by an excellent save by the Warrington keeper and Craig Hockenhull blazed just over the cross bar.
Despite good defending from Richard Leigh, Matt Brookes, Airan Jones, Mark Sugden and keeper Neil Jones, Warrington created one opportunity and clinically finished to take the lead.
Whitchurch continued to push and felt they were still in the game at half time with only a one-goal deficit.
The second half saw Whitchurch continue to pressure and shots from Sam Conway and Fred Edgerton were again saved by the Warrington keeper.
Despite all the efforts of Tom Forster, Iain Bones, Joseph Coburn and Rupert Yeoward in the midfield Whitchurch started to tire and as Whitchurch made a number of errors Warrington’s experience began to show as they took their chances and the three points.
Deeside ladies 4s 12 Whitchurch Ladies 3s 0
Whitchurch 3s went off to Malpas hoping to put up a strong fight against Deeside 4s. However, Whitchurch did not have their regular goalie, but luckily another outfield player volunteered to take up this challenging position. Deeside played strongly from the start and sadly for Whitchurch, they dominated the match in terms of goal scoring but Whitchurch did fight back at every opportunity!
Their stand-in goalkeeper did a brilliant job keeping some flying balls out and there was great communication between all the defenders. Forwards Evie Whatmough, Beth Sykes and Amelie Morris worked hard with the wingers Izzy Huxley and Holly Gilbert to try and break the Deeside defence. However, no matter how well Whitchurch worked together as a team, unfortunately this did not stop seven goals being scored by Deeside in the first half.
After regrouping at half time, Whitchurch went out very determined to reduce the number of goals Deeside scored in the second half and try and score some goals themselves! Deeside had some excellent set group pieces and were very difficult to break down for Whitchurch. It had turned into a very fast game and again Deeside seemed to score goals relentlessly!
Although, not as many as in the first half, so Whitchurch took some consolation from this fact! The final score was 12 – 0 to Deeside. The relatively new Whitchurch team will definitely gain from this experience and most importantly, they thoroughly enjoyed the match! Man of the match went to captain, Kate Goodwin.
Warrington ladies 2s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 1
The game started with very even possession of the ball from both teams who had some chances to score with none of these converted. Towards the end of the first half, Whitchurch ladies 1s were dominant and very unlucky not to score, particularly from a cracking short corner strike by Grace Berry.
Shortly after the second half was underway, Warrington were awarded a harsh penalty flick which was strongly converted by them. Not long after this, a lapse of concentration led to a second Warrington goal by their high pressing attacking line.
With around ten minutes remaining, a wonderfully worked team goal scored by Holly Jepson gave Whitchurch a life line back into the match. Even with many fierce attacks down the wings by Whitchurch, we were unable to break through the Warrington defence especially their impressive goalkeeper.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 0 Sandbach ladies 1s 0
Whitchurch Ladies 2s welcomed local rivals Sandbach Ladies 1s to Sir John Talbots on Saturday 13th January. Both teams had been promoted from division 6 the previous season and were sitting joint 3rd in division 5.
Whitchurch knew this would be a hard match especially as Sandbach was travelling with 15 players and Whitchurch only had the one sub.
Whitchurch won the toss and took the ball straight to Sandbach’s defence, who dealt with it effectively, delivering the ball straight back up the pitch. This was really the way the match followed for the full 70 minutes. Both team fought hard for the ball, defending well and attacking through strong quick breaks up the side of the pitch.
Sarah Latham, Whitchurch’s substitute goalkeeper, ensured Sandbach attacks never made an impact on the score. Unfortunately, Sandbach’s defence had the same impact at the other end of the pitch. Whitchurch had a number of opportunities, one being saved on the line by a Sandbach defender, this was the closest to a goal Whitchurch has all match.
Towards the end of the first half, frustrations started to rise in both teams and raised balls and loose play resulted in a number of injuries, including a ball straight into the forehead of Tracy Tolhurst, which disrupted Whitchurch attack. The halftime talk concentrated on refocusing the team, calming tempers and putting frustrations into the game, we didn’t want to lose this one.
Both teams entered the second half with a fighting spirit, focused on the goal. However, both teams also defended extremely well, the halves and forwards running from end to end in support of the defence. Whitchurch attacking short and long corners were a huge improvement on last weeks. Whitchurch was well aware of the aerial threat from Sandbach in their attacking short corners, but Martha Teggin and Natasha Foster guaranteed the Sandbach attack never had an opportunity to lift the ball in the D.
After 70 minutes the score remained 0 all, both teams played fantastic hockey and remain in joint 3rd position. Sarah Latham deservedly received Player of the Match.
Sunday 14 January 2018 – Re-arranged game
Whitchurch 3s 1 Bebbington 2s 8
The match got off to a fast start with a goal quickly scored by the opposition. Whitchurch ladies made a smart comeback soon after with a fantastic goal by Emily Vernon scoring the only goal of the match for Whitchurch 3s. At the start of the second half, Whitchurch moved in with a strong attack, but sadly didn’t last, with the final score being 1-8. The team made a great effort with Ellie McEvoy getting the well deserved title of Man of the Match.
Wednesday January 16th 2018 – Re-arranged game
Whitchurch ladies 1s 4 Triton ladies 2s 1
Whitchurch entertained Triton on a snowy cold January evening. The teams watched the snow falling as they warmed up with half wanting it to go ahead and the other wanting to back in the warm.
As the snow eased the game commenced and within a minute Whitchurch passed the ball around quickly and Sue Read tapped in the ball. Triton had a strong midfield and always looked likely to get a goal with a big hit up the middle, through the Whitchurch defence and wasn’t long before Gwyneth Thomas-Rees was called into action in the Whitchurch goal.
Whitchurch struggled to contain the Triton free hits but there were glimpses of their passing game coming back and when it did they caused the Triton defence all sorts of issues.
Hebe Dixon at the heart of all Whitchurch’s plays picked out Ellie Windsor who drove down the right and who crossed into the dee for Laura Workman to tap in Whitchurch’s second.
Whitchurch rode their luck as Triton pushed forward but eventually Triton were rewarded and pulled one back.
Whitchurch continued to rotate their players more to keep everyone warm than for a break and Grace Berry scored a wonderful individual effort as she broke from midfield and flicked over the advancing keeper.
The halftime break was kept to a minimum as the temperature continued to drop and the snow again started.
Triton started to take control of the game and created a number of chances but the defence of Catherine Reece-Gresty, Claire Fitzgerald, Helen Machin and Jess Kimberley kept breaking down the Triton attacks.
The Whitchurch breaks were few and far between but the tireless work in midfield by Millie Edwards and captain Catherine Winter-Gresty continued to frustrate Triton.
Millie Edwards drove down the right and crossed and as the ball bounced around in the Triton dee Sue Read reacted fastest and poked in the ball for her second.
The final whistle could not have come soon enough for both sides but Whitchurch were glad for the victory and an important three points.