WH&E L2 4 : 1 Imperial Medics L1

WK20L2The ladies 2’s set off early to Harlington. We were all very put off by the rain but luckily it blew over before pushback. Gem Luckman quickly put us ahead with a lovely short comer that takes her tally to 6. This was followed by some beautiful play and passing but we have to mention Gemma D’s amazing defensive run to keep the ball on just to pass it across our goal!! Half time 1-0.

Just after halftime, Sonya scored a great goal that the ‘keeper got a glove to but couldn’t keep out. She did cause a moment of confusion by not celebrating. 2-0 So far so good HOWEVER… almost immediately they scored a very “unfortunate” goal – some of us thought she was outside the D; some of us thought it was going wide; but we all watched it slowly curve inside the post. (Their celebrations implied they saw something different) Gem L had a tantrum and decided to throw her stick.

We refocused and looked for a reply. Ellie scored a lovely goal leaving Abbi very sad at being the only forward who had not scored (yet). But don’t worry Abbi fans – all that was about to change; after a strong fight we won the ball, Kate Smith had a lovely run up the side line, passed the ball to Sonya who unfortunately missed but Abbi was there to back her up and pop in her 22nd of the season.

Thanks to Caroline Briers for stepping down to hold our backline solid as well as bringing her magic score predictor, Jack who called it as 4-1 before we even stepped on pitch!

MOTM: Sonya for confidence and composure in front of goal

WH&E M1 2 : 6 Hertford M2

After the half-term break (for some), the men’s 1s returned to a more normal line-up for the away trip to Hertford. A tight first half brought two goals – the first for Hertford from open play, which was then cancelled out by a well worked penalty corner that was cleverly disguised to make it look like it had gone wrong (🧐), only for Colin Foad to calmly find the bottom corner.

However, ten minutes of madness after half-time saw Hertford rattle off 4 quick goals with a high press paying dividends. Nevertheless, Winchmore gained their composure and before long started to create more chances of their own – Colin Foad then sliding in at the back post to finish off a cross from the right side, and then Josh Lewis taking advantage of more Winchmore pressure to bring the deficit back to two. Despite more pressure and chances, we ran out of time to recover the deficit. A good performance apart from the ten minutes of madness.

MOTM: Leading goalscorer Colin Foad with two more goals.

Other Results:

WH&E L1 1 : 2 PHC Chiswick L2
WH&E M2 1 : 9 Harpenden M3

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WH&E L2 4 : 2 PHC Chiswick L6

The ladies 2s would like to start our match report by saying Lisa Jobson was less lazy this week! Despite her moving more, including her feet into the path of the ball leading to the first goal which she then watched…. we won 4 -2!

We quickly levelled up with a pass from outside the D to Abbi which she slammed into the goal… this was backed up with 3 more goals from her… #topscorer

We did let them come back a little with another goal in the second half and then a run of shorts at the end … including one given against Kate Smith for a stick tackle whilst she was in control of the ball… work that out? 🤔

Great defensive play by Pippa Deane and Louise for a mid-air save on the goal line, leading to the Chiswick coach questioning whether they would ever get any luck…

The game ended in the last second with Gem Luckman being taken out by the opposition, and one umpire blowing before the other could award a card …. despite that Chiswick still asked for a short corner. Work that one out??!

#3points #winchmorewinning #teamoftheyear💜

WH&E M2 2 : 1 MBDA M1

So this is the third time I’ve written a match report for a match vs MBDA. The previous results were 12-1 and 13-1 losses, so I was somewhat trepid going into this match.

But on the plus side we had Rafi and Craig to help us out, Eray back from injury and most of our best team, so I was cautiously hopeful.

Things started well. Most of the play was in the middle of the pitch, but Craig and Rafi were showing their class in midfield and letting Guy show his stuff and we really were dominating in midfield. As ever, getting decent shots off was a bit of a challenge, although we were having a few. Sadly, their keeper was doing pretty well at stopping them. Eventually though after a ball into the D got a lucky deflection off Craig’s stick our pressure told and the ball hit the back of the goal. However, it was disallowed for reasons unknown

Thankfully, the midfield quality was allowing us to get the best out of the rest of the team, and our pressure told as we won a short corner that was calmly flicked into the back of the net, again by Craig. 1-0 to us at the end of the first half.

The second half, they came out fighting, with renewed attacking vigour up front, and we needed all our defensive skills. Ably marshalled by the excellent Eray, we generally held them off whilst having some breaks of our own. One of these saw a fantastic run most of the way up the right wing and into the D by Joseph, which ended in a fantastic solo goal. However, we’d already had a short corner awarded so it didn’t count! But a penalty flick that resulted from it was put away calm as you like by Luke; 2-0. After this though they came at us hard, getting inside the D and forcing some excellent saves by Nick in goal. They got up once too often, getting a goal from a short corner. After this it was a case of defending hard, with the occasional counterattack. But they couldn’t break us (we broke them, but Eray’s hit off a short corner was just above the back board) and we just about held firm.

