Saturday 03 January 2015
P2 W1 D0 L1 F7 A7
MEN’S 4s LOST 0-4 TO WINCHMORE HILL & ENFIELD
A game where it could be said that Stortford played the better hockey (despite the cold and the rain) but where a 4-0 defeat was not entirely unmerited. Table-topping Winchmore Hill simply proved far better in both Ds and were also much quicker than the majority of the Stortford players.
Stortford started well and dominated possession in the early exchanges. There was some rustiness though and one misplaced pass resulted in Winchmore taking advantage and taking the lead. Stortford got turned over again to the same effect soon after.
The second half again started with Stortford on top and continuing to make headway down the right through Connor Mak and Adrian Krishman. However although several short corners were won (and Stortford had about double the corners of Winchmore Hill overall) Winchmore doubled their lead by the end and this despite a string of fine saves from Simon Martyn and some excellent defending throughout from Mark Whittingdale including one miraculous save on the run on the line from a powerful flick.
MEN’S 6s WON 7-3 VS HERTFORD 5. SCORERS: SAM TAYLOR X2, JAMES BROCKS X2, PHIL HOULT X2, PHIL ROWLEY
On a cold, wet afternoon in January, it was the hockey that shone through for the Mighty 6’s on their first match of the year.
After the postponement of the original fixture before Christmas, the 6th Team arrived at Hertford looking to finish what they’d almost started. What greeted them was driving rain, an artic wind and a piece of interpretive theatre entitled “Who’s got the keys to the hockey goals?!”. But, fortunately, usual service was soon resumed and we were on to the matinee performance.
The first act started well, with Stortford commanding much of the play, however tragedy struck 15 minutes in, as a Hertford cross found an unmarked striker and put the 6’s 1-0 down. However Stortford regrouped and soon drew themselves back to 1-1 in a similar fashion courtesy of a returning Phil Hoult. The tide was beginning to turn.
Following continued pressure a second goal followed, a short corner being swiftly converted by an on-form James Brocks, and then another was neatly slotted away by Phil Rowley. As the intermission arrived, Stortford found themselves 3-1 ahead and buoyed at the chance of their first victory since September.
The second act opened much like the first, an early Sam Taylor goal being followed by another from Phil Hoult, with the half being capped off by an open play goal from James Brocks (impressive, given that he was right-back at the time) and another Sam Taylor strike.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the 6’s, with their aggressive structure leaving them vulnerable in particular to Hertford’s cross-field attacks, and the opposition clawed back a couple while all this was going on. However, as a positive, the occasional Hertford sortie did give Keeper Jon Jackson the opportunity to display his skills and gift Ross Howarth another chance for one of his customary goal-line clearances.
As the curtains fell and the fat lady sang, the final score was 7-3 for the 6’s, with the team finally able to bask in a well-earned victory.
In terms of team performances, if not Champagne hockey this had at least been high-end Prosecco, with strong showings all round. With the experience of Gavin Cunningham, Gary Jones & Tony Penmen in midfield, distribution was particularly good and even Captain Duncan Laws aided efforts by regularly subbing himself for a change. Man of the match was Phil Hoult, for his strong return to the club, picking up a brace of goals along the way.
So, in summary, a fantastic start for the 2015 for the 6th team, with hopes high that this will be the turning point for the season. Only time will tell.