WH&E M1 2 : 1 Harpenden M2

M1s v HarpendenIt’s a 12:15 pushback and Winchmore are hosting Harpenden at Southbury for their second home game of the season. Winchmore go into the game on good form and a full squad, as well as a stand-in manager in Rafi Zeff.

Harpenden started strongly, passing well, while Winchmore pressed from the front utilising the large squad with constant rotations. Both teams found chances through the high tempo with Harpenden having the better of them but being frustrated by the home keeper, James Gatting, who held his own including a masterful double save with his arse!! 😂

As the game went on Winchmore gained more possession playing around the back and down the wings through the runs of Jake and Stan, Winchmore’s second fastest player, they grew into the game. This along with the introduction of debutant Tim to midfield the pressure built, and the breakthrough came through a strike from Sam Turmaine which proved too much for the keeper despite getting a hand to it.

Some more good link up play down the wings between the likes of Dominic Smith and Colin and the chances keep coming. Finally, after a ball down the line to Sam who then plays a perfect ball across goal for a simple but well-timed tap in for Colin and the lead becomes two.

Harpenden kept up the pressure though and with Winchmore beginning to tire and the press weaken, Harpenden’s quality showed as they finally got their goal. However, the Winchmore defence held on and with the work of players like Stuart Carrick, Dom and Adam Machray in midfield, the 2-1 scoreline was maintained and along with it Winchmore’s good form.


WH&E M2 1 : 2 Cheshunt M3

M2s v CheshuntAnother match there for the taking, but another match that just got away from the Men’s 2s. We had the better of the first half, with more chances, and finished the half 1-0 up. With a squad of 16, we had the legs, but perhaps not the organisation, and with everyone bar the keeper taking time off the pitch we struggled to retain our shape. Cheshunt pressed, and took a 2-1 lead, and despite the game opening up, and multiple good breaks, we couldn’t provide a finishing touch to achieve a deserved equaliser.

With the youngsters – and indeed everyone on the squad – continuing to improve, the future looks bright. And organisationally, we can only improve with some senior experience coming from Richard Chapman, making his debut, but almost certainly having played more league matches than the rest of the team combined!!

And I’m pleased to report, that with Richard’s debut, there were three generations of one family on the pitch – something that can’t be a very common occurrence! One goal each would have made it a better story – but sadly not to be…


WH&E L1 1 : 2 Southgate L3

Player of the MatchThe ladies 1s were very happy to be playing their first home game of the season at the weekend against a team where we knew it would be a close match.

The match started off very even with chances from both teams being well defended by both defensive lines. After 10 mins or so, we unfortunately went 1-0 due to a short corner. A break away by Bethany ended with a 1 on 1 with the keeper that couldn’t be converted but our strong forward line were able to keep the ball up this side of the pitch. Another shot from Bethany was defended by the keeper, but the rebound was picked up by Helen Fenning who slapped it into the back of the net to bring us up to 1-1! Our urgency and pace during the first half was phenomenal.

In the 2nd half, we began to get a little tired and started to make some easy mistakes which gave Southgate an advantage and even though Gem, Charlotte, Mia and Shell were doing a great job in defence, along with Nic in goal, Southgate were able to sneak a goal to make it 2-1.

We played the last 15/20 mins of the match fighting back hard and were able to create a few chances but couldn’t keep our cool and get it in the back of the net, meanwhile Rachelle was diving left, right and centre all over our defensive D to stop Southgate in their tracks.

Final score 2-1 to Southgate but we’re not too disappointed as we played very well and are one step closer to getting our first win of the season!

Player of the match and dick of the day both to Rachelle Pearson who was making really great interceptions and plays up the pitch to progress attack, as well as spending half of the match on the ground. 😅


WH&E L2 0 : 7 NPL L1

L2s v NPLThe ladies 2s slipped to their 3rd straight defeat and are yet to quite find their feet following promotion last year. After a bright start where Winchmore had NPL on the back foot, the visitors found their rhythm and started to dominate the midfield and create plenty of chances upfront. And despite brave defending, NPL went into half-time 4-0 up. The second half was heading in the same direction until the unfortunate injury to NPL’s playmaker, who stood on the ball whilst heading back to the middle after their second goal of the half. Winchmore battled hard, but couldn’t get any reward upfront with the visitors running out worthy winners 7-0.

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WH&E M1 3 : 2 Broxbourne M3

Clearly this year has been different in so many ways to all others. And perhaps it has been for WH&E M1’s too. A start to a season with 14 players for each game. Unheard of. Not this year. With a draw and then a narrow loss last week, this fixture offered a chance to start winning ways perhaps earlier than ‘Purple Power’ normally manages in a season. This opportunity was Broxbourne.

