Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1 Winnington Park Men’s 4s 2
Following their excellent win last weekend away to Runcorn, Whitchurch Men’s 2s faced a tough challenge when entertaining Winnington Park 4s on a cold afternoon at SJT.
Winnington started the match on the front foot, immediately dominating possession and territory. They’re quick movement off the ball and strong running was overpowering the Whitchurch midfield and the defence struggled to clear the ball out of the Whitchurch half.
With Whitchurch struggling to get any ball to their forwards, the constant Winnington pressure soon brought a couple of goals. First a well worked move on the Winnington right led to a cross into the dee, where the Park forward took an early shot past keeper Neil Jones.
This was quickly followed by a flicked short corner that was saved by keeper Jones, but with Tom Forster blocked by the keeper, the Winnington forward reacted quickest to poke the ball in for a 2-0 lead.
Winnington thought they’d scored a third after another short corner. The ball was well saved by keeper Jones and got trapped under his body. With a melee of defending and attacking sticks hacking to get the ball out, eventually the ball was poked into the goal. With a very difficult decision to make, umpire Jess Kimberley called a retake of the short corner, much to Winnington’s disapproval and Whitchurch’s relief.
This moment seemed to derail Winnington a bit and galvanise Whitchurch. The 2s started to gain more possession of the ball in midfield through Tom Forster and Craig Hockenhull, and the ball started to find the young wide players in more advanced positions.
Martin Beecher started to find space in the Winnington dee, but unfortunately succumbed to injury midway through the half when trying to get in a shot.
Locki Price had a fine strike touched over the bar by the Winnington keeper after good work on the right by Fred Egerton and Josh Parry.
Despite being 2-0 down at halftime the 2s felt they were still in the game and needed to continue the good work from the end of the first half.
Whitchurch started the second half brilliantly and immediately took the game to Winnington. A superb driving run from the excellent Craig Hockenhull led to a cut-back to the top of the dee where Tom Forster fired home into the bottom corner of the Winnington goal.
Whitchurch continued to push forward looking for an equaliser. Joe Coburn and Locki Price combined well on the left and Euan Morris and Fred Egerton worked well together on the right. Josh Parry worked had in his new position of forward and did well to hold the ball up and bring teammates into play.
Winnington always posed a threat on the counter-attack, however. With Tom Molenaar struggling with a knee injury, James Page stepped into the right side of defence and worked hard to stop any threats on that side of the pitch.
Matt Brooks and Airan Jones had excellent games in the centre of defence with Matt’s tackling and Airan’s interceptions stopping most of the Winnington attacks and Doug Buckeridge worked hard to limit the threats on the Winnington right, with the help of Locki, Joe Coburn and Joe Faithfull, making his debut for the 2s.
On the few occasions that the Whitchurch defence was breached, keeper Jones came up with some smart saves to keep Winnington out.
Unfortunately Whitchurch were unable to find their equaliser, but the team can be proud of their efforts, particularly in a fine second half display against a very capable Winnington side. The slow start ultimately proved costly, but everyone in the match day squad worked very hard to get back into the game, restrict the Winnington chances and drive forward looking for goals.
Once again Craig Hockenhull was excellent in midfield, as was Tom Forster. Martin Beecher and Thomas Molenaar both shrugged off injury to help the second half efforts and Matt Brooks had a great game at the centre of defence. Special mentions though to Joe Faithfull making his debut with a good solid game in a multitude of positions and Airan Jones who had an excellent game alongside Matt at the heart of the Whitchurch defence.
Next week the 2s travel to Denbigh 2s.
Neston ladies 5s 4 Whitchurch ladies 3s 6
Whitchurch Ladies 3s had an apprehensive journey to Birkenhead on Saturday, to play Neston. The weather was abysmal and their captain Kate Goodwin was feeling anxious, as she knew they only had ten players! However, little did she know how her new team could pull together! What a match it turned out to be!
It was absolutely freezing cold, with wind lashing sideways across the pitch, as we took the first push-back. We went out strong from the start, with Evie Whatmough making a fast run up front from the off, ably supported by Becky Brookfield. However, Neston fought back fiercely with some really slick set moves, slotting in two goals in quick succession. We were 2-0 down, until Annie Buckeridge, one of our new young players, scored her very first goal, from an excellent ball from Holly Gilbert. Feeling happier, we went off at half time, 2-1 to them.
