Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club - Match Reports 20150207

07 February 2015 - P10 W5 D3 L2 F25 A14

07/08 FEBRUARY 2015 – P10 W5 D3 L2 F25 A14

 SATURDAY 07 FEBRUARY 2015

P7 W3 D3 L1 F18 A8

 Ladies’ 1s DREW 3-3 vs WALTHAM FOREST. SCORERS: Lou Rhodes, Sally Powell, Suman Bala Garg

 Stortford L1s travelled away to Waltham Forest this week. The girls were relieved to be playing hockey again and keen to get back some form following their last defeat against Upminster.

The excitement of a match at the Olympic pitch created a buzz in the changing rooms and as the match started it was clear to see the Stortford fighting spirit was alive and well.

Waltham Forest also came out strong and both teams had chances to pile on the pressure in the first ten minutes. Waltham Forest's continual switching on the forward line took a bit of getting used to but Stortford defence quickly stepped up to the challenge and got themselves organised.

A Stortford long corner saw most of the team pushing up to attack and this was when Waltham Forest found an opportunity. A quick break and some textbook hockey saw them streak up the pitch and slot a goal home to go 1-0 up.

Stortford heads could have gone down but if anything this just put more fire in the belly of the Stortford team and some fantastic passing through midfield and quality movement from the forwards saw them create a number of opportunities.

A powerful short corner strike from Suman Bala Garg was denied by an unpadded spot on the logging keeper's stomach (OUCH indeed). After a minute or two of injury time play continued and Stortford defence were once again called into action. A quick turnover and a fantastic ball found Sally Powell in behind their defence for a one on one with the keeper. Powell once again showed her quality as a player as she forced the keeper to move and then slotted the ball home to take us to 1-1.

Forest were not content for Stortford to have drawn level and continued to look for goal scoring opportunities. Their persistence was eventually rewarded and Stortford once again found themselves on the back foot. But not for long as Man of the Match Sally Powell made a steaming run towards the baseline and crossed the ball in front of goal. Elizabeth Reay (better known as Buff) couldn't quite get a touch from the P-Spot but Captain Louisa Rhodes was heading for the right post and managed to deflect it up into the side of the goal. 2-2 at half time with all to play for.

The second half saw much of the same with both teams working hard to keep each other out and create opportunities for going forward. Waltham Forest moved to a half-court press to try and defend strongly but the Stortford defence kept their composure and transferred the ball from side to side until the spaces opened up.

Some strong attacking play and another short corner opportunity saw Suman Bala Garg step up for another straight strike and this time the keeper had no chance of stopping it as it blasted through to the back board. But once again Waltham Forest refused to be beaten and yet another goal saw the teams drawing level for the third time in the match (3-3).

Stortford continued to put pressure on and with two minutes to go found themselves in a goal scoring position and were rewarded with a short corner. This time a last minute winner wasn't to be and the game ended 3-3. A great match for such a prestigious venue with both teams putting in a gutsy performance.

The Stortford 1s mean business now and will be taking the fight into next week’s game when they come up against top of the table St Albans at home (1.30pm).

 

Men’s 1s DREW 1-1 VS COLCHESTER. SCORER: VERNON BROWN

 

This week’s performance was a little like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate; it might work on paper, but the execution can be a bit hit and miss. Stortford came into the fixture with strugglers Colchester on the bag of four successive league victories, seeking to avenge their 1-6 humiliation away from home in the autumn. Aside from that performance, the visitors had picked up a solitary win, and after some recent heavy defeats, Stortford sensed the opportunity to put themselves into a comfortable mid-table position. Jon Taylor and Alex James returned to the squad although Andy Round’s knee injury kept him on the sideline for another week.

