1st team match reports vs Ludlow and Ashby

Saturday 26th November
Stafford 5 – 0 Ludlow (West Midlands Premier League)

Sunday 27th November
Stafford 1 – 3 Ashby (England Hockey Vase 3rd Round)

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Stafford as they returned to the top of the West Midlands Premier on Saturday and exited the England Hockey Vase in the third round on Sunday.

Saturday saw a comfortable 5-0 victory against Ludlow. The Shropshire team, who had travelled a long way, were missing key players due to suspensions and injuries. Despite Ludlow calling up some impressive youngsters, Stafford had too much composure and firepower and in the end ran out easy winners. The scoring was opened by the in-form Dan Rennie who despatched a powerful shot from the top of the circle early on in the first half. Ludlow tried to get into the game but could not get their passing going; Stafford managing to frustrate ex-national league player James Pratt with aggressive pressing in their own half. Stafford pulled two ahead when a James Wild shot was deflected in by Charlie Trotter and a third came from Andy Peatfield, a welcome return for his first game of the season, from a scrappy penalty corner.

In the second half it was more of the same with a further two goals. The first came after the industrious Andy Barnett robbed the ball from Ludlow’s fullback, feeding Charlie Trotter who slotted home. A man of the match performance from Barnett was rounded off with an unstoppable deflection high into the roof of the goal from a James Wild through ball. Barnett has now scored in the past four successive league games taking his total for the season to six and will be pushing hard for player of the season.

On Sunday, Stafford faced a significantly sterner task against Ashby in the England Hockey Vase. The Derbyshire side who are unbeaten this season brought a young, fit, hungry team and started brightly putting pressure on Stafford’s players in all areas of the pitch. The pressure paid off when Richard Buka, playing at fullback lost the ball cheaply, the Ashby attacker driving forwards and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Dan Howe from the top of the circle. Stafford managed to grab one back through a penalty corner and then sat back into a half court press to try and contain the opposition. However, Ashby’s tidy passing and running off the ball created problems and soon they were in the Stafford circle again, managing to tuck away a rebound through the goalkeeper’s legs. In the second half, Stafford kept battling away but just could not find an opening against a well organised defence. With 15 minutes to go, Ashby struck the final nail in the coffin that is Stafford’s cup run; breaking into the circle down the right and powering home from a tight angle. So this was not to be the season for cup glory but Stafford have had a good run and good luck to Ashby in the next round.

RB

1st Team Match Report: Bloxwich 2 – 2 Stafford

Saturday 19th November
Bloxwich HC 1st XI 2 – 2 Stafford HC 1st XI

Goals: Andy Barnett x2
Man of the match: Dan Howe

On Saturday Stafford made the short trip down the M6 to Bloxwich for a top of the table clash that saw them come from 2-0 down at half time. Stafford only made one change from their last league game; a like-for-like swap bringing the experienced James Gillingham for the recently emigrated Giles Rowden.

Bloxwich started well and Stafford allowed them time on the ball, defending deep, hoping to soak up some pressure and beat the opposition on the counter-attack. However within ten minutes, Stafford were behind. Some crisp passing across the just-thawed surface lead to a hit into the circle, wrong-footing the defence and leading to an easy finish into the bottom right hand corner.

Stafford then had to break from their deep lying tactic and looked more comfortable pressing the opposition. However some more decent build-up play brought Bloxwich some penalty corner opportunities, the third despatched efficiently with a drag flick high away to goalkeeper Dan Howe’s right hand.

After a positive, optimistic half time team talk Stafford started the second half brightly and were able to impose their own passing game on the opposition. Space opened up on the flanks allowing the spritely Mike Wattley on the left and Will Trotter on the right to get forward to support the attack. Despite some good hockey Stafford were unable to break through the normal channels but had a lucky break when Mike Wattley’s powerful straight pass into the circle was inexplicably missed by the defender allowing Andy Barnett who put in an impressive circle-to-circle display to deflect the ball into the net. Again Stafford pressed, Bloxwich defending deeper and deeper and the equaliser came with 15 minutes to go after some Dan Rennie’s wayward reverse stick shot following some intricate skills was again deflected in to the net by Andy Barnett for his second.

In the final quarter, goalkeeper Dan Howe earned his man of the match award making a string of top quality saves to keep the score level keeping out Bloxwich with a one-on-one reaction save followed by a smart stop with his shoulder. The game petered out after that but Stafford will be encouraged by the nature of their fight back against a good quality side.

On Saturday 26th November Stafford entertain mid-table Ludlow HC, 1pm at Beaconside.

Junior Open Session 25th January

Dear all,

The club is holding an open session on the 25th January 10:45am ’til 12 on the astro at Beaconside for anyone interested in trying hockey. It is mainly aimed at juniors but adults are welcome. This is where we need your help! If you have any family friends or relatives who might be interested, let them know about the event and get them to come along. Without a strong junior section, there will be nothing to sustain the club through the next century so please rack your brains!

THE EVENT IS ALSO OPEN TO EXISTING JUNIORS- I ENCOURAGE AS MANY OF THOSE PLAYING ALREADY AS POSSIBLE TO COME ALONG.