WH&E’s team set up strongly and pressed Broxbourne hard reversing the more customary pattern in previous games of Brox possession and WH&E seeking a breakaway. Brox weren’t quite sure what to do. An observation from Jim Gatting that they were probably over drilled translated into Brox being unwilling to pass to a marked man. Since WH&E were marking every man diligently, Brox had no passes to make. However, despite WH&E dominating, about 15 min in and against the run of play, they managed to break away, obtained a short corner and scored.

Nevertheless, WH&E continued the pressure, and this paid dividends, with Asher Cohen on the right receiving the ball, dribbling and then placing a shot to score.

A couple of Brox players were good dribblers too but they weren’t able to make this count due to the strong closing down from the midfield and defence including by Dominic Smith, Matt Dray, Stephen Lopez and Stuart Carrick.

With the trusty ‘orders’ written on the now fabled piece of paper, akin to some military manoeuvres, those on the sideline had the chance to run the subs which worked well with the game now broken up in segments with players getting their chance to shine.

WH&E were able to continue attacks and a series of 1-2’s opened up Brox with good play down the left and right, and Michael Dutnall making his now familiar runs to the 23m line. A move ended in Sam Turmaine shooting and scoring, but the umpire blew the whistle just before it hit the backboard.

WH&E were creating chances and the pressure continued and a short corner saw the ball flash across the ‘D’ coming off an opposition stick for Jake Sumner to reach out his stick and guide the ball goalward but for a Broxbourne leg to block it heading into the net. A flick was given, and Colin Foad stepped up and slotted home. The whistle blew, and WH&E headed into the break 2-1 up. Well deserved.

The second half began, but WH&E couldn’t find the rhythm of the first half and for the first seven or eight minutes couldn’t get out of the half. The pass or touch not quite going to plan. However, the defence remained strong, despite a couple of occasions seeing the ball dangerously pass across the goal line.

Just as Brox scored against the run of play in the first half, perhaps WH&E did too with a shot from Harry Stone. The period of play then moved into one which saw both sides attack and defend. John Adam Elliott Lappin played an excellent ball into the ‘D’ from just past the halfway line, but it wasn’t converted. At the other end Jim Gatting made some excellent diving saves.

Then came the final six to seven min and WH&E began to tire. KP, formerly of WH&E, managed to get away from his marker and score. It was 3-2 with two minutes left to play. The 1s managed to playout with Stan Knight receiving the ball and pressing for an attack in the final seconds.

The whistle blew and a well-deserved win and three points. WH&E M1’s games to date have seen two goals in each conceded. If we can get some clean sheets and keep scoring we should be odds on for more victories and who know what the year will bring? Could the victory this week set the standard ahead?


WH&E M2 3 : 2 West Herts M5

With a strong team playing, including Adam and Luke helping out this week, we knew it was going to be an exciting home game at Southbury. Despite the recent change of home ground, we got off to a good start, and with a few fantastic chances from Luke, we were looking very good up front with the prospect of a few goals likely.

Around halfway into the first half things picked up even more and Theo slipped one in at the post to make it 1-nil. With everyone continuing to play well and get into good positions, Adam hit one from outside the D towards the far post and Theo got a touch on it to make it 2-nil.

The half time whistle was blown, and with everyone in high spirits the second half commenced. Unfortunately, even with a few superb saves from Balazs, and brilliant defending from Joe, Stuart and Ellis, West Herts made it 2-1 early on in the second half.

Even with spirits dampened slightly from conceding, we continued to play well and get chances, with Luke and Johnny coming especially close. A goal soon happened; a rebound off the keeper from Luke’s shot which was pushed in by Johnny, to make it 3-1.

Towards, the end of the game, however, the chances began to lessen with a desperate press from West Herts, and they were eventually able to get one back with two minutes to go. We held on well in the final moments of the game and the whistle blew 3-2, the first win of the season for the Men’s 2s. 😃


WH&E L2 0 : 6 PHC Chiswick L4

Ladies 2s depart Chiswick...Not all appeared as it would seem in the ladies 2s game this week. Both captain and one of our vice captains there yet something did not look right – their clothes! They stood ready to watch and support in their normal attire after injury and opportunity knocked for them respectively. Ellie had made her 1st team debut in the early morning!

