WH&E L2 4 : 1 Eastcote L5

Another freezing cold match for the ladies 2s, with a mid- afternoon push back. Despite our continuous efforts we were still not warm by the end of the game.

The first half was fast and we maintained this pace throughout. The first goal of the game was scored by Eastcote but we didn’t let this get us down. Abbi scored our equaliser mid-way through the first half with one of the many brilliant set ups from our midfielders and forwards.

In the second half, we got more pace and confidence, and managed to put more of our shots in the goal, with Abbi scoring two more goals and Gem scoring with a clean strike from a short corner. Although we lost our positions towards the end, we communicated and worked well as a team, encouraging each other and helping each other to channel the balls up the wings – brilliant efforts from Caitlin, Sonya, and Abbi but a game well played by everyone.


WH&E M1 3 : 0 Southgate Adelaide M1

2020 vision

Bright, winter sun greeted what was the first full home game of 2020 for most of the assembled band of WH&E M1s; and all eyed a win. With a strong squad of 15 players, the desire for a first victory of the year certainly seemed possible and in so doing condemn old rivals Southgate Adelaide to their continued rather bleak season – not winning a game.

For the team talk, we didn’t understandably want to dwell on that stat and the team was exhorted to focus on their game. The whistle blew, but as WH&E lined up 15 players were more like 12 to 13 as Jim Gatting remained injured and sadly couldn’t take part and there were niggles, strains and ailments affecting a few others. No matter. The team had a steel and sought to begin with vigour.

WH&E did indeed start strongly, delivering considerable pressure and a sequence of shots albeit no clear chances but plenty of opportunities including an inviting ball flashed right across the ‘D’. While there was danger in the ‘D’ another revealed itself with a corner of the pitch still icy and players losing their footing. Perhaps Adam Machray thought he could blame it on the pitch as his tackle soon after led an Adelaide player to taste the Astro (and Adam dodged a card).

WH&E also escaped a scare. A rare break by Adelaide up the left saw the ball taken along the line and into the ‘D’, but excellent positioning and deft work by keeper Balazs Endrodi literally saved the day.

More WH&E pressure then took shape with Stuart Carrick, Rafi Zeff and Matt Dray bringing the ball out and having plenty of space. Asher Cohen and Stan Knight found some good positions too as did Sam Turmaine on his outing for the 1s. Jake Sumner then won a short corner as an Adelaide player stepped on the ball. `The whistle blew for half-time and ten WH&E players circled round the ’D’. Adam Machray played a good ball out, it was stopped cleanly and the most miraculous shot curled into the backboard. Or at least that was the plan but in fact Colin Foad delivered a perfectly executed air shot (it looked good Colin!). So, WH&E went into half time all square but knowing by far the stronger play was by the men in white and purple. (At this point in the report we want to say thanks to Sam Deane and Chris Moran for umpiring – as always we are grateful as we wouldn’t be able to play otherwise).

The second half duly began, and WH&E came out strongly. Adelaide must have been thinking it was not to be their day again, whereas the team in white sensed it might be theirs. That said, in his own words, Harry Stone did not have much sense in how his deflection found its way into the goal but it did. 1-0 and well done Mr Stone.

Shortly after, a number of short corners were won and one of them saw an Adelaide player hit the ball with his foot which bounced to Dom Smith. Rolling back the years and showing all the skills acquired, he majestically lifted the ball from the edge of the ‘D’ into the top corner. 2-0 and well done Mr Smith.

By now, WH&E were a dominant force. Mike Dutnall was playing so far up the pitch he could have arguably been thought of as a winger, especially as he played plenty of crosses from the right side of the pitch and even the odd shot.

Adam Machray fearing not enough people had seen his previous handiwork, proceeded to sprint across the pitch and slid into the player taking both him and opposition member into the onlookers of the game. (A card escaped again).

Then it was onto another bout of WH&E pressure and a penalty flick. Colin Foad stepped up, but the keeper saved. Could WH&E get a third and put the game out of reach? Oh yes.

