1st Team Match Report v Leamington

Stafford HC 1st team top the table in West Midlands Div 1 after an emphatic 6-1 victory against previous league leaders Leamington HC.

Free scoring Stafford have produced a series of excellent performances over the last few weeks and last Saturday was no different. The midfield was dominant and able to turn over possession regularly and counter attack against a bemused opponent. A couple of early chances were not taken but eventually Stafford won a penalty corner, Dave Anderson’s flick was well saved but Captain Ben Hollands picked up the rebound and smashed the ball home.

Stafford doubled their lead after a great run and pass from Andy Peatfield, finding Giles Rowden on the far post to tap the ball in. Peatfield then turned scorer after a Rowden pass, deflecting the ball neatly passed an on rushing keeper.

After the break Stafford continued their dominance, Dan Rennie picked up a broken down corner to flick the ball passed a stranded keeper. Peatfield grabbed his second after a great lay off from Hollands, saw him walk the ball into the net. Charlie Trotter scored the 6th after a reverse stick shot.

It was really game over but Leamington kept plugging away, indeed they thought they had scored before Dan Howe denied them in goals with a dramatic stick save. After a couple of penalty corners, Leamington eventually got a consolation after a smart short corner routine.

An excellent result and Stafford are where they want to be at the head of the table, they will be hoping to keep the momentum going against Evesham on the 9th January 2016.

1st Team Match Report v Newtown

Stafford HC 1st team lifted themselves to second place in West Midlands Division 1 with a resounding 12-1 away victory against Newtown HC in Powys.

Incredibly Stafford have now scored 37 goals in just four games! However when the team got to Newtown it looked like the game might have to be called off because of strong winds blowing the goals over. A last minute switch to Welshpool saw far better playing conditions.

Despite the difficult start, Stafford came out firing, a great pass from Guy Malpass saw Andy Barnett deflect the ball past a stranded keeper within the first minute. More quick goals followed, Giles Rowden scoring from a straight penalty corner strike, Charlie Trotter tapping it the far post. Rowden grabbed his second after picking up a deflected shot.

After this Stafford played some scintillating hockey, great passing and overlapping running bemused the home team, Ben Hollands scoring after a surging run and Andy Peatfield knocking in a far post cross.

It was 7-0 at half time and a change of goal-keeper did stem the Stafford momentum but not for long, Dan Rennie finished a reverse stick shot, Hollands grabbed his second and Trotter two more.

Credit to Newtown who kept going forward, eventually grabbing a goal from a neat finish after the ball was powered into the circle.

Stafford still had time to improve their goal difference, Rowden scoring two late goals to finish with four.

A word of thanks to Newtown for providing both very competent and sociable umpires, agreeing to swap locations to ensure the game went ahead and for being a good bunch of lads.

Stafford have the chance of being top at Christmas if they beat new league leaders Leamington HC next Saturday, 1.00pm start at Beaconside.

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.

1st Team Match Report v Redditch

Stafford HC retained top position in the West Midlands Div 1 last weekend with a 1-1 draw against second placed Redditch HC.

In a high quality game, both teams set out to play expansive hockey, Stafford probably dominated the possession but Redditch always looked dangerous on the counter attack.

Stafford raced out of the blocks stunning Redditch with their power play, early penalty corners were won, Dave Anderson and Giles Rowden forcing the opposition goal keeper to make some terrific saves.

As so often happens, Redditch scored with their first meaningful attack, the ball was fired into the circle from long range, Mike Wattley was forced into an awkward position and deflected the ball past a hapless Dan Howe in goals. Redditch were literally cheering a second goal but Howe pulled off an amazing far post save to keep Stafford in the game.

The second half was played out in competitive style, Stafford equalised after Charlie Trotter turned his marker and forced a two on one with the keeper, he unselfishly passed to Andy Peatfield to slot home.

Stafford kept up the pressure but despite a couple of late efforts, the points were shared.

Next week Stafford make the long trip to third placed Oswestry, hoping to take their good form with them.

1st Team Match Report v Droitwich

Stafford HC 1st team maintained top position in West Midlands 1 with a 3-1 victory away to Droitwich HC.

