Match Reports 14-01-23

Whitchurch ladies 2s 5 Alderley Edge 6s 1

Alderley Edge started the game with first pushback. It took a little while for Whitchurch to get its formation and shape.  There was some good passing across the front with Poppy Gilbert switching the ball to Freya Gresty on the left who then fed it into the dee where Hayley Kellett picked it up and nicely slotted it past Alderley Edge goalkeeper.

Edge made some attacks towards the goal but were stopped by a strong defence of Gayle Ladd and Hermonie Ball. On the odd occasion Edge managed to get past the defence goalkeeper Megan Nicholson was ready to prevent any goals hitting the backboard.

Whitchurch had most of the possession and kept a strong centre midfield of Bella Morris, Lucy Hearn and Rachel Chester’s. This led to runs up the wing by Eleanor Beecher and Sophie Jones meaning Whitchurch was able to break through Alderley Edge defence leading to the second goal scored by Freya Gresty.

After a team talk by captain Emma Stubbs Whitchurch started the second half strongly attacking the goal on many occasions. Lucy Chadwick and Lydia Jones made some good tackles to win the ball who then passed it between themselves before switching it to Sophie Jones who nicely popped it past Edges keeper.

From Edges pushback, Bella Morris managed to intercept the ball passing it out to Poppy Gilbert who made a great run passed the defenders leading to another goal.

Alderley Edge attacks towards the goal were quickly shut down and turned around by Whitchurch who passed across the middle out to the wing leading to another goal scored by Hayley Kellett. Unfortunately, Alderley Edge was able to break through in the last few minutes catching Whitchurch off guard allowing Edge to score a goal. The final score was 5-1 to Whitchurch. A much-needed win and a great start to the second half of the season

Players player was given to Bella Morris

Wilmslow Ladies 3s 1  Whitchurch Ladies 1s 6

Whitchurch travelled away in an unusual early fixture against Wilmslow. Despite the earlier start time Whitchurch took control gaining a short corner within the first eight minutes and Molly Fry slipped the ball towards the goal and Hayleigh Busby deflected in. Whitchurch took advantage of this lead with a bobbling pass from Mollie Bell which allowed captain Cath Gresty to fire home and double the lead

The defence of Chloe Lloyd, Catherine Reece-Gresty and Tilly James brilliantly stopped Wilmslow’s attack. Quick passing from Holly Edwards and Lisa Sullivan found Mollie Bell at the top of the dee who slotted home for Whitchurch’s third. Again, Whitchurch came and won their second short corner of the game, with Busby deflecting home for her second. Whitchurch went into the half time break 4-0.

The second half started the same as the first with Molly Fry, Poppy Huxley and Cath Gresty working tirelessly at the front to keep Whitchurch’s attack strong. Goalkeeper Caz Wynne who saw little action in the first half was called into action to make a diving save, however, Wilmslow got lucky with a reverse shot.

Whitchurch worked hard, and another short corner was won and Cath Gresty fired home for her second and Whitchurch’s fifth. With ten minutes to go Whitchurch kept the intensity high, Lisa Sullivan drove the ball into the dee and squared to Hayleigh Busby who converted her third goal of the game and Whitchurch’s sixth.

Whitchurch look to next week’s game where they play Cheshire Blues at home.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s 6 Lymm Men’s 3s 0

It has been a while coming but everything finally fell into place for the Men’s 2s this weekend with a comprehensive win for the home team.

Whitchurch started to move the ball around at speed and soon won a number of short corners but failed to convert. Martin Beecher finally gave Whitchurch the lead latching onto a pass from Will Edwards and firing a thunderbolt of a shot on the reverse into the bottom corner.

Whitchurch continued to push forward and won a penalty corner, from a rebound off the keeper’s pads and Jacob Buckeridge scored. The game was then stopped as a physical challenge from a Lymm defender and following discussions saw both teams reduced to ten players following yellow cards.

This played into Whitchurch’s hands as Charlie Edwards set free Joe Chester’s down the right wing who accelerated past the Lymm defence and calmly slotted past the keeper.

The half time break was a chance to reflect and receive encouragement from Captain Neil Jones to continue the same way as the previous half.

Lymm pushed from the start of the second half but Thomas Wyndham-Lewis and Lucas Hill stood firm with strong tackles and distribution down the left side of the pitch to Olivier Edwards who setup Joe Chester’s for Whitchurch’s fourth.

