Our men’s and ladies’ teams were back in action over the weekend with friendlies against some familiar faces from Hertford.

First up were our ladies who after a slow start got into their rhythm and played some really nice hockey. Passing in neat triangles to get out of trouble, and using both wings to good effect, they came back from a goal down with a well-executed short corner put away clinically by Lucy Cohen into the bottom left corner. In a tight final 10 minutes both sides had chances to seal the game but both keepers were on top form making some fine saves. However, it was Hertford who finally stole the winning goal with a deflected shot wrong-footing Nicole in the Winchmore goal.

Nevertheless, an entertaining game and good match practice for the upcoming Southgate Summer League.

#WinchmoreWatching

The men’s game followed straight after with both sides looking forward to a competitive game, and a special spectator keeping a close eye on proceedings from the side line! In a tight first half Winchmore took the lead with a good finish from Tim Legierse on the left after good work down the right by Tom Pearson and Harry Stone, but this was soon cancelled out by the visitors who forced a goal from close range at the near post. 1-1 at half-time and it was Hertford who started stronger in the second half, with the familiar face of Nick Umney finishing neatly on reverse stick to beat the Winchmore keeper from close range.

However, Winchmore were not done yet, and came back strongly in the last 20 minutes with two goals from Adam Machray and one from Dom Smith following up after a partially blocked penalty corner in the closing minutes. 4-2 the final score, but it was just great being back out on the pitch together.

The Southgate Summer League starts this week. Check out full details on Fixtures Live:

WH&E M1 1 : 0 Blueharts M4

The Men’s 1s travelled to Hitchin looking for their third win on the bounce. It was a blustery, rainy afternoon but recent victories meant confidence was high and the team were looking forward to zipping the ball about on the fast surface at Blueharts.

The first ten minutes started promisingly. Patient build-up and speedy switching of play around the back led to Winchmore dominating possession. A strong high press was forcing the opposition into turning over possession in their half and pressure was mounting.

Unfortunately, our structure started to wobble a bit and Blueharts began to gain some territory. However, the strong and organised defence of Jim, Lopez, Michael and Matt made sure they were unable to create any clear chances.

We then reasserted our dominance, and on a day where goalmouth action was in short supply, we created what turned out to be the match-winning opportunity from the main moment of quality in the match. From our 16, good movement in midfield from Stuart and Dominic opened up a channel through the middle. One pacy pass from the back, a deflection from midfield and Jason picked up the ball and ran at their defence. A neat inside slip to Colin and he moved into the D, winning a short-corner as their tracking runner hacked at his stick.

From the short, a fast injection from Tim opened up the opportunity for a straight strike, which the keeper managed to get half a foot on, but this left the rebound opportunity for Stan, which he despatched into the bottom corner. 1-0 Winchmore.

The second half needs little said about it. We created a couple more half-chances but couldn’t build on our lead. Both sides were impatient with the ball and this led to some frantic but unproductive hockey being played. Fortunately, Jim continued to show his good form in goal, cleanly taking the ball off their striker’s stick when they made a rare foray into our D.

At one point in the second half the umpire said this game would be on last on Match of the Day. He had a point. However, Winchmore showed plenty of fighting spirit to keep a clean sheet and there was no lack of effort in making sure we got those three points. So, whilst there is much to work on for the next game, if winning when not playing brilliantly is a good sign, then things look promising for the rest of the season.


WH&E M2 2 : 4 Hertford M5

Another close match for the Men’s 2s, but another unfortunate reverse against Hertford 5. Both sides had a strong spine of experience down the middle, and youthful legs on the wings, and Winchmore took the lead halfway through the first half from a short corner.

Although we were creating chances, we couldn’t extend the lead, and then were hit by a couple of sucker punches with a couple of Hertford goals from about 1 yard out giving first-half stand-in keeper Stuart no chance. Another goal from Hertford, drilled in from a short corner, left us 3-1 down at half-time, and worse was to come with an immediate fourth in the second half as an unfortunate deflection on a cross left the ball to be drilled bottom corner from the middle of the D.

Heads were momentarily down, but only momentarily. We kept on challenging, we kept on passing, and as the game opened up we had far more of the chances. We’ve got a number of skilful dribblers, but are currently lacking a natural goal-scorer. Older heads could have done better from top D, younger heads could have gambled more with their runs, and we may have snatched this one.

As it was, we only managed to get one back – a lovely drift across to the far post by Theo to get on the end of a cross, and despite Theo’s effort being saved Jonathan was there to score the goal.  Overall, another enjoyable game, but another opportunity missed. Let’s start turning these good performances into good results!