Droitwich started the brighter, more used to a bouncy pitch, and it was not long before they took the lead with the first goal Stafford have conceded this league season. It was a smart hit on the volley that gave Tom Dean-Nitschler no chance in goals.

That’s seemed to wake Stafford up and Charlie Trotter got his 4th goal of the campaign with a dribble into the circle and a smart reverse stick finish.

Stafford had the impetus and scored a second with a Piers Wooller shot from a penalty corner. Two became three after Andy Peatfield’s cross was unluckily deflected into the Droitwich goal by their own player.

Stafford would have liked to have scored more in the second half but seemed to lose their shape, in fact Droitwich were unlucky not to grab a second after the umpire saw an infringement just before they put the ball in the Stafford net.

There was still time for Ed Handley to deflect the ball just over the Droitwich goal and Andy Barnett to be denied by a good save at the end.

Next week Stafford face second place Redditch HC at home, 1.00pm push back at Beaconside.

1st Team Match Report v Barlaston

Stafford HC 1st team took the honours last weekend against local rivals Barlaston HC 4-0 in West Midlands Division 1.

Stafford have now scored ten goals in two games and have not conceded a single goal or even a penalty corner. Credit to Barlaston who kept the Riverway side at bay for long periods with a tenacious defensive effort.

Stafford started well, moving the ball around at pace, it took a while for Stafford to get a chance, Dan Rennie making his way along the base line before pulling it back to Giles Rowden to score through the goal keepers legs.

Soon afterwards Charlie Trotter grabbed his third of the season with a lovely goal, taking it past a stranded keeper before playing it into the corner.

There was still time in the first half for Trotter to miss a penalty stroke before Ben Hollands was played in by an excellent James Wild pass to finish well with a reverse stick shot.

Stafford were cruising at half time, but Barlaston stepped up the effort in the second half, frustrating Stafford and even creating some good chances, their best effort looking goal bound before the Barlaston player got in the way and deflected it past the post.

Stafford won a number of penalty corners but were denied by some good goal line saves. Eventually Stafford grabbed a 4th, Andy Barnett playing the ball to Rowden who squared it to Andy Peatfield to slot it into an empty net.

A good result against a determined opposition, played in good spirit and with two umpires prepared to let the game flow. Next week Stafford are away at Droitwich who have lost both their previous games, failing to score a goal so far.

1st Team Match Report v Evesham

Stafford HC 1st team got their season off to the perfect start with an emphatic 6-0 victory away at Evesham HC.

The Riverway team have re-structured this season with newcomers Alex Peatfield and goalkeeper Tom Dean-Netscher in a strong defence. Stafford looked dominant from the start and it seemed just a matter of time before they took the lead. However it took nearly to half time for Stafford to break down a stubborn defence, a penalty corner was switched neatly between Piers Wooller and Dan Rennie, for the latter to deflect the ball into the roof of the net.

After half time, Stafford settled and their superior fitness told on a beleaguered Evesham side. Giles Rowden grabbed the second with a straight penalty corner strike. After that Stafford started to stretch the game, Charlie Trotter popped up with a nice reverse stick finish, Rennie got a hat-trick with two close range finishes. Trotter then got his second with a fine drag flick.

A great result for Stafford with what could have been a tricky away fixture, next week they entertain local rivals Barlaston HC at Beaconside, 1.00pm start.

1st Team Match Report v West Bromwich HC

Stafford HC 1st team put in a positive performance to draw 1-1 against West Bromwich HC.  Very warm conditions and a brand new bouncy pitch saw Stafford struggle to hold onto the ball in the early stages.

The Riverway team eased their way into the game with some composed play from Alex Peatfield and Mike Watley, Andy Barnett and Andy Peatfield played some raking passes up to Charlie Trotter and Giles Rowden.

Eventually the pressure told and chances were created, Rowden and Trotter both forcing saves from the excellent West Brom keeper. Up the other end, new goal keeper Tom Dean-Netscher made some smart saves to deny the opposition.

Stafford took the lead after a quick pass into the circle from Piers Wooller found Trotter whose shot bounced past the goalie into the net.  Stafford should have extended their lead but could not finish from a number of penalty corner chances.

Unfortunately Stafford conceded a weak equaliser after an unlucky umpiring decision but to their credit keep plugging away. A couple of late shots from Wooller were well saved.

