Whitchurch Men’s 2s 0 Northrop Hall Men’s 3s 0
Whitchurch Men’s 2s welcomed high-flying Northrop Hall 3s to SJT on Saturday afternoon, looking to build on their good performance from the previous weekend. Although Craig Hockenhull and Joe Coburn were both needed for the 1s, and Martin Beecher was out with injury, the 2s were able to welcome back Iain Bones and Mark Sugden into the heart of the defence.
The opening exchanges were fairly even. Northrop Hall enjoyed more possession and territory, but were unable to create any real goal-scoring opportunities. In turn, Whitchurch were able to counter when they won possession, but despite neat passing up to the dee, they were unable to create any real chances to shoot at goal.
As the half progressed, the Welsh side forced a succession of short corners which were well defended by Bones, Sugden, Wyn Morris and Brendan Coburn, with keeper Gareth Teggin making a number of good stops which were then well cleared by the defenders.
The Whitchurch midfield of Doug Buckeridge and Richard Leigh worked really hard to help out the defenders and also advance the team up the pitch. The younger players were also putting in a lot of effort to influence both ends of the pitch. Ethan Gresty and Will Snaith were carrying the ball purposely through the middle of the pitch and Joe Faithfull, James Page and Jacob Buckeridge we’re providing good options in the wide areas.
As defenders began to tire late in the half, chances started to appear. Gareth Teggin made a couple of excellent saves to keep the Welsh side out, and Joe Faithfull forced the Northrop keeper into a good save at the other end of the pitch. Euan Morris also had the keeper sprawling across the floor in a desperate attempt to get the ball away from the goal. Whitchurch also forced a few short corners which lead to Northrop hacking down Iain Bones as he was about to blast the ball goal ward.
With the game scoreless at halftime, Whitchurch were looking for more of the same in the second half. But early in the second half Whitchurch were caught out by a quick counterattack and, although they had plenty of players back, a collection of missed tackles and failed blocks allowed the ball to be pushed across the face of goal and bundled home for Northrop to open the scoring.
The second half then continued in the same pattern as the first period. Northrop enjoyed more territory and possession than the home side, but the continued hard work of the defence and midfield severely restricted the Northrop threat to the Whitchurch goal. The away team won a few short corners but these were well defended by Teggin, Bones, Sugden, Coburn and Morris.
Whitchurch continued to threaten when they had the ball and made good progress up to the Northrop dee, but struggled to make the away keeper work. Euan Morris worked some good positions but was well marshalled by the defenders and was unable to get clean shots away.
Whitchurch’s best effort was probably a strong flick from the edge of the dee by Ethan Gresty, which was kicked away by the Northrop keeper.
With the home side unable to get on the scoreboard, Northrop ran out 1-0 winners. But this was a strong showing from Whitchurch. With Doug Buckeridge and Richard Leigh adding some strong running and good passing in midfield, and the young lads working incredibly hard to help at both ends of the pitch, Whitchurch proved to be a tough nut for Northrop to crack. The Welsh side were strong and capable, but the Reds never made easy for them. The young players in the side promise an exciting future for the Men’s teams … although that may not be this season or even next.
However, if the young players continue to apply themselves in the way they did in this game, surely the first points of the season can’t be far away.
Next weekend the 2s entertain Runcorn 2s.
Whitchurch ladies 3’s 2 Bebington ladies 2’s 2
The ladies 3rd team were very grateful to start this fast paced game with 3 subsitutes as Bebington 2’s, who were currently lying 2nd in the table, attacked very powerfully from the outset and had several early attacks on the Whitchurch dee.
Whitchurch who were desperate to remain undefeated in their 4th game on the run, responded well with counter attacks led by Fran Ball, Kate Buckeridge, Beth Wright and Eliza Brown who played on the wings, creating numerous options for shots into the dee to Sue Read. Catlin Shaw and Annie Buckeridge playing as inners, drove forward demonstarting some good stick skills, backed up the attack and also tirelessly ran back to help the defence.
Sue Read, who played superbly throughout the game in the position of center forward, managed to slot in the first goal within the first 10 minutes. This spurred on Bebington to counter attack feriously and win a few short corners despite a strong midfield consisting of Emily Lister, Emma Harper and Wendy Cooper who tackled hard to prevent the onslaught. Unfortunately, Bebington scored twice giving a 2-1 scoreline at half time.
