Alderley Edge 5s 1 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3
Whitchurch started the new year in a winning fashion with a hard-fought game against Alderley Edge on a good pitch in some surprisingly fine weather and were made to work for the victory by a young and talented team. Alderley Edge applied pressure well from the start, using both wings confidently and testing the Reds’ defence. An even start to the game tipped in Alderley Edge’s favour, with the ball moving around the Whitchurch dee a number of times, being saved twice before the last block fell kindly to their attacker who did well to put the ball into the net.
Whitchurch didn’t let their heads drop and led by captain Jack Barnes, launched a counterattack immediately. They won a short corner which Barnes put away with style into the top-left corner of the goal past the diving keeper’s glove. Barnes was on hand again shortly after, driving the ball to the edge of the dee and unleashing a shot that the keeper got pads to, but was still strong enough to roll over the line for the Reds’ second.
At half time the talk was about keeping good possession and moving up the pitch as a team, and this was done well with Ethan Gresty going on an excellent run round the back of the defence, squaring the ball to the supporting teammates who’d worked up the pitch with him, for Martin Beecher to tap it in.
The rest of the game was Whitchurch defending hard as Alderley Edge used their substitutes well and trying to launch counter attacks. There were chances at both ends, but Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh was solid as ever in the Whitchurch goal and helped ensure the game ended with a good result for the Reds going into the second half of the season and look to extend their run with an early start away next week at Lymm.
Knutsford ladies 1s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 4
Ladies 1s travelled away to play their rearranged game against Knutsford this weekend.
From the start Whitchurch took control, passing strongly to each other, making it look easy for Lisa Sullivan to pick out Georgia Munro to score their first goal 5 minutes into the game.
Whitchurch pushed high on the pitch, making every opportunity count to put pressure on Knutsford. Mid fielders Mollie Bell, Lisa Sullivan and Captain Cath Gresty worked tirelessly holding a strong press on every Knutsford sixteen hit out.
Pressing continued and Whitchurch won a short corner and a fast pass from Gresty to Sullivan scored a second goal.
Knutsford fought back and unfortunately despite all efforts from defence Chloe Lloyd, Hayleigh Busby and Hermione Ball, they managed to score from a powerful short corner strike.
Whitchurch didn’t let this deter them and more fantastic play up the pitch from Holly Edwards and Sarah Kay allowed Georgia Munro to collect the ball at top dee to take on the keeper to make it 3-1 before half time.
A quick break and Whitchurch were keen to get back to the game.
Knutsford came back a lot more aggressive and had several chances on goal, but Keeper Caroline Wynne was drawn out to save all attempts.
But some fast play and quick passing of the ball from Knutsford set them up for their second goal of the match.
Whitchurch worked together to get back the possession and settled back into their game. Jasmin Williams took the ball along the back line to pick out Munro to add to the score sheet, making it 4-2 at the final whistle.
Ladies 1s play away again next week at Wilmslow.
Whitchurch Men’s 2s 3 Warrington Men’s 2s 4
Whitchurch struggled to shake off the Christmas break and get into the game. Despite some neat interchanges between Craig Hockenhull and Joe Chester’s up-front Whitchurch failed to take their opportunities. Will Edwards fired a shot over the crossbar, but the remainder of the half was Warrington’s who took a three-goal lead into the break.
The Whitchurch team talk was positive and focussed on keeping it simple. Whitchurch went out in the second half and took the game to Warrington. Within minutes Joe Chester’s raced clear of the Warrington defenders and calmly beat the Warrington keeper.
This seemed to give Whitchurch the lift they needed, Alex Fry, Lucas Hill, Thomas Wyndam-Lewis, Pip Jones and goalkeeper Neil Jones thwarted Warrington every time they broke into the Whitchurch half and with the cover of midfield given by Rob Chappell, Charlie Edwards and Oliver Hayward they started to apply pressure.
Whitchurch were again rewarded when Tom Edwards mazy run through the midfield found Joe Chesters for his second of the game.
Whitchurch pushed for an equaliser and another skilful run down the wing by Oliver Edwards drew in the Warrington defence and created space for Will Edwards to drive into the dee and slip the ball to Alfie Edwards who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Warrington showed their experience and slowed down the game keeping the ball and frustrating Whitchurch and in the final minutes of the game snatched the winning goal much to the disappointment of the Whitchurch team.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 2 Wilmslow ladies 4s 3
Whitchurch started the slower of the two teams and would have been down within the first few minutes but for an excellent save from goalkeeper Megan Nicholson.
Wilmslow showed their experience controlling large parts of the game but Whitchurch caused problems throughout with their pace upfront and in the midfield. Wilmslow took the lead with a neat interchange and clinical shot on goal.
Whitchurch continued to attack on the break with pacey runs down the left of the pitch through Heidi Carr and Amelie Morris. Bella Morris controlled the midfield with her range of passing and found Sophie Jones on the right wing who drove into the dee and slipped to Heidi Groom to bring Whitchurch level at the break.
Halftime focussed on keeping the ball and Whitchurch gained greater possession in the second half taking the pressure of the defence of Gayle Ladd, Emma Stubbs, Poppy Huxley and Lydia Jones.
Wilmslow again took the lead but Whitchurch were in no mood to sit back and a driving run into the dee by Freya Gresty saw Poppy Gilbert draw Whitchurch level.
With 10 minutes to go the torrential rain started and despite the support of the crowd from the shelter of the dugouts the pace of the game slowed considerably, this suited Wilmslow rather than Whitchurch who attacked into the rain. Wilmslow kept their composure and in the final push of the game scored a winner.