WH&E L1 1 : 5 Staines L1

The ladies 1s slipped to another defeat in a game of contrasting halves. The first half was a tight affair, with the visitors grabbing the lead before Winchmore levelled with a well-executed penalty corner drilled in by Sam Deane. In the second half, Staines took control of the midfield and ran out comfortable winners with 4 well taken goals after the break.


WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors L2

An improved performance from the ladies 2s, but still not quite grinding out the results yet. Onwards and upwards. ?

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!

WH&E M1 4 : 1 Bishops Stortford M3

Late cancellation of events meant we had a last-minute complement of 11 players with Jake Sumner joining us. Onwards to Bishop Stortford.

A very good start with an early goal after some nice passing moves finished off neatly by Luke Trevill.

Goals then dried up but possession and passing remained reasonable although the early goal led to some complacency. Bishops Stortford made some breaks and earned a couple of short corners. 1-0 up at half time.

We pulled ourselves together and decided to up the intensity. Asher and Harry dropped into midfield allowing Colin to push up. Colin earned himself a goal and supported Jake and Luke up front. Luke smartly finished twice in the second half to complete his hat trick.

Stortford finally piled on some pressure with help from the umpires – green for Matt followed by yellow for Dom, a few dodgy short corners too. Eventually a goal line foot at a short corner led to a penalty stroke. Jim who had been strong in goal came close but Bishops Stortford undeservedly scored from the flick.

Good result. Final score 4-1 win.


WH&E L1 0 : 2 Old Merchant Taylors L1

WK22L1So bottom of the league you say?
A win or draw puts us in safety you say?
11 players you say?
Well you’ve got it in the bag then, right?
Wrong!

3 players down for the count with coronavirus knocking on their doors meant we were down to 8. But don’t you worry, we had 2 players from the 2s, no wait, make that 1. So 9…

The ladies 1s showed exactly what hard work and team spirit is this week. No one dropped their heads no one gave up and no one stopped believing we could win this against 12.

Karen played like she was possessed, the lone striker upfront through on goal, yes it’s in! No wait, she shoulder-barged the defender to play the ball, no goal. Then with 5 or so minutes of a tough half OMT snuck one in. But it didn’t end there; second half starts Karen again playing possessed (claiming she’s sick too but not coronavirus) made the run of a lifetime and with Karen Goode with her we looked to equalise….NO it just missed the goal, hitting the side netting…then Sula decided to crawl on the floor and do a backwards roll, it was beautiful and an incredible display of acrobatics ?

A 2nd one slipped in as they finally realised that 11 v 9 meant they could overrun us in defence, somewhere along the way Caroline Briers taking a stick in face, but not to let the team down she soldiered on.

Some dodgy decisions by a guy in yellow meant Sam ended up off the pitch with a green for not taking the opposition player out…

In true Ladies 1s style we ended on a defensive short corner defended well and keeping the score at 2-0. A 10th player would have made all the difference, stretching their defence to breaking point, a full team would have been a certain win.

MotM – Karen Gray – for playing 3 positions at once and doing it amazingly

DotD/PotP – Karen Gray – trying to get herself a green at the same time as Sam by shouting “seriously!!!” As loudly as possible…

A tough fight, coronavirus the ultimate winner…


WH&E L2 0 : 5 Teddington L6

WK22L2Despite being a bit thin on the ground (the umpire asked if we were waiting for another car?) we had a great game. Everyone played excellently and Teddington were frustrated that they couldn’t dominate as they would expect to against 8.

Unfortunately though a 5-0 loss sees them leapfrog us in to 2nd and we ended the day in 4th.

Special mentions to Pippa Deane and Erin at the back and Romy in goal for clearing far more than they let in and of course Kate Smith for being everywhere as usual!


WH&E M2 1 : 9 Hertford M4

Continuing the theme of playing hockey with fewer than 11 players, the men’s 2s lined up against a strong Hertford 4s with 10 after a late injury.

They were a strong team, well organised, and especially strong in attack. Our young centre midfield pairing (Haydn and Ellis) did a great job, launching us on some strong counter attacks, whilst Balazs did an equally sterling job in goal limiting the damage.

We did get a few short corners, and from one of them Huw got his first ever goal in competitive hockey, with his strike skimming the top of the backboard.

The second half started well, with Winchmore firmly on top and providing a lot of threat, but sadly no goals. Later on we got a bit tired and they came back strong. The final score was 9-1 but a decent performance by a young team in a tough league.

MOTM: Haydn dominating midfield. Nice stuff.

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