Category Archives: Men’s Section

Match Reports 09/03/19

Whitchurch ladies 1s 6 Wilmslow ladies 3s 2

Whitchurch Ladies 1s entertained Wilmslow 3s at home for their last home game of the season. With Wilmslow still in contention for a top four finish Whitchurch were prepared for a tough game.

From the whistle Whitchurch had majority of the ball putting plenty of pressure on the Wilmslow defence. Ellie Windsor started the goals rolling deflecting a shot from Lisa Sullivan. As the ball was passed around Wilmslow, there were more shots on goal from Hebe Dixon and Helena Dannenfeldt, but Wilmslow defence held tight. Ellie Windsor’s picked the ball up on the edge of the dee beating the last defender and fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner for her second of the game.

Every break from Wilmslow was tidied up by Millie Edwards and Catherine Reece-Gresty in defence, playing the ball wide to Sophie Ward and Helen Mellor who made some great runs up the wings. Whitchurch were relentless in their pressure on the Wilmslow defence rolling players to keep fresh legs and the intensity on their dee. Jessica Carruthers and Stephanie Stanton worked tirelessly up from and managed to place the ball for Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty to slot home a deflection from the keeper. Spirits were high and Whitchurch kept attacking; only minutes passed and Winter-Gresty collected the ball in the 25, drove into the dee and struck the ball into the far corner. Whitchurch just had time for another goal before half time as Izzy Huxley arrived on the back post to slot the ball under the advancing keeper.

At half time Wilmslow obviously had a hard talking to as they came out a lot stronger and focussed, passing more around Whitchurch. Winning a run of short corners goalkeeper Maddie Sugden made a string of amazing saves, but Wilmslow eventually pressure was rewarded as they managed to score their first goal from a well practiced routine. Whitchurch continued with their game plan and again were back scoring as Stanton latched onto a cross and slipped the ball through the keeper’s legs. With five minutes to go and both teams getting tired the game slowed, but another short corner came for Wilmslow which they managed to score from. Player’s player was awarded to Millie Edwards.

Whitchurch play their final game of the season away against Chester next week.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3 – Chester Men’s 5s 1

With the season drawing to a close, Whitchurch were looking to ensure league safety as well as get a victory against a Chester team they drew within the previous fixture. It was to be another game-of-two-halves with the first half being made far more difficult by Whitchurch’s own efforts: again composure on the ball and movement off it were not what they could or should have been, and they struggled to find any fluency. Passes were easily intercepted; balls forward didn’t find their targets and poor first touches would leave people compromised. Tempers frayed on both sides, and a number of green and yellow cards were shown, which had been the case in the first fixture and was what both teams needed to avoid. What the Reds did do was grind out a goal, with Tom Forster passing a sideline ball to Nick Cooper who slipped it across to Ben Kimberley who put it into the top right corner. At the back, Whitchurch managed to keep every one of the many short corners out, but it was attritional hockey. It wasn’t helped by James Partington taking an accidentally-raised ball to the jaw and needing treatment, but one thing Whitchurch is much better at this season is using substitutes well, and the team restructured smoothly.

The half-time talk was a stern one from captain Alex Fry, pulling no punches about what needed doing; the standards to which the team ought to hold themselves demanded an improvement in the second half, and anything less would not be acceptable. It is a pattern from this season that it is often the half time talk that marks a game’s turnaround, and it was the same this week: the second half was good in every way that the first half had been poor. Movement was better; control was sharper and marking tighter – often leaving the Chester defence no-one to pass at sixteen’s. The back row of Airan Jones, Dale Seymour, Fred Egerton, Forster and Partington improved the marking to cut out most attacks before they developed. Marcus Conway, Fry and Jack Barnes in the middle took control of the pitch, breaking the attacking circles at free hits and driving the ball up the pitch and, critically, their forward passes were now finding their targets. Up front, Sam Conway, Pip Jones, Craig Hockenhull, Kimberley and Cooper were causing the Chester defence endless problems with number of shots just wide or saved by the excellent keeper, including a shot by Airan Jones that almost crept between his pads. The pressure finally told, with a drive down the right by Sam Conway getting passed to Forster who put a high ball across the face of goal where Cooper perfected an overhead smash to bury it in the net.