Having lost a number of training sessions and games in January due to the weather, the team was grateful for the opportunity to play. The temperature may have made Hockerill feel more like a polar ice cap than Caribbean beach but the turf was playing true. That said, the game started scrappily, perhaps reflecting the limited pitch time recently or the cold that made stick skills tricky. Some early frustration kicked in with a number of Stortford players being spoken to by both umpires although as the first half advanced, players and umpires alike settled into their rhythm. The home side had the bulk of possession in the first half, but when it came to actual chances, Colchester perhaps had the lion’s share; Butcher made a stunning reflex save to react to a point blank shot, while a penalty corner variation saw a hard flick cannon off the upright. With no score at half time, Coach Albert Marcano exorted his players to take more from their dominant possession whilst keeping patience.

The second half saw this partially implemented. Stortford did move forward with greater assurity and began to carve the Colchester flanks open. However, patience was not in abundance both in terms of individual decision making and in phases of the game. As a result, whole swathes of possession were not translated into meaningful outcomes. Penalty corners did begin to flow and Alex Palmer saw a lively drag flick that was fizzing towards the net well-picked by the post man, but a number of other good chances were squandered. Finally a mazy run by Josh Lloyd found the ball at the feet of Vernon Brown. His initial attempt was thwarted by the Colchester keeper, but made no mistake in looping the rebound into the net with around 15 minutes of the game remaining. The next 10 minutes were all Stortford’s and the home side really should have added at elast a second and probably a third goal to secure a win. However, with just 4 minutes remaining, Colchester won a string of corners and made no mistake with the third attempt, slipping the ball wide before slinging the ball past Butcher to equalise. There was still time for a further Stortford attempt, but having done the hard work, Vernon Brown was unable to find the target.

Afterwards, although Coach Marcano was disappointed with both the outcome and the performance, he reflected that although points were frittered away, there was still much promise for the season and his side remained unbeaten since mid-November. He said afterwards “the team now need to get back into their stride and cannot dwell on the performance in a negative way. They need to make room for a positive day next week in a crucial match.” Stortford travel to Brentwood next Saturday, and with sides beneath them making good ground and points on the board starting to look more valuable than games in hand, a positive result will do much to keep the wheels on Stortford’s season.

Ladies’ 2s WON 4-0 vs ST ALBANS 4s. SCORERS: E FARRANT x2, M HOULT, C SHILLITO

 

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, with a new tactic using the diamond format the Bishops Stortford 2nd  team were on top form. After 3 weeks without a match we were fighting harder than ever with 3 cracking goals in the first half by Beth, Martha and Thumps the half time whistle blew and we were raring for more goals! St Albans gave us a tough second half but we carried on fighting and Beth secured a short corner goal! We won 4-0! Hooley was woman of the match! Bring on next week!

 

Men’s 2s LOST 1-2 VS WELWYN. SCORER: GREGG PETTIT.

 

The Men's 2nd XI task of escaping the dropzone was dealt a blow this weekend, after losing 2-1 to a clinical Welwyn side. Stortford dominated possession in the first half, building attack after attack. However, as has often been the case this season, they failed to find the end product and they were left with a bitter taste going into the half-time interval, when a quick counter-attack by Welwyn was converted just minutes before the break to give them a 1-0 lead.


The second half was very similar, as the home team controlled most of the play and began to create chances on goal - mainly through short corners. But again they were caught on the break and Welwyn's lead was extended with only their second real attempt on goal. Stortford continued to press and were finally rewarded from a set piece. A well worked short corner confused the Welwyn's defenders, allowing Gregg Pettit enough time to make space for himself and power the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately for Stortford, this was to be their only goal and despite having a handful of opportunities to draw the game level, were unable to make them count.

 

Next week, Stortford take on Blueharts, who are one place and one point above, so victory will be a huge step towards survival in Division 3SW.

 

Ladies’ 3s DREW 1-1 vs HERTFORD

 

 

Men’s 3s WON 3-0 vs St ALBANS 4. SCORERS: MIKE LANDOLT, MIKE CLARK, BRUCE RODDA.

