WH&E L1 7 : 0 Eastcote L3

OK nobody panic….I mean it. No one panic!

The ladies 1s won 7-0…..yes 7-0.

It was yet another sunny day at Southbury, the ladies arrived ready to go and there were no snails on the pitch to rescue….missing Beth and Abbi we were concerned but with T joining us and Kate available due to the 2s cancelled game we were hopeful we could still get a good result.

We started strong, very strong, a goal coming in the first few minutes from a very composed Karen Gray at the back post. Two more goals coming in the 1st half from some lovely 1-2 play between Kate and Evie and another when Sam decided she knew how to sort of drag flick the ball….don’t ask her to do it again….as demonstrated when she then tried to aerial the ball only to plant it firmly into Amy’s back .

Then the 2nd half started and Karen went mad, 3 more goals coming in very similar guise from crosses to the back post. A final goal from Karen Goode when Sam yet again proved that she really didn’t know how to flick it because Karen had to take evasive action but styled it out to look like a well-practised volley past the keeper.

So things we learnt….

  1. 45 is the new 25
  2. We can actually score goals
  3. We don’t have to concede short corners and goals every game
  4. In fact we don’t even have to let Nic touch the ball!
  5. There was a terrible mixup and I’m still waiting on my oreo milkshake…

WH&E M1 4 : 4 Osterley M1

The M1s played out an action-packed 4-all draw at home against Osterley, the visitors coming back from 4-2 down to equalise with a converted penalty corner on the final whistle. A frustrating finish for Winchmore who had dominated the game and largely managed to keep their cool after an off the ball incident early on set the tone for a challenging game, only for it to slip away in the last few minutes.

Lessons learned, a point gained and still top of the league after 3 weeks.

WH&E M2 1 : 3 Ealing M1

The M2s found themselves on the road to Ealing for a 1:15pm game. The team were strengthened by the surprise arrival of Dom.

The game started end-to-end but within minutes Theo (from right-back) found himself on the near post but unfortunately did not convert. Throughout the first half we had many chances down the right-hand side as Josh terrorised their left-back, but it wasn’t until a deep ball by Tom put into the D was converted first time by Luke.

The second half started the same with a few chances coming to us, but ultimately we could not convert the half-chances we received. Ealing however were growing into the game as they had changed their formation and chances started to fall for them. Unfortunately we ran out of gas as Ealing were able to counter-attack and got three goals all in fairly quick succession and nearer the end of the game. Their 4 substitutions really played a massive part.

MOTM: Tom Pearson. Despite the result, dominated the midfield and played a fantastic game. Got an assist too.

DOTD: Luke. Pre-match ankle injury. Don’t ask

No game for the L2s this week after their opposition conceded…

WH&E L2 1 : 1 Eastcote W4

After a moment of panic that we were at the wrong pitch (playing Eastcote where we usually play Christmas Trees) we started all guns blazing with some real attacking play. Unfortunately, this left us open and we were caught on the break quite early on. For the rest of the half, we had a lot of the play and got the ball in the D but weren’t able to convert any chances.

Into the second half…the ball was played from defence out to Bridget in the midfield who made a great forward run before slipping it to Charlotte on the (Ben White) overlap. Charlotte ran to the base line and crossed to Alice on the back post, her shot rebounded out to Kate who put it away for a well-earned leveller.

Both teams tried hard to get the goal that would push us over for the win, but Freya denied them with some fantastic saves – even trying to hide the ball in her pads. Meanwhile, Sula caused a pile up in the middle of the pitch – exclaimed for everyone to hear that it was “no her fault”.

Following several more attempts, fantastic runs and passes but sadly no more goals.

Ending with a 1:1 draw. Not bad for the second game of the season, with impressive games for two of our juniors that have recently graduated to senior hockey – welcome to the team Alice and Harriet!

WH&E L1 3 : 3 Richmond Ravens

The Ladies 1s turned up to their first home game thinking it would be freezing, turns out it was so warm our umpires decided that t-shirts were optional under their umpiring jackets.

We started strongly, linking up well across the pitch. A pass in from Sam to Bethany who had no idea where she was on the pitch resulting in a beautiful goal.

Richmond quickly came back but I don’t remember how, maybe a short corner? Maybe not, who knows.

A few more interceptions and runs resulted in a cross reaching Abbi who neatly passed to Bethany to score a 2nd. A 3rd coming from great composure by the captain to receive the ball facing away from goal, turn and neatly slot it past the keeper.

Then the 2nd half started….we forgot to start with it and Richmond quickly took it to 3-2. More of the same, some missed chances from lots of people, Vicki diving in to pass the ball, birthday girl Karen diving just to prove she still could at her age 😉.