It was not all one-way traffic in the second half, with Chester rallying well and Paul “Sturge” Leigh was instrumental in keeping the score line in check, including blocking and then clearing an attack despite it being three-on-one as the defence were beaten and struggling to get back. Sturge was again the saviour as a drive into the dee by Chester ended with a flick to the right of the goal but an outstretched toe was enough to divert it past the post. Chester did manage to get on the scoreboard with a speculative ball forward being only partly blocked by Partington – directly into the feet of Seymour, and the Chester forward didn’t wait for a whistle for the short corner but pulled off a skilful flick over a diving keeper. Whitchurch regrouped, determined not to let the game get away from them, and were able to win a short corner at the other end. The routine went well, with the ball being moved around the dee before Barnes drilled a shot through a group of players for Whitchurch’s third.

At the end of the game, the result was what Whitchurch needed, even if the first half wasn’t one to remember. Chester were decent opposition and made the Reds work for their win, but the way Whitchurch came back for the second half and the application they showed was much appreciated by both the team and the supporters. They have their last away game for the season against Oxton Men’s 4s next week.

Chester Men’s 6s 2 Whitchurch Men’s 2s 0

After putting out an under-strength side last time out, the Reds welcomed back a number of key players for their visit to table-topping Chester. The reverse fixture saw Chester run out comfortable 6-0 winners, so Whitchurch were looking to improve on that outcome, building on their much improved performances in the second half of the season.

As expected, an experienced Chester side took the game to Whitchurch from the off, putting pressure on the Whitchurch dee but not managing to penetrate the youthful defensive line of Will Snaith, Wyn Morris, Brendan Coburn and Alex Leigh. The Whitchurch midfield also played their part, breaking up the home side’s momentum and ensuring the Chester attack had only scraps too feed off. On the odd occasion they did break through, Gareth Teggin in goal assuredly cleared any danger.

As the first half wore on, the young Whitchurch attack of Luke Beddow, Euan Morris and Ethan Gresty began to make inroads into Chester’s back line, creating a number of half chances that unfortunately lacked a finishing touch.

Chester became more reliant on route one hockey, bypassing their skilful midfield players with long hits towards the Whitchurch dee. One of these hits found a Chester attacker, and from the resulting melee the ball somehow squirmed its way over the line to give the home side the lead. Buoyed by the goal, Chester continued to press, forcing a good stop from Reds keeper Gareth Teggin, but the pressure eventually led to a controversial penalty flick awarded to the home side. While the ball undoubtedly struck a Whitchurch foot on the goal line, the frantic scramble beforehand saw at least two players lose their footing in the dee competing for the ball, with the ball striking the head of a prone Chester player before falling nicely for the Chester shot on goal.

Whitchurch continued to play their attractive passing hockey, and a superb move featuring Richard Leigh, Joe Coburn and Euan Morris found Luke Beddow in an excellent shooting position in the Chester dee, only for the umpire frustratingly to blow for a short corner before Luke could get the shot away. The resulting short came to nothing, but the Reds passing and movement, with replacements Owen Pearce and James Page playing their parts, increasingly worried the Chester defence, and they were perhaps the more relieved of the two sides to hear the half-time whistle.

The second half got off to a more even start, with neither side able to gain the upper hand. The pattern of the latter stages of the first half began to play out once again, as Chester fell back on big hits towards the Whitchurch dee, while the Whitchurch youngsters looked to pass and move the ball up the field. Chester left two attackers high up near the Whitchurch dee, but one fluffed opportunity aside, the Whitchurch defence coped well with the tactic, with Mark Sugden bringing his experience to bear with some good interceptions and accurate passing out of the danger area.

As the second half progressed, Chester legs began to tire and the game was played more and more in the Chester half. However, despite some attractive build-up play, Whitchurch were unable to make meaningful inroads into the Chester dee, foiled by a combination of a packed defence and a reticence to actually fire the ball into the dee; there was also at times a lack of composure on the ball. David Brunyard, Joe Coburn and Joe Faithfull worked tirelessly in midfield to push the Reds on, but in the end, neither side was able to make the opposing goalkeeper work for large parts of the second half. Despite Whitchurch seeing more of the ball, the lack of a cutting edge meant that the game ended without further addition to the score line.

The Chester players were gracious in victory, acknowledging that the very promising crop of Whitchurch youngsters had played the better hockey for most of the game. On this occasion, route one hockey had ground out a win for the home side, but the passing, movement and teamwork shown by the Reds once again illustrated how far the team has come since their defeat against the same Chester side earlier in the season.

