WH&E L2 5 : 0 Hendon & Mill Hill L2

After weeks of narrowly missing a win or a draw would it be our day?

We were fired up, warmed up and even had the luxury of a vital sub. The match started smoothly with quick passing and movement off the ball to support. Everyone bringing their A game. It was only a matter of time before we crossed it in the d and Kareen finished it off with an accurate push in goal. 1-0 up, we were hopeful.

The first half continued with us having more possession of the ball and goals were being fired in left, right and centre. Hat trick for Kareen and goal for Abbi. 4-0 at half time.

We didn’t get ahead of ourselves in the second half as we had been up in previous matches and had lost, focus was key. Chris made an excellent run out of goal to kick the ball wide, still a clean sheet. Was this the match where everything clicked into place?

Still the clock was ticking and to secure the win Kylie struck the ball into the back of the net! An awaited 5-0 win after much patience, it was well worth the wait!!!

Let’s hope it’s the start of a winning streak…..

WH&E M1 2 : 6 Osterley M1

6-2 loss to a very efficient and well drilled Osterley team. We showed good resilience and played some really lovely passing hockey at times which showed a great development on last week’s performance, but were ultimately beaten by a stronger side.

Two goals scored was an encouraging part of it. A great short corner straight strike from Colin and equally accomplished finish from Jason Martins from a slipped ball to him on the left from another short.

Strong performance from Aidan at the back and Adam in the middle too.

Great food provided by the hosts afterwards and good to see more of us socialising after the games this season.

No matches for the Ladies 1s or Men’s 2s this week ☹

WH&E L1 1 : 1 Eastcote L2

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Ladies 1s were playing a strong Eastcote side at home Saturday but were determined to be the STRONGER side.

The first 30 seconds of the match, WHE forgot how to hockey but then quickly remembered and it turned into an evenly matched affair (sorry Karen). We played strong defensively, made some great triangles in the midfield and up front we pressed better then we have before. About 20 minutes in, we had a long corner that after a beautiful set of play, ended up on Vicki Lim-Bettes reverse side and in the back to the net. And with that, we were 1-0 up! We had some balls, sticks, and players flailing but all ended up in one piece with a lead at half time.

The second half had moments of brilliance where our triangles were working, switches were on and Chris was standing on her head to save balls that she didn’t even need to! It also had 20 minutes of us giving away about 10 PCs and struggling to get the ball out of our D safely! We held strong but eventually gave up a goal from a penalty corner that ended up in the stick of a red player who buried it. There were 6 minutes remaining now and we were determined to not lose. A few chances at our end were terrifying but we also had three penalty corners down their end that were executed well, but their keeper made some beautiful saves to hold the draw.

The game was evenly matched, aggy at times, but a well-deserved point for the ladies 1s! Player of the match to Chris Putt for outstanding saves and being a wall in the net.

WH&E M2 3 : 1 Eastcote Eagles

The men’s 2s travelled to Eastcote for a late game at 4:30 – better late than never! With former Winchmore player Leo turning out for Eastcote it was always going to be a tricky game, but Winchmore went into the break 1-0 up after a goal from Dom Smith. However, Eastcote clearly had the more inspiring half-time team talk and came out firing on all cylinders, soon restoring parity by following up a penalty corner to find the Winchmore net.

Nevertheless, we kept our composure to score twice more – both goals coming from the right side with first-time shots from Dom and then Jake Sumner, helping Winchmore to a comfortable 3-1 victory.

WH&E L2 2 : 3 Harrow L3

The miserable rainy day turned into a sunny day along with the 2s hope of a win. We began strongly with a goal from Abbi keeping our structure and using the whole width of the pitch. We kept the pressure on, had some fantastic 1-2 touches and played some ‘proper’ hockey. They drew level with a well-executed goal, but our heads still remained high.

Half time arrived and there was a stirring team talk. We continued to pressure the D and it resulted in a second goal. A superb pass from Bridget through to Abbi to tap it in. Gem made a guest appearance back from uni and gets herself a talking to from the umpire she claims she did nothing wrong. Freya made some fantastic saves unfortunately they pulled a goal back.

We continued to pressure and had numerous chances on goal. On one of their few breaks DoD Nellie managed to kick the ball into our own goal giving them the lead. The pressure was now on to try and equalise with 10 minutes to go. Wave upon wave of Winchmore attack was stopped by Harrow including a last-minute shot on goal by captain Pippa which missed by millimetres.

