Match Reports 10/10/20

Macclesfield ladies 3s 0 Whitchurch ladies 2s 2

After a fantastic first game of the season Whitchurch ladies 2s travelled to Macclesfield with high hopes. Arriving with only 20 mins to spare and one car literally turning up with 5 minutes to go, Whitchurch were disorganised and not warmed up. However, as a team they are they all pulled together and made it on the pitch ready for push back.

From the whistle, Whitchurch were a strong attacking force, with Phoebe Jones as centre forward taking control. For the first 5 minutes of the match Whitchurch dominated and were justifiably rewarded with the first goal of the match, a lovely flick of the ball over a lying down keeper by Phoebe Jones to give Whitchurch the lead and confidence to flourish.

This gave Macclesfield the determination to make some attacking presses which Whitchurch’s defensive cohort, of newbie Eryn Cookson, who had a storming match Catherine Reece-Gresty, Emma Clarke and Jess Kimberley stopped. Jas Williams took on the key role of centre half and kept a cool head and stopping the Macclesfield team equalising.

Each attack by the Macclesfield ladies was expertly quashed and sent back up the field to the safe young hands of Holly Edwards and Ellie Pearson who passed the ball smoothly between themselves to move the ball up the pitch to the awaiting attackers of Amelie Morris who had a highly commendable match, Holly Gilbert and Heidi Carr supporting her with their excellence skills.

This led to Whitchurch being awarded a number of short corners, from which our 2nd goal come eventually, with a left hand short corner, which managed to touch every one of the attackers sticks before Kimberley managed to slot it in behind the keeper, after the umpire had made the decision to play advantage in Whitchurch’s favour.

After a half time talk, where the team were asked to take a breath, Whitchurch came out fully determined to keep their lead. Jones took the ball and played high into the Macclesfield defence; this was the way play was to continue throughout the second half.

Macclesfield continued to attack hard, but our amazing keeper Beth Wright kept strong, she moved around the dee with stunning agility diving at the ball on a number of occasions. Macclesfield won a number of short corners but they were continuously defended and scuppered by the strong Whitchurch defenders.
It was not a tidy match, extremely scrappy but the whole team gave 100% effort and pulled together to make sure we won no matter what.

A clean sheet for Beth Wright, a great win for Whitchurch ladies 2 and MoM to Jess Kimberley. Next week the L2s are home against Alderley Edge Ladies 7.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3 Deeside Ramblers Men’s 5s 4

Whitchurch lost again this week, but in a much more even game. While they were mostly played off the park last week, this week’s game was a more balanced affair and despite going into the half time break at 2-2, the home side felt that Whitchurch should have won it from there. However, it wasn’t to be.

With players still unavailable due to the Welsh restrictions, the Reds were still in their secondary formation albeit it with two substitutes this week. Team captain Danny Foulkes had passed on a game plan, with planned substitutions to keep the players fresh, and game-day captain Chris Ruscoe set about implementing them, again leading the team in effort and commitment.

Ruscoe was flanked by James Partington and Sam Conway, with Steve Kay rotating in, and they were under constant pressure, but worked well to get the ball out. Joel Leese and Jack Barnes had plenty of time in the centre of the pitch at times, and used the space well. Joe Coburn and Ben Kimberley had good games out wide, driving the ball up the wings, and Tom Forster, Martin Beecher, Fred Egerton and Sam Budd had the skills and speed up front to cause the Deeside defenders problems.

It was, though, a game of two halves. In the first, Whitchurch had decent amounts of time on the ball and were able to go up the pitch smoothly, and a series of quick, short passes had Sam Budd picking up his first for the club. The play then came down the other end, and Deeside picked up a goal after Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh’s kicked clearance didn’t make it past the next attacker, who put it away neatly. Then at the other end, Beecher scored with another crisp shot, but Deeside were able to get back on the ball and pick up another. Despite the scores being level at half time, the game absolutely felt like Whitchurch’s for the taking; they had time on the ball, and could mount attacks at will, and were only a few inches away from being two or three more up as shots went wide or were blocked at the last second.