Whitchurch ladies 2s 1 Sale ladies 3s 6

The result in no way reflected the game, Whitchurch started the first half taking the game to Sale who looked shell shocked at the attacking prowess of the Whitchurch team. Whitchurch created chance after chance in the first 15 minutes and eventually took the lead as Nicola Forster swept the ball up into the roof of the net.

Whitchurch then undid all their good work as two mistakes in defence gave Sale two chances in five minutes and Sale clinically took their opportunities. The Whitchurch heads dropped as the team focussed on the negative and not on the positives of the first 15 minutes. Sale ruthlessly exploited the nervousness in the Whitchurch side and two more chances resulted in two more goals before the break.

The half time talk focussed on playing like the first 15 minutes and not worrying about mistakes. Whitchurch took this on board and started the second half as they did the first taking the ball to the Sale defence with a confidence that has only been seen in limited periods this season. Phoebe Jones, Molly Fry and Emily Vernon tackled and passed the ball around the midfield creating opportunities for Tracy Tolhurst, Caitlin Edwards and Beth Wright to get the ball into advanced positions. The defence of Chloe Lloyd, Captain Emma Clarke, Becky Brookfield and Marta Teggin broke down the Sale attack and moved the ball swiftly up the field starting the Whitchurch counter attacks.

As the legs started to tire Whitchurch used their subs and Ellie McEvoy came on in the midfield and with tireless runs linked up with Nicola Forster in the Sale dee. Whitchurch created many chances and had much of the possession but just couldn’t manage to get the ball in the back of the net despite creating the opportunities. Sale were content to sit back and counterattack on the break forcing sweeper keeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees to accelerate off her line to clear the ball on a number of occasions.

Despite all their efforts Sale were again clinical in the dee and took their two opportunities of the second half. Whitchurch took many positives from the match having competed for long periods of the game and will work hard in training to achieve this level of play over a match and not just short periods.

Whitchurch travel away to Macclesfield for their final league match of the season.

Alderley Edge Ladies 7s 10 Whitchurch Ladies 3’s 0

Whitchurch travelled away to their penultimate game of the season against Alderley Edge. Whitchurch fielded a predominately young team on the pitch but the experience of Alderley Edge starting fast caught Whitchurch off guard scoring their first, closely followed by a short corner giving them a two goal lead.

Holly Gilbert, Caitlin Shaw and Milly Carruthers put up a strong attack against the home team with some excellent interceptions and passes. Unfortunately, Alderley Edge managed to increase the score line and by half time they were ahead by six goals despite some excellent saves by Louise Cottrell in goal.

The second half began with Whitchurch attacking strongly and having a couple of short corners awarded due to errors made by the home team. Unfortunately Whitchurch failed to capitalise on these chances. There was some strong tackling from Laura Workman and Sophie Jones on the left backed up by some excellent defensive play by Annie Leigh and Mel Reid who got player of the match.

On the opposite side of the pitch there was some equally strong tackling and attacking from Mia Spruce, Emily Lister, Wendy Cooper and Jan Teggin. Unfortunately, despite Whitchurch’s fighting spirit to the end the home team took their chances well for an impressive win.

Whitchurch entertain Neston ladies next week in their last match of the season.

Match reports 02/03/18

Bowdon Men’s 5s 5 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 1

Whitchurch travelled to Bowdon this week to play a very strong home team who were looking for revenge for the 4-1 loss to the Reds in the previous fixture, and they applied the pressure from the start. On an overcast afternoon, Bowdon were the first to shine, putting together a number of strong runs and passing the ball well in triangles down both wings giving Airan Jones and Tom Forster much to do throughout the game. With a number of key players unavailable this week, captain Alex Fry dropped back into central defence with James Partington and the back four did their best to repel the onslaught but the pressure told with three early short corners being taken extremely well to put Bowdon 3-0 up. Keeper Gareth Teggin, in his first game for the 1s, had a solid game and blocked a number of shots, but the penalty corner routines themselves were well practiced and executed with strength and speed.

It was in small, key areas that Bowdon were winning; Whitchurch put together a number of fine moves through the middle, with Marcus Conway, Jack Barnes and Sam Conway holding the centre ground well and moving the ball through effectively at times, but the final balls forward weren’t getting through and some of the passes were speculative at best, with Bowdon taking full advantage of any mistakes. Up front, Nick Cooper was a constant threat in the dee, and the Ben Kimberley and Craig Hockenhull were both unlucky not to score with the Bowdon keeper having an excellent game.

