Stafford 2nds win the league with a game to go!!!

After results went our way yesterday, Stafford made it 6 points out of 6 for the weekend, and an unassailable 4 point lead at the top of the table with 1 game to go.

Still 1 game left and we will look to end on a high with a win against Wolverhampton. If you have no plans and are free at 1pm, we would really welcome your support 🙂

Thanks

Result – Stafford 2nds – 6, Redditch 2nds – 2

The second team bandwagon moved on with an efficient performance from a very determined Stafford team, who knew that a win today would set up next week’s crunch game with Stone.

Stafford dominated the first half and could easily have had more than their 3-2 lead at half time – redditch indebted to their gk who produced a number of saves to keep the likes of Howe and Sunderland at bay.

Fortunately he was powerless to stop Jack Ball.

As the second half wore on Stafford started to put their chances away as our opponents tired, and the final score line of 6-2 did not flatter us – but I would be a little biased.

Stafford go into next week’s game knowing that a win will almost ensure promotion. If other results go our way today, promotion can be sealed next weekend – let’s hope Telford got a win today.

For such a big game against our local rivals it would be great to get as much support as we can – we will be starting at 2:30 in stone, so if you can come down after any games (or before) it would be great!!!

Scorers – J. Ball – 3, C. Sunderland – 1, C. Bishop – 1, OG – 1

MOTM – J. Ball
DOTD – E. Glennon

Result – Old Wulfs 2nds – 2, Stafford 2nds – 4

Stafford gained a measure of revenge against a stubborn Old Wulfs team to extend their unbeaten run going into their top vs bottom clash with Redditch next week.

Stafford will take heart from not conceding through open play for the second week in a row, and will look to keep improving as the season draws to a close.

Scorers:

R. Bendall, M. Wymer and C Sunderland

MOTM – G Minton
DOTD – S Marsh

Result – Stafford 2nds, 5, Bloxwich 2nds , 2

Stafford broke the run of 4 straight draws to beat top of the table Bloxwich in a true 6 pointer. Stafford came out with a new formation, and after going in to half time level, produced a great second half performance (coinciding with James Fb and Elliot finally waking up and deciding to play hockey) to emerge 5 2 winners, moving level with Bloxwich but with an all important game in hand.

Next week sees the 2nds travel to Old Wulfs, hoping to avenge a very one sided draw in the first half of the season.

Scorers – Bendall – 2, Glennon – 1, Faulconbridge – 1 and Ball – 1

MOTM – Colin Bishop

DOTD – Elliot Glennon

Result – Stafford 2nds 3, Bromsgrove 2nds 3

Stafford continued their unbeaten season, but worryingly had their 3rd draw in a row, in another game they possibly should have won.

Stafford started off playing some very flowing, slick hockey, with brilliant passing and movement from the midfield of Rennie, Bishop and Robinson. After 5 minutes of Stafford pressure, including several very near misses, Bromsgrove broke and finished a slick counter.

This then happened again… And again.

After 25 minutes Stafford were 3 down, but strangely still dominating. A much deserved goal soon came through an excellent Faulconbridge strike – his well hit short corner saved and the rebound was put away with a calmness beyond his years.

Shortly Stafford snatched another through Bendall and Stafford were really controlling the game, despite being behind.

A very positive half time team talk reinforced that this was ours for the taking. Stafford were still the better team, even with 10, and shortly after Wattley’s return, Stafford produced their best short corner of the season – Rennie slotting home after a good 1-2 with Bendall.

Next week is a top of the table clash with Bloxwich. Assuming Stone win their game in hand, 2 points cover the top 3, with only 2 promotion places up for grabs, next week is a must win.

Result – Leamington 2nds – 1, Stafford 2nds – 1

Stafford continued their unbeaten run against a resilient Leamington side, who showed a great deal of fight and relief in coming away with a draw.

Stafford went in to today’s game knowing that a strong performance was needed against a team who gave us more than a game at Beaconside earlier in the season. A slightly changed team from last week, Stafford started sluggishly, and after about 15 mins found ourselves behind to a well taken slipped goal.

This seemed to wake up Stafford, and the pressure on Leamington started to tell as Stafford commenced their pressing game and started to camp in the Leamington half, deservedly equalising through a Glennon flick (a legitimate one this time!)

From this the game seemed stuck in midfield and half time arrived with both teams believing the game had more goals.