Whitchurch again had a string of short corners and again were thwarted by the excellent Lymm keeper playing his first game in goal with Danny Foulkes and Will Edwards both seeing deflections tipped around the post.

Craig Hockenhull in midfield continued to drive the team forward and from his penalty corner strike Jacob Buckeridge picked up the rebound to score his second of the game.

With both teams back up to fall strength Whitchurch pressed and Lymm defended and held firm and it wasn’t until the final minutes that Joe Chesters completed the scoring with his third of the game.

 

Match Reports – 07-01-23

Alderley Edge 5s 1 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3

Whitchurch started the new year in a winning fashion with a hard-fought game against Alderley Edge on a good pitch in some surprisingly fine weather and were made to work for the victory by a young and talented team. Alderley Edge applied pressure well from the start, using both wings confidently and testing the Reds’ defence. An even start to the game tipped in Alderley Edge’s favour, with the ball moving around the Whitchurch dee a number of times, being saved twice before the last block fell kindly to their attacker who did well to put the ball into the net.

Whitchurch didn’t let their heads drop and led by captain Jack Barnes, launched a counterattack immediately. They won a short corner which Barnes put away with style into the top-left corner of the goal past the diving keeper’s glove. Barnes was on hand again shortly after, driving the ball to the edge of the dee and unleashing a shot that the keeper got pads to, but was still strong enough to roll over the line for the Reds’ second.

At half time the talk was about keeping good possession and moving up the pitch as a team, and this was done well with Ethan Gresty going on an excellent run round the back of the defence, squaring the ball to the supporting teammates who’d worked up the pitch with him, for Martin Beecher to tap it in.

The rest of the game was Whitchurch defending hard as Alderley Edge used their substitutes well and trying to launch counter attacks. There were chances at both ends, but Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh was solid as ever in the Whitchurch goal and helped ensure the game ended with a good result for the Reds going into the second half of the season and look to extend their run with an early start away next week at Lymm.

Knutsford ladies 1s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 4

Ladies 1s travelled away to play their rearranged game against Knutsford this weekend.

From the start Whitchurch took control, passing strongly to each other, making it look easy for Lisa Sullivan to pick out Georgia Munro to score their first goal 5 minutes into the game.

Whitchurch pushed high on the pitch, making every opportunity count to put pressure on Knutsford. Mid fielders Mollie Bell, Lisa Sullivan and Captain Cath Gresty worked tirelessly holding a strong press on every Knutsford sixteen hit out.

Pressing continued and Whitchurch won a short corner and a fast pass from Gresty to Sullivan scored a second goal.

Knutsford fought back and unfortunately despite all efforts from defence Chloe Lloyd, Hayleigh Busby and Hermione Ball, they managed to score from a powerful short corner strike.

Whitchurch didn’t let this deter them and more fantastic play up the pitch from Holly Edwards and Sarah Kay allowed Georgia Munro to collect the ball at top dee to take on the keeper to make it 3-1 before half time.

A quick break and Whitchurch were keen to get back to the game.

Knutsford came back a lot more aggressive and had several chances on goal, but Keeper Caroline Wynne was drawn out to save all attempts.

But some fast play and quick passing of the ball from Knutsford set them up for their second goal of the match.

Whitchurch worked together to get back the possession and settled back into their game. Jasmin Williams took the ball along the back line to pick out Munro to add to the score sheet, making it 4-2 at the final whistle.

Ladies 1s play away again next week at Wilmslow.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s 3 Warrington Men’s 2s 4

Whitchurch struggled to shake off the Christmas break and get into the game. Despite some neat interchanges between Craig Hockenhull and Joe Chester’s up-front Whitchurch failed to take their opportunities. Will Edwards fired a shot over the crossbar, but the remainder of the half was Warrington’s who took a three-goal lead into the break.

The Whitchurch team talk was positive and focussed on keeping it simple. Whitchurch went out in the second half and took the game to Warrington. Within minutes Joe Chester’s raced clear of the Warrington defenders and calmly beat the Warrington keeper.

This seemed to give Whitchurch the lift they needed, Alex Fry, Lucas Hill, Thomas Wyndam-Lewis, Pip Jones and goalkeeper Neil Jones thwarted Warrington every time they broke into the Whitchurch half and with the cover of midfield given by Rob Chappell, Charlie Edwards and Oliver Hayward they started to apply pressure.

