Saturday 11 October
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI beat Upminster 7-2
Stortford hosted top of the league Upminster, looking to regain their winning ways after a disappointing loss the week before. Stortford were quick out of the blocks and capitalised within the first ten minutes with an individual run and finish from overseas Ana Costamagna to make it 1-0.
Continued pressure was not taken advantage of and the visitors equalised from a turnover ball and another break saw them take the lead.
The possession went back and forth but a quick turnover from an Upminster short corner saw Stortford equalise seconds before half time. All 3 forwards were involved with passing play between Sarah sturgeon, Sally Powell and the finish coming from Pippa Bull.
Again the hosts started the second half the stronger side and were rewarded for their continued pressure. Three quick goals seemed to squash the visitors fighting spirit, Ana scoring the first from a short scorned set play, Pippa netting the second with some persevering chasing, picking the ball up on the baseline and finishing past the keeper, and the hard working Sally Powell getting the goal she deserved from some precision passing.
Woman of the match Pippa, netted another two with a well finished short corner, and another stunning strike from the top of the D.
The forwards were the icing on the cake for Stortford in what was a top performance from the whole team. Stortford hope to continuing building on their top form next week when they travel to Brentwood.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI lost 3-6 vs Chelmsford
Bishop’s Stortford made the short trip to near neighbours Chelmsford. The home side were flying high having won their opening 3 games while Stortford were looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season last weekend. Travelling with a squad of 13 the match did not open well for Stortford. As the visitors looked to adapt to the sponge-like texture of the sodden Chelmsford water based pitch, the home side looked to press home the advantage of their familiarity with the surface. As the Stortford lines were tested from the start, the visitors were dismayed to see their defensive terrier, Paul Round, fall with a hand injury that brought about his premature ejection from proceedings after just 2 minutes. Chelmsford were swarming over the Stortford lines twice finding dangerous positions on the Stortford baseline. The first cross was too close to Butcher who was able to intercept the cross while the second found a Chelmsford striker who, under pressure from the Stortford defence, was only able to find the top of the crossbar. As the home side crafted another scoring opportunity, Butcher saved from close range and reacted quickly to deny the follow-up, conceding a penalty corner in the process. This was to mark a turning point in the encounter. Chelmsford opened the scoring as former Stortford player Tom Fanger placed his shot low and hard into the bottom corner. A second penalty corner followed soon after and the actors and outcome remained the same; the principal differences being that Fanger’s flick was sent high and whilst the outstretched stick of Butcher reached the shot, it served only to put the ball into the roof of the goal. With 25 minutes of the half gone, the home side were worthy of their two goal lead but Stortford remained resolute and continued to fight to gain a foothold in the game. Their resilience was rewarded when a scampering Jon Taylor added another goal to his season’s tally with a well-taken goal and an improvised pass from Alex Palmer found its way to veteran midfielder Vernon Brown who, reminding some of his more junior colleagues of his long pedigree as a striker, made no mistake in burying the ball hard into the net to level things up on the stroke of half time. Emboldened by their come back, Stortford made some good early running in the second half; captain Phil Mathison created some impressive forward pressure and a mazy run from Jon Taylor opened up options all around, before he took on the shot and finished deftly past the keeper. Suddenly Stortford were ahead for the first time and the home side began to face some doubts of their own. However, these were soon assuaged as the latest instalment of the Fanger/Butcher duel saw the Chelmsford man draw the Stortford goalkeeper before placing the ball hard between the hapless Butcher’s legs. With the equalizer came renewed confidence for the visitors and as they created another overlap in their attacking third, a vicious cross was crashed into the Stortford circle and with a waiting striker on the far post, another man arrived from midfield to deliver a well taken first time shot to restore the Chelmsford lead. Further pressure followed and but for two exceptional goal line clearances from new post man and subsequent man of the match Alex Palmer, the margin of the lead would have widened. With Stortford’s energy levels depleted following the injury to Round, a slip at the head of the circle led to a penalty stroke and the sin-binning of Sam Ecott; the penalty was well dispatched into the bottom right corner and a further final goal brought the afternoon’s contest conclusively to a close in the home side’s favour. Afterwards, Coach Albert Marcano reflected “it was John F Kennedy who said that ‘Victory has a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan’. There were some good things in today’s performance and some notable individual displays. However, the players need to take responsibility both individually and collectively to produce consistent and sustained performances to earn the results we are capable of.” Stortford will be hoping for better at home next week, when they entertain Old Southendians.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 2nd XI won 4-1 vs Bedford
The game started as expected with Bedford overloading their forwards but
Stortford managed to keep strong in defence absorbed the pressure and turn
The home team then took
the advantage, which lead to scoring opportunities , And before half time
took the lead through Francesca Pettengall.