A very unlucky moment with 2 minutes to go saw Richmond sweep a reverse just past Nic in goal to level the scores. And despite a last-minute run we weren’t able to bring it back and had to settle for a point.

Although I’m reliably informed it was better than last week. And we’ve started our point scoring campaign!

WH&E M1 4 : 0 East London M4

Well, the lads put in another stellar performance again, showing how good preparation and game readiness can lead to big results in the first half. Much like last week, the first half saw the M1s off to a flying start with goals aplenty. We held a strong high press for much of the game which led to many turnover opportunities, dictated skilfully by Dom Smith, Adam Machray and Dan Mather in the ACM roles.

Asher Cohen put on another CDM masterclass, we feared the loss of Stuart Carrick might be too great, but Asher has already shown everyone that he was the man for the task, and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow as an essential member of the squad!

Defensively we were a stone wall – Matt Dray, Tom Iontton, Jake Tasker and the skipper, Ollie Taplin, gave the team the confidence to go forward without repercussion and with the opposition only penetrating our D a handful of times nothing ever troubled our very much in form keeper, Josh Rider.

2 goals from Joe Turmaine, 1 from Colin Foad and 1 from Luke Trevill show we have a forward line capable of great things! This was very much supported by narrow misses from Jake Sumner, Jack Wilson and Harry stone who had excellent games in the front line as well.

MOTM: Jake Tasker who showed great vision and dominance from centre back.
DOTD: Ollie Taplin, for a wild undercut pass straight into an opposition player’s midriff!

Roll on Osterley next weekend.

No game for the M2s this week…

WH&E M1 2 : 3 PHC Chiswick M3

The men’s 1s wrapped up their season with a trip to Chiswick against a team still seeking promotion. 1 nil up early on from a well taken penalty corner by Colin Foad, then 2-1 down, before Foad scored again to setup a tight finish. However, it was Chiswick who scored the winner in a very close and enjoyable game.

WH&E L1 2:1 East London L4

The Ladies 1s finished with a fine 2-1 victory over East London. Goals from Abbi and Sam enough to take the points in the final league game of the season. 3 wins and a draw in the last 5 games securing their place in the league for next season – well done ladies!

WH&E L2 0:1 Eastcote L4

A tight game with the ladies 2 slipping to a single goal defeat in their final game of the season.

No match this week for the M2s who completed their league season last week.

WH&E M2 6 : 1 Eastcote Eagles

The M2s had a successful Saturday with a 6-1 victory against Eastcote Eagles. The first half saw us pose a constant threat, with strong pressing, and building from the back with good spreading of the ball to the wings. Paul opened the scoring (his first for the club) following a rebound off a short corner, and Theo and Jonny pounced on loose balls in the box for three more, while Calum claimed one from a short corner – he struck it, it went in the corner, and I was facing the wrong way to see any deflections!

“More of the same in the second half” we said, but it didn’t work that way. Eastcote left more players up-field, posing more threat on the break, but somehow the fewer defenders made a better stab of keeping us out. Our defence stood firm, apart from one unfortunate intercepted clearance. As a result, Joe came up to claim a late short, and power home our sixth. A rest week up next, followed by the table-topping Merchant Taylors. Let’s take this form into the game against them…

WH&E L2 2 : 0 Harrow L2

It was always going to be a good day once the Ladies 2s realised that while England were at Twickenham, we were not!

We started well, as usual there was some lovely play round the back, and we kept the ball overwhelmingly up their end. Our first goal started from the back, with great passing all up the pitch finishing with Kylie slipping in between the goalkeeper’s legs.

1-0 at half time. We had a cushion but knew we needed more before we could relax. (Such a top quality game that at half time both captains had to be taught the basics for sideline balls to pass on to the rest of the team!)

Harrow’s tactics of leaving their attack sitting high put some strain on us with two defenders having to stay back, but in marking one we managed to get Lorna over the halfway line for a change. Not long in to the second half Kate slotted it through to Kareen who did a lovely turn and popped it in. 2-0. We defended three short corners in second half, one from a clearance by Nellie into Abbie’s foot. All three brilliantly defended, and a clean sheet maintained.

Another game won in a surprisingly long line of wins, leaving us second in the league (although how long that is maintained remains to be seen).

WH&E L1 1 : 2 Eastcote L2

Concise report from the Ladies 1s:

We went to Eastcote
It was really sunny
Abbi scored
Then we lost
…And then we all ate teas and Evie discovered our #hockeyfamily tree!

