Date : Saturday 18th. January 2014
Fixture : Stafford Fathoms / 5th. Team v Cannock Fathoms
Venue : Stone Hockey Club
Push-Back : 10am
Score : 3-1 ( H/T 2-1 ) ( Won )
Scorers : Alan Snell & Dan Wheawall ( 2 )
MOM : Alan Snell
( Nominated by Mav / Richard Bendall, watching the game from the sidelines )
Umpires : Rob Peatfield & Daniel Rennie
Stafford Fathom Team / 5th. Team ( 13 players ) :
Ashley Dunn ( GK ), Paul Rennie, John Sinclair, Alan Snell, Dan Wheawall, Matthew Till, Tyler Murray, Will Trotter, Damon Morbey, Kyle Rennie, Harry Coltman, Declan Martin & Luke Mitford.
Stafford Fathoms / 5th. Team were unable to play this game at their usual 10am time at Beaconside, because Stafford Ladies had this slot, so they instead had to play this game at Stone Hockey Club ( Re a 10am pushback ).
The Fathom Team wanted to try and build on last week’s practice game against Stafford Ladies Fathoms / Youngsters which they won 5-2, ith Will Trotter scoring 3 goals in this game and Tyler Murray scoring the other 2 and the 2 youngsters of Freddie & Hugo Sutton were both nominated by the Fathom Team after this game as joint Man of the Match for this Fathom Game.
Anyhow for this Saturday’s game against Cannock Fathoms, Ashley Dunn was persuaded to play in goals for them and they had Luke Mitford making a welcome return for them, after being unable to play since the first game of the season back in October, due to work commitments on Saturdays and I am convinced that the Fathom Team also wanted to prove to itself, that they had developed and progressed since the game at Cannock at the beginning of the season, back in October last year, which they lost 3-0, which was lost in the first 20 minutes of that game, as all 3 goals were conceded in that time. The Team Talk before the game started, which was given by the vice captain, Paul Rennie, was based on this match back in October last year against Cannock, as he reminded all players of why this game had probably been lost Re : due to conceding 3 early goals and to try and prevent this from happening again in this game, the whole team would need to be focused right from the start and they would need also need to pass to one another, rather than trying to take players on, as Cannock with their pedigree, would be very difficult to get past with individual runs and that every player needed to try and stick to their positions, they were asked to play in this game ( before & after substitutions ) and lastly for all players to support one another physical and vocally during the game and to go out and enjoy the challenge.
Right from the word go, Cannock put Stafford’s Fathom Team to the test and it appeared the team talk before the game had been taken notice of, as Stafford were tuned in and coped well with Cannock’s first few attacks and this set the tone for the rest of the game as Stafford quickly settled down and worked hard for one another, which helped to break down their well organised & drilled opposition and Alan Snell was Stafford’s midfield dynamo, as he was everywhere on the pitch, one minute he was helping out his defence with some good tackling and passing and the next minute he was up front supporting his side’s attacks and eventually his hard work and dedication was rewarded, when he won the ball in Stafford’s defence and a few minutes later he received the ball back on the edge of the Cannock D from a fellow player, he then worked his way into the opposition D, before hitting the ball sweetly and cleanly into the back of the Cannock net. Cannock then tried hard to breakdown the resolute Stafford Fathom Team, in order to draw level, but Stafford stood firm and about 10 minutes later, they doubled their lead when Dan Wheawall, Stafford Fathoms centre forward took a half chance in the Cannock D and slotted the ball home under the advancing Cannock Keeper, into the back of his net. Again Cannock tried to get back into the game and eventually their persistence paid dividends, as with half-time looming, they managed to get the better of Stafford’s defence, when one of their forwards got passed his marker and found himself with a rare free shot at Stafford’s goal, which Stafford’s Keeper, Ashley Dunn, who during the first half had made a number of good saves, had very little chance of stopping. Anyhow, after this Cannock goal, Stafford stayed strong & solid and kept their opponents at bay and when the half time whistle blew, Stafford still found themselves 2-1 up against their arch rivals.
The team talk at half time given by a number of players including the Vice Captain, Paul Rennie, was that they were in the lead against Cannock, because they had worked hard and collectively for one another and in order to ensure they kept what they had achieved so far ( i.e. being 2-1 up at half time ), they need to carry on the good work and to stay completely focussed, so as to try and ensure at the final whistle that the team’s hard work would be reflected in the result ( i.e. hopefully a memorable win against their local neighbours / rivals, Cannock ).
So with that in mind, Stafford went into the second half wanting to carry on keeping Cannock at bay and to get that next all important goal, which they hoped would clinch the game for them and to try and do this before their opponents could strike back and draw level with them and the Stafford Fathom Team were totally focussed on achieving this goal, as they continued with the workman determination they showed in the first half and minutes into the second half, Dan Wheawall, found himself having a really good shot on Cannock goals, being saved superbly by their keeper. However, Stafford didn’t allow this missed opportunity to loose their way and they continued to plug away at achieving the aim of scoring that elusive third goal and while the Stafford Captain, John Sinclair was off the pitch, taking his stint as a substitute, due to having 13 players, Stafford got that all important third goal, when Dan Wheawall got into the Cannock’s D with the ball and then tapped the ball under the Cannock keeper’s near post. After getting that third goal, the decision was made not to substitute Alan Snell Re : his turn to be substituted due to Stafford having 13 players, so as to ensure the heart of the Stafford Fathom midfield stayed strong, solid & resolute with him at the helm, so as to ensure that Cannock were kept at bay Re : stopping them getting back into the game with another goal. However, now that they were trailing 3-1, they were still a threat, but the wind had been taken out of their sails to a certain degree, with Stafford getting that all important third goal and when the final whistle blew Stafford Fathoms could now stand back and measure the importance of this win, on how far they had come from that 3-0 defeat against them, back in October last year, to the hard earned 3-1 win achieved against them this weekend.
The team talk at the end of the game given again by Vice Captain, Paul Rennie was that everyone should be really pleased on achieving this 3-1 win against their big local neighbours / rivals and that everyone had played their part in ascertaining this memorable 3-1 win, as all players had worked hard for one another and never let their heads to drop when Cannock pulled it back just before half time to 2-1 and Alan Snell who had an outstanding game in midfield for Stafford Fathoms, was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match Accolade, as nominated by Mav / Richard Bendall, watching this game from the sidelines and by the rest of the Fathom Team.
The next Fathom’s game this Saturday ( 25th. January ) is against Bridgnorth Fathoms ( who Stafford beat 1-0 at Beaconside back in October last year, with a goal from young Will Trotter ) and is Away and it is a 2.15pm pushback on their grass pitch outside their clubhouse ( Victoria Road, Bridgnorth WV6 4LB ) and all players picked to play in this game will need to meet at Stafford Hockey Club at 12.15pm & Bridgnorth Fathom Captain, Tony Swales has kindly sorted out today a goalkeeper for Stafford Fathoms for this Saturday’s game, as Stafford Fathoms currently do not have a regular keeper to choose from or have any goalkeeping kit of their own, that can be used if a outfield fathom player was to volunteer to play in goals for them and unfortunately Harry Coltman, Luke Mitford & Damon Morbey who played in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Cannock are not available for this Saturday’s game Away to Bridgnorth Fathoms, but hopefully Taran Bassie, Carl Dudley & Pete Powers will be available to play for the Fathoms / 5ths this Saturday against Bridgnorth Fathoms.