For the first 20 mins of the game we looked the better team although as time proceeded, we seemed to enter a hall of mirrors, with blue shirts appearing to fill the pitch and pressing hard. The defence battled hard to break free and the midfield helped relieve the pressure as waves of blue continued to bombard.

Looking to the forwards for inspiration, some darting runs allowed us to break yet conversions did not come. Something tainted our vision as Lisa tried again to score in the wrong goal and Anju tackling a players’ legs….

Throughout the game there were flashes of brilliance, great play and teamwork. For the ladies 2s it seems again that when we look at the reflection of our game, the mirror we look in is covered in a layer of dust – the score line did not reflect.


WH&E L1 1 : 4 West Hampstead L2

Following an unlucky head injury to one of the opposition’s players, we were asked to quit the game and leave the score as it was.

We said absolutely not, and immediately picked up the pace and urgency and pushed ourselves. We had several chances, and a short corner won by Bethany ended up in a goal from Sam Deane!

The West Hampstead players were shooketh!

We won those last 14 mins of the match 1-0…

During the rest of the match before the injury, we had multiple chances, several short corners, another of Karen’s cars broke down (🙄), and we actually had a sub! Unfortunately, we didn’t score from any of those chances but West Hampstead scored from 4 of theirs….

Thank you to Ellie Bolton who played her first 1s match for us and did a brilliant job 👏. Well done to Rachelle Alexandra who did a great job at centre back pushing up the pitch to help us create chances up front.

And well played to everyone who kept pushing until the end. We’re getting used to playing on a full pitch again, so our first win of the season is definitely coming soon!!

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WH&E M1 1 : 2 Hertford M2

A near miss for the men's 1sIt was back to reasonably familiar territory, certainly for the older players, for this match against Hertford 2s at Southbury Leisure Centre.

The Men’s 1s had 14 players again and a clear idea of how to deploy the subs with a now conventional midfield switch for the first half but a rapid rotation of forwards for planned whirlwind attacks in the second.

Hertford tend to deploy well-organised and well-drilled teams, but Winchmore hoped to translate home advantage to build on a reasonable, opening draw the previous week and secure an early league win.

It was not to be. Superior organisation and pressing in the first part of the first half were engineered from the back by Stuart Carrick, while off-field Jake Sumner brandished a master plan of written instructions and appropriately Machiavellian secret formations.

Yet quick confident passing across midfield and high pressing were not matched by astute final balls. Passes sometimes lacked a little bit of speed on the damp surface and once again the side perhaps may need a hockey clinic to remember how to be more clinical in front of goal.

Having failed to press the advantage, a few gaps, a few missed balls and Winchmore invited pressure, which eventually led to a break on the team’s left flank and a Hertford goal from a short corner. Admittedly the umpire must have believed that one of those poltergeists which Enfield is famous for had hurled Matt Dray to the ground…🤔

James Gatting had to make a few saves but given the strong start it should not have come to that. The first half ended with Winchmore remaining one nil down.

The half-time talk saw the captain and several other players assert that we should simply not be behind.

Indeed, for large periods of the second half, Winchmore seemed poised to do something about that. The opposition goal came under siege. Whether the planned whirlwind blew, Winchmore saw a succession of short corners, a wide selection of strategies were tried out with the opposition goalkeeper spending more time on the ground than on his feet, though he was capable of frustrating at least two attempts to lift the ball over him and as many as a dozen follow up shots.

Alas, one break, saw Hertford score again and from then it appeared that Winchmore had left it too late to stage a revival.

Six minutes from time, a goal came from who else but Colin Foad – later to receive not one but two cups in a salubrious awards ceremony in the rain down by the side of the leisure centre (😂). The goal was a suitability wily number, side on to goal on the reverse and one that finally placed the ball to the side of the keeper, not one thumped into his pads.

The team must find a way to feed better balls to Foad, and/or the supporting cast must score more themselves, otherwise Saturday nights in north London will continue to be haunted by matches that ‘should have been won’.

MOTM: Michael Dutnall for an all round stellar performance


WH&E L2 1 : 8 BA Hayes L1

Ladies 2nd XIWe put into practise the saying “many hands make light work” by setting up our new/old home pitch from rolling goals in place to inspecting a questionable surface (but very grateful to have a home!). We were ready.

After a thumbs up from the umpires the whistle was blown. BA Hayes started well and soon scored after several attempts of getting through our handy defence. Romily almost got her finger tips on it (or did someone else…!). Unfortunately we were 4-0 down at half time after Lisa Jobson handed them an own goal and a harsh flick given after a clearance from Gem Louise.