The second half was more level for the first 20 minutes as the Reds were able to keep Bowdon out better, with Teggin making some excellent blocks and Forster getting the clearances away, but the pressure told, as twice Bowdon managed to slip their markers from open play with more quick balls, triangles, darting runs and fine shots taking their total to five. A consolation goal came from the sort of play Whitchurch had been able to create in last week’s game against Keele with good movement up the left getting the ball to Hockenhull who laid it off to Cooper who ran across the dee taking the keeper with him before firing in a sublime shot.

Whitchurch stay in sixth in the league with three games to play and will be keen to win next week’s home game against Chester 5s after narrowly losing in the away fixture.

Whitchurch ladies 1s 4 Timperley ladies 4s 0

Whitchurch Ladies 1s played Timperley Ladies 4s at home. After a few hard matches Whitchurch were determined to work hard for a win.

Whitchurch started the first half strong with Catherine Reece-Gresty and Chloe Lloyd defending the Whitchurch goal well from incoming shots from the Timperley players. After a few minutes of battling, Whitchurch were awarded a long corner where Lisa Sullivan drove down the base line and pushed the ball to Ellie Windsor who converted the first goal of the match. Whitchurch continued to work hard with Helen Machin and Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty making some good tackles and passing the ball around the Timperley players. After a lot of strong attacking play, Whitchurch’s efforts were finally rewarded with a second goal which was scored by Hebe Dixon. With Whitchurch’s hopes high, goalkeeper Maddy Sugden made some amazing saves and defender Catherine Reece-Gresty made some great passes to the Whitchurch players clearing the ball from their dee and leaving the score 2-0 at half time.

After the half time break, Whitchurch remained strong with Sophie Ward and Izzy Huxley making some great runs and hits into the Timperley dee where Helena Dannenfeldt was able to score Whitchurch’s third goal of the match. Both teams continued to play well with Jess Caruthers making some great tackles and runs into the Timperley dee. Players Millie Edwards and Izzy Huxley made some good runs and passed the ball around the Timperley players well, managing to get the ball to Hebe Dixon on the base line who crossed the ball into the Timperley dee where Ellie Windsor deflected the ball into the goal for scored her second goal of the game. Timperley made some late breaks, however the final whistle went and the score remained 4-0. Whitchurch player Hebe Dixon received best player.

Next week, Whitchurch ladies 1s will play Wilmslow 3s at home.

Oxton Men’s 5s 7  Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1

After two hockey-free weekends, the Men’s 2s returned to action with a lunchtime push-back at Oxton 5s. The Wirral side had a formidable home record, with most visitors on the end of big defeats, and only 1 goal conceded since September, so this was always going to be a challenge for the Reds. With non-hockey activities having a big impact on player availability on Saturday, the 2s were only able to field 10 players, and 14-year-old Owen Pearce bravely stepped up to play his first senior game in goal.

Whitchurch started the game looking to keep things tight and not be too expansive with their attacking play. Although Oxton dominated possession and territory, they struggled to find a way into the Whitchurch dee and were unable to get any shots at goal. Richard Leigh and Paul Humphries were excellent in midfield, constantly breaking up Oxton’s play and diligently passing the ball out of dangerous areas using David Brunyard and Joe Faithfull to carry the ball into wider areas. Anything that got close to the dee was well dealt with by the defence of Doug Buckeridge, Brendan Coburn and Alex Leigh.

As legs tired and the home side’s frustrations grew, Whitchurch began to find more space going forward. Fred Egerton and Ethan Gresty we’re linking well to provide a threat down the left, and Joe Faithfull and Richard Leigh combined to fire in some dangerous crosses that needed the home keeper to kick clear of the dee. But spaces also began to open up for Oxton’s numerical advantage, and towards the end of the half, the Wirral side won and scored from each of four short corners. Three of the goals were well struck from the edge of the dee, and one poked in at the back post after a series of ricochets off defending sticks and feet.

Although slightly disappointed to be 4-0 down at halftime, Whitchurch could be quite proud of the fact that Oxton hadn’t created any threat to the Reds goal from open play. The challenge for the second half would be to continue the hard work and frustrate Oxton’s superior numbers.

Again in the opening stages of the half, Whitchurch did well to keep Oxton at arm’s length. The home team were looking to overload the Whitchurch defence and did create some half chances in the dee, but when the ball did get close to the goal Owen Pearce did well to narrow angles or kick clear. However, midway through the half, Oxton were fortunate to extend their lead when the ball appeared to be controlled by a foot in the build-up to the goal.