Whitchurch were again rewarded when Tom Edwards mazy run through the midfield found Joe Chesters for his second of the game.

Whitchurch pushed for an equaliser and another skilful run down the wing by Oliver Edwards drew in the Warrington defence and created space for Will Edwards to drive into the dee and slip the ball to Alfie Edwards who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Warrington showed their experience and slowed down the game keeping the ball and frustrating Whitchurch and in the final minutes of the game snatched the winning goal much to the disappointment of the Whitchurch team.

Whitchurch ladies 2s 2 Wilmslow ladies 4s 3

Whitchurch started the slower of the two teams and would have been down within the first few minutes but for an excellent save from goalkeeper Megan Nicholson.

Wilmslow showed their experience controlling large parts of the game but Whitchurch caused problems throughout with their pace upfront and in the midfield. Wilmslow took the lead with a neat interchange and clinical shot on goal.

Whitchurch continued to attack on the break with pacey runs down the left of the pitch through Heidi Carr and Amelie Morris. Bella Morris controlled the midfield with her range of passing and found Sophie Jones on the right wing who drove into the dee and slipped to Heidi Groom to bring Whitchurch level at the break.

Halftime focussed on keeping the ball and Whitchurch gained greater possession in the second half taking the pressure of the defence of Gayle Ladd, Emma Stubbs, Poppy Huxley and Lydia Jones.

Wilmslow again took the lead but Whitchurch were in no mood to sit back and a driving run into the dee by Freya Gresty saw Poppy Gilbert draw Whitchurch level.

With 10 minutes to go the torrential rain started and despite the support of the crowd from the shelter of the dugouts the pace of the game slowed considerably, this suited Wilmslow rather than Whitchurch who attacked into the rain. Wilmslow kept their composure and in the final push of the game scored a winner.

Match Report – 03-12-22

Golborne Men’s 2s 7 Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1

Whitchurch travelled away to face top of the league in a late start. Golborne took the game to Whitchurch from the start with a combination of strong running and quick passing and were in front within 5 minutes.

Whitchurch throughout the game caused Golborne issues on the break with the speed down the wings from Airan Jones and Alfie Williams. Whitchurch created chances but failed to take advantage forcing some excellent saves from the Golborne keeper.

Golborne had no such issues scoring from two penalty corners to give them a three goal lead at half time.

Whitchurch’s halftime talk was positive focusing on a few areas of improvement and they again went into the second half riding their luck as some excellent defending from Danny Foulkes, Harry Foulkes, Lucas Hill and Pip Jones and some inspirational saves from captain Neil Jones on his birthday kept Whitchurch in the match.

The Whitchurch midfield battled throughout the game with Will Edwards, Ethan Gresty and Tom Edwards working till the final minute. This resulted in Whitchurch picking out Joe Chesters who calmly accelerated away from the Golborne defence and beat the Golborne keeper.

Golborne scored on the break as Whitchurch were caught out of position. With ten minutes to go Golborne scored from a penalty corner and despite the Whitchurch appeals that it hit the back of the attackers stick the goal was awarded and Whitchurch reduced to ten players. It was only then a matter of time before Golborne scored their final goal from another well worked penalty corner.

Whitchurch finished the game with heads low after their efforts but after a final talk from their captain and some praise for their efforts soon got them look forwarding to taking on Warrington in the last league match before the Christmas break.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3 – Macclesfield Men’s 2s 5

Whitchurch had another tough game this week against a skilful and well-organised Macclesfield team, and were under pressure from the first minute. Macclesfield used a high press to good effect, and Whitchurch had a day where nothing quite clicked so weren’t able to take advantage of the space that a high press leaves. Macclesfield went ahead early on, with numbers in the dee turning into two goals despite the heroics from Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal. The Reds couldn’t quite get out from the back, and their passes and runs were cut out and pressure immediately reapplied, and eventually it left them two goals down and with a mountain to climb.

Thankfully at the other end, some great work down the right hand side of the pitch had Joe Coburn slip a ball through to Chris Ruscoe coming in at speed, and he was able to fire the ball into the net. Shortly after, the Reds got their second, with a hacky tackle in the dee leading to a penalty stroke which captain Jack Barnes put away well.