No match again this week for the M1s, after the scheduled opposition pulled out of the league ☹

WH&E M1 1 : 1 PHC Chiswick M3

The men’s 1s found their form with great pressing, discipline and teamwork from the start, taking the game to 2nd placed Chiswick and really surprising the visitors. And it wasn’t long before the pressure told – a penalty corner slipped left, flicked towards goal and then deftly deflected up and over the keeper by Adam Machray to make it 1-nil to Winchmore.

We continued to press and create chances, but sadly couldn’t convert. Chiswick then started to gain a foothold after the break, and despite losing a player to a 10-minute yellow for a sliding tackle, the visitors piled on the pressure in the last few minutes, forcing a penalty corner in the dying seconds after substituting their GK. And sure enough, Chiswick equalised with the last touch of the game ☹

Big thanks to Lisa for umpiring her first M1s game, and doing it very well too!

WH&E L1 2 : 2 East London L5

‘Twas the game of stick tackles. Only tackle from below says the umpire. With the Deane team out, we only had ourselves and our 2 practice balls to rely on!

It was an early, frosty and angry morning for Karen when the last game before Christmas turned into quite a laughing matter. Karen began the game angrier than ever due to parking issues, but Sarah tripping her up definitely did add to her fury. We were less pumped up with music and our preparation was slightly lacking due to our 2 balls, no subs and Mia and Karen getting lost en route to the pitch.

The first half brought us explaining the rules of hockey to the umpires, Sarah taking a few boob balls for the team, Shell slipping and bleeding as per usual, their offensive penalty corners having as many chances as they like, some beautiful eavesdropping and saves from Nic, and Mia stepping into left back like she never left. There were chances at both nets, and also nowhere near the net when Karen G smashed one 5 m off the end line.

Nonetheless Evie and Karen Goode were playing beautifully down the left and right but unfortunately as only stick tackles were being called, KGs usual play off their feet wasn’t working. We had a few penalty corner chances with Gem stepping up and striking a few beautiful shots in target. One of these chances went to Bethany who ran it out right to Karen, into Gem and then onto Shell’s stick and in the back of the net, 1-0.

They enjoyed raising the ball into our bodies and pushing us over when we were on the ground with Mia even saying, “this is more aggressive than my new sport of boxing.” It was fun and we were loving every minute of it, even with half of us having the lurgy (but testing negative!)

After half-time, their army of 29 players and annoying penalty corner music came out strong and smashed one past Nic for 1-1. Bethany was playing brilliantly for Sam in centre mid and passing / dribbling up to give Abbi, Vicks and Kazza some chances up front. One of these chances was smooth as it came from the halfway line to Karen, on to Bethany and then slid past for Abbi to put it home, 2-1.

Nic was playing solid in net and amidst eavesdropping and silently questioning the umpires every move, she made some legendary saves, including a 1 on 1 where Nic scared her off. Then from a penalty corner when they took 3 strikes, Shell stumbling and apologising and not even getting one strike, they slotted their second home, 2-2. We had a few more chances from Karen, Abbs and Vicks up their end and we had a few more calls of stick tackles that were anything but.

We played a strong team game and should be proud of our draw, although would have loved an Xmas W. Happy Holidays and L1s are hoping for some 2022 Ws for Christmas

WH&E L2 1 : 4 Eastcote L4

After two weeks without a match we were looking forward to a run around, particularly at the start of the week having 14 players, luxury! However, by Saturday morning due to COVID we were down to 10, definitely going to be a run around!

We counted them out, they only had 10 too! That didn’t last though and by pushback they were plus 1 sub.

We didn’t care – we were oozing compliments and positivity, and we started strong as a team with good passing, communication and running just enough to last but allowing the ball to do the work. It was not noticeable that we were fighting top of the table with a player short.

We were composed on the ball, made some lovely strong passes to great runs and although we put in some great crosses we couldn’t convert. Solid defending in the first half as we absorbed the early pressure. Going forward there were some lovely interchanges and communication was good. Sadly, ending the first half 1 down.

Mid way through the second half we got a short corner, Charlotte’s strike from the top was saved but Kate was there to slot it in the bottom corner. Kylie did some great runs up and down the wing and managed to hit herself in the face with the ball…multi-talented, and displaying some awesome skill!!

As the game progressed those extra two players made it tough work, with fitness playing a part, Eastcote popped in a few more goals making the final score 4-1.  Everyone played incredible, dug deep and at least we managed to christen our new kit 😝 roll on 2022!

Finally, a big thank you to Dom and Jason for umpiring and for so many people turning up on the side-line to support.

No game for the M2s this week…and now time for a long Christmas break!

Next league matches: 22nd January.