Stafford improved greatly in the second half, but could not find the killer blow. The pressure was well and truly on Leamington as Stafford created chance after chance but could not find the all important winner.

Leamington came off the pitch celebrating, and Stafford will hope to take their frustrations out on Solihull Blossomfield next week – a team on a high after beating promotion chasing Stone HC

Scorer – Elliot Glennon
MOTM – Paul Taylor-Grime
DOTD – Charlie Trotter

Stafford 2nds to play Ludlow – and a desperate request for a goalkeeper!!!

Stafford 2nds currently do not have a goalkeeper for this coming weekend. If anybody would like a game in goal please let me know ASAP!!!

Meet time – 11:30 at the club – 1:30 push back

GK tbc

Gareth Minton – yes – direct
Andy Simms – yes

James Faulconbridge – yes
Colin Bishop
Pete Chiu – yes

James Gillingham
John Faulconbridge – yes
Jack Ball – yes

Rich Bendall – yes
Matt best – yes

Sam Gibson – yes

Stafford 2nd team match report – Wolverhampton vs Stafford

Stafford HC 2nd XI vs Wolverhampton

Saturday seconds went into Saturdays tricky fixture with Wolverhampton knowing that if they won, they would have gone the first half of the season completely unbeaten and be sitting top of he league for the Christmas break.

They started the game in a similar way to the past few games, flying out the blocks and dominating possession. However, the first 6 minutes didn’t see any goals, nor did the first 20 minutes. This was all down to the heroics of the Wolverhampton keeper who frustrated the Stafford frontline.

Stafford eventually made the break-threw with some tidy play on the edge of the D between Andy Barnett and Ian Robbinson, finding Dan Howe who played in Richard Bendall who then played the ball across for Jack Ball to calmly finish. Fantasy team enthusiasts out there will noticed that’s 5 goals in the past 3 games!

With 5 minutes to go before the break, Stafford decided to stop wasting there chances (by this point Dave had counted 16 shots on target) and grab another goal. After some great work at the top of the D, James Gillingham played a quick one-two with Jack Ball, before finding Elliot Glennon on the baseline. Elliot then fired the ball across a crowded D, finding Ian Robbinson at the back post.

Stafford then accidentally did Coach Daves secret number 6 short corner. James Gillingham injected a short corner before falling over whilst making a return, he then slipped the ball square across the D to Colin Bishop who fired the ball home. That means as it stand James Falconbridge owes Colin £10, with 2 goals to James’ none.

At half time, it was 3-0, but it could have easily been a lot more with keeper Paul Ruddle yet to have a touch of the ball and a very wasteful Stafford frontline.

The second half was much of the same, but Stafford couldn’t add to there tally as they struggled to beat the Wolverhampton keeper.

However, the second half wasn’t without incident. Mike Wymer continued his tremendous run of form of running into the goal. He made a classic Wymer run, using his pace to beat a number of players and rather than playing the ball to a Stafford player, fell over and got tangled up in the goal.

Richard Bendall also continued his unique run of forming of making the most of bad tackles and falling as if he has been hit by a nearby sniper.

Towards the end of the second half Stafford had another flurry of short corners, but were un-able to grab a goal. The lack of ability to score these short corners made captain Gareth Minton sprint up and warn the short corner team “if you don’t take a bloody shot, I am having the next short!”.

Stafford now have the luxury of being top of the league for Christmas and will look to continue this form into the new year. But since the league table is broken, you can’t see it. Instead, enjoy This weeks player profile.

Name: James Gillingham
Position: Self-Proclaimed Midfield ‘dynamo’
Moment of the Season: Dan Howe doing a Popeye goal celebration vs Redditch
Favourite Short Corner Routine: 5
Favourite Animal: Meercat
Season in 5 Words: “erm, I don’t know…winners”

Also, don’t listen to Mav trying to put a downer on things and tell us off. We’re top of the league…undefeated and it’s a hoot. Rest of the league…come at us yea (because we play better against good teams)

And huge thanks to Stafford 2nd XI for donating this weeks fines money to my Movemebr page. There’s still chance to donate and help change the face if men’s health at uk.movember.com/mospace/6985857. But the question is…since this moustache of mine appeared, we went top of the league…dare I shave and risk us slipping down the table?

MOM: Elliot Glennon
DOD: James Gillingham
Scorers: Jack Ball, Ian Robbinson, Colin Bishop