Match Reports 13/10/18

Whitchurch ladies 3’s 0 Golborne ladies 3’s 0

Despite the blustery weather Whitchurch started well with some strong attacks into the dee and won two short corners in quick succession in the first five minutes. Unfortunately, Whitchurch were unable to convert them but maintained the pressure well throughout the first half with some driving runs from attacking players Millie Carruthers, Annie Buckeridge, Kate Buckeridge, Caitlin Shaw and Holly Gilbert. Victoria Corlett was especially relentless with her superb tackles and our captain Wendy Cooper deserves a special mention for her excellent defence of our own dee, preventing many attacks from the Golborne front line. New recruits, Mia Spruce, Fran Ball and Annie Leigh worked very hard on the wings running back to support the defence and forward to support the attack.

When Golborne did manage to get past our superb backs Jan Teggin and Mel Reid, and goalie Gwyn Thomas-Rees refused to let any goals in and dived across goal several times to maintain our clean sheet. Mel Reid was magnificent with her hard hitting out and deserved being named ‘players player’ from the Golborne team. Unfortunately, Mel had to limp off with a hamstring injury early in the second half and was replaced by experienced back Emily Lister, who won the prize for the most running as she defended and led some attacks up the left wing.

Whitchurch carried on attacking right until the final whistle with Holly Gilbert narrowly missing the goal several times. A draw was perhaps a fair result as our excellent defence kept out shots from Golborne when we were caught on the counter attack but Whitchurch are definitely making progress and improving game on game.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1 Bebington Men’s 4s 2

Whitchurch Men’s 2s welcomed Bebington 4s to a wild and windy Whitchurch on Saturday afternoon, looking to build on their good performance at Runcorn in the last match.

The Reds immediately took the upper hand in the game and forced a short corner within the first couple of minutes, which Martin Beecher fire just wide from the edge of the dee. With Craig Hockenhull and Jake Wood providing impetus from midfield, the home side continued to dominate possession and territory during the early stages, although they struggled to create any real shooting opportunities.

Bebington were content to sit back and soak up pressure and hit Whitchurch on the counter attack. The Reds defence of Mark Sugden, Brendan Coburn, Doug Buckeridge, Richard Leigh and Will Snaith dealt with most of the attacks before they got anywhere near the home dee, although on the odd occasion that Bebington did get close to the Whitchurch goal, they were keen to play the ball against home feet, looking for short corners. From one corner they struck the post and another was well defended by the home side. Keeper Gareth Teggin also did really well to rush from his line and put off the forward as the ball ricocheted into the dee and found the Bebington player unmarked in front of goal.

The home team continued to press forward and Beecher and Hockenhull both had chances but couldn’t find the target, and good work on the flanks through Ethan Gresty and Joe Faithfull led to dangerous crosses that neither side could get to. As the half drew to a close, Whitchurch forced another short corner and although Jake Wood drove the ball home, the ball was deemed not to have left the dee, and the goal was ruled out.

Initially the second half followed a similar pattern, with Whitchurch dominating, but struggling to create clear opportunities and Bebington playing on the counterattack. As the home side became more frustrated with missed opportunities and some umpiring decisions, Bebington opened the scoring. The ball again ricocheted around the Whitchurch dee, but this time a visiting player was able to turn the ball past Teggin into the goal.

Whitchurch pushed forward in response and had a flurry of chances through Phil Tranter, David Brunyard, Paul Humphries and Beecher, with Jacob Buckeridge and Jake Wood doing well to keep the ball in the danger area as the visiting keeper made saves and the defenders hacked the ball away from the goal.

Bebington, however, extended their lead as a high ball into the home dee found a visiting player who sliced his shot, so the ball looped into the air and over the stranded Whitchurch keeper Teggin. The fluke goal was harsh on Whitchurch but they continued to attack and try and get themselves back into the game.

Rotating from the bench, the home side brought the injured Doug Buckeridge on up front. A neat combination of passes between the two Buckeridges and Beecher enabled the latter to power into the dee and fire home to halve the deficit. Doug Buckeridge then forced the Bebington keeper into a save at his near post as Whitchurch pressed for an equaliser.

With time almost up Buckeridge again broke into the dee but was thwarted as the visiting keeper rushed from his line, and the keeper then saved well, twice, as Hockenhull followed up to strike shots at goal. The final whistle blew as Bebington eventually hacked the ball clear.

Again, the 2s played well but couldn’t get the result their play warranted. The young players played well … even when on the end of some robust treatment. Two new players made their debuts for the 2s, and hopefully David Brunyard and Paul Humphries will be back for more games in the near future. The defenders played well once again and restricted the opposition chances and Gareth Teggin continues to improve in goal and couldn’t do anything with either of the goals scored by Bebington.

The 2s don’t have matches on the next two weekends, unless a fixture gets rearranged. The next 2s game is scheduled for 3rd November, away to Neston 8s.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 10 – Bangor City Men’s 2s 1

Whitchurch travelled to a very wet and windy Bangor this week to play a restructured club combining the previous University teams with local city players, so were unsure what to expect in terms of strength of opposition. As it turned out, Bangor were a man down, so the Reds were at an immediate advantage, but the important requirement was to make that count: other teams in the league had already got three points from Bangor, who are bottom of the table, and Whitchurch had to ensure they did the same to maintain their league position. Complicating matters was that Whitchurch themselves were fielding a changed team, with four players moved up from the 2s, as they too had players away or still injured, so it was critical to make a good start.