Two-all at half time was a good result given how under-the-cosh the Reds had been for large parts of the game so far, but in the second half Macclesfield started strongly and were able to grab three more goals despite some last-ditch defending and some great work by Sturge in goal. The Reds struggled to put together any fluency for the first twenty minutes of the second half, and were on the back foot as attempts to work the ball out from the back would find a tackle or an interception and the pressure would be back on. They did, though, start to find their rhythm with some good build-up play down both wings and some excellent work driving into the dee, but Macclesfield were very strong at the back, and their keeper had a good game, and it was hard for the Reds to get decent end-product from their efforts.

In the last few minutes of the game, Whitchurch had two chances: the first was a well-worked drive down the right with the ball fired across the dee and Tom Forster was millimetres away from getting on the cross to tap it into the goal. He made up for it a minute or so later as a scramble in the dee came to him and he fired it goalward and it took a deflection and looped up into the air and made its way over everyone to land in the goal.

It was a good comeback from Whitchurch, but just a little too late in the game to change the result. A tough and frustrating game for them, knowing from the previous game just how well they can play as a team, but Macclesfield were a decent team and deserved the win.

Whitchurch ladies 1s 7 Warrington ladies 1s 0

This week Whitchurch ladies 1s greeted Warrington 1s at home.

The game got off to a steady start, but we needn’t worry, Whitchurch’s first goal was on its way, a short corner was won and Molly Fry promptly put the ball through the keeper’s legs. Excellent running down the line from Jasmin Williams shortly led to a cross into the back post from Cath Gresty, which was then quickly converted into a goal by Phoebe Jones.

Warrington were kept in their own half most of the game due to excellent pressure from the midfield, Lisa Sullivan creating lots of opportunities from the centre. With Mollie Bell holding the left hand side of the pitch and Tilly James on the right, blocking any attacks from Warrington, often turning them into an amazing counter attack. Any balls that did manage to sneak through the midfield were swiftly picked up by Hermione Ball and Chloe Lloyd at the back.

A run along the baseline from Lisa Sullivan was then put in the net by Cath Gresty, bringing the score at half time to 3-0 to Whitchurch.

The second half got off to a great start with Cath Gresty making a run down the line and crossing the ball into Molly Fry, who placed the ball in the back of the goal. Another goal was to follow very shortly, a run into the Dee from Poppy Huxley was picked up by Cath Gresty who had an excellent strike on goal, scoring her second of the game.

Phoebe Jones was to score her second goal of the game in a short corner for Whitchurch, Holly Edwards made a pass to the back post where Phoebe was waiting to deflect the ball into the goal. More excellent play outfield kept Warrington out, with goalkeeper Megan Nicholson keeping the ball out of the Whitchurch goal.

A short corner in the last minutes of the game was converted into a final goal for Whitchurch by Hayleigh Busby, leaving the final score at 7-0 to Whitchurch.

Next week Whitchurch ladies 1s will travel away to play Knutsford 1s.

Match reports 26-11-22

Whitchurch Ladies 2s 1 Crewe Vagrants Ladies 2s 2

Whitchurch faced a high-flying Crewe side and were dealt a blow when one of their players withdrew with illness before the start.

Whitchurch took the game to Crewe from the start and camped high up the pitch for the first ten minutes of the game. Catherine Reece-Gresty bravely diving into a tackle received a blow to the head as the ball defected off sticks which ruled her out for the remainder of the match.

Whitchurch rearranged the formation with Captain Emma Stubbs controlling and organising the team from defence supported brilliantly by Poppy Huxley and Lucy Hearn.

Lisa Sullivan controlled the midfield supporting the defence and also creating the Whitchurch attacks setting off the Whitchurch attacks down the right wing through Poppy Gilbert and down the left via Freya Gresty.

Despite their best-efforts Whitchurch tired as the half went on and Crewe took the lead before halftime.

Whitchurch continued the second half much as the first, but Crewe took full advantage of their extra players and the space it gave them to draw a series of fine saves from keeper Caroline Wynn.

Whitchurch continued to push forward and Phoebe Jones broke from the halfway line only to see the diving keeper smother her shot.

Whitchurch had a string of well worked penalty corners which saw Gresty deflect past the post before Sophie Jones slotted her shot into the bottom corner.

