Saturday 27 September
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI – Won 5-0 vs Crostyx (a)
Goals: Pettengell 2, Powell 2, Laidlaw 1
Green Card: Garg
Bishops Stortford ladies continued their winning start to the season with a comprehensive win over Crostyx 1st XI away.
The ladies started as they finished the last game with quick passing and aggression taking the majority of the possession during the opening 15minutes. The visitors opened the scoreline within 7 minutes with a lucky deflection from Fran Pettengell. Continued pressure saw Sally Powell again deflect in and moments later also net the 3rd. New Argentinian Ana Costamagna turning over the ball on the half way line and then making the run through the Crostyx defence to pick out the run of Powell to finish.
More pressure built during the first half was not built on and a missed penalty flick saw Crostyx revitalised and start to apply more pressure on the Stortford defence. However they stood firm and went in at half time 3 goals ahead.
The second half started in similar fashion, with more fighting spirit from both teams. Stortford were the first again to capitalise with a well practised short corner resulting in Hollie Laidlaw turning the ball in on the post.
Pettengell finished the scoreline with some skilled stick work to work a lifted ball from Pippa Bull around the keeper. Late saves from Alison Clifton and strong defensive work from the back enabled the visitors to finish the match with their second clean sheet of the season. An all round team performance which leaves Stortford captain Louisa Rhodes feeling positive for the upcoming season.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI – Won 2-1 vs Crostyx (h)
Goals: Bell, Taylor
An earlier than usual start for Bishop's Stortford's men resulted in a good opening spell against their rivals Crostyx. Most of the early play was by Stortford as they looked to control the match from the first whistle. Initial forays into the opposition 23m saw Stortford come away frustrated as Crostyx managed to keep them at bay. But the unrelenting pressure eventually told when captain Phil Mathison broke down a Crostyx attack in the centre of midfield and evaded two opposition players before passing to forward Alex Palmer on the right wing. Palmer took on his marker before returning the ball to Mathison who first time passed to Frankie Bell, who calmly slotted it home for the lead.
The remainder of the half Stortford continued to press their advantage and show their superior fitness. At half time, still at 1-0, the talk was all about not being complacent from coach Albert Marcano. However Stortford obviously weren't listening. Crostyx started the second half like a completely different team and pressed Stortford back into their own 23m area. This pressure eventually resulted in a number of short corners and Crostyx's equaliser. More torture was inflicted on the Stortford home supporters as Andy Round was adjudged to have illegally prevented a goal scoring chance and a penalty flick was awarded. Fortunately for Stortford the Crostyx player smashed the ball off of keeper David Butcher's right hand post, to the relief of the home fans.
This was the wake up call the team needed and the tides turned. Stortford forced their opposition back and then with only a few minutes to spare Jon Taylor popped up inside the D to bundle home the winner. The last few minutes Stortford managed to hang on, with some stoic defending from man of the match Sam Ecott, and maintain their undeafeted run.
After the match coach Marcano was philosophical about the performance and result stating that 'we switched off in the second half and will be punished for this by better teams, but we still managed to win even when not playing well which is marked progress from last year'.
Next week’s opposition will be a much tougher test as Marcano's men take on top of the table Ipswich-East Suffolk. At least one of the sides 100% record will be gone by this time next weekend.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 2nd XI – Lost 0-5 vs Harpenden (h)
MOMs Lauren, Buff, Sophie
The score didn't reflect the match, Stortford played well throughout the match. Lauren made several attacks from the back but unfortunately didn't make it into the back of the goal.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 2nd XI- Lost 1-7 vs Stevenage (a)
The Men's 2nd XI disappointing start to the season continued this weekend, as a strong Stevenage side slaughtered sorry Stortford 7-1.
The match itself was a fine example of a "game of two halves" as the damage was done with Stevenage building a 3 goal advantage in the opening 10 minutes and doubling this lead before the interval to make it 6-0. The direct approach from the home side exploited gaps between Stortford's midfield and defence, which was then complimented by some fine finishing.
With the result pretty much secure, Stortford's second half approach was a matter of playing to restore a little pride. These efforts were evident, as the hosts found penetrating the defensive line much harder, whilst Stortford themselves created a number of opportunities to register on the scoresheet, which were lacking before half-time.
Stevenage did manage to add one goal to their tally around 20 minutes in to the second period, however, a stronger resistance from Stortford ensured this would be their opponents only joy in the half.
With just over 5 minutes remaining, Bishop's Stortford finally found the back of the net, from the last of their 7th short corners in the game. Rob Taylor striking the ball from the top of the 'D' found Jamie Henderson, who added a decisive deflection to divert the ball past the Stevenage goalkeeper, which was to complete the scoring for the match at 7-1.
Bishop's Stortford will have to improve considerably if they are to vie for a promotion spot and will have a good opportunity next week when they play hosts to Winchmore Hill & Enfield, who are also yet to pick up points this season.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 3rd XI – Lost 0-6 vs Rickmansworth (a)
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 3rd XI – Won 5-3 vs Bedford (h)
Goals: Chapman x2, Smart, Pettit x2
Red Cards: Plumridge (red)
Stortford Mens 3's put in a mature and comprehensive performance on Saturday to brush aside Bedford mens 3's who were relegated last season from 3SW.
The match started fairly evenly with both sides feeling each other out, but after a period of good Stortford pressure it was Bedford that scored first, exploiting some lax marking which resulted in 2 Bedford players free in the circle to slot home. Stortford responded well though and after a number of close calls broke their duck when Dan Chapman cleverly deflected a shot from debutant Ollie Brown into the back of the net. It was no more than Stortford deserved and both sides went in at half time level.