Whitchurch were undeterred. They continued to play their hockey and eventually got their reward as Alex Leigh and Ethan Gresty combined really well down the left, with Ethan crossing to an unmarked Joe Faithfull who swept the ball past the Oxton keeper into the goal.

Oxton added a further two goals late in the game to make the final score 7-1 to the home side but, despite the size of the defeat, Whitchurch should be proud of their efforts. They played a very good side, with a formidable home record and despite being a player short managed to score a really good goal against a team not used to conceding at home.

Richard Leigh & Paul Humphries had to put in a huge amount of work in midfield, Fred Egerton & David Brunyard provided the drive forward, with Joe Faithfull adding width on the right. Joe thoroughly deserved his goal for all of his hard work this season. In the last 2 matches, 4 different players have all scored their first goals in senior hockey for the 2s … a sign of the team’s progression this season.

Brendan Coburn was, again, formidable in defence, but the standout performance came from Alex Leigh in only his second game in senior hockey. His defending was excellent, with his jab tackle constantly breaking up Oxton’s play down the Whitchurch left. But Alex’s calmness in possession and sensible passing enabled Whitchurch to retain the ball even when under pressure from their opponents. The Reds goal stemmed from his excellent interplay with Ethan Gresty.

The 2s next match is a lunchtime fixture away to top-of-the-table Chester 6s.

Bebington ladies 2s 5 Whitchurch ladies 3s 1

Whitchurch started the game well with excellent defending by Mel Reid and Sally Pearce. However, Bebington made a quick run down the middle of the pitch managing to get round all the defenders and put the ball in the goal. Mia Spruce and Emily Lister worked hard, battling to get Whitchurch back in control of the ball however another goal followed soon after the first. Wendy Cooper and Jan Teggin worked hard in the middle delivering some excellent tackles. Despite Whitchurch’s effort, two more goals were scored. With Wendy Cooper injured, Whitchurch needed to come together and work even harder in the second half.

In the second half, several strong attacks were made by Leanne Read, Eliza Brown and Holly Gilbert which finally resulted in a well deserved goal scored by Read. Laura Workman and Kate Buckeridge worked hard on the left wing with multiple attacks made by Laura and good passes into the dee by Caitlin Edwards. Louise Cottrell made some brilliant saves in goal preventing several goals off Bebington’s well rehearsed shot corners. Unfortunately, Bebington scored again making the score 5-1 at the final whistle blew.

Match Reports 23rd and 24th February 2019

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 2 – Neston Men’s 5s 4

In their first of two matches this weekend, Whitchurch played a strong Neston team, with both sides looking to improve on the one-all draw earlier in the season. Neston brought a good team with some very able young players backed up with some experienced heads, and it had an immediate impression on the game with aerial balls going over the Reds’ defence and being picked up well. Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal was called on several times to make some great saves, but Neston went ahead early with a good shot on goal beating the defensive team.

Whitchurch recovered quickly and claimed a short corner at the other end, playing a wide ball all the way across the dee where Ben Kimberley picked it up and fired it in, only for the defender’s attempted stop slowing it to a trickle as it rolled over the line. The game settled a little at this point, as the Reds’ defence started to pick up their markers better, and Airan Jones worked well on the left, and the usual central defence of Danny Foulkes and James Partington was helped by the return on Andy Magee to provide strength at the back. Jack Barnes, Dale Seymour, Alex Fry and Sam Conway worked well in the centre of the pitch, and Marcus Conway, Fred Egerton, Craig Hockenhull and Kimberley rotated well up front and for a while the game was even, but then Neston turned on the style and the speed to get another which Sturge could do nothing about.

Whitchurch were able to get a second, with a short corner leading to a goalmouth scramble which Hockenhull was able to pounce on and flick the ball over the keeper. In the second half, though, it was Neston with the majority of play, and as Whitchurch tired Neston were able to slip their markers with more ease and grab a couple more. They had a number of other shots on goal which they were unlucky not to score from, but Whitchurch were able to do just enough to keep them out. In turn, the Reds were finding it harder to keep control of the ball, and passes were getting more suspect. There was plenty of good play from Whitchurch, but it kept breaking down or the ball would get given back to Neston who would break quickly. Some desperate defending at the end kept out short corners, but at the final whistle the score line of 4-2 reflected the difference in performance between the two teams.