The second-half, though, was another story. It started well enough, with Whitchurch moving the ball well, and getting up the pitch before a ball fired into the dee was deflected by Beecher, and then tapped in at the back post by Budd for his second. At that point, all the Reds needed to do was settle, stay calm and keep the ball, but that’s where things went awry.

Deeside at half-time had tasked their younger players up front with trying to run the ball more, against a slowing defence and it paid off. They kept the ball well, moved it in triangles up the pitch and drove the baseline with confidence and it worked. They got themselves a number of short corners and, despite some good saves and blocks, it kept the pressure all up at the Whitchurch end.

Whitchurch in turn just couldn’t keep hold of the ball. They would clear it out of their dee, and start a good run but would then try for an overly-ambitious pass instead of a simple one (or just hanging on to the ball waiting for support) and the pressure was immediately back on. Eventually a decent short-corner routine paid off and Deeside were level, but it was in the last moments of the game that the Reds were undone. Despite being warned minutes earlier for pushing, a Deeside drive into the dee ended with two Whitchurch players being pushed in the back during attempts to clear the ball, but no foul was called and the resultant shot was given as a goal to hand Deeside an unlikely victory.

It does at least give the Reds confidence that they can compete at this level and in this league, but it was a hugely frustrating end to a very close game. Finer attention to detail, a bit more composure on the ball, and a little more luck and they should find their feet and progress in this division.

Whitchurch ladies 3s 0 Triton ladies 2s 1

Having faced some tough battles against Triton 3’s last season Whitchurch were prepared for an even tougher battle against a newly formed Triton 2’s who were in a lot higher division last season. With a few changes on the right from last week, Poppy Huxley took up the wing position, Alice Page at right half and Bella Morris at right inner. The left stayed the same with Emily Lister at half, Annie Buckeridge at inner and Kate Buckeridge at wing. Nicola Foster made a return to the 3 team at centre forward backed up by our captain Wendy Cooper at centre half with regular backs Jan Teggin on the right and Hermione Ball on the left. Louise Cottrell now with repaired helmet was in goal and could be heard shouting encouragement to our new players.

For the first 20 minutes, Triton were strong in tackles and pacey through the middle but Whitchurch showed resilience and made several early attacks into the Triton dee winning a couple of short corners but were unable to convert due to some fine saves made by the Triton keeper. Buckeridge, Lister and Forster linked up well on the left showing their experience and newbie Sasha Preece subbed on providing some width to the right hand side. Unfortunately the relentless attacks down the middle by the Triton attack rewarded them with a goal about 20 minutes into the first half despite some excellent clearances from Ball and Teggin and goal kicks from Cottrell.

Some reorganisation on the right from captain Cooper resulted in some much better passing shots from Preece, Huxley and Morris and again Whitchurch drove into the Triton half and won a short corner but were unable to convert. Cooper made some magnificent passes to Buckeridge and Forster through the middle before taking a nasty hit to her ankle and was replaced by Page.

Half time arrived quickly ending 0-1 and allowed Whitchurch to regroup. Huxley, Morris and Page were linking up much more effectively on the right and Annie Buckeridge and Lister made some excellent drives down the left supported by Preece on the wing with Forster dropping deep to help out. Kate Buckeridge dropped back to right half feeding to Page on the right wing and Morris supported both forward and back at inner.

Ball made some excellent defensive moves cutting off the Triton attack and firing passes down both left and right wings. Cottrell made some crucial saves and Whitchurch successfully defended a short corner. The last 10 minutes saw Whitchurch making many more counter attacks and proved that the sides were evenly matched but unfortunately the clock ran down and the game finished 0-1 to Triton.

Players player was Nicola Forster.


Birkenhead Men’s 2s 4 Whitchurch Men’s 2s 0

Whitchurch Men’s 2s travelled to the Wirral on Saturday to face a Birkenhead 2s side who had also gained promotion last season, but had inflicted two heavy defeats on the Shropshire side in the process.

As expected, the Wirral side enjoyed the upper hand in most aspects of the game and Whitchurch struggled to impose themselves on their opponents. From the first pushback, Birkenhead pressed the Whitchurch players at every opportunity and Whitchurch were unable to maintain any meaningful possession of the ball and struggled to make much progress out of their own half.