The second half saw Stortford take control; and more goals scored , Liv
Brookhouse , Abbi Diss and debutant Martha Hoult.
Goalkeeper charlotte Simmonds pulled off a fabulous save to try and give
Stortford a clean sheet, but Bedford scored a consolation goal in the end
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 2nd XI drew 0-0 with Harpenden
The Men's 2nd XI faced a Harpenden team who have had an equally slow start to the season this weekend and there was nothing to separate the two sides, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.
Stortford started well, controlling most of the possession throughout the first half and creating more chances than their hosts, coming close to breaking the deadlock on a couple of occasions only to lack the killer instinct in front of goal.
After the half time interval, the match was much more balanced, with Harpenden's attacks getting closer to the visitor's semi-circle. However, Bishop's Stortford's defensive line were resolute and ensured attempts on target from the home team were at a minimum.
With Stortford losing a couple of players leading up to the game, meaning an empty bench, it was inevitable that tiredness would play a part as the clock ticked by. The result of which left Stortford with little option but to play on the counter-attack. Unfortunately for the away side, Harpenden's back line were also in good form and thwarted any further advances into their area.
Despite the lack of goals, the battle between the two teams did make for a decent display and this was by far the Stortford 2's best performance this season.
Next week, Bishop's Stortford play hosts to Vauxhall - who are yet to earn a point this season - and a similar performance to this week, will hopefully see the Men's 2nd XI register their first win of the campaign.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 3rd XI lost 0-5 vs Aylesbury
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 3rd XI won 3-0 vs Harpenden
Bishop's Stortford mens 3's got back to winning ways with a comprehensive win against Harpenden 3's.
Stortford started slowly and were put on the back foot by a lively opening by Harpenden. With 2 minutes gone harpenden won a penalty corner. The initial strike was high and Stott looked to Palm it away but only succeeded in palming it in to the post man Simon Palkers face. A broken nose and lots of claret later and Stortford were down to 11 men for the second week running!
After some reorganisation, Stortford settled and soon began to impose themselves on a very open game. After 20 minutes the deadlock was broken when Stortford overloaded the D and Pettit found Chapman on the post to sweep home. Despite the occasional break from Harpenden it was Stortford who were in control and they added a second after a nice one 2 on the edge of the D between Pettit and Stott which allowed the later to fire home from the top of the circle.
After the break it was more of the same, with Stortford bossing the game and pressurising high up the pitch and breaking at pace when the opportunities arose. Stortford should have scored a hat full and squandered numerous 3 on 1 opportunities by either picking the wrong pass or being lazy with their passing and they must improve in this regard as the season progresses! Even so they did add a 3rd when Gay broke down the right and crossed for chapman to manufacture a neat reverse finish to fool the keeper.
Overall a very satisfactory performance which leaves Stortford second in the table.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 4th XI lost 1-2 vs Bedford
Stortford saw another unlucky loss this weekend, as the game ended 2-1 to Bedford Town. Following a slow and slightly disorganised start, Bedford managed to sneak in a goal. But Stortford came back frighting and Jo Thompson scored a goal nicely set up by Katie Browne. However Bedford managed to score a second goal putting them ahead. After an inspiring speech at halftime by Jo Newman, everyone was determined to equalise. Sam Clayden and Verity Ellis worked well together on the right hand side and had many unlucky shots on the goal. In defence Teresa Stickland, Milly Aylott and Amy McLaren worked well under the strict command of first time sweeper Daisy Aylott. Ensuring that Bedford were unable to score. There were some excellent passes between Kate Byers and Fiona Lemon, who alongside Lisa Suckling and Kanika Shaw never lost motivation and we're always ready to receive the ball and drive up the pitch! The second half score was 0-0 both teams defended well against the focused attackers.
Player of the match went to Daisy Aylott who played phenomenally considering it was her first time as sweeper. Overall Stortford played exceptionally well and hope to win next week.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 4th XI won 2-1 vs St Albans
A hard-fought win. Stortford started well and maintained that through the first half. Good passing and close marking meant Stortford controlled the game. Nick Prowse played his first ever (official) game at centre forward and scored an excellent opener deflecting a powerful cross from the left fromTom Nash into the roof of the net. A second followed soon after following a short corner. The ball fell to Tom Nash on the left edge of the D and a powerful strike beat the St Albans keeper. Stortford continued to play well and fashioned several half chances but could not add totheir lead.
