Saturday 08 November
P10 W6 D2 L2 F32 A13
L1 v OLD LOUGHTONIANS L2 SCORE: 3-2 WIN. GOALSCORERS: SUMAN BALA GARG, ANA COSTAMANGA, PIPPA BULL
Stortford came into the match on the back of a brilliant team
performance to beat top of the table St Albans the week before. Despite
Old Loughts lower league position, the team knew that this would be no
easy match, and were urged by captain Louisa Rhodes to stay calm and
focused on the task in hand. A late withdrawl from Sally Powell due to
illness threatened to throw a spanner in the works, but the team pulled
together and started the match brightly and full of intent. Intense
pressure on the Loughts set pieces meant early opportunities came
Stortfords way, Anna Swann almost scoring from close range within the
first 5 minutes, followed shortly afterwards by a goal line clearance
from a Pippa Bull effort. Stortford had once again settled into the
confident passing game they have become accustomed to and felt that a
win was there for the taking. Good work from the midfield and defence
was limiting Old Loughts scoring opportunities and a couple of
successful short corner clearances further fuelled the self belief.
Following another attacking manoeuvre which saw Stortford miss the goal
by mere inches, Old Loughts took a quick ball and broke early, leaving
the Stortford defence with an overload of players in their D. Loughts
were able to capitalise and swept home to take the lead against the run
of play. The unexpected goal rattled Stortford, who began trying to play
through a good Loughts defence instead of around them, with limited
success. Following a reversed penalty stroke decision, Stortford had a
deflected short corner attempt hit a Loughts body on the line, however
it was deemed dangerous by the umpires and the game continued. Perhaps
distracted by the missed chance, Stortford began to lose composure
slightly but hung on till half time only 1-0 down, knowing that they had
the fight to re-group and take control of the match again.
second half started much the same as the first with all the pressure
coming from Stortford, who were not allowing Loughts to break out of
their half and fully utilise their high players. Ana
Costamagna broke down yet another set piece and charged into the D,
slipping the ball to Pippa Bull who fired home spectacularly to level
the match. Buoyed by the goal, Stortford stepped up the pace and began
playing some of their finest hockey with great movement and passing
leading to several circle penetrations. For all the efforts however, the
Loughts defence and keeper were holding firm, until Costamagna caught a
loose ball on her reverse stick and fired high into the net to give
Stortford a well deserved lead. Loughts were not to be beaten easily
however, and started to put together some good attacking play of their
own, creating quite a few chances and winning short corners on various
occasions. Stortford started to lose their discipline slightly in an
effort to halt any attack, and green cards were shown to Hollie Laidlaw,
Suman Bala Garg and Ana Costamagna for various infringements.
Subsequently, Loughts were awarded another short corner which
unfortunately found its way into the back of the net. This proved to be
the catalyst Stortford needed and a chance to quickly re-group mean that
Rhodes was able to remind her team of their objective to stay calm and
focused. Patient defending allowed Stortford to then build the attack
through the midfield, and the pace of the forwards had Loughts on the
back foot. With 5 minutes of the match remaining, Stortford won a short
corner after a move from Rhodes found a Loughts foot in the D. Suman
Bala Garg stepped up to the plate and shot a rocket into the bottom
corner to take the lead for Stortford. Loughts threw everything they had
at the home team for the final few minutes, however it was Stortford
who were to be the victors as the final whistle blew.
week sees the team travel to Colchester in what promises to be another
tough encounter. Stortford need to continue their winning ways in order
to keep their place at the top end of the table, with several teams
close behind breathing down their necks.
