Match Reports 24/11/18

Whitchurch ladies 1s 4 Lymm ladies 3s 1

This week Whitchurch Ladies 1s played Lymm 3s at home. Despite the cold weather, Whitchurch had high spirits and were determined to work hard for another win.

Whitchurch started the first half strong with Catherine Reece-Gresty and Emma Harper making some good tackles and hits out of the Whitchurch dee and Martha Teggin making great runs with the ball. After a few minutes of battling and getting the ball up in the Lymm 25 Whitchurch were awarded a short corner in which captain Catherine Winter-Gresty scored the first goal of the match from a well executed routine assisted by Lisa Sullivan. Whitchurch continued to work hard with Sophie Ward and Catherine Winter-Gresty passing the ball around the Lymm players. After some good tackles made by Jess Carruthers,

Whitchurch were awarded another short corner where Ellie Windsor converted a second goal for Whitchurch making the score 2-0. With Whitchurch putting so much pressure on Lymm, captain Catherine Winter-Gresty quickly scored another goal for Whitchurch from the same short corner routine with the help of Hebe Dixon and Sullivan, making the score 3-0 at half time.

After the half time break, Whitchurch remained strong with Dixon and Sullivan making some great tackles and hits into the Lymm dee. However, nobody was able to get a touch on the ball to score. Both teams continued to play well with goalkeeper Maddy Sugden making more incredible saves. Whitchurch began to tire and even though they kept fighting for the ball, Lymm were awarded a penalty flick and scored, making it 3-1.

Whitchurch didn’t give up and continued to put the pressure on. Stephanie Stanton and Katy Leicester made some good runs and managed to get the ball into the dee to win another short where Sullivan ejected the ball to Catherine Winter-Gresty to deflect into the goal off the keepers pads, giving the captain her first hat trick of the season. The final whistle went and the score remained 4-1. Whitchurch goalkeeper Maddy Sugden received best player.

Next week, Whitchurch Ladies 1s will travel away to play Timperley 4s.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 4 Bowden Men’s 5s 1

Whitchurch were at home this week to Bowden who started the day level on points in the league, so were expecting a tough game against a good team. Bowden started well with strength in the centre of the pitch and the Reds were under pressure from the off. Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal was called on a number of times in the first half, as Bowden showed their confidence in the dee, but as the game progressed the Whitchurch defence settled into their roles and started to pick up their markers well. Danny Foulkes, Airan Jones, James Partington and Tom Forster worked well as a unit, with growing trust in passing around the back and across the field to release pressure and start attacks.

Alex Fry, Rob Chappell, Jack Barnes and Ben Kimberley were strong in midfield when going forward, and also marked their opposite numbers tightly making it hard for Bowden to get out from the back. The forwards rotated well again to ensure Bowden couldn’t relax, with Fred Egerton, Peter Scales and Sam Conway working the wings while Jon Chappell and Nick Cooper were a constant threat in and around the dee.

The first half was a very even affair with both sides building their attacks well, but equally both defences being up to the task. The Bowden keeper was also brave in goal, making a number of good saves, and the Reds’ half time team talk was about building on the positives and just trying to do each thing a little bit better: closing up the marking, ensuring passes were stronger; runs were earlier and generally making small improvements across the board.

The result was an impressive second half including 15 minutes of some of Whitchurch’s best hockey of the season. Jon Chappell started the scoring from a short corner, with the injection being slipped left and his strike taking a deflection off a defender’s foot into the goal. As the pressure built, Whitchurch got another short corner and Barnes continued his impressive scoring with his flick being deflected into the goal by a defender.

Some more flowing play saw the ball slid through to Kimberley on the edge of the dee and his sharp strike beat everyone on its way to the backboard. The fourth goal came from more well-controlled play in the opposition dee before Cooper tapped it through the keeper’s legs. There were also several very close misses as shots were fired across the goal, or inches wide, so it could easily have been more.

Sadly a clean sheet wasn’t to be, as one of the short corners won by Bowden in the dying minutes was converted as the initial over-height hit was deflected into the goal by Partington’s attempted block, but otherwise this was a very positive day for the Whitchurch men who went second in the league with this win. They are away next week at Chester and will hope to build on this momentum as the first half of the season draws to a close.

Oxton ladies 4s 0 Whitchurch ladies 3s 1

Travelling with only 11 players, confidence was riding high in the Whitchurch Ladies 3rd team after winning our last two matches at home. However, the team under no illusions facing Oxton 4’s, knowing that they were a strong team and lying second in the table.

With the coaches advice that ‘Attack was our best form of defence’ the team set out with such a pace that Oxton didn’t know what had hit them! This strong attack led to winning a short corner which was narrowly missed by Emily ‘Odd socks’ Hilton…if only Kate Buckeridge was on the post as instructed!!

The next 15 minutes saw lots of attacks from Whitchurch down both wings following some strong hits from backs Mel Reid and Sal Pearce, with Kate Buckeridge, Emily Lister and Mia Spruce on the left and Phoebe Jones and Emily Hilton linking up nicely on the right. Jan Teggin at right half was also seen running the wing on several occasions and Louise Cottrell, in goal was complaining of being cold!

Wendy Cooper was covering the middle superbly and passing shots up to our centre forward, Annie Buckeridge, who late on in the 1st half managed to slip through the Oxton defence into the dee and took a reverse stick shot which deflected off the goalie and into the goal.

Not wanting to be beaten, Oxton then drove forward with purpose causing Emily Lister to scurry back into defence and take a blow to the ankle 30 seconds before the half time whistle. With icepack in place and wearing everybody’s spare clothes, she cheered us on to a 1-0 score line at half time.