But, it was an unlikely source. With another sequence of pressure who was in the ‘D’, none other than the left back Paul Taylor who slotted cleanly home. Well done Mr Taylor.

It was a well-deserved victory and three points on the board. More points should clearly be in sight ahead.


WH&E L1 0 : 1 Staines L1

On Saturday the Ladies 1s played Staines at home and Helen Fenning joined us for her first match back since having her baby daughter!

It was a very defensive heavy match as although we had a few offensive opportunities, they seemed few and far between. Team defence did an excellent job of keeping the opposition out of the net with many great saves from Chris Putt and lots of hard work from the 4 defenders who kept working until the last minute.

The only goal of the match was just into the 2nd half when we were unable to keep them at bay.

Player of the match goes to Sam Deane for unreal levels of energy and the ability to not stop fighting. Absolutely integral to the strength in the defence as well as the chances we did create up front. Well done Sam 👏

Honourable mention to Helen for great running after her time off!


WH&E M2 0 : 7 Potters Bar M4

After an awful performance last week, despite a win, we wanted to put it right and play formidably in the game against Potters Bar, which we knew was going to be tough. We didn’t have a full-strength squad which made our formation a bit odd, with Guy holding a 5th different position this season.

Will keep this short and sweet. Bar goal. Bar goal. SAVE off the line, with Luke’s foot. Penalty flick – bar goal. Bar goal. Potters Bar 4-0 HT. They were a well set up team and pressed us really well. We struggled at times to get the ball up the pitch but the young legs of Jamie, Theo, Tom & Thomas showed some positive play linking up with Leo up top.

Second half was pretty similar, but we did get into our stride a bit more. Luke, Jason, Leo & John linking up in the middle and once we got a bit of pass-and-go on, we did manage to get it up the field. Bar goal. Two great picks off the line from a short by Guy, however he passed it back to them, so they ended up scoring anyway – great effort though.

At one point, Jamie found himself entering the D with the ball and was unlucky to not find Tom at the far post for a goal. A bit later Tom had another opportunity shooting from an impossible angle which was saved, Luke followed up putting it back post, but it was just a bit too overhit for Jamie to put it away – another decent chance. Finally, another Bar goal.

Then the best move of the match came from John whacking the ball up to Luke, who cut into the right-hand side and was fouled. Leo passed the ball for a quick one-two before imitating an Argentinian Leo and dribbling past multiple players in the Bar box before striking the ball with accuracy and power. Unfortunately, he thought the goal was in front of him so ended up not scoring, but what a goal it could have been.

Potters Bar 7-0 winners. However, the score line flattered them a bit.

Man of the Match: Guy. What a performance from left back! Controlled his part of the field well.

We go against bottom of the table next week (yes, we’re not bottom!) so that should be seen as a win-at-all-costs game as only 1 point separates us. Please come down and support!

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WK13M1The league season returned after the Christmas break, but not as we might have hoped…

The Men’s 2s gained a much-needed 3 points with a 4-2 win over Shefford & Sandy 3s, albeit with the visitors with 9 players and no goalkeeper due to travel problems on the A1(M)…

The Ladies 1s battled hard but went down 2-1 away at Eastcote.

The Ladies 2s were awarded another 3 points as their opposition (Ashford 4) conceded the match – the fourth time this has happened to the L2s this season!

…and finally the Men’s 1s had the game that never was away against Shefford & Sandy 2. One carload stuck in the chaos of the A1(M) being shut due to an accident, meant that only 7 players (and no goalkeeper) arrived in time for the match to start and the game was abandoned ☹ Hard to know who was more unhappy, the players who made it there but didn’t get to play the match, or those that spent 5 ½ hours in the car!

Hopefully normal hockey (and match reports) will resume this week…

Results:

WH&E M2 4 : 2 Shefford & Sandy M3
WH&E L1 1 : 2 Eastcote L2
WH&E L2 v Ashford L4 (conceded)
WH&E M1 v Shefford & Sandy M2 (abandoned) – rescheduled for 22nd February

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WH&E L1 2 : 0 Eastcote L2

The Ladies 1s were up against Eastcote on Saturday, playing their 2s at home.