Whitchurch ladies 1s 1 Oxton ladies 2s 4

Whitchurch ladies 1s played a late rearranged game last Saturday against top Oxton 2s. They came out very strong passing around Whitchurch and scored very quickly off a short corner. Whitchurch were taken aback how much Oxton wanted the win and continued to be bullied around the pitch. Mid players Lisa Sullivan worked together with Catherine Winter-Gresty and Hebe Dixon to hold the middle as much as possible but Oxton seemed the stronger and composed team. Whitchurch had a few opportunities in the Oxton dee, Helena Dannenfeldt and Ellie Windsor crossing towards the goal but Whitchurch couldn’t get a touch.

In defence Catherine Reece-Gresty and Chloe Lloyd held off Oxton for a while with Sophie Ward and Helen Mellor dropping back but Oxton shot one into the top corner.

At half time a hard talk to Whitchurch allowed them to come out with more fight and seemed to be controlling the game, having plenty more possession and passing up to forwards Jessica Carruthers and Stephanie Stanton. The more pressure put on Oxton the more mistakes they made, so Whitchurch continued and this paid off as Izzy Huxley crossed the ball to Winter-Gresty who pelted the ball into Oxton dee and Dannenfeldt touched to Stanton to score their first.

Whitchurch heads rose and continued to pass well around Oxton. Having a run of shorts but the Oxton keeper was good. Keeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees made some great saves but as Whitchurch tired, Oxton had a lucky break and scored their 3rd goal of the match.

As time was not on Whitchurch’s side the whistle went to a disappointed team. Sullivan was awarded players player for the first time this season and well deserved! Another loss for the ladies 1s as they played the top teams. With only 3 games left to play, Whitchurch need to pull out all the stops to make the top 4 teams to go up a division.

Another home game for ladies 1s next week against Timperley.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 5 Keele University Men’s 1s 1

In their second game of the weekend, Whitchurch faced Keele University 1s knowing that the previous match had ended 3-3 after Keele had grabbed two late goals, so had to be conscious of maintaining fitness and concentration throughout the 70 minutes. Given the good physical effort put in the previous day, but also aware of the multiple areas of concern that it had highlighted, the Reds knew they would have a tough job ahead of them, and so it was to be after some early pressure from Keele gave them an early goal with Paul “Sturge” Leigh unable to keep out a sharp strike.

However, rather than let their heads drop or repeat the mistakes from the previous day, Whitchurch settled quickly; the tiredness from Saturday worked in their favour, as they moved the ball well rather than trying to run with it, and communication was far improved too. Some smart movement up the left side of the pitch and a drive into the dee was stopped by a foul which gave the Reds a penalty stroke which was unfortunately very well saved, but the momentum had shifted. A short corner soon after was passed wide to Pip Jones whose strike bobbled past everyone and into the goal, and the forward line of Tom Forster, Craig Hockenhull, Fred Egerton and Ben Kimberley applied constant pressure for the rest of the half.

Going in to half time at 1-1, but with the momentum, meant the half-time talk was about continuing to do the good things well, to move off the ball ready for the pass, and to call for each other, and these had an immediate effect; the defence was well-marshalled by Danny Foulkes and Dale Seymour, and Airan Jones had another good game on the left driving up the pitch and beating the opposition more often than not. Alex Fry had another strong game in the middle, making good runs and critical tackles, and Jack Barnes and Marcus Conway continued to have game-changing impact. James Partington played on both sides of the pitch and was given the task of moving up with the ball to give the central line of Barnes, Fry and Conway the time to push up and make runs, and it was this structure that helped Whitchurch get their second: Partington took a quick free hit just inside the Keele half to Conway who quickly slipped it to Kimberley who was unmarked in the dee and slotted the shot away with confidence.

Another goal followed from some flowing movement up the centre of the pitch before the ball was fired at Pip Jones on the back post who calmly put it past the keeper. This was followed by some excellent and unselfish work by Airan Jones playing down the right as he drove towards the dee but, instead of trying a shot past the approaching keeper, slipped it to his left where Kimberley was again unmarked to pick up his second. The final goal was another piece of confident skill as a short corner went to Barnes at the top of the dee who slipped the ball right, and then right again before it was fired back at Barnes who buried it in the net.

As much as Saturday’s game was frustrating, Sunday’s was impressive; a team playing for each other, doing the basics right and celebrating a deserved win against a good team. Whitchurch are away next week against Bowden Mens 5s.