M1 v PELICANS M1 SCORE: 1-2 LOSS. GOALSCORER: ALEX PALMER
made the long trip to King’s Lynn to play a side just above them in the
table and whose record suggested they would be free flowing in attack
but vulnerable to conceding at the back. Following the previous
weekend’s victory over Brentwood, Coach Marcano was keen to establish
some momentum to carry into the winter break. However, the day’s
proceedings didn’t go quite as planned. The warm-up was a little
abbreviated as the trek to the North Norfolk wilds took a little longer
than anticipated and consequently Stortford started the game a little on
the back foot. Unfortunately that back foot was in constant danger of
slipping as the visitors desperately tried to acclimatise themselves to
the Pelicans’ pitch and play their way into the game. The home side’s
strikers had little sympathy and the early pressure fell on the
Stortford defensive unit which held firm in the main. After the opening 5
minutes, Stortford got a grip on the game. A defensive hit found its
way to Andy Round who powered a precision pass down the right hand flank
where it was ably met and crossed in for Alex Palmer who created enough
space to place a well-timed shot past the home team ‘keeper. The lead
gave Stortford confidence and for the next 15 minutes, they looked in
near-complete control as they surged forward and the home side were
contained to throwing overheads in the hope that their strikers could
get a nick on one and bludgeon a way through. However the defensive unit
were able to deal with the initial threats or soon cut dead the attacks
and on the rare occasions where they created pressure in the circle,
Butcher combined well with his defence to meet the danger. Stortford
were therefore extremely disappointed to conceded in the final minutes
of the first half as a defensive slip left two strikers unmarked in the
circle and they made no mistake in beating Butcher before he could
react. The second half saw a significant turnaround. Whereas the
Pelicans’ attacks in the first half looked one-dimensional, they were
gaining purchase in the second. Overheads began to evade the defence and
play was allowed to develop through the centre of the park. As a
result, it was the turn of the Stortford defence to feel the pressure as
a number of moves developed into attacks where Pelicans had men over.
From those positions, Stortford did well to prevent a goal being
conceded but the defending was now taking place much deeper than had
been the case previously. This left Stortford with little margin for
error from any quarter, a point well proven when the first of two
decisive moments in the half game arrived with 50 minutes played. A
Pelicans’ attack reached the baseline and the subsequent cross was
adjudged to have been illegally stopped. The initial penalty corner was
saved and the ball cleared to the 25. As Pelicans attacked again, a free
hit was won and in the ensuing confusion, the umpire concluded that a
legitimate attack had been thwarted by the nefarious tactics of
Goldsworthy. This time the Pelicans’ flick evaded both Butcher and
Palmer and they took the lead with 15 minutes to go. Stortford continued
to pressure for the remainder of the game and in the dying minutes
thought they had done enough to secure the draw that they surely
deserved as a penalty flick was awarded. Captain Phil Mathison stepped
up but was dismayed to see the ‘keeper save well to his right and
snaffle all 3 points for the home side. Afterwards, it was a despondent
coach Albert Marcano who reflected “we need to be able to take more of
our chances to dictate the hockey and put games beyond these sides. When
we fail to do so, we leave ourselves open to situations like today when
we are far from beaten but leave with nothing.” Next weekend will prove
a stern test as Stortford entertain league high flyers Spalding, who
are second to Chelmsford by virtue of goal difference, before a home tie
in the England Hockey trophy against Waltham Forest (from the league
above them) on Sunday.
L2 v TRING L1. SCORE: 8-0 WIN GOALSCORERS: FRAN PETTENGELL X4, ROS BROWN, CHARLOTTE TEALL, SOPHIE HOSEASON, MARTHA HOULT.
started off with a bang looking to retain their position at the top of
the league against Tring first team. Ros Brown was quick out of the
blocks scoring the first goal. The goals came quick with Martha Hoult,
Charlotte Teal and Sophie Hoseason also making an appearance on the
scoresheet. Fran Pettengell completed the great scoreline with 4 goals
to her name ending another great team performance with an 8-0 win. Man
of the match was awarded to Ros Brown for a great performance.
M2 v SCORE: 0-1 v SHEFFORD AND SANDY.
L3 v BLUEHARTS L2 SCORE: 3-1 GOALSCORERS: HELEN PERRY, LAURA SHAMBROOK, CLEMMIE CARR
M3 VS LUTON M2S SCORE: 2-1 GOALSCORERS: RICHARD TEMPLE, NICK PROWSE
Stortford 3's notched their 5th straight win on Saturday and 7th of the
season, but not before a late scare was provided by Luton Town 2's.
Stortford started the game in overconfident mood and with a lacklustre
warm up. This translated into the first 20 minutes of the game when the
team played with very little shape and were uncharacteristically
careless with possession. As the half wore on though, they started to
settle and found themselves ahead through the move of the game down the
right which resulted in Temple sweeping home a Farrant cross.
Half time came and went and despite Stortford having plenty of
possession and chances they could not add the second goal. The team were
still looking very disjointed with too many players not playing to
their roles and just playing where they wanted looking for goals. This
left the side open to the counter attack and with less than 10 minutes
left the skilful young Luton attack broke and scored a good goal to
level the scores. Stortford immediately tried to kick on, but having
played so disjointedly for much of the game found it hard to up the
ante. With only a few minutes left they managed to force a couple of
corners and were fortunate when Prowse managed to sweep the second of
these home through the previously excellent Luton keepers legs.
