Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club - Match Reports 20141108

P10 W6 D2 L2 F32 A13

Saturday 08 November

P10 W6 D2 L2 F32 A13


Bishop’s 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.

The 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.

Next 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.




Stortford 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.


Stortford 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.




Bishop's 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 next year.


This 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.


Another 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 post.

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.


Every 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!


A 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 the pitch.
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.

Therefore 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.



Following 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.


Bishop's 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.

The 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.

After 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.

The 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.


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