Match Reports 16/02/19

The ladies 1s entertained Neston 3s at home on a sunny Saturday.  Whitchurch stared the quicker of the two teams and took the ball to Neston with a lot of the possession down the right with Ellie Windsor and Jessica Carruthers creating a number of early chances that forced the best out of the Neston keeper.

The midfield of Lisa Sullivan, Hebe Dixon and Catherine Winter-Gresty dropped deeper to support the defence as Neston fought back and opened the scoring from a short corner. Whitchurch’s team without subs started to tire against Neston’s young squad of 15 in the heat.  Some assertive runs up the right by Sophie Ward and Winter-Gresty created a run of short corners for Whitchurch but Neston defended well. Whitchurch continued to pressure and were rewarded as Lisa Sullivan and Captain Winter-Gresty drove down the centre of the pitch and picked out Jessica Carruthers on the post to equalise. Neston came back and were awarded a run of shorts and from which they scored a second. Whitchurch w ere soon back on equal terms as Hebe Dixon picked out Carruthers for her second.

Defenders Emma Harper and Catherine Reece-Gresty kept frustrating the Neston attack but Neston had fresh feet and as Whitchurch tired they scored a third goal. Whitchurch kept going to the final whistle but just couldn’t capitalise on their pressure. Hebe Dixon was named as player’s player.

Bowden Ladies 6s 0 Whitchurch Ladies 2s 3

Whitchurch ladies 2s travelled away to Bowden with a strong attacking team.

The game started in the ideal fashion as Whitchurch took the lead straight from the push back as Sue Read passed to Molly Fry then to Becky Brookfield and her cross was turned in at the back post by Jess Kimberley. Bowden rallied and the defence of Captain Emma Clarke, Ellie McEvoy and Chloe Lloyd held firm ably supported by some jaw dropping saves from keeper Beth Wright.
Great passing and some wonderful tactical short corners all contributed to a second goal from Sue Read latching onto the end of a strike from Nicola Forster. Whitchurch battled on creating some great long corners opportunities led by Molly Fry and Amelie Morris through to the half time break.
The second half started slower leaving Whitchurch open to the Bowden attack but this was handled beautifully by the Whitchurch defence.
Runs from Emily Vernon and Hayley Busby led to a goal mouth scrabble in the Bowden dee and a fantastic slap straight into the goal from Sue Read to secure Whitchurch a valued three points.
Whitchurch finally ended a frustrating run of form and look forward to recommencing the final part of the season after a break next week.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 1 Birkenhead Men’s 1s 1

Whitchurch went into the game against the run away league leaders following on from some mixed performances and results in previous weeks.

Birkenhead took the game to Whitchurch from the start with quick passing and strong tackling trying to assert an early dominance over Whitchurch. Whitchurch rode their luck in the early stages as the defence of Fred Egerton, Danny Foulkes, James Partington and Airon Jones ably supported by goalkeeper Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh were forced into last chance tackles and saves but despite all their pressure Birkenhead failed to take their opportunities.

Whitchurch started to settle and gain more of the ball; this allowed Alex Fry to have an outstanding game in the centre of the pitch controlling everything good that Whitchurch did. The midfield of Sam Conway, David Brunyard and Jack Barnes worked continuously; rotating to keep up the intensity in the midfield and with the pace of Tom Forster and Ben Kimberley on the wings Whitchurch always looked capable of catching Birkenhead on the break.

As Birkenhead failed to capitalise on their chances frustration grew and a number of poor tackles and verbal exchanges saw the umpire’s patience run out and a number of cards shown. This seemed to affect the Birkenhead side more than it affected the Whitchurch team and as a physical and tactical battle continued both teams cancelled each other out at the break.

The second half saw much of the same until Birkenhead until broke the deadlock with a penalty corner that came off Surge’s helmet looped onto the post and past the stranded defender.

Whitchurch continued to battle hard and won a number of penalty corners and were unlucky as Craig Hockenhull deflected narrowly wide of the goal. Marcus Conway took the game to the Birkenhead defence and blazed a shot from the edge of the dee just over the crossbar.

Whitchurch finally were rewarded for their efforts as again they won a penalty corner and Jack Barnes drag flicked a blistering shot into the top corner.

Again the game got heated and the umpires kept control with cards for both sides and at the end Whitchurch earned a valuable point against a team that has only dropped three points in the last three seasons.