We should be very proud of the way we played, and the lessons learnt will be taken to the next match including Pippa forgetting to tell the home team about teas. Bring on next Saturday when we play Hendon & Mill Hill.

Match report dictated by Lorna and Kareen written by Gem with the occasional contributions from Abbi whilst on the north circular!!

WH&E M1 2 : 4 Southgate Flagons

Surprisingly nice weather by game time and a debut for Oliver so the signs were all good including the first 15 minutes of the game. Winchmore handled possession with confidence and scored through Tim. 1-0 and looking good if we could hold on until half time.

Unfortunately, this was not to be as a break away resulted in a short corner. The experienced and well drilled opposition put it away and their short corner routines were to prove our main downfall. Southgate scored another short and grew in confidence while we seemed to go the other way.

Despite this the threat aside from short corners was not great. The time there was, Matt disguised himself as a red voice to fess up to crossing with a back stick and having a Southgate field goal chopped off. Alas the short corners reigned on our goal and despite some excellent saves we also conceded, reaching 4-1 down.

There was a second for Tim who was on song despite carrying an injury. A neat finish at the post from a short corner for us. Despite our 2 goals we didn’t recapture our form as the opposition continued to dominate the middle. A real bright point was Oliver’s solid and impressive display at centre back.

Big thanks to Sam and Beth for umpiring along with support from Lisa.

We know we can compete for patches but that means we need to work on our game management and consistency over the whole game. Better things to come next week.

WH&E L1 2 : 2 Wapping L4

The drama of today’s ladies 1’s game matched the setting. Down at Lee Valley Hockey Centre (think Olympics) we began what ended up being a pure rollercoaster of an hour and a half. The first half we dominated most of possession with Evie and Karen holding strong in the midfield and stretching our play out wide. Defensively Sarah had a few brilliant interceptions and Gemma and Beth were strong out wide stepping in front to intercept and making beautiful runs down the left and right sides. We had quite a few chances in their D but were unable to hit the back of the net, as they only entered our D maybe twice, giving Charlotte not a whole lot to do. Karen and Vicki were relentless in their tracking of players and being options in front of their players.

The second half brought all the drama. We started strong and after a beautiful run down the left wing from Beth, the ball came strong into Evie, who deflected it onto Bethany’s right side. B finished it off beautifully and that was 1-0. We stepped it up for a total of 30 seconds and then had a defensive short corner that scrambled and ended in the back of our net. Charlotte may have kept us in it with one of the best saves we may have seen as a deflection was heading top corner but thankfully Charlotte had the height to knock it down.

Wapping then somehow got another short corner and another scramble led to them scoring again, now up 2-1. The umpire says 4 minutes remain and we are all on edge after playing such a strong match as a team we really didn’t want to have a L to show for it. After some strong play defensively to get the ball up into their D, Bethany put a ball onto their foot and the pressure was on. Shell certainly didn’t want to mess up the pull out, but it was clean and a beautiful stop from B and Sam smashed it bottom left corner! The whistle blew shortly after ending the rollercoaster game at 2-2.

Player of the match: Beth for strong defensive play and beautiful runs down the left wing getting the ball into their D.
Dick of the day: Whoever forgot the balls!

WH&E M1 2 : 2 Wapping M7

The men’s 1s made the trip to another new venue this week – John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping, for what looked set to be a session of crown green hockey!

Injuries and illness forced a few last minute changes, with Luke Trevill kindly stepping up from the 2s at the last minute to ensure a squad of 12.

In a fairly even first half it seemed that Winchmore had the better of the chances, only to find ourselves somehow 2-0 down after a penalty corner on the halftime whistle.

But, a confident team talk from stand in skipper Jim Gatting gave everyone the belief they needed to come out fighting in the second half. And within 2 minutes we won a penalty corner which was duly dispatched by Colin Foad (although perhaps not our slickest routine!) to make it 2-1, before Colin slotted his second to make it 2-2 which is how it finished.

A well-deserved point and a really resilient team performance, where everyone dug deep for each other. Congratulations to Aidan on a quality 1st XI debut, plus other notable performances from Jake T at centre back, Asher for controlling the midfield in a very mature way, and Stan for a super effort on the right side of midfield making quality runs and some excellent crosses.