Final score 2-1 to us and the pain of previous results somewhat eased.

MOTM: Craig. Fantastic control in midfield, and a real attacking threat. Please can you play more often?

DOTD: Well we had 3 goals disallowed…

WH&E L1 0 : 3 Southgate L3

Last Saturday the ladies 1s played Southgate 3s; it was always going to be a tough match.

We started the first half with lots of inspiration from Gav (coach) going for deflections, but unfortunately couldn’t convert any into a goal. We moved on and off the ball very well but were unable to get the breakthrough.

The 2nd half unfortunately didn’t go so well. Although we had some chances up front and team defence were working hard, we couldn’t manage to keep Southgate out.

The final whistle went as Bethany was lying on the ground after being slammed down during one of our last chances of the match…

Fanny of the field (she requested this title!) this week was Reanne Umali, who found a portion of the pitch she loved so much that she just wanted to stay on the ground.

Player of the match was our skipper, Bethany, for a ton of running and making chances up front. Shout out to Sam Deane for doing her job brilliantly and Charlotte Ellingham for great work in defence.

We lost 3-0. But we went for a beer after.

WH&E M1 1 : 4 Letchworth M2

The men’s 1s battled hard, but slipped to a 4-1 defeat against a well organised Letchworth team.

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WH&E M1 2 : 3 Hertford M2

The Men’s 1s were back at home this week, facing a strong Hertford side who had scored a lot of goals in their previous few games and were on form.

Winchmore started well, and controlled the game at times with some good transferring at the back and strong work across the pitch. The game was very tight and end to end but it was Winchmore who drew blood first with an excellently taken short corner by Colin into the bottom right corner.

Hertford came back fighting and finally equalised with a lucky goal sent in after some scrapping in the D not long before the end of the first half.

Winchmore then went out after the break with the plan to press high, work hard and go for a second goal. The plan worked and Winchmore went 2-1 up thanks to another great short corner from Colin, this time put away just inside the left post.

This fired Hertford up and they came back at us hard, pressured us high, forcing an error at the back and managing to equalise.

The game was extremely tense for the final 10/15 mins at 2-2 with end to end hockey and fighting hard from both sides. Sadly, Hertford were just too strong and in the final minute of the game broke through and scored to win the game 3-2.

Overall a really good performance from Winchmore who were so unfortunate to not get points from the game but we push on to Bedford away next week to build on the performance and bring home some more points.

MOTM by team vote goes to Paul for excellent work rate, several saving tackles and good runs forward. DOTD to Stuart for a blunder at the back for the second Hertford goal.

WH&E L1 0 : 2 PHC Chiswick L2s

The ladies 1’s played a hard fought and fast paced match vs Chiswick early on Saturday morning in tornado conditions. And too early for our DOTD Sarah who was still in her PJs at 9:45! The first half showed equal chances for both teams; we had some great crosses in from Sam and Gem but were unable to finish off with a goal. Chiswick had a few chances too and managed to score off a penalty corner and rebound in the D, after a great first save from Putty.

In the second half our ladies came out with a vengeance and brilliant chances came from Reanne with a breakaway, Karen Gray with an almost open net, Caroline with a solid shot on goal, Sam solid shots in, Karen Goode great crosses in and Beth being and running everywhere!

Team defence held a solid defensive formation and Gem, T, Sarah showed some offensive streaks, even going down in the opposition D! Although the opposing coach tried to deflate us with continuous ridicule that we ‘were tired’ (!!) our ladies played till the very end and even had a few great chances in the last 5 minutes, Beth having a chance with a pass from Gem in the last few seconds.

Shell managed to ‘matrix’ and be suspended in mid-air; Reanne, Gem, T, Sam were everywhere and we came off the pitch with heads held high as we played a very positive and trusting game. We then ate Colin’s face (what??!) and voted Beth MOTM for continuous pressure, annoying their defenders, and creating some fantastic opportunities for us to get it in the net. Disappointing result but a great game with tons of positives!

WH&E M2 0 : 8 Harpenden M3

The M2s were up nice and early to get to Harpenden for a 10:30 start. On a freezing morning one could tell we hadn’t really woken up and we conceded a few sloppy goals pretty quickly. They were all over us, a lot of pressure not giving us time on the ball, and pushing numbers forward in attack. They were clearly a good side. The somewhat late arrival of Joe S helped sort things out a little, and we managed to get past the halfway line a bit.

But problems remained. Despite heroic efforts the midfield couldn’t contain the numbers pressing forward and struggled to push on amidst the pressure. Tough first half. 5-0

In the second half after some rousing words we came out stronger. Leo, Guy, and when not injured, Luke, managed to push us on. It felt like their pressure forward started to leave them more exposed as they tired. Sadly no goals were forthcoming, but we were getting closer.

The final score was 8-0, but given we were 3-0 down in about 5 minutes, not a bad result.

MOTM: Leo – who was asked to drop back into the midfield. A good performance there, which probably isn’t what he wants to hear!

No match again this week for the Ladies 2s ☹

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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…

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