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 M1 3 : 2 Broxbourne M3

Clearly this year has been different in so many ways to all others. And perhaps it has been for WH&E M1’s too. A start to a season with 14 players for each game. Unheard of. Not this year. With a draw and then a narrow loss last week, this fixture offered a chance to start winning ways perhaps earlier than ‘Purple Power’ normally manages in a season. This opportunity was Broxbourne.

WH&E’s team set up strongly and pressed Broxbourne hard reversing the more customary pattern in previous games of Brox possession and WH&E seeking a breakaway. Brox weren’t quite sure what to do. An observation from Jim Gatting that they were probably over drilled translated into Brox being unwilling to pass to a marked man. Since WH&E were marking every man diligently, Brox had no passes to make. However, despite WH&E dominating, about 15 min in and against the run of play, they managed to break away, obtained a short corner and scored.

Nevertheless, WH&E continued the pressure, and this paid dividends, with Asher Cohen on the right receiving the ball, dribbling and then placing a shot to score.

A couple of Brox players were good dribblers too but they weren’t able to make this count due to the strong closing down from the midfield and defence including by Dominic Smith, Matt Dray, Stephen Lopez and Stuart Carrick.

With the trusty ‘orders’ written on the now fabled piece of paper, akin to some military manoeuvres, those on the sideline had the chance to run the subs which worked well with the game now broken up in segments with players getting their chance to shine.

WH&E were able to continue attacks and a series of 1-2’s opened up Brox with good play down the left and right, and Michael Dutnall making his now familiar runs to the 23m line. A move ended in Sam Turmaine shooting and scoring, but the umpire blew the whistle just before it hit the backboard.

WH&E were creating chances and the pressure continued and a short corner saw the ball flash across the ‘D’ coming off an opposition stick for Jake Sumner to reach out his stick and guide the ball goalward but for a Broxbourne leg to block it heading into the net. A flick was given, and Colin Foad stepped up and slotted home. The whistle blew, and WH&E headed into the break 2-1 up. Well deserved.

The second half began, but WH&E couldn’t find the rhythm of the first half and for the first seven or eight minutes couldn’t get out of the half. The pass or touch not quite going to plan. However, the defence remained strong, despite a couple of occasions seeing the ball dangerously pass across the goal line.

Just as Brox scored against the run of play in the first half, perhaps WH&E did too with a shot from Harry Stone. The period of play then moved into one which saw both sides attack and defend. John Adam Elliott Lappin played an excellent ball into the ‘D’ from just past the halfway line, but it wasn’t converted. At the other end Jim Gatting made some excellent diving saves.

Then came the final six to seven min and WH&E began to tire. KP, formerly of WH&E, managed to get away from his marker and score. It was 3-2 with two minutes left to play. The 1s managed to playout with Stan Knight receiving the ball and pressing for an attack in the final seconds.

The whistle blew and a well-deserved win and three points. WH&E M1’s games to date have seen two goals in each conceded. If we can get some clean sheets and keep scoring we should be odds on for more victories and who know what the year will bring? Could the victory this week set the standard ahead?


WH&E M2 3 : 2 West Herts M5

With a strong team playing, including Adam and Luke helping out this week, we knew it was going to be an exciting home game at Southbury. Despite the recent change of home ground, we got off to a good start, and with a few fantastic chances from Luke, we were looking very good up front with the prospect of a few goals likely.

Around halfway into the first half things picked up even more and Theo slipped one in at the post to make it 1-nil. With everyone continuing to play well and get into good positions, Adam hit one from outside the D towards the far post and Theo got a touch on it to make it 2-nil.

The half time whistle was blown, and with everyone in high spirits the second half commenced. Unfortunately, even with a few superb saves from Balazs, and brilliant defending from Joe, Stuart and Ellis, West Herts made it 2-1 early on in the second half.

Even with spirits dampened slightly from conceding, we continued to play well and get chances, with Luke and Johnny coming especially close. A goal soon happened; a rebound off the keeper from Luke’s shot which was pushed in by Johnny, to make it 3-1.

Towards, the end of the game, however, the chances began to lessen with a desperate press from West Herts, and they were eventually able to get one back with two minutes to go. We held on well in the final moments of the game and the whistle blew 3-2, the first win of the season for the Men’s 2s. ?


WH&E L2 0 : 6 PHC Chiswick L4

Ladies 2s depart Chiswick...Not all appeared as it would seem in the ladies 2s game this week. Both captain and one of our vice captains there yet something did not look right – their clothes! They stood ready to watch and support in their normal attire after injury and opportunity knocked for them respectively. Ellie had made her 1st team debut in the early morning!

For the first 20 mins of the game we looked the better team although as time proceeded, we seemed to enter a hall of mirrors, with blue shirts appearing to fill the pitch and pressing hard. The defence battled hard to break free and the midfield helped relieve the pressure as waves of blue continued to bombard.

Looking to the forwards for inspiration, some darting runs allowed us to break yet conversions did not come. Something tainted our vision as Lisa tried again to score in the wrong goal and Anju tackling a players’ legs….

Throughout the game there were flashes of brilliance, great play and teamwork. For the ladies 2s it seems again that when we look at the reflection of our game, the mirror we look in is covered in a layer of dust – the score line did not reflect.


WH&E L1 1 : 4 West Hampstead L2

Following an unlucky head injury to one of the opposition’s players, we were asked to quit the game and leave the score as it was.

We said absolutely not, and immediately picked up the pace and urgency and pushed ourselves. We had several chances, and a short corner won by Bethany ended up in a goal from Sam Deane!

The West Hampstead players were shooketh!

We won those last 14 mins of the match 1-0…

During the rest of the match before the injury, we had multiple chances, several short corners, another of Karen’s cars broke down (?), and we actually had a sub! Unfortunately, we didn’t score from any of those chances but West Hampstead scored from 4 of theirs….

Thank you to Ellie Bolton who played her first 1s match for us and did a brilliant job ?. Well done to Rachelle Alexandra who did a great job at centre back pushing up the pitch to help us create chances up front.

And well played to everyone who kept pushing until the end. We’re getting used to playing on a full pitch again, so our first win of the season is definitely coming soon!!