A good game played in an excellent spirit with impressive umpiring will set Stafford up nicely against higher league friendly opposition Wednesbury next week, 1.00pm start on the newly relaid Beaconside AstroTurf.

1st Team Match Report v Market Drayton

Stafford Hockey Clubs First Xl travelled away to Lileshall to face a Market Drayton side who not only has bested us in our last game but where also gunning for promotion. Captain fantastic Ben Hollands was unavailable following his altercation with a rock whilst cycling, leaving Dan Howe in charge. Marshy (Aka Ron Burgundy)  made a first surprise appearance of the season at right-half to replace the otherwise occupied Coli Bishop.

Within the first minute Market Drayton was awarded a short corner which was converted through a low drag flick to Gareth Minton’s right. Stafford looked unsettled to begin with, never really getting into the flow of the game; often being caught out of position with their backs to goal. Needless to say Ed Wills was furious on the side of the pitch. Fifteen minutes in and Market Drayton got a second goal, the ball was played to the right side where the player managed to get into the D where he crossed from a tight angle. Unfortunately for Stafford the ball was deflected into the Net by none other than Simon Parnell, producing a low reverse stick finish whilst attempting to stop the ball. Stafford though weren’t going to give up so easily, great work from Ethan Sweeney and Dan Howe down our right flank resulted in a low tap in from two yards, sounds simple but the one-two was time to perfection. Piers Wooler was evacuated to hospital with a large cut over his eye following on opposition short corner. The ball had deflected off his stick and up I to his eye. This bad news was doubled when Market Drayton scored their third goal of the match after Stafford had lost possession in the centre of the pitch. The ball was passes majestically into the D where their striker who had scored the first goal lay in wait. He could all but miss from five yards and produced a thunderbolt of a finish which couldn’t have been saved. Stafford just couldn’t seem to quell the oncoming storm and conceded a fourth after Gareth had made a save, it came out to another player who slotted the ball home. Stafford didn’t go into the break three down though and got a goal back courtesy of a Charlie Trotter penalty flick which was expertly taken into the top left corner. This was awarded following Ethan Sweeney’s shot which was saved off the line by a Market Drayton foot.

The second half wasn’t much better for Stafford who due to being two behind needed to be aggressive, though due to Piers being hospitalised we only had the eleven men. Market Drayton as a result were able to penetrate further into Stafford’s back line, forcing a multitude of saves from Gareth. Eventually Stafford broke under the pressure and let a cheap goal in at the back post, two Market Drayton players were allowed to play the ball between themselves on the edge of the D. This was followed by a low cross which found the opposing player, who was unmarked and produced a sporadic finish since he had miss hit the shot. The half didn’t get much better for Stafford as Andrew Barnett was also hit on the eye which temporarily side-lined him leaving ten men on the pitch. Even when Market Drayton had a player sent off for flooring a Stafford player we couldn’t capitalise. Market Drayton were to score one more goal to make the final result 6-2, following a short corner the ball deflected off a Stafford stick where it fell to a Market Drayton player. He smashed the ball through Gareth’s legs from the edge of the D, the ball had come through a sea of bodies, leaving Gareth unable to make a save.

Stafford left the pitch demoralised and exhausted, fair enough Market Drayton played outstanding hockey; however there are some major things that Stafford needs to work on. At this stage in the season all we can do is try and keep our heads high and play every game on its merit, if we don’t believe we can stay up then we are already relegated. Let’s hope that Ben Hollands will get better and be able to play again, and that we can win another game allowing Andrew Barnett to shave.

1st Team Match Report v Wednesbury

Stafford Hockey First Xl travelled to Wednsbury, a team that had bested Stafford on three prior occasions. Despite this there was confidence about the team, Ed had constructed a new formation of three in the middle and three up top which going seemed logical as it gave us the ability to stretch the play and attack from all angles.