Determined not to be beaten, Whitchurch started the 2nd half intent on being first to the ball. Our defence was phenominal with Gayle Ladd, Mel Reid and Jan Teggin keeping control of the ball and playing out to our waiting halves who worked tirelessly driving the ball forward with great enthusiasm.
Our last line of defence, goal keeper Louise Cottrell, who was a little warmer than last week and made some magnificant saves, the tide started to turn with some hard hitting from Beth Wright and tackles from Caitlin Shaw on the right hand side whilst Emily, Emma and Kate linked up well on the left. Annie Buckeridge made a notable reverse stick pass into the dee to Sue Read who narrowly missed the goal. The next attack saw Sue slot her second goal into the goal leveling up the scores to 2-2. The last few minutes saw Whitchurch continue their attack but unfortunately were unable to convert a third goal for a win.
Emily Lister recieved ‘player of the match’ thanks to her, relentless running, outstanding passes and marking.
Whitchurch Mens 1s 2 – Chester Mens 5s 3
Whitchurch were playing away against Chester at the excellent new pitch at Abbey Gate College this week, and were hopeful of another good win against a team at the lower end of the league, but it wasn’t to be. Chester were able to field a team that was much stronger than their results this season would suggest, and they immediately put Whitchurch under pressure, making good runs down both wings, and needing Paul “Sturge” Leigh to make important saves in goal. The Reds were able to put together their own good passages of play, with Craig Hockenhull working well with Alex Fry and Sam Conway in the middle of the field. Nick Cooper and Ben Kimberley worked the high attacks well, and Tom Forster and Fred Egerton provided strength out on the wings, but in a frustrating first half it was only final touches that kept the Reds off the scoresheet.
At the other end, Dale Seymour and James Partington held the centre of the defence, with Joe Coburn back up in the 1s providing strength on the right and Airan Jones continuing to develop well on the left. Marking was generally good, and Seymour provided the calmness and skill in the dee to ensure any incursions were well dealt with, but eventually the Chester pressure caused an overload in numbers, and Sturge’s initial sliding save left him out of position, and the shot on goal clipped the left ankle of Partington as he ran across the goal. Despite Jones also being back to cover, a stroke was awarded for blocking the goal-bound shot, and the Chester striker put it away well to the right of the keeper to let them go into half-time one up.
The second half was another tough affair, but Whitchurch got themselves on the scoresheet with a penalty stroke of their own, which Hockenhull stepped up for and put away with ease. This allowed the Reds to relax a little and they started to play better – more passing, better runs, end-to-end movement, aerials making the distance, and good communication. It was a shame, then, that frustrations started to creep in to the game. A few umpiring decisions seemed to go against Whitchurch (in their opinion) or weren’t spotted, and it caused tempers to flare and earned both teams green cards, but Chester got their heads sorted quicker and won a short corner which they put away well. Another goal followed as Chester were able to break past the Reds’ defence and the shot on goal bounced over Sturge’s pads for their third.
The final goal of the game was a goalmouth scramble in the Chester dee with a number of blocks, challenges, flicks, stops and keepers pads all involved until Cooper got the final touch, but despite a last minute short corner and large amounts of pressure, Chester held on for the win. Whitchurch drop to fourth on goal difference, with only two points covering the teams in second to fifth in the league.
They are away at Lymm next week for the first of the return matches of the season.
Timperley ladies 4s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 1
Whitchurch ladies 1s travelled away to play Timperley 4s this Saturday with a young team of several 2s players. Timperley played very strong from the whistle, putting plenty of pressure on the Whitchurch defence Cath Reece-Gresty and Chloe Lloyd. Having a couple of short corners awarded they managed to score. Whitchurch came back with some forceful play from Lisa Sullivan and Millie Edwards. A short corner was taken for whitchurch and Ellie Windsor got a touch on the ball and slipped it through the keeper’s legs. There was alot of running for both teams up until half time as the ball got passed from one end to the other with no more goals scored.
Whitchurch started the second half as the first, passing the ball well and having several shots on goal but Timperley were determined not to let anyone score. As Whitchurch started to tire, Timperley won a short and managed to score in the last 5 minutes. All Whitchurch could do was defend until the last whistle. Final score was 2-1, an unfortunate loss for Whitchurch. Players player went to Sophie ward.
Ladies play away at Warrington next week.