After refuelling on chocolate fingers (oh wait, no squashies) we came out fighting. We had some great attacking play with short sharp passes eventually converting into an assisted goal by Lucky Charlotte and yes, first goal on the scoreboard for Abbi!

Final score was a loss of 1-8 but played well as a team despite several injuries during the match, with a ball to Louise’s head and a fractured thumb for our very own captain thumbellina Pippa Deane we can take many positives from the match…..

Thumbs up all round!


WH&E M2 1 : 2 Letchworth M6

The enticing prospect of a 5pm start, away at Letchworth, left the Men’s 2s with a bare 11 to take on Letchworth 6s. Those 11 turned in a strong performance, with solid defending, good link-up play and runs, but just an inability to translate pressure into goals.

There was controversy for the first goal, with the Winchmore team convinced it had gone off the back line, but the umpire less so, and old comrade Grant, playing for the opposition, waiting to put it in from 2 yards out. The umpire wasn’t willing to change his decision, however nicely Joe asked (🤔), leaving us 1-0 down at half time, and temporarily playing with 10.

But a lovely break by Tom P down the wing and a cross from the byline saw Johnny Molloy put in the equalizer and the game was back on… With players on both sides tiring, there was more space in the middle, and more breaks and subsequent short corners for Winchmore, but no conversion. And sadly, at the other end, a late, and rare, short corner saw Letchworth take the lead again, with Guy just unable to keep it out at the post.

Lots of positives to take away – I’d say at least half the team put in one of their best performances I’ve seen – and high hopes for our first home game of the season next week.


WH&E L1 0 : 9 Ashford L1

The day started off with 2 broken down cars, 2 niggling injuries, and 1 driver not making it to the match at all!

That left us with 11 players and no subs!

Ashford were really well drilled and very fast. They came at us strong from the off and scored a few goals in the first half. Nic was making some amazing saves at the back and our defence was doing a lot of work to defend the goal as much as possible whilst unfortunately up front we weren’t able to convert our short corner or other chances.

In the 2nd half, Ashford scored less goals than the first and we had more attacking short corners and more chances but were unable to convert again. We fought until the very last moment and the undisclosed scoreline definitely does not reflect the level of hockey we played but today wasn’t our day.

Player of the match to Nic in goal who made many crucial saves including some amazing stick saves. Honourable mentions to the defensive line and particularly Charlotte Ellingham whom the umpire praised for having one of the most powerful hits from the back he’d seen!

Dick of the day to Beth Deane for stealing Mia’s stick, making Mia think she’d left it at Ashford!

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WH&E L1 1 : 5 Teddington 2

First socially distanced selfie of the season!First match of the season was nearly cancelled due to a lack of available pitch until our ‘home’ game was 1.5 hrs from home.

Unfortunately, some of us forgot how long it took to get to Teddington and myself and Reanne Umali were running into the car park just as the whistle went to start the match. Thank you to Pippa Deane and Charlotte for playing for us after the 2s match was cancelled or else we’d have started with 9!

The match started with a bang as it was 2-1 to Teddington in less than 10 minutes. Their goals were by short corners and ours was by Karen Goode, set up by Beth Deane.

The first half continued to be a bit tricky as we ended up going down 4-1.

We continued fighting and making chances for ourselves but were unable to convert. The second half was a 1-0 loss to make the total score 5-1 to Teddington.

We’re not overly disappointed due to the fact that the opposition have just been relegated from South, we haven’t been able to train on a full sized pitch, and lastly we were just pleased to be allowed to play together again and really enjoyed it!

Shout out to Lucy and Nic Cohen who played their first match with us on their birthday and thank you to Lisa Jobson for coming all the way to umpire!

DotD to Pippa for passing to the opposition during a hit out and then defending it with both feet in the D 🤣

PotM to Mia for great perseverance and movement up and down the pitch.


WH&E M1 2 : 2 Southgate 3A

First league game of the season with an unusual 14 man squad, Winchmore made the short trip to Southgate for our local derby. With this little pandemic going on we have found ourselves currently without a pitch, so the fixture was reversed…as was the age demographic – the opposition certainly had youth on their side as well as a match day coach! We thought we might get taught a lesson by year 6. But as the saying goes…old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance…was that to be the case today…? Well almost, but it definitely should have been!

The game started brightly, a few rusty passes as to be expected with the first league game but overall we found ourselves to be on top having the better of the chances and narrowly missing at the back post to go one up. The team kept compact using the short pass to great effect with some good off the ball movement. However, against the run of play and without really threatening our D, Southgate earned themselves a short corner and with a low drag to the bottom corner went one up. Winchmore did pull a goal back almost immediately but the umpire had judged Colin “van Basten” to chest and volley the ball into the top corner, so ruled it out.