As the game commenced Stafford took immediate control; the ball barely came out of the Wednsbury half within the first ten minutes and if it did it was only due to a long clearance or a single player trying to break. There was such fluidity and grace in Stafford’s build up play, the ball moved from Piers Wooler on one flank into Ben Hollands and across to Colin Bishop on the other flank with ease. Needless to say but Wednsbury had little option but to park the bus and hope that Stafford’s immense pressure wouldn’t be capitalised upon. Stafford came close to scoring; Andy Peatfield, James Faulconbridge, Charlie Trotter and Daniel Rennie all had the opportunity to get their names onto the score sheet. Unfortunately though due to Wednsbury’s defensive resolve none of these chances were converted. In spite of the early pressure Stafford found themselves 1-0 down at the break following a swift counter-attack from the opposition which resulted in a short corner. After the initial strike was saved the ball fell to an open attacker in front of Gareth Minton who was still on the floor, he had the simplest of jobs of just placing the ball into the net.

Despite the goal deficit going into the second half Stafford were determined that they could still win; given they retained the intensity shown in the first half. This they managed to do however Stafford just couldn’t score. Not because of a lack of possession or because the play was bad, but because Stafford were unable to create enough chances. It seemed like as soon as the ball got to the D all of the play amounted to nothing and Wednsbury were able to defend and clear. The second half played out much like the first did, Stafford played wonderful hockey whilst retaining possession, and however the final product just wasn’t there. The icing on the cake came near the end of the game when Stafford’s opponents got their second goal, killing off the match. Again coming from a short corner, since time though the ball left the D and came to a Wednsbury player who was baking up the play. He smashed it back into Stafford’s defensive zone and was deflected into the goal of a Wednsbury stick.

It was disappointing that Stafford couldn’t follow up on last week’s victory with another victory. It also feels familiar that we dominate a game and don’t get a real result from it. All that Stafford can do is keep their heads up and not lose hope that this great possession hockey can be turned into victories.

1st Team Match Report v Streetly

Match Report: Streetly

Stafford Hockey clubs first eleven hosted Streetly hoping that their first league game of the New Year would end in a win, and confidence seemed to be high going into the game.

The first half started positive for Stafford who had a large share of possession in the early stages, managing to apply early pressure to Streetly; though they were never going to play dead, battling for early momentum. Charlie Trotter made some good early runs, aided by Ben Hollands and Daniel Rennie. For most of the half both teams couldn’t really penetrate into the oppositions D, or squandering the few chances that they had. However following a miss-timed pass from Simon Parnell Streetly managed to break into the Stafford D, were a penalty flick was awarded against Mike Watley. This unfortunately for Stafford was put away into the bottom right corner.

In the second half things were different, miraculously Stafford looked like a completely different team; probably from the inspired half time team talk and the general reluctance to lose from a dominant position just as we had done so often in 2014. The passing was better, the build-up was better and the defending was better; Daniel Rennie still wouldn’t roll out much to Ed’s frustration, unfortunately Elliot wasn’t here this week to reassuringly calm him down. Mid-way through the half Andy Peatfield drove the ball wide into the D, where he crossed it for an easy tap in for Captain Ben Hollands. Just five minutes later Captain fantastic thought he had gained the lead and bagged himself another goal from a short corner, hitting the ball past the goalkeeper. However the ball hadn’t crossed outside the D so wasn’t counted. Stafford did manage to get the decisive winner late in the second half when Andy Peatfield having an amazing game skilled three players and the keeper to reverse hit the ball from a tight angle into the goal.

Overall Saturdays game not only gave us some early momentum in 2015 but also gave the demoralised Stafford players confidence, that we can win after going down and that we shouldn’t just give up; showing how the win against Streetly was much more than just three points on the board.

1st Team Match Report v Solihull Blossomfield

Stafford Hockey Club first XL played host to a Solihull and Blossomfields team who going into the game lay second in the table having only lost one game. Ethan Sweeney was back in the team after deservedly earning a call up from the seconds. Daniel Rennie though left Dan Howe heartbroken as he was not there to complete the “attacking squad” after annoying Aldi had made him work on a Saturday, despite his pathetic attempts to do otherwise. Charlie trotter took Daniels place upfront, Ed Wills simply telling us to play with passion; giving nothing but 110% for the team effort as we prepared to face the fearsome force that was Solihull and Blossomfield.