When the home side won the ball, their power and experience helped them retain the ball and move into threatening positions. But Whitchurch battled hard and made things difficult for their opponents. Gareth Teggin, Brendan Coburn, Wyn Morris and Will Snaith defended resolutely and Birkenhead struggled to get into the Whitchurch dee and fashion shooting opportunities.

The first real goal scoring chance came at the other end of the pitch. Jacob Buckeridge, Ethan Gresty and Luke Beddow linked up well down the left, but the move broke down before reaching the dee, but Euan Morris was alive to a defensive mistake and ran clear into the dee. His lofted shot was brilliantly smothered by the rapidly advancing Birkenhead keeper.

Ultimately the home side got their deserved breakthrough. After withstanding a number of short corners, the Reds were a little flat-footed reacting to a pass back to the injector, who diverted the ball past a helpless Neil Jones in the Whitchurch goal. It wasn’t long before Birkenhead doubled their lead, again from a short corner that was well struck into the near post.

Whitchurch battled hard and did well to keep the deficit to two by the interval.

The second half saw the 2s change formation to try and provide more protection through the centre of the pitch and give Euan Morris more support up front. But the pattern of the second half was much the same as the first half …. Birkenhead controlled territory and possession, and had Whitchurch pinned in their own half. When the away side won the ball, they were unable to keep it due to a combination of Birkenhead pressure, a little bit of over-eagerness to pass the ball quickly, or the tendency to run into tackles.

Whitchurch did have odd moments; Luke Beddow made some threatening runs into the dee; Will Gilbert was busy around the periphery of the dee; and Euan Morris worked hard with very little reward. However, it was always going to be Birkenhead that impacted the score line, and they duly added another couple of goals in the second-half to run out 4-0 winners.

This was a tough afternoon for the Whitchurch 2s, but they battled away and made a very good Birkenhead side work hard for their victory. Ultimately, power and experience were the deciding factors.

Fred Delf-Rowlandson and Joe Faithfull were eager runners all afternoon, but found it difficult to influence the game in attacking positions and Doug Buckeridge and Richard Leigh worked hard to provide protection to the overworked defenders. Ethan Gresty had another fantastic game. Ethan has always had the talent but sometimes his work rate left a little to be desired, but in both games so far this season, Ethan has been a bundle of energy and had a significant impact on the performance of the team. In this game he tracked back diligently and made some vital interceptions and blocks in the Whitchurch dee, but was also the driving force to get on the team on the front foot, and provided excellent support to Luke Beddow and Euan Morris when Whitchurch tried to attack.

The 2s next game is at home to Bebington 3s at 1:30pm on Saturday 17th October.

Whitchurch ladies 1s 5 Knutsford ladies 1s 3

The ladies 1s entertained Knutsford ladies1s this Saturday in better weather than last weekend. From the whistle Whitchurch took control of the game and in less than five minutes Ellie Windsor collected the ball in front of the keeper and slipped it past her.

The game stayed at a fast pace as Whitchurch played the ball around Knutsford getting plenty of play up in the opposition dee. Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty crossed the ball into Izzy Huxley who calmly deflected into the back of the net.

Knutsford started putting up a fight and found a high player who took on Whitchurch keeper Maddy Sugden forcing her to make a great save, unfortunately minutes later they scored from a short corner. Hebe Dixon had an amazing game taking on multiple players in the dee before scoring a third for Whitchurch.

Half time came and a well-deserved break. Whitchurch reset themselves but found that Knutsford came back out with more aggression and scored again from a clever break.

Some fantastic passing across the width of the pitch from Anna Latham allowed Whitchurch to pick out Huxley again on the post to score a fourth.

Things were looking strong at the back with Millie Edwards, Sophie Ward, Kezzie Hutchings and Chloe Lloyd meeting everything Knutsford could muster. The game moved well for Whitchurch with Lisa Sullivan and Molly Fry distributing the ball out wide, with Hayleigh Busby collecting outside the dee and passing into Dixon to give the reds a good lead.

Within the last few minutes Knutsford managed to convert another short into a goal.

Players player was awarded to Hebe Dixon. Ladies 1s play away at Warrington next week.