Match Report 20/01/18

With the Mens 2s and the ladies 3s game cancelled at home due to a flooded pitch.

Chester Men’s 5s 1 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 10

Whitchurch played at Chester’s newly-built pitch at Abbey Gate College this week, looking to make amends for their goalless draw at home earlier in the season, and the Reds were the first to adapt to the very sandy and bouncy new surface.

With a full team, they were able to build the structure and passing play that has led to their success this season, and it wasn’t long before Jon Chappell got the first of his five goals: some strong passing through the midfield via Jack Barnes, Alex Fry and Rob Chappell lead to a great pass into the dee which Chappell deflected in past the diving keeper.

More attacking play from Airan Jones on the left and Tom Leonard on the right stretched the Chester defence, and two more crosses into the dee were each deflected in by Jon Chappell. The Whitchurch midfield built plays up with ease with Rob Chappell feeding balls through to the wings or forwards, and this gave the Reds’ attack the chance to put the pressure on the Chester defence again, leading to a short corner. The ball was fired in from the injection but bounced out to Leonard who put it away with style.

The Chester attack found its form as the game progressed, and were able to put some pressure on the Reds, but a break got the ball back up to Jon Chappell who ran free and put in a hard strike to claim his fourth of the half before the half-time whistle blew.

The second half started brightly with Whitchurch claiming an early short corner: the injection was driven in by Leonard, but the defence could only get it as far as Martin Beecher who buried it in the back of the goal. This was followed soon after by a sharp strike by Ben Kimberley from a bobbling cross from Jon Chappell.

By now, the Chester team were getting used to the pitch more, and were putting together better attacks down both wings. The defence of Danny Foulkes, Steve Kay and James Partington were put under increased pressure, and a number of attacks were only cleared as far as the Chester midfield with Fry and Rob Chappell working hard in the midfield to help out. A string of five short corners were kept out by a combination of hurried defence and excellent keeping by Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh who was under much more pressure in the second half.

A breakaway by Whitchurch ended in a short corner which, after a goalmouth scramble, was put away by Barnes who was working hard after a few weeks away, but then the Reds let their concentration ebb and a rolling substitution left the defence unstructured and the Chester forwards built an overload with four on two and their striker put away a well-deserved shot past a diving Sturge.

Whitchurch reset at the back, and built up again to give Jon Chappell the chance to get his fifth of the game after a good run through the middle, and Beecher joined him again on the score sheet after Chappell had gone on a strong run to the by-line, with Chappell’s cross falling perfectly for Beecher’s strike which was the last hit of the game.

It was a solid display from the Whitchurch team this week, and continues the good form from last week’s game. With two games to play this weekend, the Reds can expect to continue to build on these successes.


Whitchurch ladies 1s 2 Alderley Edge ladies 4s 1

Whitchurch ladies 1s played Alderley Edge 4s this weekend at home, but after the Whitchurch pitch was deemed unplayable due to water and ice, quick thinking managed to move their game to the Heber pitch to avoid having to organise another date.

Whitchurch knew this would be a tiring game as Alderley brought a fit young side. Whitchurch held their own attacking with a nice collection of accurate passes into the dee resulting in Sue Read getting the first goal. Alderley Edge came back with a vengeance and managed to score a blistering shot from the top of the dee into the top corner of the goal just before half time.

After a quick break the race was on for both teams to get another goal. Midfield players Grace Berry, Hebe Dixon and captain Catherine Winter-Gresty worked tirelessly in the middle and kept a steady supply of passes to forwards Laura Workman and Ellie Windsor.

Hebe Dixon intercepted the ball in midfield and drove towards the Alderley dee drawing out the keeper, the resulting challenge saw the umpire blow straight away for the foul as Dixon maintained her balance and slotted the ball home, much to the despair of the Whitchurch team and supporters. Fortunately Dixon stepped up and stuck home the penalty corner to give Whitchurch the lead.

With Whitchurch ahead Alderley Edge continued to keep the pressure on, attacking hard into the Whitchurch dee keeping defenders Gayle Ladd, Catherine Reece-Gresty on their toes. Keeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees made several amazing saves that earned her a deserved player of the match and allowed Whitchurch to get another well earned three points.


Bowdon Ladies’ 6s 0 Whitchurch (Shropshire) Ladies 2s 0

Whitchurch ladies 2s faced Bowden ladies with our usual strong team. Despite not having chance for the normal pre game warm up the team soon found their stride. Whitchurch expected a tough game against a well-organised team and this is what they got. Both sides struggled to play their nicest hockey in a scrappy first half, although Whitchurch continued trying to play the ball into the wings and onto the forwards.

The first half ended goal-less with neither side having created any gilt-edged chances, but the tempo was raised immediately in the second half, with both teams perhaps sensing that a slight percentage increase in performance could yield a positive result in this game.

Both teams started creating chances, but neither team seamed to be able to get the vital breakthrough.

Whitchurch were disappointed at the end the game was frantic and despite securing a couple of short corners they were unable to make them count, and ended up drawing the game.


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.