Week 5: Six of the best for L2s; M2s also claim first 3 points
WH&E M2 2 : 0 St. Albans M8
First win of the season for the men’s 2s!
Winchmore started strongly, pressing St Albans and sourcing mistakes. There was some beautiful link up play from either side of the midfield and the forwards, which created a number of strong opportunities, while our defence looked solid as a rock. After coming close a couple of times, which made this possession pay off, Luke fired a shot in from the top of the D, and then Peter managed a (lucky) deflection over the keeper. We saw out the first half and went into the break at 1-0 up.
The second-half sewers get a little bit sloppy. We left some space open and didn’t press or mark as hard as we could. But we still looked dangerous and piled people forward into the oppositions 25. Some more lovely link up play from Tom and Theo saw us go close. Then later Luke and Thomas linked up well for a goal, only to see it chalked off for a foot in the D.
We kept pressing and won a short corner towards the end of the second half, which led to a goal, rifled in at the second time of asking by Joe Small, set up by Guy. Then it was a job of seeing the match out which we did for a very well deserved first win of the season, 2-0.
MOTM: Tom Pearson, for some lovely play.
WH&E M1 1 : 1 Bishops Stortford M2
The men’s 1s made the late trip to Bishops Stortford to find the pitch empty and the changing rooms locked. Changing rooms didn’t open to after the game but why couldn’t we play earlier than 15:00? The warm up time didn’t particularly help as Matt Dray testing his back out was just in too much pain to play, continuing his unfortunate run of injury.
Onto the match and after reports of it working well the previous week, we started with the high risk tactic of playing two at the back. While we held our own the pressure was mounting. So a switch back to 3 shored it up a little but we didn’t settle fully until we sorted the midfield shape. A lot of extra work by all in midfield and forward not only kept us in it but saw some nice attacking moves. Colin Foad was a great link between the middle and up front; Jim Gatting picking up his new role as centre forward showed good signs, beating men and hitting the woodwork twice.
At half time we agreed the type of press we would all stick to. We started to dominate the second half with good link up play particularly from Dom on the left. Eventually the breakthrough came through some great passing and Asher Cohen leaving Colin Foad with a finishing opportunity he wasn’t going to miss.
The game became very end to end and even with Josh Cohen and Adam Machray providing great covering support for the defence. It’s not easy to take points at Stortford and unfortunately they sneaked an equaliser to reduce the points from 3 to 1. A short corner partially stopped by Josh Rider but it trickled over the line. The team fought well, continued to play good hockey and chase a win. In the end it wasn’t to be but a good 1-1 score for a point and a performance to build on.
A strong performance from the defence especially Mike and Paul on the wings having to put in an incredible shift and well backed up by Josh in goal. We are improving every game and will start taking more points.
MOTM: Colin Foad and Stuart Carrick.
DOTD: Paul for a post hangover rant in what was an otherwise well-disciplined game from both sets of players which has been another pleasing feature of this season.
Next week we take on the undefeated league leaders Letchworth, aka the ones with everything to lose who haven’t been to Aylward yet.
WH&E L1 0 : 1 Teddington L3
A super tough match for the Ladies 1s against Teddington at home. The weather was uncharacteristically warm and sunny for late October which threw us.
We started with 13 players but unfortunately went quickly down to 12 when Mia had back pain and had to sit out the first half (thus making the intricate subbing plan redundant!).
It’s fair to say we had countless short corners to defend against in the 1st half as Teds piled on the pressure, but we fought really hard to keep a clean sheet in the first half.
In the 2nd half we were back up to 13 but unfortunately still had a few short corners to defend. We managed to get a few breaks and create some chances but unfortunately we were not able to convert. Our defence fought off many chances from the opposition as Mia saved 1 on the line from a short corner, and Chris Putt made a smashing save in the air with her stick to keep the game level.
And then, with just 2 minutes to go… they scored. We piled on the pressure for the last 2 minutes to try and sneak back an equaliser but it wasn’t meant to be. Final score 0-1.
Joint MOTM to Chris Putt for the fantastic save, and to Reanne Umali for being super strong and reliable in the defence and midfield positions.
DOTD to Karen Smith as she, whilst under little to no pressure, couldn’t manage to stop a ball and ended up passing it off the edge of the pitch when we were setting off on a break.
Thanks to Dom and Lisa for umpiring, and shout out to Lisa Jobson for chasing a pigeon off the pitch during the 2nd half 😂
WH&E L2 6 v 0 PHC Chiswick L6
No match report, yet, despite the amazing win!
Rumour has it that Abbi score a hat-trick (much better than the previous week in goal!!), Kate score two, and Gemma one, but the rest remains a story to be told…