WH&E M2 0 : 1 West Hampstead M7

Non-ideal preparation for the game saw our team-sheet of 14 reduced to 11 at push back (and 12 shortly after), with Luke being press-ganged for the 1s at late notice, and 1 no-show. We had the better of the first half, with Adam bossing midfield, and we forced a handful of short corners, sadly all saved by the keeper.

The second half saw us tire as they used their substitutes well, and we lost shape a bit shuffling positions around to cope. Things were still even, and anybody’s game, with both defences looking solid, especially Eray at the back for us, and it remained well umpired even as both teams got nervous, and more vocal(!) as the minutes wore on.

However, a short corner in the last couple of minutes for West Hampstead saw a flick towards the post, and a runner connecting at chest height to knock into the goal. A draw would have been a fairer result, but perhaps an indication that our attacking short corner routine needs a bit more work/creativity…

WH&E L2 2 : 4 West Herts L4

At last, the ladies 2’s had a home game and enjoyed a bit of a lay in on a Saturday! Although nobody was expecting such a wet and soggy match!

The game started slowly with some of our players getting used to playing in slightly different positions. We were definitely on the back foot as the opposition played well as a team making accurate passes and getting into good positions off the ball. They were 2-0 up but just before half time Kylie made a fantastic run down the line taking on and passing several players before passing it into the D to Abbi. 2-1 half time.

The second half we played some better one, two balls to one another and managed to get a couple of short corners (excellent, as part of our warm up was running a few!). Kareen injected the ball with speed to Jodie who made a powerful strike, which was deflected in by Kareen over the goal keepers head, what a goal!

Still awaiting a win but with a week off and some more training under our belts, there is still hope!!!

A foggy start for the L2s!

WH&E M1 1 : 1 Hampstead & Westminster “Thirsts”

Hampstead & Westminster made the arduous journey to the London fringes to play the M1s, losing at least one of their players to apparent scurvy on the trip 🤢. Winchmore’s solid play in the first half came quickly to fruition, as Berkshire-lad Colin Foad banged in the side’s first of the season in his first start.

Winchmore stayed resolute, but Hampstead & Westminster thirsted after a goal in the second half and were duly quenched. Final score 1-1.

Adam Machray’s ‘McEnroe’ moment aside, the team can be proud of their sustained performance and the start to the season that they’ve made. Next up is an away game, where the chaps will be seeking to be whopping Wapping.

WH&E M2 4 : 1 Ealing M1

Limited availability, and a late drop-out, left us facing Ealing 1 with just 10 men, and being carved open in the first minute (but an eventual miss in front of goal) promised a worrying game.

However we steadied, and a first half of chances at both ends saw us go in 1-0 ahead, with a nice lift over the keeper from Luke. The start of the second half saw us pressing their defence more, and with turnover ball the midfield, bolstered by Stan and Jake, started to boss things.  A 10 minute spell saw a hat-trick by Theo, and the game put to bed.  The last 25 minutes then got very stretched, with us pressing for more goals leaving more gaps in midfield, and only strong goalkeeping from John stopped them pulling 1, or more, back.  They did score a consolation goal in the 69th minute, but in the end a comfortable 4-1 win.

WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Uxonians

Another early start and third away match in a row for the ladies 2’s. The team arrived in dribs and drabs due to horrific traffic on the M4 but luckily allowed the gloomy mist to lift.

We definitely applied our Wednesday night training, passing back and around as well as being there to support the person on the ball. However, Old Ux used their wealth of experience and popped one in making it 0-1 at half time.

In the second half we had our chances with a few short corners but we just couldn’t convert. Chris made some wonderful saves, with a hand on a strike, along with some tense moments of 1 v 1 and sometimes even 3 v 1 putting Old Ux at bay. But they managed to add another 2 to their score line.

Again some positive points to take forward to our first home game next week, but still looking for our first win of the season. Fingers crossed!!!!

No game for the Ladies 1s this week

WH&E L1 1 : 1 Richmond L3

The 2nd match of the season for the Ladies 1s was away on a gloomy Saturday afternoon against Richmond.

Thanks to Lucy Mackay we were able to bring a full team of 11 but had no subs so we knew we were going into a tough one.

We played very strong consistently throughout and focused on setting our press to keep the opposition at bay.

Evie’s league debut was a great one as she battled hard in mid to intercept balls and drive forward to create chances.

