Whitchurch Mens 2s 0 Mossley Mens 3s 2
After 2 weeks without a game, Whitchurch 2s returned to action with a home fixture against third-placed Mossley Hill 3s.
Prior to the game, both teams observed a minutes silence in honour of Donald Nairn who sadly passed away this week. Don had a major impact upon Whitchurch and Shropshire hockey. He was responsible for establishing the Whitchurch academy which is now feeding a number of good young players into the men’s and women’s teams, and for the creation of the Men’s Fathoms team which has this season developed into the Men’s 2s. Don will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by all involved with Whitchurch Hockey Club.
An experienced Mossley Hill side immediately took control of the game and forced Whitchurch to defend deep in their own half. The defence of Mark Sugden and Iain Bones repelled a number of Mossley attacks, restricting the visitors to a couple of half chances.
Although Whitchurch fielded a full side, a number of senior players were missing, forcing the side to utilise a very inexperienced forward line. Despite good play from the midfield of Ben Fry, Craig Hockenhull and Aaron Shackleton, Whitchurch struggled to make any impact against a well marshalled Mossley defence. When opportunities did open up, the final pass couldn’t quite find a Whitchurch stick.
Mossley continued to pose a threat with some fast interplay and at times Whitchurch rode their luck or relied on some excellent goalkeeping from Neil Jones to reach half-time at 0-0.
Whitchurch switched to a 3-man defence in the second half and utilising Phil Tranter as a man-marker restricted the Mossley attacking threat in the second half. The change also enabled the full-backs, Doug Buckeridge and James Nicholson to get forward and support the Whitchurch attacks.
Although Mossley Hill continued to dominate possession in the second half, Whitchurch were able to play the game much higher up the pitch and were much more dangerous going forward. Craig Hockenhull, Ben Fry and Aaron Shackleton caused Mossley no end of problems and created a number of good chances. Josh Parry was unfortunate not to be able to sweep home at the back post and had a close-range effort saved by the Mossley keeper. Aaron Swain was also close to a number of good through balls but couldn’t quite get to the ball. From short corners both Iain Bones and Craig Hockenhull had shots at goal well blocked by the Mossley defence and keeper.
At the other end Neil Jones made a number of good stops when Whitchurch were exposed on the counter-attack.
Despite Whitchurch’s good play in the second half they were undone with 10 minutes to go by a great piece of individual skill from Mossley and a fine close range finish with the reverse stick. As Whitchurch pressed for an equaliser Mossley were again able to hit Whitchurch on the counter-attack and from a short corner fired in a second goal just before the end of the game.
Mossley Hill probably deserved the win but despite the 2-0 score line Whitchurch can be pleased with their efforts, particularly in the second half. Mossley Hill were an experienced and talented side, but Whitchurch defended resolutely and posed a real threat to the Mossley goal in the second half.
The defeat leaves Whitchurch 2s in 6th place in the league.
The 2s are away to Denbigh 2s next weekend.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 0 Warrington Ladies 2s 8
Whitchurch entertained second placed Warrington and gave one of their strongest performances of the season. Warrington pushed from the start and although they had the majority of possession Whitchurch restricted them to the minimum of opportunities in the first half.
Warrington eventually broke through the Whitchurch formation with a well-worked goal. Whitchurch continued to battle throughout the game and gave Warrington no easy chances. Goalkeeper Shola Bailey deserved her player of the match award making numerous saves to keep her team in touch with Warrington.
Ashleigh Heath had the best opportunity of the match to score for Whitchurch and her shot was scrambled off the line by some excellent defending. Becky Brookfield held the midfield making numerous tackles protecting support for her defence.
Despite the result Whitchurch took many positives from the game and look forward to next weeks match away to Alderley Edge ladies 6s.
Lymm ladies 4s 0 Whitchurch ladies 1s 3
Whitchurch ladies 1s took the game to Lymm from the start attacking into their dee, this resulted in Phoebe Jones pushing past their defenders to score the first and her first for the club.
Lymm came back hard giving Whitchurch defenders Catherine Reece-Gresty and Katie Fowles plenty to do but with help from Jane Williamson, Catherine Winter-Gresty and Charlotte Lawder the ball was soon back up to the Lymm goal.
Laura Workman was the next to score with help from Ellie Windsor and Hebe Dixon. At half time Whitchurch were 2-0 up and keen to enter the second half with as much energy.
Lymm started the second half quicker and came back keen to get a shot at goal but keeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees made an amazing save to allow Whitchurch to keep the upper hand. Whitchurch won a penalty corner through Jess Kimberley, from which Jane Williamson passed the ball towards Katie Fowles who pushed it through the keeper’s legs. Whitchurch continued to hold possession of the ball for the majority of the rest of the game as Lymm began to tire.
Whitchurch were happy with the result and looking forward to a home game next week against Timperley 5s.