Saturday 20 September 2014
P10 W5 D1 L4 F19 A28
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI 2 - 0 Folkestone 1: WIN
Stortford started brightly and full of intent, with one of several forays into the opposition 'D' resulting in an early short corner, which was well defended by Folkestone. Good pressure on the opposition set piece resulted in an interception by Sally Powell whose vision and precise pass set Pippa Bull free to calmly bypass the remaining defender and slot the ball home past the keeper into the back of the goal. Stortford continued to press hard and cause errors from the opposition defenders, unfortunately despite some close calls, they were unable to capitalise and put the ball away for a goal. Folkestone eventually managed to break out of their 25 and start to create some opportunities, however solid and cohesive defending from Jemma Smith, Susie Fletcher and joint players of the match Suman Garg and Caitlyn Brown ensured that any efforts were soon turned over and possession returned to the blue and reds once again. The midfield unit of Louisa Rhodes, Kate Markham and Anna Swann were working relentlessly to keep the pressure on the opposition and smother any attacking moves. The match continued in Stortfords favour until the half time whistle blew and gave both teams a chance to re-group and reflect on a tenacious 35minutes.
The match resumed with a renewed Folkestone in possession, who after some half time talking appeared to come out of the blocks quicker and sharper. Once again some great defensive work soaked up the pressure, with keeper Ali Clifton being called up to make some saves on a couple of occasions. Ultimately Stortford conceded a couple of early short corners which were calmly dealt with and dispatched with interest by Suman to the waiting forwards. Pippa Bull and Sally Powell were causing havoc to the opposition defence, allowing youngsters Francesca Pettengell and Liv Brookhouse to make some fantastic leads with both coming agonisingly close to scoring, however the second goal continued to frustratingly elude Stortford. Substitutions Charlotte Teall and Hollie Laidlaw were providing some welcome relief to some tired midfield legs, whilst Stortford managed to cover all areas of the pitch in an effort to thwart Folkestones momentum. A determined solo run from Kate Markham into the opposition D and a number of scrambled clearances resulted in Pippa Bull firing the ball through a crowd of players and under the diving keeper to convert the well earned second goal. A visibly buoyed Stortford side found the legs and the determination to see out the game by playing more passing hockey, and could count themselves unlucky not to add to the scoreline. A fantastic performance from the team as a whole to secure an opening day victory and stamp their intent on the season ahead.
Man of the match went to Suman Bala Garg and Caitlin Brown for some excellent defending.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI 2-1 St Ives 1st XI – WIN
BISHOP'S Stortford's men opened their promotion hunt in East Men's Hockey League, division one with a 2-1 win at St Ives on Saturday – their first season opening weekend win since 2007/08.
In the build up to gameday, new captain Phil Mathison was keen to build on the momentum coming from back to back victories in the final games of pre-season but was hampered a little by fitness doubts for Alex Palmer and Luke Taylor as they battled illness as well as Mathison himself who suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday's indoor league win. In the end though all three played a part.
Pre-match preparations were slightly attenuated following mix ups at both ends of the journey; first, coach Albert Marcano was left stranded in Stortford and then the car containing both captain and coach arrived at the wrong venue in St Ives.
Nevertheless, Stortford started the game competently enough, moving the ball with some fluency and with Vernon Brown and Will Goldsworthy testing the flanks of the St Ives' midfield, the visitors looked comfortable enough, although a number of circle entries failed to translate to anything more meaningful. It quickly became apparent that the home side's strategy was to concede territory, use a half court press to concentrate bodies in the central channels of the pitch, and hope for a goal on the counter attack.
As the first half progressed, this looked like an approach that might bear fruit; Phil Mathison was green-carded when a St Ives striker appeared to have beaten him but was unable to get clean away and shortly afterwards a ball crashed into the circle towards a waiting deflection was diverted by George Hindle albeit only as far as an unmarked player on the back post who was able to pass into the goal.
Stortford remained composed; whilst the score line flattered St Ives at that point, the visitors came at them harder again and began to increase the pressure on the home defence. An initial penalty corner strike was half saved and the Stortford injector Sam Ecott made no mistake in ensuring the follow up was dispatched for a well-deserved equaliser and Ecott's first competitive goal in Stortford colours. With half time looming, Stortford were in the ascendancy and as the St Ives team tired, they sought to break up the fluency of the visitors' attacks.
With Alex James disappearing to the sin bin following his verbal objection to a St Ives player's failure to retreat following a free hit being awarded, Stortford took their feet off the gas and coasted into half time.
On balance 1-1 at half time was a fair representation, but Stortford were determined to go out and finish the game off in the second half. Once James suspension was over and Stortford returned to a full complement, they began to penetrate the St Ives defence with increasing frequency, although the pressure rarely translated to clear cut scoring opportunities. As St Ives maintained the discipline of their half court approach and Stortford gifted them a string of penalty corners, the result hang in the balance as the game entered the final ten minutes.
In fact, it was a penalty corner that split the difference between the two sides, although in the favour of the visitors. A variation from the top of the circle saw Alex James strike the ball sweetly, leaving the St Ives' 'keeper flailing in vain as the ball passed him into the bottom corner. St Ives pushed in vain for an equaliser and even though they created little by way of open play opportunities, had their corner routine been a little more adept, they may well have taken something from the game. As the final whistle went, Stortford celebrated a positive result, but reflected that they will need to get out of third gear in the coming weeks, if they are to keep their ambitions on track.