Crewe finally broke through the Whitchurch defence and scored a second, but Whitchurch managed to frustrate them and deserve great credit for their efforts playing the majority of the game with only nine players.

 

Whitchurch Mens’s 2s 4 Knutsford Men’s 2s 5

Whitchurch fielded their youngest team of the season containing only three Over 18s against an experienced Knutsford team. The game remained very even with Knutsford using their experience to control the game and Whitchurch using their speed and fitness to cause havoc on the break.

Whitchurch took an early lead when a Will Edwards shot was deflected home by Harry Foulkes on the back post. Knutsford soon drew level with a well worked short corner.

Whitchurch then had a series of penalty corners from which Danny Foulkes gave Whitchurch the lead and Knutsford again drew level with another penalty corner to leave the scores level at the break.

Knutsford came out after the break and pressured the Whitchurch defence of Lucas Hill, Charlie Edwards, Liam Pallet and Thomas Wyndham Lewis with the occasional diving save required from captain Neil Jones.

Knutsford took the lead for the first time in the match. Whitchurch continued to move the ball at pace down the wings via Niko Moga and Olivier Edwards and this led to Joe Chesters breaking into the dee to draw Whitchurch level.

Whitchurch again drew ahead as an Archie Phews pass was struck by Tom Edwards at goal hitting the defender on the line. Chesters calmly stepped up and converted the penalty flick.

Knutsfords experience showed in the last 10 minutes as the Whitchurch team tired and some frustration showed Knutsford scored two quick goals to give them the victory.

 

Crewe Vagrants Men’s 2s 2 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 0

Whitchurch had a tough game this week against league-leaders Crewe and went into it knowing they would have to play some of their best hockey to get a result from this game. They came up against a well-drilled, skilful and technically astute team who applied pressure from the first whistle. Paul “Sturge” Leigh was in action several times, making critical blocks and diving saves to keep Crewe at bay, but Crewe’s high press meant there was little time for the Reds to build up play without being closed down, and any slight mistakes were taken advantage of quickly.

Crewe deservedly went ahead with two well-worked goals, including a nicely played short-corner routine after a lucky call on a Whitchurch foul, where they’d adjusted their routines to skip the first strike and instead fire at someone running in with a flat stick, which popped the ball over Sturge at high speed. The Reds, though, struggled to find fluency, to keep hold of the ball, or to make enough runs forward, and half time was a welcome break.

The second half, though, probably represents one of the better halves of hockey that Whitchurch have played in a long while. The intensity, the marking, the running off the ball, the pass selection, the defending and the teamwork were all vastly better. It was Crewe getting frustrated, rather than Whitchurch, and the Reds put together some excellent passages of play, not letting their heads drop. There were no further goals in the game, but Whitchurch were in the ascendency and played the sort of hockey that would have easily had a draw or a win from the game had they been able to play that way in both halves.

Crewe were the better team over the whole game, and deserved their win, but Whitchurch can take a lot from a game against probably the best side in the league and will look to turn that to future successes.

 

Macclesfield Ladies 2s 1 Whitchurch ladies 1s 6

This week Whitchurch ladies travelled away to Macclesfield, doubtful, as they lacked a few regular players. Before long however, Whitchurch scored their first goal, with lovely play through the lines from Molly Fry and Holly Edwards, leading to a strike on goal from Mollie Bell, who had already run the down half the pitch.

This play continued, and a pass in from Jasmine Williams was converted into a second goal, this time from Bella Morris. Phoebe Gregory had her debut in the ladies 1s this game, making countless saves, with the help of Hermione Ball in defence. Despite this incredible play however, following a string of short corners against them, Whitchurch conceded a goal. This didn’t stop them though, and before long a third goal was scored by Whitchurch by Hayleigh Busby, from a beautiful reverse stick shot.

After a much needed break at half time, Whitchurch came back onto the pitch strong, and within minutes Mollie Bell scored a second goal. Tillie James and Chloe Lloyd held a solid defence on the right side of the pitch, keeping out any attacks from Macclesfield.

Despite the lack of subs, Whitchurch didn’t tire, and a fifth goal went in before long, from a deflection on post from Hayleigh Busby. As the final whistle blew, one last short corner was won by the team, which Cath Gresty put on the backboard, leaving the score at 6-1 as the game ended.

Ladies 1s are at home next weekend playing warrington.