A good start was indeed made, as Whitchurch began brightly in the steady rain, moving the ball well and spreading it wide to Fred Egerton and Sam Conway on the wings. The Bangor defence let them go time and again and it gave the Reds many opportunities to stretch the play around the dee and attack from all angles until Ben Kimberley got a quick pass through to Nick Cooper who got his shot past the keeper for the first goal of the game. Another followed swiftly as Kimberley his first on the board, and Whitchurch continued to dominate, implementing the plan for a high press if the game allowed and spending large portions of the game entirely in the Bangor half.

Bangor lost a player to injury early in the first half, but were able to find an extra player and started to get more of the ball on the break. Euan Morris in goal, stepping up from the 2s, had an excellent game and was instrumental in saving a Bangor short corner, coming out bravely and kicking the ball to safety just as their striker was about to hit it from the penalty spot area. At the other end, two more goals from Kimberley and Cooper had the Reds go in to half time 4-0 up and in complete control of the game.

The half time talk from captain Alex Fry was about repeating the good parts from the first half, and ensuring they continued to get more goals in the second rather than sitting back. It was an opportunity to improve the finishing skills from around the dee, even if that were to mean letting in a goal at the other end, and Whitchurch put that into practice immediately in the second half with Cooper scoring within 30 seconds of the restart. The rest of the game was well controlled, with Conway and Egerton swapping sides regularly to unsettle the Bangor defence, and the midfield of Kimberley, Fry and Tom Forster holding the centre of the field well, recycling the ball across the pitch as well as back to Danny Foulkes and James Partington in central defence allowing attacks to reform on either side. Also stepping up from the 2s were Wyn Morris, who at right back took their winger out of the game with excellent marking, and Joe Coburn in his first game for the 1s putting in a composed and confident performance with tight marking and skill on the ball ensuring their right wing was unable to put together an effective attack.

More goals followed for Whitchurch, with Kimberley getting a reverse-stick strike and a drag-flick from a short corner routine, and Cooper got to an impressive 5 goals for the game by being in the right place at the right time after some selfless passing and movement in the Bangor dee. At the other end, Coburn continued to defend hard and keeper Morris made a number of important saves. Perhaps the most incredible goal, though, came from Bangor with the clearing sixteen taken by the goalkeeper (who was shaping up to flick it before deciding to kick it) whose hefty clearance took a deflection, bobbled over or past every Whitchurch defender and got picked up by the Bangor high man who got it round Morris for their consolation goal. The celebrations were almost as impressive and the Reds couldn’t help but applaud!

The final goal went to Whitchurch with a move down the left getting to Cooper in the dee whose shot was going high but wide of the goal before Egerton swatted it down into the goal for his first to cap a strong game by him. The final score was 10-1, and was fully deserved; it was a strong team effort around some excellent individual performances. The man of the match was Joe Coburn for his impressive performance and the result sees Whitchurch go third in the league. Next week they play Brooklands MU 6s at home.

Oswestry Ladies 1s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 0

This week Whitchurch 1s travelled away to play Oswestry 1s. Despite the weather and the blow of losing a player before the start of the match with car trouble the Whitchurch team had high spirits and were determined to work hard for another win.

Whitchurch started the first half strong, with Millie Edwards and Emma Harper stopping many Oswestry crosses into the dee and goalkeeper Maddy Sugden saving many shots from short corners and open play. After a few minutes of battling to keep the ball out of the Whitchurch dee with Chloe Lloyd making some good tackles, Oswestry found a gap in the defence and scored putting them 1-0 up. Whitchurch kept their heads up and continued to work hard and push forward with the ball, but couldn’t get a goal.

After the half-time break, Whitchurch came back strong and started the second half well with captain Catherine Winter-Gresty and Kate Leicester making some amazing runs and crosses into the Oswestry dee. However, nobody was able to get a touch on the ball to score. Both teams continued to play well with Maddy Sugden making more incredible saves and Hebe Dixon making some amazing runs and tackles. Due to only having 10 players, Whitchurch began to get tired and this is when Oswestry managed to score another goal making the score 2-0. But Whitchurch still didn’t give up. Players Helen Mellor and Ellie Windsor made some good tackles and runs into the dee, where Lisa Sullivan had some shots but was unable to score from them. The final whistle went and the score remained 2-0 to Oswestry. Whitchurch goalkeeper Maddy Sugden received best player.

Next week Whitchurch 1s will play Deeside 3s at home.

Whitchurch Ladies 2s 1 Runcorn ladies 2s 2

It was a damp Saturday afternoon as the Whitchurch ladies 2s team took to the pitch. Whitchurch started strong and took possession despite Runcorn having first push back.

Whitchurch maintained the majority of possession in the first half despite the constant pressure from Runcorn ladies. Whitchurch worked together and started to string the passes around the team including some good runs from Izzy Huxley, Molly Fry and Amelie Morris. However Runcorn’s quick reactions led to an unexpected goal, despite Gwyn Thomas-Rees best efforts.

Half time came and Whitchurch had s good team talk and came back regrouped in the second half. After a slight change in our attack, Whitchurch came back fighting with an amazing goal from Nina Hodges. Runcorn took this as an opportunity to restructure their attack, by leaving a high man up and hoping for a lucky ball through the middle. Despite our best efforts Runcorn managed to sneak another goal leaving the game 2-1. Whitchurch rallied though and continued to work and regain possession until the final whistle. In the end Runcorn’s technical skill and powerful running were too much for Whitchurch this time.