The ladies 1s game was cancelled due to frozen pitch.
The ladies 2s were credited on 3-0 win after Wilmslow ladies 4s conceded the game.
Whitchurch Mens 2s 0 Runcorn Mens 3s 0
Whitchurch 2s welcomed Runcorn 3s with fog and freezing temperatures at SJT.
Runcorn started the brighter with their experienced midfield trio immediately taking control of the centre of the pitch. However they were unable to make any progress into the Whitchurch dee thanks to strong defending from Iain Bones and Mark Sugden. When Runcorn tried to attack using the width of the pitch, they were unable to find any way past Richard Leigh and Aaron Shackleton.
Whitchurch tried to mount their own attacks but they continually ran into Runcorn defenders and were unable to make any real progress towards the Runcorn goal. James Wise was isolated up front despite the willing running of Ellis Hickson and Airon Jones trying to offer support.
Runcorn managed to force a brief flurry of short corners midway through the first half, but these were well defended by Whitchurch and their goal was never really threatened. This prompted Craig Hockenhull to come into midfield as a substitute, which gave Whitchurch a bit more drive and control in the centre of the pitch and enabled them to start creating some chances in the Runcorn dee.
A swift passing move started by Sam Conway provided Aaron Swain with a chance that was well stopped by the Runcorn keeper, and Aaron had another chance just before half-time, which he fired just wide after a melee in the Runcorn dee.
With the fog thickening and temperatures dropping, the second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Despite the hard work of Marcus Conway, Tom Forster and Josh Parry to try and contain Runcorn’s midfield, they were struggling against their more experienced counterparts and Runcorn continued to enjoy more of the possession and territory. But the Whitchurch defence remained strong and Runcorn were still unable to create any clear cut chances to score.
It was late in the second half when the best chances arrived. Whitchurch went close when Craig Hockenhull fired into the dee and James Wise’s deflection wrong-footed the Runcorn keeper, but flew wide of the goal. Runcorn responded and brought an excellent save from Whitchurch keeper Neil Jones. And then with the final play of the game, Iain Bones charged into the Runcorn dee and fired across goal but neither Ellis Hickson or James Wise were able to deflect the ball in at the far post.
This was a hard-fought 0-0 draw with a team that were pushing for promotion last season. The draw ends Whitchurch 2s run of defeats and moves the team up to 7th place in the league. Next week the 2s travel to Deeside Ramblers 7s.
A special mention for Jess Kimberley who stepped in at the last minute to umpire her first men’s game. Jess had an excellent game and drew praise from both teams for her performance.
Whitchurch Mens 1s 5-0 Wrexham Mens 2s
Whitchurch 1s made a return to winning form with a comfortable, but competitive, victory against a strong Wrexham team.
The Reds started brightly, moving the ball around quickly and keeping possession well, but it took 15 minutes for this to be rewarded with a first goal. After failing to score with their first penalty corner, the next was also broken down by a fast Wrexham defence, but only cleared as far as the 23m line, with the ball slipped back into Joel Leese to score low to the keeper’s left. Within a few minutes this was followed by another from open play – Ben Fry squaring the ball from the right, followed by a through ball to Ben Kimberley who finished confidently – and another followed within five minutes, again started by Fry as he picked out a free player in the opposition D who squared the ball to Kimberley for his second.
The second half saw a second short corner converted, this time collected and put away by Steve Lloyd as the ball rebounded from an initial shot by Tom Leonard. The fifth was a classic striker’s effort from Martin Beecher, collecting a through ball in front of goal before moving away, turning and finding the back of the goal with a well-struck shot. Wrexham gained more control of the game in the final twenty minutes, but the Whitchurch defence managed to keep out a succession of short corners to maintain a rare clean sheet.