So another win for the 3's, but a very disappointing one in many
respects and one which on another day they might not have got. The team
must learn greater discipline in both attack and defence if they are to
go on to gain promotion and then look to hold their place in Div 3SW
L4 v LUTON L2. SCORE: 9-1 WIN. GOALSCORERS: JO THOMPSON X4, MOLLY TIMBLE X2, FRANKIE HAWKES, KATE BYERS, LISA SUCKLING.
week the Ladies 4s really gelled together and played significantly
better than previously. The game got off to a positive start after a
team talk from Laura Tyler, who is currently injured. The captain, Lisa
Suckling, scored the first goal within the first few minutes. Several
followed and the final score was 9-1. Scorers were: Jo Thompson x4,
Molly Trimble x2 and Frankie Hawkes, Kate Byers and Lisa Suckling x1
each. Player of the match went to both Molly Trimble and Frankie Hawkes
to their significant contributions up front. Vicky Cox, sweeper, was
also nominated - putting in another strong performance in defence.
M4 v WEST HERTS 4. SCORE 1-1 DRAW. GOALSCORERS: CHRIS SLACK
even game. This time Stortford will be the happier to have a point.
West Herts were the more dangerous though the attacking payers on both
sides were quick and engineered opportunities, in Stortford’s case
particularly fantasy league star Chris Slack and Bruce Rodda who
stretched the West Herts defence and generally stopped them playing the
ball out from the back with ease.
Man of the Match Simon Martyn
made a number of fine saves, including one from a Jonathan Moon pass to
the opposition forward on top of the D from a 16 when Simon was still
not back in his goal! Moon did more than make up for this with a number
of key last minute interventions during the half including off the line
at short corners. Nonetheless, Blueharts took the lead when a forward
was presented with a tap in after a deflection fell to him on the back
After the break, Stortford played some good hockey and
won more short corners. From the first of these, Chris Slack buried the
ball inside the near post after a slip left. Thereafter it was frantic
end to end stuff. Jonathan Moon again provided some useful interceptions
and Stortford goal (and West Herts goal) survived intact for the draw.
M5 v LUTON M3 SCORE: 4-3 WIN GOALSCORERS: TOM NASH, JAMES ‘BADGER’ BROCKS X3.
win is pleasing, but some are more satisfying than others. On a
miserable wet day in Luton, the 5ths came back from a 3-1 deficit at
half time to win 3-4. In the process the team had to overcome injury and
illness, but determination and some excellent performances won the day.
Initially the 5ths struggled to get into the game, and Luton's quick
mid-field and attackers had managed to get an early goal before we
really got going. Ben managed to pull his hamstring with only ten
minutes on the clock and Sam was suffering from Asthma. The first half
was a scrappy affair, despite having some possession and control up
front we were struggling. Step up Tom Nash a welcome traveller who ably
shored up the mid-field and attack to equalise and make the game even
again. However with 2 soft goals, the second from a beautiful pass to
the opposition from the otherwise excellent David Collins, we went into
half time down but not out.
The second half was a different
story, as time wore on Stortford gained more and more control. Sam,
Ollie and Ethan combined well down the right in attack and defence. Tom
and Steve continued to stretch the mid-field and the defence with Badger
as a non-defending right wing-back (sic) started to push higher.
Eventually the pressure told and we won a series of short corners which
up to now have not been a particularly happy hunting ground this season.
However Badger, inspired by his new stick (or Bulmers cider), managed
first a great shot that was disallowed as it was above the back board,
followed by 3 great strikes for goals. Across the whole team everyone
played well to gain that important away win, Nick as ever dependable up
front and our defence and Chris in Goal playing superbly to ensure no
more chances were taken.
Congratulations to Captain Grahame Smith for inspiring his team to greatness!
M6 v WEST HERTS M7 SCORE: 1-1 GOALSCORERS: RICK CARR
much better game this week for the 6th Team, with more structure and
better runs of play, but where victory remained elusive. The first half
started well with Stortford dominating their West Herts opposition. A
strong backfield combo of Dan Cohen Rumbold, Stuart Eames and Ross
Howarth linked up with a vocal Andy Cox, giving keeper Jon Jackson a
relatively trouble-free 35 minutes.
