November 30th 2013
Ladies 1 vs. Colchester 1 - Stortford won 3-2
Bishop's Stortford Ladies 1st XI picked up another three points this weekend, with an impressive 3-2 victory away at Colchester.
The game didn't get off to the best of starts for Stortford though, as they found themselves trailing 1-0 with less than five minutes on the clock. Colchester earned themselves a short-corner, from which a well executed straight strike found the backboard of the goal.
Despite this early setback, Stortford continued with their plan to play high up the pitch and put the home side under pressure. This tactic paid off and with their first significant attack, they won a short corner for themselves. In an almost identical manner to Colchester's opener, Emma Hynds drew the game level with a powerful shot, that the goalkeeper had no chance to react to.
Both teams continued to create chances, as they searched to break the deadlock and it was Colchester who managed to regain the lead. Stortford 'keeper, Ali Clifton, had dived at the attacker's feet to save the initial effort on goal, which left both players on the floor. The striker was able to then extend her stick far enough, to scramble the ball over the line, taking the score to 2-1.
With half-time fast approaching, Stortford were determined to go into the break on level terms, forcing much of the play back inside the host's half. The equalizer came from another short corner, this time Pippa Bull finding the bottom corner.
The second half started with the same intensity and Stortford almost took the lead for the first time in the match, within a couple of minutes of the restart. A quick counter attack found Bull on the edge of the semi-circle, who was unlucky to see her effort beat the 'keeper, but not the goalpost.
As the game progressed, the visitors began to dominate possession and finally took the lead with just over quarter of an hour remaining. Again, from a short corner, which this time was slipped to Alexis Oakley on the right, who skilfully passed two defenders before deftly flicking past the grounded Colchester goalie.
There could have been more goals before the end, were it not for some reflex saves from the home team's goalkeeper. Colchester also had the chance to snatch a point late on, when the hosts were allowed to break. However, as play continued around them, goalkeeper Clifton raced from her 'D' to challenge the Colchester forward, enabling the away side to regroup and clear their lines. This was to be their last opportunity and Stortford were able to run down the clock in the opposition's half to secure their fourth successive win.
Ladies 2 vs. Shefford & Sandy 2 - Stortford won 3-0
Bishops Stortford ladies 2s took on shefford and sandy on a cold Saturday afternoon. Bishops Stortford started the brighter of the two, applying pressure from the start but to no avail. A disallowed goal from Elizabeth Reay was the nearest the hosts came before the deadlock was finally broken by Liv Brookhouse. A move started in defense with Paula Frenzel, with a long pass up to forward Francesca Pettengall who combined with Liv to finish from the top of the D. Half time finished with the same score line and the visitors started the second half with the better chances.
A fine save by Pip Hall from a short corner stopped the opposition from equalising before a strong switch around with some useful play between Caitlin Brown and Elizabeth Reay finishing with a cross pitch pass which Franchesca Pettengell finished well into the right corner. Stortford rounded off their comprehensive victory with a final goal 10 mins from time. A long pass from into the d from Caitlin Brown eventually ended with one of the S and S players putting the ball in the back of their own net. Player of the match was Olivia Brookhouse but a good team performance sees the ladies maintain pressure on the league leaders.
Ladies 3 vs. Shefford & Sandy 3 - Stortford won 2-0
It's amazing how well your defence can play when you goalkeeper is normally your Centre Forward!
Stortford Ladies 3rds had been leaking goals due to the fact they had not been marking tight enough. This was not the case this week. Before the game started they were told to mark tight and not let the opposition shoot. They managed to do this in the first half and Stortford's forwards did there job and scored early on. With a break down the wing and a pull back from the base line for Helen Perry to score. Stortford pressured Shefford and Sandy and Should have extended there lead further on a number of occasions. Eventually Stortford scored a 2nd by Rebecca Vrylandt. Stortford went were 2-0 up at half time.
In the 2nd half Shefford and Sandy had a few chances but Claire Shillito managed to keep a clean sheet despite nearly taking out one of her own players with a clearance. Unfortunately Stortford lost Karen Jones with 15 minutes to go with a nasty knee injury. So had to play on with 10 players. Stortford managed to defend well and not over commit to come away with a well deserved win. MOM goes to Phil Hammond.
