Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club - Match Reports 20141122

P10 W4 D1 L5 F24 A20


P10 W4 D1 L5 F24 A20





The Men’s 1st XI made another bleak trip to the Fens and returned with nothing. Beset by injuries and other unavailabilities, the early departure saw a squad of 12 travel to Lincolnshire that included (Player) Coach Albert Marcano fresh from his hattrick in the 2s last week. That was perhaps the only thing that was fresh in the proceedings: the surrounding farmland had received a recent layering of fertiliser and the air was pungent to say the least. Despite the personnel shortages, the starting side had more than enough ability and experience to potentially compete with a Bourne Deeping side whose statistics suggested would be free-flowing in attack and just as laissez-faire at the back. The match began with a fine display by the home team of the former characteristic. On an excellent surface, Stortford faced a full frontal assault from the off, not just to their olfactory senses, but also their defensive unit that was put under sustained pressure in the opening minutes. The Bourne Deeping Dragons were breathing fire, moving the ball around the pitch with aplomb and as their midfield surged forward, the Stortford defence were frequently overwhelmed. A string of saves by David Butcher kept the Stortford goal intact for a while but after a number of penalty corners including a good clearance by Andy Round, the home side took the lead with a drag flick low to Butcher’s right. A second swiftly followed as a defensive lapse allowed Bourne to develop an overloaded circle and the chance was well finished by a player arriving at the back post who retained enough composure to place the ball above Butcher diving to his left. As has been the case too often this season for Stortford, two soon became three and despite captain Phil Mathison returning to sweeper to shore up the defence, Stortford were looking like they were vanquished with barely a third of the game gone.

The positional changes appeared to have some positive impact though as Stortford began to negate the Dragons’ flight forward. Indeed some attacking moments highlighted that the home side had defensive frailties of their own. Stortford won 4 penalty corners of their own as the first half progressed although a combination of some last ditch defending and poorly executed routines meant that Stortford went into the break 0-3 down. After some rousing words from Coach Marcano and Captain Mathison, the second half represented a significant turn in events. It was Stortford’s turn to attempt to put the Dragons to the sword. However, whether it was the impact of the noxious air or something more fundamental, the visitors’ attack looked increasingly impotent as the game went on. A couple of promising opportunities were broken up by Bourne by techniques that Stortford felt might have been punished by penalty strokes but earned only penalty corners, but the failure to convert any of the numerous corners Stortford won will be a matter of concern for the team. A combination of poor decision-making and the absence of a sterner test for the home ‘keeper provided the final elements for Stortford’s failure to convert. As the game entered the final quarter, a Bourne breakaway earned a penalty corner which was again smartly converted and the game finished 0-4. Afterwards, it was a very disappointed coach Albert Marcano: “the biggest stink today was the team’s performance. We have capable players but they need to commit and concentrate for 70 minutes to achieve success. Too often we made the wrong choice or our basics let us down and we are not playing anywhere near our potential.” With three games before the Christmas break, Stortford know that they need to secure a good proportion of the 9 points available if they are to extract themselves from what is beginning to look like another disappointing campaign. Next week they entertain Ford at home in the final game of the first half of the season.


The Ladies’ 2s went into Saturday knowing it was going to be another tough match against Stevenage 2s. In the first half Bishop’s Stortford fought well with Becky, Charlotte,
Sophie, Sarah, Lucy, Hooley, Carrie, Thumps, Vicky, Kate, Ros, Charlie,
Martha playing 110%. Unfortunately we lost our captain, Lauren Chandler early due to man flu :(
But we secured an early goal from Martha with a great assist from Charlotte
set up by Sophie. Panic set in as Stevenage scored an equaliser! However, Stortford fought back harder than ever and Becky had her turn to strike a short corner! SHE SCORED!

Ending score 2-1 to Bishop’s Stortford!! Still top of the league! Bring on next week!!!

Man of match: Ros


The Men's 2nd XI were unlucky not to take something away from this weekend's fixture against top-of-the-table West Herts, after a late strike gave the home side all three points.
Bishop's Stortford got off to a great start and forced much of the play in the West Herts end of the pitch.
This constant pressure paid off midway through the first half, when Gregg Pettit made his way into the West Herts 'D', only to be fouled as he tried to make room for a shot on goal. A penalty flick was awarded and Joe Symonds stepped up to send it past the keeper, giving Stortford a much deserved 1-0 lead that they held on to into the interval.