A slight lapse in marking led to Richmond getting a goal in the latter part of the 1st half, whilst we had some chances that we were unable to convert.

We continued to fight and play as a unit to create more opportunities. With some questionable passes from Shell, we endured moments of pressure but did a great job of regaining composure and staying in our shape as a team. The second half saw us with an abundance of chances and finally we were able to convert as Sam dribbled into the D, passed across the P spot and Bethany converted it into a goal!

The game ended with us taking Dom’s advice and whacking it into their 25 so Sam could f around for 2 minutes in their corner. Poor Vicki unfortunately received a deflection to the lip on the last hit of the game. Luckily though mummy hasn’t lost any teeth.

Altogether, it was some very solid team effort ending in a 1-1 draw. Bethany was player of the match with her strong runs down the wing, driving into the D, goal, and her breathlessness at half time!

WH&E L2 2 : 5 Imperial Medics

The game was a match of two halves with two different winners! Medics came out with 11 on pitch and we were 1 player down with 9 on pitch, until Jodie joined us part way in. The young, fit and skilful medics popped a few goals in the first half, we were 4-0 down but we regrouped and came back with a vengeance!

After a bit of reorganisation and composure we played better as a team linking passes down the pitch. Abbi opened her account after some quick passing down the left and a dink out to her. Bridget was there on the back post to make sure but wasn’t needed this time!

We had gathered some momentum and Charlotte fought her way through the Red Sea of medics, crossing it in to Abbi finishing the second half 2-1.

An overall 5-2 loss but some positives to take forward to the next match.

WH&E M1 0 : 1 East London M4

A really great opportunity to play at a top venue in Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

It was a shame we didn’t play on the stadium pitch. Indeed we did panic where our crowds of fans would now stand. I guess they watched the indoor tennis when the weather turned.

A slightly different look to the team with M1 debuts for Dan Mather and Jake Tasker. Slotting into a new team is not always easy but the guys made an amazing contribution.

Against another new and unknown opposition we did well to maintain possession. We were less under the cosh with more numbers in the midfield (good advice from our keeper extraordinaire and vice captain). We also played it round the back well. Stretching the opposition who to be fair worked hard to keep their shape and press well.

It was fairly even and we had some D penetrations and shots from Harry Stone.

It could have gone either way and unfortunately East London scored from some good individual play.

This made the job harder as possession alone was no longer enough. We made a go of it and had a shirt corner. Up front we looked more threatening with the combination of Harry’s jinking and Dan’s runs.

We don’t celebrate losses but definitely better this week, anyone could have a mention for their efforts, game played in a good spirit and discipline/respect towards the umpire. It is clear we can compete in this new league. So onwards and upwards next week at home and a more typical start time.  10:00am start was another new experience today.

WH&E M2 2 : 7 Indian Gymkhana M5

It was a miserable rainy day as the M2’s faced an Indian Gymkhana 5’s side at home. Paul was making his debut for the team, but had to wait as he was starting as a sub.

The game started and it was fairly even for some time, going back and forth with the play. The Gymkhana’s were well drilled and whilst not better physically than the 2’s, they had better stick skills. It wasn’t long until they started to outplay us and we found ourselves 1-0 down, soon followed by 2-0 down.

Following the end of the first half, we found ourselves 3-0 down. Despite their superior stick skills, they couldn’t configure how to take a short corner which was fortunate for us.

In the second half, it was much the same. Gymkhana’s stick skills seemed to overpower our own play, to be soon found out as they went 4-0 up. We were not disheartened by this and soon found ourselves breaking through on the left, with James Orr who dribbled past two players, smacked it in the box to Luke, who dragged the ball to the left, chipping the keeper, 4-1.

We did start coming back into the game as we seemed to have more regular attacks as the pitch got stretched, however it was one of their breaks which made it 5-1. We managed to get a second however after some glorious team play down the right involving half the team ended up with Luke slotting the ball through the keeper’s legs – the commentary doesn’t do it justice, but special shout out to Paul who was integral in this move.

Gymkhana ended up getting two more goals to finish 7-2, but between this is where more action happened. We had a free hit at the 23, when one of our players tried to ‘hurry up’ the opposition and moved them away from the ball, which resulted in the players squaring up and some unnecessary handbags.

A challenging loss for Winchmore, an intense game – and a big thank you to Dom & Jason who took time out of their day to umpire a circus of a game.