The aim had been more of the same in the second half but St Albans came out with much more attacking intent and Stortford were forced to defend a lot and play on the break. Adding another goal would have been helpful in avoiding a nervous last 15 minutes after Stortford conceded from a St Albans corner – but Stortford did survive to register their first points of the season.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 5th XI lost 0-1 vs Luton Vagrants
This was a disappointing result. As is typical of the long road trips, Stortford were down a bare 11 before Ross Howarth stepped up and joined in, thanks Ross! It was just as well as the Cap't departed the field after 25 minutes with groin strain, earning himself DotD in the process. We welcomed Sean Trimble into the 5s, hopefully a permanent fixture now, and he provided extra strength to the mid-field.
The match was a close affair, with both sides gaining the ascendancy for periods of the game but not converting into goals. The majority of the pressure came from the relatively youthful Vagrants and ultimately a breakaway goal settled the game.
Whilst there was plenty of good passing and the defence held out well. Graham Smith Gary, Jones and Stuart Eames (MoM) breaking down the opposition attacks time and again. The overall control and pressure in front of goal that characterised last week was missing.
Again Ollie Newman played well at left mid and Ethan Jones was making great lead runs up front until the ball lifted into forehead in the opposition D and he departed the field with a decent egg-shaped lump to leave Stortford with 10 players.
Let's hope we can get it back together for next weeks home fixture.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 6th XI – lost 0-1 vs Stevenage
Following their previous win, and with a week off for good behaviour, hopes were high that the 6’s could continue their unbroken run. Sadly, although the Sun shone on the Hockerill pitch, it didn’t on the fortunes of the Men’s 6th team.
Continuing as they left off, Stortford set out their stall early with an attacking stance. A 15-man squad meant there was room to try to up the pace without having to worry too much about tired legs.
Thus the first half started well with the game being taken into the Stevenage half and the opposition’s attacks being held off by Dan Cohen Rumbold, Ross Howarth and the spritely addition of John Gould.
When Stevenage did make it through there was generally little to trouble Keeper Jon Jackson. However, the problem for Stortford was that it became the same story across the other side of the pitch. Although managing to create a number of scoring opportunities, Stortford found themselves largely impotent.
The turning point of the match came before the end of the first half when, with Captain Duncan Laws temporarily incapacitated after introducing his face to one of the opposition’s shoulders, Stevenage won another penalty corner. With a lack of experience in defence, the Stevenage Captain remained unopposed. With all the time in the world, he received the ball and cleanly flicked it past the Keeper’s head to put them ahead.
Even with a rousing half-time speech from James Brocks and the lion’s share of the chances in the second half, Stortford remained unable to get the ball across the line. The combined masses of the Stortford attack remaining held back, literally single-handedly, by the Stevenage Keeper.
This was the way the match ended, not with bang, but a whimper.
Overall, a 1-0 defeat is not a terrible result by any means. But, with so many missed opportunities it feels hard not to walk away disappointed. The team were by no means overrun or outclassed and, like the weather, there were as many patches of good as there were bad.
With a staccato start to the season and a team structure still to gel, there are lessons to be learned for all and much to be be built upon. It’s still all to play for this season and, like the Captain’s mid-game mishap, we’ve had far worse knocks in the past and still got back up again.
Man of the match was Daniel Cohen Rumbold, for a strong defensive debut for Storford, however honourable mentions go to a returning and evergreen Tony Penman who kept the team in the game for much of the match.
In terms of the other end of performance, it was clear that the majority of the attacking line-up have acknowledged that a trip to Training this week surely beckons, before next week’s trip to St Albans.
Sunday 12 October
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI lost on penalty strokes vs Folkestone
Stortford L1s were drawn to play Folkestone Optimists in the first round of the England Hockey Trophy Competition this Sunday. Having beaten them in the league first game of the season we knew they would be gunning for a win and they definitely brought their fighting spirit - but so did we.
For seventy minutes both teams fought it out trying to be first to every ball, closing each other down and putting in some seriously crunching tackles. Both teams looked dangerous on the break but it was Folkestone who put the first goal away and went in to half time in the lead.
The Stortford girls refused to be beaten by this and continued working hard. Stortford then turned the pressure on and made a number of attacking breaks to win a series of short corners. No goals came from the corners but the Stortford girls were rewarded for their perseverance when some fantastic passing in open play lead to a goal from Charlotte Teall on the right post.
The battle continued and the defence had to put in a strong performance to keep Folkestone from scoring again. 1-1 at full time and the game was to be decided in a penalty shoot-out. It wasn't Stortford's day with Folkestone solidly putting away three flicks and Stortford missing three.