In the second half, West Herts began to see more of the possession and ten minutes after the restart managed to break through the almost impenetrable Stortford backline for the first time in the game. They took their chance and were back on level terms. Moments later they had an opportunity to take the lead. A last-ditch - but illegal - challenge on the West Herts forward, denied a simple tap-in and a penalty flick was subsequently awarded. However, they were unable to convert and the scoreline stayed at 1-1. Stortford also had a chance to retake the lead, but were denied by some alert goalkeeping. Five minutes before the end of the match, West Herts won a succession of short corners and it was from one of these set pieces that the stole all three points. A powerful and precise strike from the top of the 'D' found the bottom corner of the Stortford goal, making it 2-1 to the home side and leaving Stortford disappointed that their valiant efforts left them empty handed.
The visitors should take encouragement from the match despite the final outcome, as similar performances against other sides in the division will undoubtedly see them come out as victors.

Next week, Bishop's Stortford 2nd XI play hosts to Berkhamsted.





BSHC 3's can count themselves lucky to have come away with anything from this game having again played poorly. They are now in danger of wasting their early season promise as they slip to 3rd in the table. The match again started badly after late and very late drop outs hindered the side for the second week running. That said, the 3's should still have had more than enough talent on display to beat their guests, but they failed to gel and conceeded sloppy goals at key times throughout the game. The match eventually finished 4-4 with gay, prowse, farrant and Leonard all scoring for the hosts. Next week Stortford travel to local rivals Broxbourne and will be hoping to put right the wrongs of the last couple of weeks.


Bishop's Stortford 4s took all three points with a convincing 3-1 win over Chiltern 2s on Saturday. A very close game, but BS ladies just had the edge. The score was 0-0 at half time. However, shortly into the second half BS took the lead with a fine strike from the top of the D by Katie Browne. Chiltern fought back and quickly scored an equaliser. However, BS kept attacking and soon the Chiltern defence tired. Jo Thompson scored the second goal from close range and then a third from Laura Shambrook, from a touch on by captain, Lisa Suckling, and Bishop's Stortford ladies secured a comfortable win. Player of the match went to Vicky Cox as sweeper - again leading a strong defensive line. Hannah Witchalls, Molly Trimble, Amy Maclaren and Lisa Suckling also received votes for their strong play.


One of the 4s worst performances. The game started even with Stortford then taking some control and having success down the right hand side where James Stephenson, Oli Clift and Adrian Krishman combined well. Things got even better when Duncan Barber was sent off for taking the ball above shoulder height and Stortford took the leader through a Krishman short corner. Soon after Stortford doubled their lead with a Krishman strike being turned in by Craig Bassingthwaighte from just outside the post.

Thereafter things went the other way. Welwyn overloaded the Stortford defence on several occasions in the half and won a corner at the end which was converted.

After half time, Stortford continued to be overwhelmed in the middle of the pitch and Welwyn created lots of chances, scoring three to go 4-2 up.

Stortford showed some character and rallied well applying pressure in the last quarter of the game but still could not find the right passes most of the time. One strong Adam Bassingthwaighte strike made for a very interesting last few minutes as Stortford pressed for an equaliser but it wasn’t to be – and frankly wasn’t deserved.



An early start at home this week and with a team short of some of the regular players a very satisfying result. Broxbourne brought a youthful team, but it was the experience of Bishops Stortford that won out. Nick Slowe bagged four goals and with it deservedly man of the match, but this was a true team effort and enjoyable for the style of the victory. The 5ths now find themselves second in their league.

From the start Bishops Stortford had the upper hand and had the confidence to play higher up the pitch than usual. The young Broxbourne players were quick to close play down, but didn't have quite the firepower to cause concern in the Stortford defence. Steve Jones stepping in as sweeper held the defensive line well with Grahame Smith and Stuart Eames mopping up well. Badger continuing his role as non-defending right wing back, once again put in a good performance and along with a fine strike to score from a short corner set up the goal of the day. It was a fine strike from well outside the D that was turned in on the line by Nick Slowe who made a point of scoring from the shortest distances possible.

3 goals in the first half and 3 goals in the second show that the control continued throughout the game, the remaining goal a fine effort from Sean Trimble. Tom Nash once again played well up front causing issues for the opposition defence and ran Nick Slowe close for Man of the Match.


A greatest hits compilation for the Mens 6th this week, as the team played all their old favourites. While the opposition may have changed, the home side’s songs remained the same.