Ladies 4 vs. Chiltern 2
Men's 1 vs. Cambridge City 2
Men's 2 vs. Berkhamsted 1 - Stortford lost 3-1
After dominating the first 20 minutes of the game and controlling a 1-0 lead, Stortford were again out done and lost to Berkhamsted 1s 3-1.
Steve Abbott had put Stortford in front before Berkhamsted got a soft equaliser before half time.
The second half looked to be a stalemate, until a good move by Berkhamsted gave them a 2-1 lead. Suddenly Stortford woke up and tried to force an equaliser. But, in pushing forward, they exposed their defence and Berkhamsted sealed the game with less than 10 minutes left.
Stortford, now in the relegation places will be looking for a much improved second half of the season.
Men's 3 vs. West Herts 4 - Stortford won 2-1
There are no easy games in this division, and although Stortford dominated the game, there were patches where West Herts were threatening. Prodigal finishing meant that Stortford played the game under pressure.
However, the work rate from the midfield was the best it has been all season, with Markham bossing the 'coffin' supported by Smith and Taylor. Ben Thompson opened the scoring from a penalty corner in the first half.
Injuries to Stott and Smith threatened to disrupt Stortford's rythym. However, a brilliant team goal started by a Parker tackle led to a break away. Ben Thompson finished after both Ottley and Kirk made runs to draw the defence. (NB forwards - lead runs create space for others!)
A good performance which leaves Stortford sitting in fifth place in the league. However, there are no "gimmes" in this league so it's still hard to see if we are in a promotion or relegation fight yet.
Well done everyone - a good effort all round.
Men's 4 vs. WRickmansworth 2 – Stortford won 1-0
Bishop's Stortford started the better but could not force any decent chances then allowed Rickmansworth into the game and ended the half defending hard. Jonathan Moon made one excellent goal-line clearance when Rickmansworth should have scored.
Stortford started the second half in more positive form and probably had the better of the second period but Rickmansworth certainly looked dangerous at times. Niall Trimble had a superb game in the Stortford defence and Ronnie Stott made several good saves. Stortford got the winner when Nick Prowse's efforts in chasing a through ball were rewarded when the Rickmansworth keeper (who had otherwise been excellent) failed to clear and left the ball for a simple tap in.
A good win from a scrappy game.
Men's 5 vs. Royston 4 - Stortford lost 1-0
Little positive to take from this game in which we had an overriding number of opportunities to score, including a penalty flick, but Royston scored from their only shot at goal and we didn't from ours.
The pitch was an excuse but over 70 minutes our passing was inaccurate and with woeful speed on and off the ball we gave away too much possession. This was a shame as the line up we have is settled and we with a guest appearance from Arpan we should have won this fixture. Grahame Smith and Stuart Eames were the best players and deserved more from their labours.
Men's 6 vs. Welwyn Garden City 4 – Stortford won 4-1
The month of Movember was bookended by wins for the 6s as symmetric as Gary Jones' Emiliano Zapata moustache. Welwyn 4s fought their way through Herts Highways finest traffic systems that culminates in the gruesome "Hockerill lights" to encounter a Stortford side determined to attack in a 4-3-3. The formation suited as it delivered 4 goals and 3 points, bringing back the effective pairing upfront of Sam Taylor and Dan Chapman with Andy Cox/Nigel Taylor forming the trio. Converting early pressure into scores early on against an unorganized defence, so Stortford led 2-0 with a brace of Sam Taylor goals at the break.
The visitors best efforts were early in the second half, when they threw everything at the Stortfod defence. However becoming overly frustrated by analysing umpiring decisions their net gain was the sin-binning of their Captain Khan, as the Range kept them out. Stortford took advantage of the leaderless Welwyn as Chapman slotted home after a prolonged period of good,structured and controlled hockey.
The visitors rallied back through the influential Ian and at 3-1 there was still a match on, especially as Steve Jones of Stortford was now wearing a yellow in the dug-out. However there was no panic, and better execution denied Welwyn further possession or penalty corners. Fittingly the returning Jones swept home from a good passage being set up by Wade. The lights were out at Hockerill for Welwyn as the match finished 4-1.
The visitors didn't fulfill on the post match tea invite which was one of Hundson's better dishes fittingly - Chicken and pasta with extra spice.