Across midfield, Captain Duncan
Laws, Tony Penman & John Gould injected some pace and ferocity to
cut down West Herts attacks and drive the ball forward to the youthful
attacking line-up of John Collins, Nigel Taylor and Nick Dale (plus a
cavalcade of attackers waiting in the wings).
After the struggles of
the previous weeks, it certainly felt a more enjoyable game, even when
the structure waivered or the Captain occasionally went walkabout across
With so much possession, it was only a matter of time
before Stortford could put themselves ahead, and surely enough,
following the breakdown of a short corner, Rick Carr scored his first
for the club by deftly knocking an aerial deflection past the opposition
keeper. With the score standing at 1-0 at half time the 6’s felt
optimistic about their chances, but only time would tell if this was to
be misplaced. The second half started much the same as the first, with
Stortford enjoying the lion’s share of the game. But, as the half went
on and the structure shifted with substitutions, a few cracks began to
show. Unfortunately West Herts were able to capitalise, win a penalty
corner and sustained enough pressure with their onslaught to get the
goal over the line. The scores now level, the fight was on again for
Stortford. Sadly, despite maintaining the pressure, the 6’s failed to
deliver. While some valiant efforts were made in attack, including a
near-miss from Graham Perry and a moment when even the match ball made
its own break for the goal line, Stortford failed to convert their
chances. However, as the Stortford defence also managed to stand strong
in the face of a more aggressive West Herts attack, the final score line
remained at 1-1.
it was again with some disappointment that Stortford weren’t able to
secure a victory, however it was a much more positive outcome than the
previous weeks drubbing. The team played much better hockey and, despite
needing to still work on their attacking structure and not conceding
penalty corners, it was definitely a more gratifying experience. So it
was, with spirits high, that the team retired to the clubhouse to
celebrate their draw, where drinks were purchased, jacket potatoes
consumed and a near-jubilant Tony Penman staged his own impromptu beer
tasting session. Men of the match were Tony Penman for another robust
mid-field performance and Rick Carr for his debut goal.
SUNDAY 09 NOVEMBER
Boys' U14s vs Saffron Walden SCORE 4-2 WIN. GOALSCORERS: JAMIE BROOKS X2, ROSS BUTLER, JAMES MURPHY
another strong performance in the cup this weekend, the U14 boys are
closing in on a place at the East Finals. Having seen off Cambridge City
3-2 and Blueharts 5-2 in October, the side defeated local rivals
Saffron Walden this weekend easing to a 4-2 victory and, but for the
impressive performance of the Walden 'keeper, could easily have won by
more. Jamie Brooks and James Murphy lead the scorers with four goals
apiece. Their final round robin match takes place against away at Blue
Hornets on 23 November.
Girls’ U16s vs Sudbury SCORE 1-2 LOSS. GOALSCORER: KATIE CHAMPION
Stortford's Under 16 girls travelled to Sudbury on Sunday 9th November
for their penultimate national cup match. After confusion on the
whereabouts of the coach and umpire the team all arrived and prepared
for their match. With their previous outing (0-6 loss to Saffron Walden)
still hanging freshly in their minds both coach and players wanted to
get off to a decent start. They did so and some enterprising work down
both flanks saw Stortford put early pressure on Sudbury who managed to
whether the storm. Sudbury resorted to big hits out from the back as
Stortfords press did its job. On a quick break though Sudbury managed to
enter Stortford's D and force a short corner, from which they scored.
The rest of the half was very even and Stortford felt a little unlucky to be a goal down at half time.
second half started brightly for Stortford and they put early pressure
on the Sudbury defence creating a number of D entries which eventually
resulted in a short corner. Holly Radbourne dragged the ball out for
Jemima Sharman to strike at Katie Champion who deftly deflected the ball
into the ball of the net.
this though Stortford sat back and Sudbury took full advantage. The
later stages were all Sudbury as wave after wave of attacks were stopped
only by some stoic defending and the awesome keeping of new goalkeeper
Emilie Fung. With only a few moments left the ball struck a Stortford
foot in the D. During the resulting short the keeper was left unsighted
and Sudbury placed the ball into the back of the net.
final result although probably fair in terms of goal mouth chances was
still disappointed for Stortford's players, although they should be very
happy of their performance and carry this forward to their final match
against Chelmsford at home 23rd November 3pm.
Previous weeks' match reports are available using the submenu under match reports on the right hand side menu.