Wilmslow Men’s 3s 3 – Whitchurch Men’s 1s 2
Whitchurch travelled to Wilmslow this week to face the top-of-the-league side in a match that could have narrowed the gap in the table considerably, but went down to a narrow defeat from a last minute goal. The game opened brightly, but it was to be Wilmslow to get on the score sheet first – their constant pressure down the right wing eventually paid off with a strike into the Whitchurch dee deflecting off Alex Fry’s fine block, and a Wilmslow striker managed to get enough on it that Paul Leigh’s excellent parry looped up and struck the crossbar – but unfortunately the underneath, so it bounced back down and landed only an inch over the line.
The Wilmslow pressure continued, and Whitchurch struggled to get the ball up the pitch enough to trouble the Wilmslow defence, but eventually the ball was fired up field and Ben Kimberley latched on to it and went one-on-one with the keeper, slotting the ball away to add to his total for the season. Tom Forster, James Partington and Ryan Murtagh were able to mark the Wilmslow attack more ably after the game had settled and the opposition were more on the back foot, and the half ended 1-1.
The second half started with more strong pressure from Wilmslow, and Whitchurch were caught waiting for a whistle that never came for a foul, and the Wilmslow attack drove into the dee and got their second. Frustration showed, and green cards were shown to both teams, but Whitchurch came back to control the game more, with Rob Chappell, Jack Barnes and Ben Fry holding the middle with Alex Fry, and the passing game was much improved, spreading out well to Kimberley and Jake Wood on the wings who then caused the Wilmslow defence some real problems with Tom Leonard’s strikes kept out only through the excellent work of their goalkeeper who was brave in coming out and athletic in ability.
The Reds managed to get their second with some good link-up play: an aerial clearance from Partington found Kimberley, whose shot was deflected wide. The resultant corner was quickly taken by Fry, who got it to Kimberley who passed to Leonard who put it away.
However, in the dying minutes, Wilmslow again drove down the right and across the baseline, and managed to get it to the top of the dee where an onrushing striker put away a good shot to take the game 3-2. Whitchurch play Brooklands MU 6s at home next week, and will look to make amends and get back to winning ways.
Whitchurch Men’s 2s 3 Llandudno Men’s 2s 1
Whitchurch 2s entertained Llandudno 2s on a sunny Saturday afternoon at SJT. With the Welsh side struggling for form and only able to field 10 players, the Reds were looking to build on their entertaining draw with Neston the previous weekend.
Whitchurch took control of the early stages. They moved the ball sensibly around the pitch to exploit their numerical advantage. Their play was erring on the side of caution however and didn’t really trouble the Llandudno dee.
When the Welsh side did gain possession of the ball, their attacks were broken up by good work from the Whitchurch defence of Doug Buckeridge, Danny Foulkes, Rupert Yeoward and Matt Brooks.
As the half wore on, the young Whitchurch players became more adventurous and pushed Llandudno back towards their own goal. With Craig Hockenhull’s driving runs through the centre of midfield a constant threat and good interplay on the left between Fred Egerton and Josh Parry, the Reds looked most likely to open the scoring. However, from a rare foray forward the Welsh side won a short corner that was beautifully flicked into the top corner of the Whitchurch goal.
The Whitchurch response was immediate. As Llandudno messed up a restart from the top of their dee, Josh Parry was alive to the lose ball, driving the ball back into the dee before feeding a neat pass to Fred Egerton, who fired in the equaliser.
Whitchurch continued to push forward as the half drew to a close, but were unable to convert any further chances, including a number of short corners.
In the second half, Llandudno changed their shape and pushed two players upfront and put an extra player in midfield. The changes led to a much more open game of hockey. Whilst Whitchurch were able to find more space going forward, the Welsh side were also able to push more players onto the Whitchurch defence and create chances of their own.
Keeper Neil Jones made a number of good saves during the second period and the Whitchurch back four were resolute in their defensive duties, ably assisted by the midfield tracking their runners, including James Page who diligently followed the Welsh right winger up and down the pitch.
At the other end of the pitch, Euan Morris and Joe Coburn followed up their excellent performances in the morning for the under 14s with some great interplay down the left and Airan Jones was a constant threat on the right with his pacy runs.
Midway through the second half, Whitchurch took the lead when Craig Hockenhull drove in fiercely from the edge of the D after good work from Fred Egerton. This was quickly followed by a goal by Euan Morris, who poked home after a melee in the Llandudno D.
