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 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 M2 7 : 1 Harrow M2

The match started well, with a goal scored in the early moments of the game – from the first short corner – by Dan. With the confidence of being one nil up, we continued pressing and another goal was inevitable, and Theo got his first of the game (with a little help from the opposition keeper who nudged it in past the line by accident).

Midway into the first half and a 2-0 lead was very promising for the final score. The attack on the Harrow goal was relentless, with everyone participating and playing superbly. Jonny, Tom, Guy and Calum in midfield kept the ball pushing forward to the strikers, with the defenders only being used to pass back and around the opposition – who didn’t have a look in towards our goal. And quickly after the 2nd goal Theo converted another after being gifted the ball right in front of the goal by a scuffed Harrow clearance to make it 3-0.

Towards the end of the first half, Dan scored another great goal (his second of the game) to increase our lead to 4-0. The Harrow defenders were constantly working and another slip up at the very end of the first half meant a short given as the final play. The initial shot was saved, but it fell to Theo at the edge of the D, who caught it nicely and drilled it bottom corner, for his hat-trick!

We switched things up slightly for the second half, but things continued to go our way, and after a few dubious efforts from Luke (who at one point missed the goal by about 15 metres!), he scored his first of the season to make the lead even bigger, at 6 goals to nil. Eventually, and practically the only time in the whole game, Harrow managed to get by our defence and John lost his clean sheet when Harrow hit one in the bottom corner.

But we still had fight left in us, and James dribbled past their defence, to score the last of the game. When the final whistle blew, another last second short corner was awarded, but this time less successful with no goal being scored. The game ended with a resounding 7-1 victory.

WH&E M1 0 : 3 West Hampstead M4

A new season, a new coach, a new league in a new area, so for the opening fixture the M1s played West Hampstead, our new friends from the summer league.

With a last minute change of plan following a no show from Stan, there was a system failure, and I’m not referring to the GMS!

West Hampstead put the pressure on from the first whistle, making it difficult for WHE players to have any time on the ball. The opening goal was scored when a defender stepped in front and intercepted a pass to forward Harry Stone, who was on the halfway line, and they worked the ball into the D, before flicking in off the inside of the post to make it 0-1. A second was added before half-time after the ball struck Dominic Smith on the foot and looped up over the defence, dropping to a forward who diverted it with his reverse stick past the onrushing keeper James Gatting.

0-2 at the break, a couple of changes and WHE made an encouraging start to the second half, however a well drilled opposition had control of the match, and scored a third in the last few minutes with a close range deflection. Final score a 0-3 defeat.

With the M2s winning their opening game 7-1, some players might already be knocking on the 1st team door, meaning there is new healthy competition for selection at the club. In a few weeks we could be seeing a new look 1st team, and I’m not just referring to the kit.

Thank you to umpires Samantha Lucy and Beth Deane.

* this report was held up due to many hours of editing and censorship (by the author!).

WH&E L1 2 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L1

The Ladies 1s were unlucky to lose out to OMT 1s with the visitors converting a penalty corner with the last play of the game. No match report, but a nice team photo!

WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L2

No match report, yet…

WH&E L2 2 : 1 Harrow L3

We started well with a brilliant bit of possession from the off, followed by good composure on the ball and lots of play in the opposition D.

With high hopes of finishing the half at 0-0, Gem Luckman went back on to sure things up and found herself in space in the D on the end of a lovely cross from Gem D but got it caught under her feet and unfortunately couldn’t put it away.

The second half didn’t start quite so well but eventually Gem D scored her first Winchmore goal to put us ahead. We continued to have the best of the play but unfortunately conceded a soft goal. That ignited a strong reaction from the team, and we upped the pressure until Gem Luckman retook the lead with a well-placed short corner.

There were many volunteers for ‘Dick of the Day’ at the end of the match for a variety of reasons but obviously our good stuff must have been great because we finished with a 2-1 win!

The rain may have put a dampener on some teams but not the ladies 2s! It seemingly washed our mirror and finally the score did reflect!

WH&E M2 0 : 2 Shefford and Sandy M4

A late start and a long journey, but 12 hardy souls made the trip to take on Shefford and Sandy 4s. So far this season there have been lots of strong performances, where the totally unbiased report has suggested that if we’d converted a few more of our good chances in front of goal then we really deserved to win. This week, those chances were few and far between, and a 2-0 loss was probably a fair result ☹.

The teams were evenly matched overall, though with more variation across their team let us say, and our defence looked strong throughout. A first-half goal for Shefford and Sandy came after a couple of unnoticed fouls in the D, and with Winchmore failing to play to the whistle there was a scramble and a final tap in at the far post.

We tried to come back in the second half, but our attacks this game lacked teamwork and passing, and continued to falter at their centre-back, who showed considerable talent – not least in his ability to aerial a 16 hit out all the way to land on our 25! Somewhat impressive for our division – but our own fault for not passing and going wider round the other defenders.

We continued to deal with all their attacks until a short corner, where Shefford scored the ‘highest’ goal I’ve ever seen. A deflection top D saw the ball balloon, and from right by the post the Shefford forward brought the ball down from about 3 feet over his head. Somewhat fortunate again, but a great goal!

There was no way back from there, and despite a couple of late short corners we couldn’t pull one back. We’ve played much better than that, and it’s disappointing that lockdown will delay our chance to bounce back and show how we can really play…

WH&E M1 0 : 4 Bishops Stortford M2

The men’s 1s slipped to defeat against top of the table Bishops Stortford, ending their run of 3 successive wins. With 4 players unavailable from the regular squad, it was always going to be a difficult game against the league’s stand out team. Two goals in each half were enough for the visitors to secure the points, with Winchmore unlucky to miss out on a consolation goal which was disallowed after consultation between the umpires.

Nevertheless, a good start to the season, and the men’s 1st team goes into the new lockdown sitting in 4th place in the league.

WH&E L1 0 : 3 PHC Chiswick L3

The ladies 1s slipped to another defeat in a tricky away game at Chiswick. They’ll be looking for a fast start when the league returns post lockdown.