 

The 3s got back to winning ways with a vibrant attacking performance. Both teams first touches were wayward in the first 20 minutes. However, the high octane pace of Stortford's counter-attacks was the factor that ultimately undid a technically sound St Albans side. Mike Clark got Stortford's first-half goal after good counter-attacking by Chapman and Rodda. Rodda nicked a goal off Clark for an early second-half goal after a similar fast-break. Landolt capped off a fine debut with a clever goal from a penalty corner. Shepherd and Barber dominated the St Albans defence, to earn the shut-out. However, MoM was ultimately debutant Mike Landolt.

 

Ladies’ 4s POSTPONED

 

 

Men’s 4s POSTPONED

 

 

Men’s 5s POSTPONED

 

 

Men’s 6s WON 5-1 VS STEVENAGE 6s. SCORERS: JAMES NASH, ANDREW COX, WILL SALE, TONY PENMAN, JOHN GOULD.

 

A return to league matches and a return to form for the Mighty 6’s this week as they settled some unfinished business from October.
A cold, but not unpleasant, Stevenage was the venue for this week’s match. Although the facilities were not quite at the same level as the previous week’s friendly, the quality of play from Stortford was a cut above.
From the off Stortford had the upper hand and kept it throughout the match. With a youthful right channel it was only a matter of time before the chances started and Stortford opened the gates from an Andy Cox blast. Stevenage pressed back, but were contained by a sturdy back line, until minutes before half time James Nash neatly swept a goal in from the back post taking the 6’s two goals ahead.
With half time over, and a youthful John Collins finally making an outing, Stortford continued to dominate over the second half. The pressure resulting in a goal for John Gould and a powerful penalty corner conversion from Tony Penman. Stevenage retaliated and, although their own penalty corner efforts were repelled, they finally managed to pull one back from their main playmaker. However it proved to be their only highlight of the match, with a late goal from Will Sale finally putting the game to bed.
With the final score standing at 1-5 a victorious Stortford departed to claim their spoils and celebrate their ongoing resurgence.
In terms of performances, it was another strong showing from Stortford, with debut goals coming from Andy Cox, James Nash and John Gould. Play was intelligent and simple, with passes finding their mark and Stortford building good plays across the pitch.
Up front there were strong showings from Phil Hoult, Rick Carr, Will Sale and James Nash with support from Graham Perry & elder statesman John Collins. Across midfield Tony Penman held the ball up well and ably supported Ethan Jones, John Gould and Duncan Laws in the channels, keeping the attacking line well fed. And in defence Ross Howarth again commanded well, with Alex Kings providing both a solid defence and a good outlet for attacks on the right-hand side of the pitch.
Man of the match this week though was Andy Cox for both his first goal for the club and also a solid game in defensive midfield. With a tight grip on the centre of the pitch, and close marking of Stevenage’s danger man, there was little Stevenage could do to counter for much of the game.
Commendations also for keeper Jon Jackson, with some canny saves preventing Stevenage from turning the tide it was another fine display of his goaltending skills.
While next week’s visit from St Albans may prove to be more of a challenge, if the 6’s can keep their heads and their structure then they’ve definitely got a shot at troubling the top of the table teams over the coming weeks.

 

SUNDAY 08 FEBRUARY 2015

P3 W2 D0 L1 F7 A6

 

 

ENGLAND HOCKEY MEN’S TROPHY R3

 

Men’s 1s LOST 2-4 VS ASHFORD (MIDDLESEX). SCORERS: JON TAYLOR, ALEX JAMES

 

 

 

ENGLAND HOCKEY MEN’S MASTERS’ CUP R3

 

Men’s Masters WON 4-2 vs SOUTHGATE . SCORERS: TONY COLCLOUGH X3, VERNON BROWN X1

 

 

 

 

 

ENGLAND HOCKEY LADIES’ MASTERS’ TROPHY R3

 

Ladies 035s WON 1-0 vs NORWICH DRAGONS. SCORER: SALLY POWELL