Whitchurch continued to push forward but missed chances from short corners, the Llandudno keeper made a number of good saves and Whitchurch failed to convert a penalty flick late in the game, but ultimately the Reds were well worth the 3-1 win.
This was a good win for this young Whitchurch side. At times they moved the ball well and they worked hard tracking back, when required, to help snuff out the Llandudno attacks. Again the opposition were full of praised for the younger players after the game. The win moves the 2s up to 7th in the table.
A special mention to umpire Jess Kimberley who was excellent throughout and had to deal with a couple of feisty moments in the second-half, when her decisions were questioned a little too vehemently.
Whitchurch 2s travel north to Lymm 3s next weekend.
Whitchurch ladies 3s 0 Golborne ladies 3s 0
This week Whitchurch 3’s were pleased to be not playing in the pouring rain and thrilled to keep a clean sheet.
The team started well having grown in confidence from past matches and now becoming more familiar with their positions. Evie Whatmough, Annie Buckeridge, Amelie Morris led the attack with Whitchurch keeping most of the possession in the first half and making many runs into the Golborne dee.
Kate Buckeridge and Izzy Huxley supported on the left and right wing respectively and tracked back to help in midfield both showing some stick skills learnt from Wednesdays training session. Huxley was very accurate with her feeding to Whatmough at short corners and Annie Buckeridge and Morris demonstrated some good driving runs into the attacking half.
The few times Golborne did break they were quickly broken down by Helen Apperley and Emily Lister in defence who quickly sent the ball back to midfield and also took some accurate hit outs.
Holly Jepson had an excellent debut bossing the centre of the pitch and drove forward to support the attack. She had a few narrow misses on goal and ran tirelessly back to help the defence.
Despite having no subs and down to 10 men in the second half, Whitchurch showed that they have improved their fitness by maintaining their dominant possession. We made many more attacking runs into the dee and won a couple more short corners, which we sadly failed to convert.
For once, our brilliant goalkeeper Maddy Sugden didn’t have much to do but saved some key goals when they caught us on the break and saved a vital penalty flick in the second half.
Wilmslow ladies 3s 1 Whitchurch ladies 1s 0
Whitchurch ladies 1s played away against Wilmslow 3’s. From the start Whitchurch had most of the possession and control of the game. It was fast and Whitchurch had the pace to keep Wilmslow on their toes having lots of opportunities. Wilmslow’s runs were broken down by Helen Machin and Millie Edwards passing the ball back up the pitch to Laura Workman and Hayleigh Busby. Every attempt for Whitchurch seemed to just slightly miss the goal.
Wilmslow were awarded a shot corner and scored. Whitchurch kept their heads high and kept pushing up with some great runs from Charlotte Lawder and Grace Berry. Whitchurch worked together with some fantastic passes into the Dee from captain Catherine Winter-Gresty and Laura Workman. The Wilmslow keeper covered their goal well and saved every shot.
After the half time whistle Whitchurch kept the pressure on Wilmslow wanting a goal to equalise. Defence Hebe Dixon and Catherine Reece-Gresty pushed up the pitch to help the team but as Wilmslow wanted to hold onto their lead all their players held back in defence. Many more chances were there for Whitchurch but time ran out. Player of the match was awarded to the captain.
Ladies 1s play Oxton 2s next week at home.
Whitchurch ladies 2s 1 Neston ladies 4s 4
Whitchurch ladies 2s entertained Neston ladies 4s this weekend. Whitchurch knew that they had to try and redeem themselves after the previous weeks score.
Whitchurch started off the stronger of the two teams by applying pressure from the off, Tracy Tolhurst passed the ball to Emily Vernon who just slotted the ball wide of the goal. Despite having many short corners Whitchurch were unable get the critical touch. Neston then broke through the Whitchurch midfield but the strengths of Captain Emma Clarke, Jess Kimberley, Martha Teggin and Natasha Foster stopped Neston in their tracks but despite all of their efforts Neston slotted the ball past goalkeeper Shola Bailey and brought the score up to 0-1.
During half time Whitchurch had a positive talk which boosted everyone back up. A run from Phoebe Jones and Helen Hocknell picked out Stephanie Stanton who then slotted the ball past the advancing Neston goalkeeper to bring the score to 1-1. Neston then broke through the tired and unfocused Whitchurch team and scored a further three goals. Whitchurch had many opportunities but could not convert into any more goals.
Whitchurch will be travelling away to play against Crewe ladies 4’s at 16:30.
Helen Hocknell was awarded players player.