Liverpool Sefton Men’s 3s 3 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 1
Whitchurch travelled away to Liverpool this week on the back of a hard weekend of mixed fortunes the week before, and faced a Liverpool team full of strength and speed.
The games against this team last year had been hard-fought, and this match was no different: from the whistle Sefton were pressing hard and moving quickly, and they were able to convert this into an early goal as they got away from their markers and round keeper Neil Jones.
The defence of Alex Fry, Steve Kay and James Partington, supported by Ben Fry as formations moved and changed, was constantly under pressure and the Reds were lucky that Sefton didn’t score again early on.
A break through the middle from Rob Chappell to Tom Leonard and Jack Barnes led to a goalmouth scramble which ended with the goalkeeper smothering the ball and a penalty stroke was awarded. Dale Seymour stepped up and put the ball away in the top left corner despite the keeper getting a touch to it. This, however, appeared only to encourage the Sefton team to throw themselves back into attacking, and once again they got the overload from a through-ball and were able to bypass the Reds’ defence and score.
The rest of the half was played out with Whitchurch making a number of good attacks, with Martin Beecher and Tom Leonard unlucky to score, and Jon Chappell was unable to extend his impressive scoring record – but the last pass, or final strike just eluded the Reds this week.
The second half was a stronger performance by Whitchurch with a number of good attacks – with Ben Kimberley able to carve through the opposition defence again – but ultimately without success. The Fry, the Chappell’s and Seymour were able to move the ball around far more easily, and Neil Jones kept a number of shots out, and so attacks were built from strong foundations and just lacked the final touch.
Whitchurch got a number of short corners but were unable to convert any, and Sefton were able to counterattack on the break and nick a third, with some skilful work bouncing the ball on their stick through the dee before drilling it past a diving Jones.
Whitchurch kept their focus, and regrouped and were again unlucky to score – a chance across the dee was buried by Leonard but only after a missed short from Kimberley mean a free hit to Sefton, and Kimberley was very unlucky not to score “goal of the season” with a wonderful deflection that bounced off the keepers mask but would otherwise have made a hole in the Sefton net.
At the other end, Whitchurch kept out a number of short corners and strikes with Right Post putting in another turn as an extra defender, and the final play of the game was another short corner they did well to defend.
Whitchurch Men’s 2 0 Wrexham Men’s 2s 4
Whitchurch Men’s 2s entertained Wrexham Glyndwr Men’s 2s, without regular goalkeeper and Captain Neil Jones due to 1st team commitments. Looking to avoid a repeat white wash like the 14 nil loss in the reverse fixture the Whitchurch players started well, getting in the face of their opposition and preventing them from stringing together any real moves of danger.
In the early throes of the game both teams attacked well but despite the best efforts of centre backs lain Bones and Danny Foulkes a Wrexham player found themselves free in the dee and slotted away a neat finish out of the reach of stand in goalkeeper Euan Morris. Not to be deterred by conceding this goal brothers Sam and Marcus Conway linked up well.
The first half started to become continuous waves of Wrexham attacks but exceptional play from Airon Jones and Mark Sugden prevented Wrexham’s wide players from cutting in as they so expertly did the reverse fixture, limiting Wrexham to scrappy chances around the edge of the dee. Wrexham’s good link up play was soon sniffed out by the strong midfield trio of Tom Forster, Ryan Murtagh and Jake Wood who looked to release the young Joe Faithful, Joseph Coburn and James Page on the wings.
As the first half got into its final stages the Whitchurch defence started to tire and gave away a few short corners. The defenders and goalkeeper did well to keep these out but a wicked deflection from a bouncing shot left the young Whitchurch goalkeeper stranded to end the half two down.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the end of the first, with Whithurch giving away a few short corners but solid defending and some more great saves kept the score line at 0-2. As the game progressed Whitchurch grew in confidence and started to press the Wrexham team higher up the field. This allowed both teams more space and time on the ball which Wrexham exploited with a perfectly weighted pass for an on running player who fired in from the centre of the dee.
The benefit of great substitutions started to play into Whitchurch’s hands; good defending from substitute Wyn Morris ensured no Wrexham players were getting past easily. This allowed the midfield trio to push higher up again and pick out the attackers for some great 2v2 and 3v3 counter attacks. This in turn lead to more chances for Wrexham who took advantage of some confusion between players and umpires and slotted past goalkeeper Euan Morris for the fourth and final time.
Trying to get a consolation from the game the Whitchurch players pressed Wrexham hard in their own half. This led to a short corner for Whitchurch that bounced around the dee for a long period of time without success.
The match ended 0-4 to Wrexham and the Whitchurch team were justifiably disappointed not to have got something from such a well fought game. A special mention must go to the man of the match, stand in keeper Euan Morris, who made a number of outstanding saves to keep Whitchurch in the game and frustrate the Wrexham attackers. Every player from both teams made sure they shook his hand with the Wrexham captain even commenting about what an asset he is to the club.
Whitchurch ladies 1s 0 Buckley ladies 1s 1
This was a game that the ladies 1s will want to forget. Buckley came at Whitchurch from the start and were awarded a string of penalty corners from which they took an early lead.
Whitchurch then woke up and started to pass the ball around creating a number of chances but failing to convert. A number of unforced errors by Whitchurch players gave Buckley the opportunity to increase their lead but fortunately they couldn’t get the ball over the Whitchurch goal line.
The second half carried on as the first had ended, despite lots of possession Whitchurch passed the ball around but then miss-controlled and gave the ball away time and again. When Whitchurch did manage to string a series of passes together they looked dangerous and caused Buckley problems however they couldn’t convert chances into goals.
Whitchurch ladies 3s 7 Sandbach ladies 2s 0
The first half started really well with the first goal being scored in minutes by Helen Hocknell.
Sandbach tried to regain possession but Kate Goodwin, Milly Carruthers and Wendy Cooper held a great centre and Whitchurch continued to dominate. With a series of good passes Jessica Carruthers and Nikki Workman added two further goals. Whitchurch weren’t finished there and just kept battling for more, just before half time another goal was scored by Victoria Corlett leaving the score at half time 4 – 0 to Whitchurch.
Despite the score Sandbach seemed to rally in the second half and didn’t lose spirit. Great defending at the back by Mel Reid, Sally Pearce, Maddy Sudgen and Chloe Lloyd meant short corners were defended and the ball quickly passed back into the forwards. Both players on the wings, Holy Gilbert and Ellie McEvoy were brilliant and had great possession throughout the second half. Jess Carruthers scored a great goal on the reverse and shortly after Ellie McEvoy scored an amazing goal diving at the back post to tap home.
Sandbach really wanted to get a goal and didn’t give up, some quick passes and strong centre players resulted in further opportunities for Whitchurch. Whitchurch dominated and missed several opportunities before Jess Carruthers scored her third goal of the match. Both sides gave it their all until the end but Sandbach couldn’t break through to score. Ellie McEvoy was named player of the match.