1st Team Match Report v Pershore

Stafford HC 1st team continued their remarkable recent form with a 8-2 victory last weekend against Pershore HC. They are the league top scorers, having scored a remarkable 25 goals in the last three games!

In soon became apparent that Pershore were not going to be intimidated by the home team, they came out fighting looking to play an expansive game. Stafford were required to soak up early pressure, the defensive team of Mike Wattley and Alex Peatfield calm under pressure.

Stafford eased their way into the game, and were able to win a penalty corner when Andy Peatfield put the ball onto the defenders foot. Dave Anderson was able to fire the ball home with a drag flick. Stafford then took control, a quick pass from Ben Hollands found Giles Rowden in space, he drew the keeper before passing the ball to Charlie Trotter who slotted it home.

A third followed before half time, when Piers Wooller smashed a slipped penalty corner into the net.

Stafford were reasonable happy at half time, they were put under pressure themselves after the break when Pershore won a couple of penalty corners, a nice slip move saw them score a deserved goal.

After that the game opened up, Trotter grabbed another goal with a sublime take down after a raised Andy Peatfield shot, Anderson played a one two off the cross bar to double his tally and Andy Peatfield grabbed one himself after a nice pass from Trotter.

Pershore kept plugging away and got a second after Dan Howe in goal saved an initial shot well but couldn’t stop the rebound.

There was still time for Trotter to slot home his third and Rowden to score a tap in after a very unselfish pass by Andy Peatfield.

A very enjoyable game helped by an opposition willing to play attacking hockey and two excellent umpires who allowed the game to flow, no cards shown to either team during the contest.

Next week Stafford face a gruelling away game to Newtown in Powys, hoping to keep the pressure on the teams above them.

1st Team Match Report v West Bromwich

Stafford HC 1st team moved into 3rd place in West Midlands Div 1 with an emphatic 6-3 victory away to West Bromwich HC last weekend. It was easily Stafford’s best performance of the season against a good team.

Stafford started well putting early pressure on the home team, forcing them to concede early penalty corners. Giles Rowden scored the first goal of the game after his straight strike was deflected wickedly into the top corner by a West Brom defender. Dave Anderson doubled the lead with a powerful drag flick soon afterwards.

West Bromwich then woke up and were able to create their own pressure, they pulled one back after Ed Handley deflected a cross past a hapless Dan Howe in goal, and then equalised after a nice reverse stick finish from the league top scorer Paul Compton.

Things then settled down until after half time. The strong wind played into Stafford’s hands and they were able to put considerable pressure on the home team, the midfield led by man of the match Andy Barnett kept taking the ball off their counterparts. Stafford grabbed another goal from a penalty corner, Barnett finishing at the far post after an Anderson cross.

Anderson then doubled his own tally when a penalty stroke was awarded after an illegal stop on the line. Barnett got his second after he put away a bouncing ball, the home team were in disarray, compounded by Stafford’s 6th after Rowden robbed the West Bromwich defender and scored from a narrow angle.

West Brom grabbed a late consolation with an excellent reverse stick finish but Stafford shut up shop and took the three points.

Stafford are now the league top scorers and hitting top form, next week they host Pershore HC at Beaconside, 1.00pm start.

1st Team Match Report v Yardley

Stafford HC 1sts got back to winning ways in emphatic style last weekend, beating Yardley HC 11-0.

In wet and windy conditions, the home team came racing out of the blocks, Ben Hollands scored with Stafford’s first foray into the circle, a nice reverse stick finish. Giles Rowden grabbed the second with a close range finish and Dave Anderson scored with a nice drag flick at a penalty corner.

Yardley started to play them, the young team using their pace to create some pressure on an organised Stafford defence. 3-0 at half time had coach Ed Wills asking for more goals.

Dan Rennie obliged from the re-start after a nice one two with. Charlie Trotter, Rennie scoring from a narrow angle after deceiving the Yardley keeper. The flood gates seemed to open them, Hollands grabbed a second before Trotter finally got in on the act, he pulled a high ball down before finishing nicely on the reverse stick.

Anderson scored another corner, Trotter grabbed two further goals and then Andrew Barnett scored the cream of the crop, an exquisite touch to beat the goal keeper.

All credit to the Yardley team who showed great enthusiasm and good skills at times, the umpires both contributed nicely, allowing the game to flow.

A much changed team on Sunday saw Stafford bow out of the England Hockey Vase, losing 4-1 away to Nuneaton HC, Dan Wheawall with the consolation goal.

A big game next week for Stafford who are facing table toppers West Bromwich HC away, 11.50am at the Aston University Sports Ground.

1st Team Match Report v Oswestry

Previously top of the table Stafford HC made the long away trip to Oswestry HC last weekend, returning in 4th place after a 10-5 defeat.

The Riverway team were missing key personnel but were still in confident form, however they succumbed early on to the hosts long ball game, helped by a bouncy pitch.

Oswestry scored three early goals, getting the ball early to their quick forwards, Who were allowed to turn and run at the Stafford defence. Stafford eventually woke up and scored through Giles Rowden after a nice pass by Piers Wooller. Dave Anderson scored a beauty of a penalty corner and Charlie Trotter grabbed another to level the scores.

Another goal for Oswestry gave them a slender lead at half time but Stafford were confident that they could score more goals.

Unfortunately after the break, Stafford capitulated under the physical game favoured by Oswestry, every shot seemed to go in and Stafford’s heads dropped. A couple of late sin-binnings for Oswestry allowed Stafford to score through Andy Peatfield and Ben Hollands but they were mere consolation efforts.

Stafford now have a week off before facing new leaders West Bromwich, On the 14th November.  Everyone needs to be at training over the next few weeks to ensure that we can ensure this does not happen again.