Racing out of the gates for the first half, Stortford came out the stronger side. A welcome addition of Gary Jones in centre mid-field bolstered alongside Captain Duncan Laws closed down the centre of the pitch and ensured good distribution. Simon Radbourne and Jonathan Barber worked effectively on the left and right to create the play for the forwards, and there were enthusiastic showing from the attacking line-up, both young and old. James Nash and Will Sale made strong showings for the youth element, while an ever-youthful John Collins proved to still be a handful.

Across the back, Rob Gill, Ross Howarth and Andrew Hewins (making his 6th team debut), tied up the majority of Stevenage’s attacks, leaving Jon Jackson with a relatively quiet time for the first 35.

Sadly, as the second half drew on, the old enemies of the 6th Team reared their heads. With tiredness and occasionally erratic substitutions, the game became a much more even-handed affair. In the end, all it took was for a penalty corner to be conceded to turn the scoreline. As a weakly hit attempt defied both Jackson in goal and Gill at the back post, it all felt worryingly familiar.

Stortford upped their work rate for the rest of the half, but to no avail. They failed to convert any of their own penalty corners, while both teams failed to put away anything from open play. As the final whistle blew, the score remained a disappointing 0-1 for the home team.

On balance, Stortford again played good hockey, generally controlling the run of play, but still ultimately lacking the anticipation & creativity up front to turn their chances into goals. It was an enjoyable game, but still a disappointing loss.

Man of the match this week was Andrew Hewins, making the most of his right back position in an impressive first outing for the 6’s.


u16 Girls drew 4-4 with Chelmsford.

The weather lashed down on Stortford over the weekend, trees and roads were left in disrepair as was the U16 girl’s squad. Having had 14 on Saturday night an early call off due to injury and two players unable to get to the match due to flooding meant the girls were down to a bare 11. Thankfully Frankie Limmer managed to swim to the pitch just in time for the starting whistle.

The damp wet conditions were juxtaposed by the performance of the Stortford girls as from the very first whistle the imposed themselves on their Chelmsford counterparts. Attack after attack flooded down the right hand side of the pitch as Stortford's Philippa Otter, Jemima Sharman and Zaza Cooper parted the seas of the Chelmsford defence almost at will. Numerous chances were created but not taken as Stortford's strikers hid behind their markers. Eventually the dam broke however and good work again down the right gave Stortford a well-deserved short corner. Up stepped Jemima Sharman on 14mins to smash the ball into the Chelmsford net.

With this goal the tides turned and Chelmsford worked their way back into the game. As they were getting no-where going down the flanks they barged their way straight through the centre of the Stortford midfield and defence. Aggressive attacking and quick running left Stortford in their wake, and Chelmsford clawed back a goal with a strike from the top of the D. Stortford although still playing the better hockey lost their way and quickly conceded two more goals, one from a straight strike at a short the other another fast run and strike through the centre of the pitch, meaning Stortford trailed 1-3 at half-time.

After a quick team talk in the rain the girls came out again looking to make up for their mistakes in the first half and capitalise on the numerous chances they had created. However they quickly conceded a fourth goal from a short corner and were looking likely to fall apart.

But something has changed with our U16s over the course of the season and they have developed into a stubborn side. No longer do they get washed away by the opposition or tear up due to playing below the high standard they have set themselves. A turning point came with 20mins to go in the match when a ball from Holly Radbourne to Frankie Limmer at the top of the box, saw the forward turn and strike hitting the defenders foot. From this point on the match was ALL Stortford. The short corner routine again came up trumps with Sharman placing a ball onto Katie Champion's stick for a deflection.

Every Chelmsford attack was easily thwarted by the organised defence of Otter, Cashman, Brown and Fraser-Andrews and the pressure increased exponentially on the Chelmsford goal.

Wave after wave of rain poured down on the pitch as waves of attack poured down on the opposition goal. Chelmsford had sporadic counter attacks that rarely threatened the home goal. Attacking down the right hand side continued to open up the oppositions defence and then a ball from the right hand shoulder of the box found Clemmie Carr unmarked at the back post to knock home the ball with 5mins remaining.

Again forward came the home side and this time breaking down a counter attack on the left hand side of the pitch the ball found its way to Cooper completely free with an open goal to level the scores. The ball was brought back to the centre point only for the final whistle to sound.

Both sides felt that they should have won the game but the girls were happy with the result from their final match of the National Championship. Coach Mathison was proud of his team, but philosophical saying ‘If we had played that way for all the matches we would definitely have achieved great results, but in the end it has been a learning experience for the girls this season and I expect big things from them next season’.