We started off the second half very strong, all determined to make our mark on this match. Unfortunately though, they scored another excellent goal shortly after half time. From the next push back, Kate Goodwin made a successful run up and passed it into the Dee, for Evie Whatmough to confidently score a great goal. This encouraged us immensely. Disappointingly, though despite some outstanding defending from Wendy Cooper and Emily Lister, Neston managed to score another two goals past our incredible keeper Maddy Sugden, who had already made some amazing saves. Pressure began to build for Whitchurch, we had to think quickly and play hard. Then we won another short corner, which Becky Brookfield confidently put away, making it 4 – 3. We were all so delighted, with having only 10 players, we felt we could do this!
Some more excellent passing took place and Holly Gilbert made a great run up the wing and Annie Buckeridge managed to score from another great pass into the Dee. We soldiered on with Kate Buckeridge, Kate Goodwin and Victoria Corlett putting in some strong tackles and runs up the pitch, culminating in Victoria Corlett scoring another goal, making it 5 – 4. to us.
Tension was mounting, as the minutes ticked away towards the final whistle. Then from nowhere Becky scored a fantastic goal on a solo mission. After a final nerve wracking Neston short corner, which Maddy defended magnificently, Whitchurch had won 6 – 4. We were ecstatic! What a match! We had all pushed ourselves so hard and some outstanding hockey had been played. Player of the match went to Kate Goodwin. Everybody is now looking forward to next week’s home match against Oxton.
Alderley Edge ladies 2s 2 Whitchurch ladies 2s 4
Facing a strong Alderley Edge side in tough conditions, Whitchurch 2’s started the match positively with Ellie Windsor, Amy Fry and Phoebe Jones providing a strong attack. They were rewarded with a number of chances and Ellie Windsor scored two in quick succession.
Emily Vernon, Holly Jepson, Emma Clarke and Martha Teggin proved to be a strong defensive combination, preventing a number of Alderley Edge attacks from making it up the pitch.
Whitchurch begun the second half positively with Amy Fry quickly scoring another fantastic goal followed swiftly by one from Phoebe Jones.
Whitchurch begun to tire towards the end of the second half after struggling through freezing conditions for some time. This left Alderley Edge able to score two quick goals. However, this wasn’t enough to close Whitchurch’s lead and the match ended at 4-2.
Player of the match was awarded to Shola Bailey.
Whitchurch ladies 1s 3 Timperley ladies 4s 2
Whitchurch ladies started their pre-match warm-up sweeping the water off the pitch. The freezing conditions seemed to favour the away team and despite Whitchurch having significant amount of possession the visitors took their chances in front of goal and scored two quick goals. Whitchurch were their own worst enemies with lapses in concentration and giving away possession to easily stopping them from competing in the game.
The Whitchurch halftime talk was positive and the team urged to keep playing at the same pace and work rate but to make sure the passes were accurate and quick.
It turned out to be a game of two halves, where Whitchurch struggled to combine a string of passes the second half saw them passing the ball quickly and to their own players. Hebe Dixon led the charge forward and interchanges between Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty and Millie Edwards saw Laura Workman shoot from the top of the dee and Sue Read deflect past the stranded keeper to give Whitchurch hope.
Timperley pressed to get back in the game but Catherine Reece-Gresty, Gayle Ladd and Helen Machin in defence cut out any opportunities and started wave after wave of attacks. Charlotte Lawder’s pace down the right hand side caused the Timperley defence problems and created space from which Grace Berry shot high into the top corner to level the scores.
Whitchurch rolled their squad and Hayley Busby and Vicki Price came on to maintain the pressure and momentum. Timperley started to get frustrated as they failed to clear the ball and finally resulted in Whitchurch being awarded a penalty corner.
Hebe Dixon neatly slotted away the corner to give Whitchurch the lead for the first time in the match. Timperley through everything at Whitchurch in the final minutes of the game this resulted in Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty leaving the field after taking a ball in the arm. Whitchurch rode out the pressure and a number of penalty corners excellently dealt with by keeper Gwyneth Thomas-Rees to secure a well earned three points.