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!

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

WH&E L2 2 : 2 Old Merchant Taylors L3

WK11L2We arrived at the pitch, captainless and thinking we only had a bare 11 only to realize that we in fact had a sub… Lorna to the rescue (with Kirsty in tow).

OMT started quickly and it took us a while to realize that we can actually play hockey too. They took the first goal from a break to our disappointment. This woke us up and we quickly received a short corner. A strike from Gemma which was converted by Charlotte to bring us equal just before half time.

Second half we started well with confidence getting the better of OMT until our jet setter Michelle hit herself in the head. Luckily, she can recuperate in sunny Jamaica, not jealous at all!!!

They scored from a scrambled short corner making it 2-1 but we fought on and of course Abbi put one away. This puts her goal scoring total equal to last years after only half the season; winner of top goal scorer again?!

Final score 2-2 draw, bring on the next!


WH&E M2 1 : 4 St Albans M7

Having already beaten St Albans M8 earlier in the season, the men’s 2s were hoping for a similar result against their M7s and in a tight first half it looked like they might be in with a chance. St Albans scored first, but Winchmore battled hard and earned a well-deserved equaliser shortly before half-time, with Luke diving and sweeping the ball past the keeper after a good move down the right.

However, the exertions of the first half had taken their toll on Winchmore, and in the second half St Albans pushed on as the stronger and fitter side, eventually scoring 3 more goals to make it 4-1 as the final result.


WH&E M1 v Blueharts M4

Jack Frost 1, hockey nil. Match postponed…


WH&E L1 1 : 6 Ashford L1

No match report, yet…

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.

WH&E L1 1 : 0 Hampstead & Westminster L5

WK1L1First match of the season for the Ladies 1s and everyone was dreading playing in the late summer weather. Isn’t hockey a winter sport?!

With a few changes to the team over the summer and some of our usuals not able to play, we were feeling a slight nervousness, which we were able to overcome as soon as we stepped on the pitch.

Our focus of the match was to not drop our heads and lose in the last minutes of the game, which had happened at the pre-season opener the week before. So, with determination we start working hard from the whistle and pushed all the way.

We had lots of chances in the first half, including a great ball into the D from Sam Deane which Bethany couldn’t manage to get on the end of, as well as a ball in from Bethany to new player Vicki, which we couldn’t manage to convert either.

Come half time, we were feeling the heat and needed to regroup. A really good half time team talk pumped us all up and we were piling on the pressure to Hampstead & Westminster’s defence with lots more great chances and short corners, one of which Sam was able to convert into a goal. The rest of the game was tough as Hampstead tried to counter, but with Team Defence looking for a #cleansheet, they were unable to do so.

We held it for a 1-0 win, and we really deserved it! A great confidence boost to the team, and a glimpse of how we plan to continue; doing the basics right and playing some really sexy hockey!

Players of the match to Sam, Beth and Talyssa for great play in their positions and Dick of the day to Sarah E-Q for ducking away from a high ball but then standing up so she actually ended up heading it ?

Our next match next Saturday is at home at Aylward. PLEASE COME SUPPORT ????


WH&E M1 2 : 3 Blueharts M3

WK1M1A new season and an updated squad. The first game has traditionally been a brutal season opener mainly due to lack of practice and lack of players.

This time we had subs, although the omens weren’t great with Matt Dray’s car giving up the ghost on route and Dom’s tyre going too.

So we started but with less subs and the subbing strategy out the window.

This game was about learning how we can set up going forward into the new season and testing out various positions.

We did start slowly and conceded too many short corners and Blueharts pressured. We had a few shorts ourselves with both Joe and Mike coming close from the top of the D. 2-0 down at half time but heads still up. It could have been worse if not for multiple saves by Josh.

At half time we agreed to stick to our game as the approach could work, we just had to sharpen up. Indeed, the game was far more even in the second half. Blueharts did however score from another short corner which seemed to put the game just beyond reach.

Then over the horizon Matt Dray appeared and gave us the boost we needed. Taking us close to a point with 2 superb finishes by Man of the match Colin Foad.

In summary, we started to play the kind of hockey we want to, and it bodes well for the future.

MOTM: Colin, with honourable mentions for Rafi, Paul and Josh.


WH&E M2 0 : 7 Letchworth M4

The M2s faced Letchworth 4s in both the first game of the season and their first in div 7 following back to back promotions.

Letchworth immediately looked like an organised and disciplined side taking a 2-0 lead early. The second goal coming in comedic fashion as centre back Nick Smith found himself 1 v 1 with their forward and perhaps forgetting he is not in goal anymore collapsed at the striker’s feet! 4-0 down at half time.

Winchmore looked far better in the 2nd half. Passing the ball around nicely and creating some chances through several short corners, however Letchworth went on to score 3 further goals.

Despite the score there were positives to take from the game. Well done to the 4 Winchmore debutants Guy, Theo, Luke and Jamie who all made a solid start.


WH&E L2 v Ashford L4 (match conceded)

The L2s started with 3 points, though not the way they wanted to with Ashford conceding the match. After a good week of training the L2s are raring to go!