Marcano said: "We never really got out of third gear, and although it was a good victory and the team showed good unity and fitness there is still much room for improvement over the coming weeks".
The next test for Marcano's men is at home to Crostyx this weekend.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 2nd XI 2-2 Saffron Walden 2nd XI – DRAW
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 2nd XI 0 - 3 to Royston 1 - LOSS
The Men's 2nd XI league season got off to disappointing start this weekend, following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Royston 1st XI, who provided a fine example of both the importance of fitness at this early stage, as well as taking full advantage of the chances when they present themselves.
Stortford left themselves with an uphill struggle after finding themselves 2-0 down at the interval and despite a stronger performance in the second half, Royston added another to their tally to secure the points.
The 2nd XI travel to Stevenage next weekend, where they hope to put this week's result behind them and begin their quest for promotion in earnest.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 3rd XI 0 - 12 Saffron Walden 3rd XI - LOSS
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 3rd XI 2- 1 Royston 2 - WIN
Not the greatest hockey match in living memory. However Stortford 3s were gritty and determined to secure a result on a terribly slow playing surface.
The first 25 mins Royston were more dominant, but despite this they din't get a shot on target. However, the final 10 mins of the first-half Stortford played some excellent hockey and were rewarded when a Tim Smith drag-flick coughed over the line.
Royston equalised early in the second-half with a well-worked goal. However, once again Stortford played a ten minute period of superb hockey and were rewarded when Graham Farrant rifled a rebound off the keeper's kick.
It was a little harem-scarem in the final ten minutes but Stortford held on.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Ladies 4th XI 0 - 2 Stevenage 3: LOSS
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 4th XI 1 - 7 Stevenage 2: LOSS
A youthful fourth team were well-beaten in their first game in Division 5SW by a Stevenage 2s team recently relegated from 4SW. Stevenage started the sharper and made early chances and it was not long before they bundled in two goals. Stortford started to get a foothold in the game with some good breaks - Tom Nash leading the line and Bruce Rodda and Connor Mak (on debut) in close support. Stortford won a couple of corners and from one of these Rodda deflected home. Some hope at this point of a recovery by Stortford but Stortford soon conceded a bizarre goal, Alex Kirton clearing a ball from a corner onto Jonathan Moon's body - from there the ball rolled gently over the line. More good play followed but Stevenage managed another short corner goal just before half time to make it 4-1.
Stortford regrouped at half time. Unfortunately any renewed momentum was soon thwarted when a mishit reverse stick short from the left of the D looped over the stranded Simon Martyn and into the top corner of the net. Stortford did manage to keep the ball better at times but still could not sustain it to make many chances at the other end. Stevenage were always strong on the break. Stortford generally defended well with Simon Martyn making some good saves and Joe Hoult strong on the right side of defence but Stevenage scored a good corner and one corner that Martyn at first saved with his glove level with the shoulder. Was it going to hit the backboard?!
The story of a day where Stortford were harshly done by on the scoreboard. Some good play from the juniors but we do know we'll need to step it up in the coming weeks - which we are quite capable of doing.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 5th XI 5 - 0 Harpenden 5: WIN
A clean sheet for Jon Jackson and a hatrick for Nick Slowe were the headlines in a smart season opener for the 5s. With good control of the game Bishops Stortford played a high game and maintained good pressure throughout. The mid-field in particular had a good day and ensure that there were very few attacks through on to defence. Euan Thomas continues to play well up front and bagged a well taken goal, Graham Perry returned and was well positioned to take a neat shot. A well deserved 5-0 and 2nd position in the league.
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Mens 6th XI 5 - 0 Rickmansworth 4th XI: WALKOVER WIN
Sunday 21 September 2014
Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club Girls U16 0-6 Saffron Walden U16 XI
Bishop's Stortford's U16 girls season did not start with the flourish
they were hoping for. The season opener against local rivals Saffron
Walden was a one sided affair as Stortford, coming to terms with moving
up age group, never really got going in the first half as Walden
dominated proceedings with their more accomplished midfield and attack.
after wave of attacks poured over the Stortford defence and it was only
a matter of time before they succumbed and conceded a well struck short
corner. After this the flood gates opened as each Walden attack seemed
to end in a short corner or goal. Four more well worked Walden goals
gave one of their strikers a first half hat-trick and their team a 5-0
lead at half time.
Half-time could not come soon enough and after some 'hair drier' treatment from coach Phil Mathison the team endeavoured to fix the holes in their defensive dam and mount a greater threat in the second half.
came out and put on a courageous display as Claudia Cashman organised
her defence alongside her speedy lieutenant Millie Kershaw, to help dry
up the chances for Walden. The midfield trio of Holly Radbourne, Jemima
Sharman and (eventual player of the match) Francesca Limmer started
to turn the tide in the middle of the park and created a number of
As time pressed on so did Stortford, breaking down play in
midfield Radbourne parted the seas of Walden's defence with a laser
guided pass to Captain and forward Clementine Carr inside the
opposition's D. If not for some quick reflexes by the Walden
keeper, Captain Carr could have steered the Stortford ship into
a legendary comeback. But it was not Stortford's day, as they pressed
forward with only a few minutes to spare Walden sunk the slim hope of a
fight back with a late sixth goal.
Although a heavy defeat their were
still a lot of positives, from the second half especially, and
Mathison's girls have still got plenty of time to work on
their frailties before their next tough match away to Ipswich on 19th
Final score 0-6. Player of the match - Francesca Limmer.