This week, a letter has gone out to primary schools, letting them know about the event. Hopefully we will get some attendees from this but the stronger you guys push it, the better the event will be. We will be capturing contact details from parents so will hopefully acquire some new young members.

If you, or anyone else need any more info, email me: richardbuka@googlemail.com

Thanks in advance for your help.

Buka

1st team match report 18th October

Stafford Hockey Club first eleven travelled to West Bromwich on Saturday for their third league game of the season. Buoyed by a decent draw on opening day against Streetly and an encouraging performance against Wednesbury that unfortunately ended in a 3-0 defeat, a Stafford team with an average age of 23 were in good spirits and high in confidence.

The game started well for Stafford and a new short-corner routine courtesy of coach Ed Wills confused the West Brom defence and Colin Bishop was able to slot the ball home from the top of the circle for his first league goal for the first team. West Brom came out fighting and managed to equalise from their own well-worked short corner but Stafford were soon in front again with a captain’s goal from the industrious Ben Hollands.

Again, Stafford couldn’t hang on to the lead as West Brom again equalised with another short corner taking the teams into the break at all square. A calm and collected team talk spurred the team on and Stafford were able to string some passes together with man of the match Andy Peatfield bossing the midfield. Stafford’s patience allowed them to take the lead 20 minutes from the end as Charlie Trotter picked up a rebound off the goalkeeper to flick the ball into the top corner of the goal. Some good saves from goalkeeper Gareth Minton kept Stafford ahead and a late penalty flick converted by the ever reliable Dave Anderson calmed last minute nerves and sealed the win.

This Saturday, Stafford will try to build on their good start to the season as they host Market Drayton in a 1pm start at Beaconside.

Rules on slide-tackles

Dear all,

We have received the following guidance from the umpires’ association. Please bear this in mind when playing and umpiring.

All players have a duty of care on the pitch. This means they should not tackle in a reckless way. If a player goes to ground in a tackle this in itself, is not an offence and should only be penalised in certain situations:

  1. A player goes to ground and plays the ball with the stick – NO OFFENCE
  1. A player deliberately goes to ground and prevents the ball going past with his/her body or leg then this should be a personal penalty and also the appropriate team penalty
  1. If a player slides in to tackle and takes the ball cleanly and only the ball – PLAY ON
  1. If a player slides in and takes the ball but then collides with the opposition player, this should be penalised accordingly as it is reckless and dangerous. The suggestion here is that contact with the opposition in this scenario would result in a 10 minute yellow card.
  1. If the contact with the opposition player is incidental and not in any way intentional or dangerous, you may get away with a lower penalty. However, this needs very careful management, if this is the approach adopted.

 

 

A message from Dave Evans

Dear all,

As many of you know, Dave will be moving on from the position of first team coach next season. He has asked me to pass on his thanks to the club and its members for supporting him over the last two years and wish us luck in the future.

In return, I would also like to thank Dave for his incredibly hard work and dedication to coaching over the last two seasons, whether that be with the first team or the fathoms. I am sure you will agree that his enthusiasm has been somewhat infectious and has improved the hockey of many of us.

I wish him all the best going forward and I’m sure we’ll continue to see him around the club.

Buka

Football not on

Hi all,

Due to summer league starting, football won’t be on tomorrow. If people want to do a different night, please get on touch with me and we can sort it out.

Buka

Barney’s epic charity cycle ride. Fundraiser Wednesday 7th May at the club.

A message from Andy Barnett:

Hello!

I’m currently cycling from Lands’ End to John O’Groats for our local hospice Katharine House to raise funds and awareness of the great work self-funded hospices throughout the country do.

We’ve added on a few extra miles by editing the route to come through Stafford, which means myself and Jack Rennie (yes, he is related to the mighty Paul Rennie) will be cycling over 1000 miles!

If you can support us in anyone you can, that’d be greatly appreciated, be-it a donation on our ‘Just Giving’ page at http://www.justgiving.com/LEJOG4KHouse, a share, like or tweet on social media (#LEJOG4KHouse) or a supporting message whilst we’re riding to help us power through the days!

We’re also hosting an en route ‘Open Mic. Night’ at the clubhouse on Wednesday 7th May at 7.30pm which would be awesome if you were able to make come down, be social and enjoy a night at the club…its free entry and more information is here http://on.fb.me/1fog9uf

We’ll be blogging and keeping everyone in the loop as we go, but so far here’s an introduction and training video blog (with an apologetically bad jingle at the end):

Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=YPbGGBDeBEc Training Blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=wd-g4VsNgAs

Thanks for reading…if you have any advice or want more info about the route, just drop me a line! Also if you think I look amazing in the training blog, that’s thanks to Silverstick who helping us out so check out their website (http://www.silverstick.co.uk/) and you want anything, let me know and I’ll give you a discount code

Andy Barnett

Spring football

Hi all,

Football will be starting Tuesday 22nd April at 6.30 on the grass at the club not tomorrow as discussed with some of you.

Bring as many friends as you want!

See you next week.

Buka

Spring football

Hi all,

Football will be starting Tuesday 22nd April at 6.30 on the grass at the club not tomorrow as discussed with some of you.

Bring as many friends as you want!

See you next week.

Buka