The 2nd half saw an Oxton continue a relentless attack which was fended off by our superb defence with Mel backing up Jan and Sal backing up Emily Lister who insisted on returning to the pitch after only 10 minutes. Oxton were frustrated by Wendy Cooper and Emily Hilton who time after time carried the ball out of the dee and passed it to our waiting attack who then sprinted to the other end of the pitch giving our defence a much needed rest.

After a fair and evenly matched game in the 2nd half, Oxton then won a short corner a millisecond before the final whistle which led to a succession of short corners which time and time again were excellently defended by Whitchurch. Our goalie, Louise Cottrell kicked one off the line, Emily Lister stopped one up high with her stick and Emily Hilton kept bravely running out to stop the big hits coming in from the edge of the dee. It was with great relief that we heard the final whistle and bagged our 3rd win on the trot. Annie Buckeridge was nominated ‘Player player’.

We play Bebington 2’s next week at home who have now replaced Oxton at 2nd in the table but we now believe anything is possible!

Crewe vagrants ladies 4s 1 Whitchurch ladies 2s 1

Whitchurch Ladies 2s travelled to play against Crewe vagrants. Whitchurch knew that this was going to be a tough game against their local rivals. Whitchurch started off the stronger of the two sides with runs from Edina Jones up front and by Emily Vernon and Tracy Tolhurst down the left. Whitchurch pushed up into the Crewe goal but were stopped in their tracks by the advanced Crewe goal keeper. Ellie McEvoy and Amelie Morris worked tirelessly with Molly Fry stepping up to support them in the midfield.

Whitchurch were then awarded a short corner which was knocked just wide from the goal. Crewe started to apply pressure to the Whitchurch goal and goal keeper Gwyneth Thomas-Rees made some crucial saves to keep Whitchurch in the game.

At halftime the score was still 0-0 and Whitchurch knew that they had to get a head of the Crewe team and they came back out stronger than they did before. Crewe also came out strong, Whitchurch used strong quick passes around the Crewe attack and they were awarded with a short corner, Becky Brookfield picked up the ball and fired it into the Crewe goal bringing the score to 1-0 to Whitchurch.With 30 seconds to the end Crewe equalised after a break in the Whitchurch attack.

Player of the match was awarded to Tracy Tolhurst.

Denbigh Men’s 2s 3 Whitchurch Men’s 2s 2

Whitchurch Men’s 2s welcomed Martin Beecher and Craig Hockenhull back to the squad for the trip to Denbigh 2s on Saturday, in the hope that their talent and experience would help arrest the recent run of heavy defeats.

Although the Welsh side went on the offensive from the first whistle, Whitchurch soon grasped an element of control and started to push Denbigh back towards their own dee. With Hockenhull driving the team forward from midfield and Beecher linking up well with the young players, the Reds created a number of half chances. A succession of short corners were won, but Whitchurch were unable to find a breakthrough.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic however. Denbigh resorted to defending deep and playing long hopeful balls forward to their high players. The pace of the right winger was a threat and Wyn Morris, Doug Buckeridge and Richard Leigh were having to work hard in defence to keep the Welsh side at bay. Brendan Coburn was doing well to snuff out the danger on the Denbigh left, but the Welsh side did go close through a couple of well-hit short corners, and then took the lead, slightly against the run of play, from a fierce hit from the edge of the dee.

Denbigh then enjoyed a brief period of dominance forcing Reds keeper Gareth Teggin into an excellent save when a Welsh forward got free in front of goal, and Joe Coburn to track back and get a vital touch when Denbigh looked poised to double their lead.

Whitchurch settled themselves and got back on the offensive. More chances came and went, but eventually a brilliant team move involving Euan Morris, Jacob Buckeridge and Martin Beecher was well finished by Joe Coburn to make the score 1-1 at halftime.

Once again Denbigh flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half, but the Reds weathered the initial storm and the match settled into the same pattern as at the end of the first half. Whitchurch were dominating possession and territory, but Denbigh were content to hit long balls forward relying on pace up front.

The Welsh side’s tactic brought the game’s next goal. As Whitchurch lost possession high up the pitch, a long punt ricocheted away to allow a Denbigh forward to race clear of Doug Buckeridge and finish powerfully past keeper Teggin from a narrow angle. Denbigh quickly added a third goal, as Whitchurch were caught napping from a free hit and a cross was touched home by the on-rushing forward.

Whitchurch continued to press forward, and their endeavour was rewarded when Hockenhull smashed home from a short corner. Invigorated by that goal Whitchurch created a succession of chances. Joe Coburn, Will Snaith and Euan Morris were providing drive from midfield and Jacob Buckeridge, Joe Faithful and Ethan Gresty all had shots blocked or saved. Beecher and Hockenhull forced the Welsh defence into some increasingly desperate challenges and then, following some desperate blocks at a short corner, the Reds were awarded a penalty flick. While the umpire thought the block on the goal line was by a Welsh body, Whitchurch were honest enough to tell the officials that the ball had actually hit a stick and the decision was overturned.

Despite banging on the door right until the final moments of the game, Whitchurch were unable to get their equaliser and the game finished 3-2 to Denbigh.

After their recent hammerings, this was a much better performance by the team, but this was a tough defeat to take. The Whitchurch players felt they’d done enough to get at least a point from the game. The addition of Hockenhull and Beecher gave the Reds much more of a presence all over the pitch and helped guide the younger players against a decent Denbigh side. Whilst everybody played their part, Joe Coburn had an excellent game in midfield, not only scoring and preventing a certain goal at the other end of the pitch, but his tackling and general distribution in midfield was a big factor in the team’s good performance.

Next Saturday the 2s entertain Northrop Hall 3s at SJT.