Another rare attack by Southgate and a mishit shot on goal wrong-footed the keeper and Winchmore found themselves two down. But another good patch of play by Winchmore and we earned a short corner; Colin van Basten coolly slotting it into the bottom right corner. The order of the aforementioned events may or may not be correct but as author I’m “basing this on a true story” but it was definitely 2-1 at half time. I think somebody might also have got a green card in the first half for flirting with the opposition, but I promised Matt I wouldn’t mention it.

Much like the first half Winchmore found themselves on top for most of the second, some great patient play in the midfield was finished with a through ball from Stuart and the faintest of touches from Colin van Basten to bypass the keeper and it was 2-2. The scoreline remained for the rest of the game although we did survive an onslaught of pressure in the last ten minutes with some tired legs, and another player falling foul to the card game… Jason…

This was a very determined team performance and something to build on and take into next week’s game; a bit of match sharpness in front of goal and this would have been a very different result.

MOTM was a tie this week with Colin and Lopez sharing the accolade.


WH&E M2 2 : 2 St Albans 9

The men’s 2s headed to St Albans for their opening league game, without the luxury of any preseason friendlies to prepare.

There were strong performances from the three defenders, Joe Small, John Symons and Ellis Cohen, and they largely had the St Albans attack contained – but some lucky breaks in front of goal saw the opposition go 1-0, and 2-1 up – the second after a green card for Joe for questioning the umpires’ decisions (albeit extremely politely).  A mazy dribble from Dom saw our first equalizer, and some luck of our own when Thomas C’s shot was deflected by an unfortunate defender through his keepers legs saw our second.

Despite strong pressing at the end, we couldn’t score the deciding goal, and so an entertaining first game of the season ended in a 2-2 draw for the men’s 2s.   Good performances from all the youngsters, linking up well, but just lacking the final killer pass or dribble into the D. There was also a ranging performance on his debut from Johnny Molloy, putting in tackles and runs in all areas of the opposition half despite the unfamiliar environment (apparently he’s used to playing hockey on a unicycle!).

With Dom’s strong presence on the pitch to help the youngsters (thank you Dom!) this perhaps felt like a chance missed – but plenty of rust removed, and some seniors to return next week, so onwards and upwards. There’s always the chance the captain might run a bit more too, if he hasn’t played another sport in the morning…

Man of the Match – Ellis Cohen.


No match this week for the Ladies 2s

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WH&E M1 0 : 3 Waltham Forest M2

WHE Away KitThe men’s 1s returned to action with a much-needed pre-season warm-up match against Waltham Forest. With a socially distanced pre-match team talk, elbow bumping the umpires, stick tapping the opposition, no changing rooms and no post-game teas, this is the ‘new normal’ hockey style. However, amidst such change it’s good to always have a constant, and that came in the shape of the ever predictable Jake – the last to arrive (of course), who also proceeded to play ‘double-shirted’ with his lucky blue/white quartered shirt under our away strip, on what turned out to be a rather hot September day.

With two fairly evenly matched teams, it was Waltham Forest who took the lead from a penalty corner that was deftly deflected past Balazs in the Winchmore goal. The home team made it two nil shortly before the break with a sharp turn and flick into the corner of the goal from their young forward. 2-0 at half-time, but it wasn’t all one-way traffic. With bright attacking play down our right we were creating opportunities and being awarded penalty corners, but we just couldn’t find our scoring touch. Our best chance falling to Adam Machray following up a saved penalty corner, for him only to flick the ball agonisingly wide when it seemed easier to score. Waltham Forest closed out the game with their third goal coming from a break away and a well taken goal against an overrun Winchmore defence.

A 3-0 defeat, but the result was not important. This was our first chance to get back on a full-sized pitch in 6 months, and there are lots of positives to build on. A solid debut for Lopez playing at centre-back (the only minor blemish being a rather hastily awarded green card), the midfield pairing of Adam and Jason working well together, and lots of good interplay and triangles, particularly down the right hand side. Unsurprisingly, the lack of match practice showed, with a few misplaced / intercepted passes and we ran out of steam towards the end of both halves, so we need to work on match fitness too.

Man of the Match: Jason, for a solid all round performance in the centre of midfield.

Dick of the Day: Adam, for shooting wide, when the goal was at his mercy, narrowly beating the ‘double-shirted’ Jake to this rather dubious prize.

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