With our word of the day being ‘Confident,’ we were preparing to go out and play some great basic hockey and keep our cool even though some of our usual squad could not play this week.

We started strongly and managed to score in the first 10 minutes with some lovely passes throughout midfield up to Caroline Briers to sneak in the goal.

Eastcote were always fighting for one against us, but Team Defence managed to keep their cool despite a few short corners to defend against, which Mia confidently stepped up to run for.

After half time it was fair to say we started to get a bit tired. Lots of balls going up in the air, including one from Sam Deane (aka Dick of the day!) who tried to take out Bethany with a free hit. Apparently she was “testing her reflexes”… They’re thankfully great.

Another ball which went up in the air came from our attack which Lucy Mackay managed to hit back down straight into goal in a motion which looked more like self defence than anything else. It’s safe to say that we were all shocked at the goal, including Lucy herself.

Honourable mentions this week to Beth for great running and perseverance up front, Lucy for the fantastic goal and travelling 2hrs from West London to her first match in a year and a half; and Sarah for some great defence and blocking. Man of the match this week goes to Mia who kept her cool in her first league match for the 1s and made some great movements and passes in the middle of the field.

Final score 2-0 to us. We are the only team in our league who has not conceded any goals!!!!!!!!! Thanks to everyone who came to support this week!


WH&E M1 2 : 5 Shefford & Sandy M2

WK2M1The men’s first team were aiming for victory in their first home match of the season, with the visitors arriving from Shefford & Sandy shortly before the start of the match. However, after some good initial possession things didn’t go according to plan with a goal from the opposition bundled in after the ball rolled free in our D. Not to be downhearted, Winchmore proved that good passing and possession play can reap dividends and shortly after it did, with Joe Turmaine finishing off a good move by rounding the keeper and reverse flicking the ball into the goal at the near post.

But a defensive mix up when the ball looped up in the D off one of our sticks resulted in another soft goal conceded as the ball was tapped in at the far post by one of the opposition. Another goal followed soon after making it 3-1 at halftime.

In the second half, Winchmore continued to play some nice passing hockey, but the visitors bundled in 2 more opportunist goals putting the game out of reach before Winchmore grabbed one back near the end with a nice move down the right finished off well by Sam Turmaine. 5-2 the final score, but somehow that didn’t reflect the way we played for most of the game.


WH&E M2 0 : 4 Shefford & Sandy M3

The M2s travelled to Sandy to face an experienced side there and whilst we started the first half badly, we quickly improved and grew into the game with some deft dribbling and quick counter attacks from Harry Stone and Thomas C, testing their defenders pace. The new players John, Tom and Theo played well nutmegging their defenders too many times to count. Some nice interplay from Hitesh to get us out of defence saw us consistently work the ball into their final third but we were unable to get many shots off.

At half time it was decided that the game was close but that it was ours if we went for it. And so we did, putting Luke upfront and John Lappin in a more attacking position. And we started well, keeping our first half form but our positioning began to fall apart and it wasn’t long before they scored out of nothing. Soon after a second goal came and before we knew it they were 4-0 up and Winchmore were left scratching their heads wondering how it happened.

MOTM was Balazs for keeping us in the game for as long as he did and making some fantastic saves.


WH&E L2 2 v 5 Ashford L5

WK2L2The L2s faced Eastcote in the early hours of a September Saturday. Despite not having a goalie or Pippa’s face mask, we remained determined to score goals; at times attempting rugby tackles- cough Pippa!

A very tight first half didn’t reflect the overall score or everyone’s efforts. Abbi’s first goal in the early minutes of the game, equalising the score, kept the morale high and hopeful. Towards the end of the first half we had lots of fantastic, fast balls up the left side of the pitch-with Louise’s debut in mid.

Our pace during the second half was kept fast by our consistent smooth passes- long and short- up the pitch, resulting in a second goal by Ellie. The score should’ve been 4-2 due to a dodgy short corner but that didn’t let us lose our determination or positivity. Overall a good first match of the season.

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