Stortford began the second half determined to take further control and push for the lead. After a few near misses at short corners and some fine keeping by Bedford, Stortford's pressure told when Dan Smart latched onto a failed clearance and rifled home from the top of the circle between the keepers legs. No sooner had Stortford taken the lead they extended it further when a short corner strike was stopped illegally on the line and Pettit converted the resulting penalty flick. Stortford were now in full swing moving the ball impressively and pulling Bedford all over the place. It wasn’t long before a fine move down the right found its way to Pettit who slipped the ball round the keeper for Chapman to tap home. With 5 minutes left Stortford added a 5th when Pettit and Brown exchanged passes at another short corner and Pettit wriggled through the defense to beat the keeper from close range.
That should have been that, but Stortford appeared to forget there was 5 minutes left and completely switched off allowing Bedford to sustain some pressure of their own culminating in a number of short corners and 2 well taken goals to the visitors despite some fine saves by the other debutant Josh Ramsey in goal. There was an unfortunate and uncharacteristic altercation at the end which resulted in Kyle Plumridge receiveing a Red card for his comments to the umpire. Despite the hugely dissapointing last 5 minutes, this was a comprehensive Stortford performance which bodes well for the side as the season progresses. Final score 5-3.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 4th XI lost 3-4 vs Broxbourne (h)
Stortford ladies 4's saw a large improvement in this week's game. At the start there was lots of passing between Nadia El-Zanfaly, Vicky Cox and Sam Clayden up and down the right hand side of the pitch. Broxbourne held most of the possession in the first half, however, only one goal was conceded as the defence line stayed strong which included Frankie Hawkes, as sweeper, Mel Cassel Dummett, Vicky Cox and Amy McLaren making lots of strong tackles.
The second half began with Stortford keeping possession and many shots came close to the goal. A short corner was awarded to stortford and due to an accurate hit out by Laura Shambrook, and a quick shot in by Katie Browne, Kanika Shaw managed to tap the ball into the goal. After this Stortford began to push forward and there were some fantastic passes made between Lisa Suckling in defence and Fiona Lemon and Lisa Cooper in the midfield, which were then moved up to the forwards. By doing so Jo Thompson was able to score two goals with the help from Kate Bryers on the right and Laura Shambrook in the middle.
Even though Stortford lost 4-3 some wonderful saves were made by Ros Holder in goal, particularly one where the ball landed between her legs!!
Player of the match went to Frankie Hawkes which was extremely well deserved due to her excellent defending and copping so well after being hit by the ball and sticks many times!
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 4th XI lost 1-10 vs Winchmore Hill & Enfield (a)
Stortford were outplayed by a superior Enfield and Winchmore Hill team, particularly in each, both in terms of defending and attacking. Enfield went 2-0 up in quick time, starting the quicker and ruthlessly exploiting any hesitation in the home defence. The movement was also difficult to cope with and Enfield went in to half time 5-0 up. Stortford had several opportunities themselves with good work by Rob and Oli Clift leading to Matt Brown's runs being picked up but Stortford could not find the Enfield net.
After half time play was probably more in the Enfield half as Stortford kept the ball better playing shorter passes and combining well at times. Several short corners were won (Stortford would have won very easily if the match was decided on short corners) but not many clear chances were taking with only a deceptive revers stick finish from Adrian Krishman to show for these efforts. Enfield played on the break and were even more dangerous that way, the game ending 10-1.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 5th XI – Lost 0-1 to Cheshunt (a)
The 5th team's second league game of the season wasn't a pretty affair. However it was close and the sides were evenly matched with limited chances at either end. Three short corners to Bishops Stortford resulted in no score and the few chances in open play didn't find their way to the back of the net. The youth policy of Ethan Jones (on his birthday) and Ross Butler couldn't raise the tempo. Cheshunt harried and pressurised and eventually managed to steal a goal with only a few minutes left on the clock, to leave the blues disappointed and frustrated. On to next week!
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 6th XI – Won 3-1 vs Berkhamsted (h)
Goals: Rowley x2, Taylor
Following a 5-0 walkover victory last week it was finally time for the 6s to open their season proper.
With a new Captain, some new faces and a more aggressive formation, change was definitely in the air. However, it remained to be seen whether this was to be for the better.
The first half began in a rough and ready fashion, as the team blew away some cobwebs and settled into a more attacking 3-4-3 line-up. The risk was always going to be that this could leave the defence exposed and, following a break from the opposition, Berkhamsted put themselves ahead.
The 6s regrouped and, pushing forwards, a nifty aerial “pass” from Rick Carr was solidly converted by Phil Rowley, drawing Stortford level.
With the game picking up, Stortford were able to resist some fast-paced attacks and make good use of their own forwards. This culminated in a nicely worked goal on the break, set-up by James Brocks and deftly put-away by Nigel Taylor.
The result at half time left Stortford 2-1 ahead, but with the knowledge that it was still all to play for.
The second half began with a strangely subdued opposition and Captain Laws stepping back to fill a vacant Centre Back slot. The pace soon picked up again but, despite Berkhamsted throwing everything they could, the defensive combination of Gill, Laws & Kirton (aided by a goal line stop from Andy Cox) were able to hold the fort.
Another definitive strike from Rowley, obviously emboldened without the weights of captaincy, put Stortford 3-1 ahead and there the score remained until the final whistle.
Overall, a very enjoyable win for the 6s. With patches of good play and solid performances across the pitch, it was a promising start to the season.
Man of the match was Simon Radbourne, for a display of lively and effervescent play on the left of the pitch.
Previous weeks' match reports are available using the submenu under match reports on the right hand side menu.