WH&E M2 0 : 3 PHC Chiswick M6

The men’s 2s started brightly with nice passing in triangles and threatening the visitors early on. But they couldn’t make the breakthrough, and shortly after Colin limped off injured it was Chiswick who took the lead with a very well drilled (in every sense of the word) penalty corner. Another well taken goal made it 2-0 to Chiswick, who were showing remarkably good form for a team without a win thus far.

Half time team talks done, and a cagey second half saw the visitors score a third, and then Winchmore start to lose patience with each other. The visitors running out comfortable winners 3-0.

WH&E L1 2 : 3 West Hampstead L3

One nil down, somewhat against the run of play, Winchmore battled back with an equaliser converted at the far post by Lucy Cohen after a good cross from Gemma Gatting on the right.

After the break it was the visitors who scored first again, but then the best move of the match saw fine teamwork from Winchmore down the right side, another cross into the D and a beautiful first-time finish by Vicki Lim-Bettes to bring the scores level again.

But it was West Hampstead who piled the pressure on in the last 5 minutes, eventually converting a penalty corner to steal all 3 points.

No matches this week for M1s or L2s

(…though not quite in the way we had hoped…)

WH&E L1 2 : 2 Teddington L4

It was a chilly (sorry, freezing) afternoon down in Teddington where the ladies in new purple kit were taking on the ladies in pink. The first half saw us playing some strong passes, using our triangles, huge saves from Nic and a few opportunities for us up front. We had 2 attacking penalty corners that almost hit the back of the net but narrowly slid wide.

About halfway through the half, we scored a beautiful goal through teamwork – it started with Gem and Shell at the back, worked through Karen in the midfield, up to Lucy and Bethany and then into the middle where Sam smashed it home. Other than that, Evie and Shell almost took each other out again, Pipps did great moving it up the left with Evie, whilst Karen was always moving and looking for long balls (except when Sam told her off for running too early.)

The second half was a WHE classic. We unfortunately had frozen over during half time and started a bit slow, letting them score one to tie it up. We had our moments of brilliance, with Abbi getting the longest ball ever but we all watched until Nic yelled at us to, ‘GO HELP!’ We held them well and scored another one of our own when Lucy decided to take Bethany’s advice and put two hands on the stick. The first shot was on the keeper’s pads, but she slotted the rebound home beautifully. We then fell into our usual pattern of giving away 29 (exaggerated) penalty corners. On one of these, we cleared but they came back and smashed it reverse stick into the back of the net.

The game was put on pause for an injured calf at one point but other than that it was only moments of -3 winds that froze us. The last 2 minutes were touch and go but we managed to hold on for the draw. Disappointed to not win but a draw in the freezing cold was a decent result.

WH&E M2 0 : 0 West Hampstead M8

A game of two strong defences, that thankfully came to end after 70 minutes! It could probably have continued goalless for some time longer…

WH&E M1 v Richmond Griffins

Walkover to our M1s, after Richmond conceded the game on Friday night.

WH&E L2 v Hampstead and Westminster L7

Another walkover, after Ham & West conceded on Saturday morning.

WH&E L1 2 : 1 Hampstead & Westminster L5

It was the day of the burnt pavlova.

The first 10 minutes we dominated with sexy and ambitious passing, touches and driving into the opposition D. This resulted in a rugby hun conversion of exceptional standard by Sam, Bethany and Shell. Shortly following we had some great work in the midfield by Kazza and Evie that got a few shots off but their keeper was strong and kept it 1-0. The remainder of the first half was evenly played with Nic making some beautiful diving saves, Sarah becoming a wall with her flat stick tackles and Vicks, B, Abbie and Karen up front making some lovely runs into their D. Other than a mad tackle by Shell on Evie (!!), we played a first half full of great teamwork. Gemma found herself in the D and almost made it 2-0 with a strong strike that was denied by their keeper.

The second half we came out determined for a W. We were unable to execute the goal of multiple switches around the back as they were pressing very high but Beth, Evie, Gem and Karen worked beautifully up the sides to move the ball out of our end. We defended a few penalty corners successfully and then the worst happened… a rogue (non- player with not a proper shirt?) dropped out of nowhere and was able to receive the ball at the top of the D and they slotted it in, 1-1. We were fuming. Sam especially decided she didn’t like that score so decided to do something about it. 2 minutes later she received a pass top of the D and smashed it bottom right corner for 2-1. The relief and excitement was palpable.

About 15 minutes left and we managed to keep the W with some strong defending, great work up through the midfield, Gem keeping her cool and moving it up the right and some great runs up front to keep it down their end. The final whistle blew and we had our sexy W, but most importantly the burnt pavlova. Sam for player of the match for brilliant work in the middle, exceptional defending and deciding to smash our win home.

WH&E L2 3 : 2 West Hampstead L5

The win came early with a quick trip along the North circular across to Brent Cross with players arriving pitch side early! Now having given the 1’s Abbi that left us with 11 players only but that did not deter us, we were determined to use insider intel to our full advantage and smash the West Hampstead ladies with glee. So it was with pleasure we scored early and kept the lead for most of the game. Terrific 1-2’s, some switching round the back, amazing runs down the middle and wonderful smashes to the top corner – we were amazing as a team! 1 nil at half time and a positive but stern half time chat set us on good path for 2nd half.

After the break saw a bit more to-ing and fro-ing but with amazing trust and on pitch communication we were able to hold pressure on the attacks from the opposition.

Freya’s wonderful top D kick straight back to the opposition was overlooked due to her amazing boot to Charlotte in the mid 25. Which then with solid passing, a few balls on feet from Lisa, and a few breakaways from Kate and Sula we managed to get back on top again. Pippa’a seamless passing back, even when no one was there, kept us all awake (including when Lorna was made to run) thankfully as then they tried to claim a self-kicked goal. But thankfully the ‘umpires’ were actually correct on that call.

Overall a full time score of 3-2 to us had us singing all the way to teas where we were treated to double carbs and mini magnums. A great match had by all, a wonderful team effort and 2 back to back wins behind us ready for next week against Southgate!

WH&E M1 2 : 5 West Hampstead M3

Despite Winchmore going into an early 2-goal lead, West Hampstead came back strongly to overturn the deficit and then some, running out comfortable winners 5-2.

WH&E M2 1 : 7 Old Merchant Taylors M3

The M2s battled hard, but a young and well drilled OMT side were just too strong, leaving our team wondering why OMT 3s had been swapped out of the division above?

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!!!

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…