The game commenced in usual fashion with Stafford gaining inroads into the oppositions defence, equalling Solihull and Blossomfield in their passing, movement and charisma to win in the early stages of the Game. Piers Wooler beat players whilst Ben Hollands skilfully broke down play. Mike Watley lofted the ball up towards Charlie Trotter allowing him to run at the opposition and link well with Dan Howe forcing their defence to intervene at the final second just as Dan was about to shoot. The game shifted just as Stafford conceded, following the opposition retaining possession they forced the ball down the right flank, which once there was fed into the semi-circle where a player shot. Gareth Minton saved the ball but the deflection was hit in by another player. Stafford pushed back though with Richard Bukka and Simon Parnell staying strong at the back, Andrew Barnett also remaining firm in front of them; though he did pick up a green card for continuous stick tackles and stick blocks for which he didn’t realise he could do. James Faulconbridge holding onto possession so that he could send Elliot Glennon down the exposed left side on a piercing attack. Stafford were to concede another goal just before the break after a period of heavy Solihull offence. Elliot Glennon had made a tackle but the ball fell to a Solihull player who struck the ball into the D for a tap in on the far post. Going into half time the main question was would Stafford maintain composed and keep their heads up given the situation; or would they lose self-control and go snorkelling willingly into the depths of defeat?

The answer, initially anyway was to save-face and fight back against the hardened odds. Ethan Sweeney took his place at the bottom of the midfield diamond and distributed the ball brilliantly whilst breaking up play on many an occasion. Probably why he won man of the match, in spite of Piers Woolers best efforts who went on one of his classic beat every player runs just to mess it up at the very end, typical Breadcakes. Good link play between James and Ethan saw Ben Hollands get onto the ball on the edge of the semi-circle. He slithered his way inside for a shot which grazed the post. Solihull and Blossomfield overcome this pressure winning themselves a short corner half way through the half. The ball found its intended player who had a free shot to the left of Gareth’s post, he was never going to miss from such a close range. At 3-0 down the Solihull tide was somewhat unrelenting. Though it is noteworthy to point out that despite facing inevitable defeat the Stafford players never gave anything but 110%, never faltering in their efforts to get something from the game. Solihull scored a fourth from a short-corner, the player struck the ball from the top of the D at tremendous pace, beating Gareth on his right side. One of Solihull’s players was sent off late into the second half giving Stafford some deserved momentum; respite after a long period of defending. For that ten minutes we dominated. Ben found Dan, who then passed to Charlie who in turn found Ethan. But we couldn’t force a goal. Solihull were to get a fifth goal on the break despite being a man down, the ball was hopefully fired into the semi-circle and a Solihull player deflected the ball into the goal from close range. Stafford despite having already gone snorkelling managed to get a goal back from a short-corner. It came to James Faulconbridge on the edge of the semi-circle who passed the ball to Piers Wooler resulting in a tidy reverse push finish into the bottom corner.

The game finished 5-1, a score line most of the Stafford players thought was unfair in consideration of the manner in which we played. There was only Finchfield were we believe we didn’t put on a good show, every other game we fought to the bitter end. The only thing Stafford need now is a winning formula that will turn good performances into winning results, or a little bit of luck to get us by. Either way a few positives can be taken from the game; Richards Bukkas week wasn’t ruined but he “can’t pass”, Piers Wooler is now called Breadcakes and owns the communal shower gel and Simon Parnell is Karl Pilkington.

Urgent Call for Help

Hi All

I have been asked to post a request for helpers to aid Rob Peatfield in setting up the new Goals at Beaconside, those of you at training would appreciate the current ones are not up to scratch and the only way we’ll have the new goals in place for Saturday is if we put them together ourselves.

Rob will be at Beaconside with all the tools required from 3pm Tomorrow (Friday) As many helpers as possible would be great.

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.

Stafford Fathom Match Report for Saturday 11th. October Re : Stafford Fathoms v North Staffs. Fathoms

Date : Saturday 11th. October 2014
Fixture : Stafford Fathom / Development Team v North Staffs. Fathoms
Venue : Beaconside Sports Centre, Stafford ST18 0AD
Push-Back : 10.00am
Score : 0-4 ( H/T 0-2 ) ( Lost )

Scorers : None

MOM : Tom Stanley ( G/K )
( Nominated by Stuart Sutton Ex-Stafford Hockey Player watching his Grandson : Will Buckley play for Safford Fathoms )

& Tom Deakin ( Nominated by Stafford Fathom Captain, John Sinclair )

Umpires : Dave Thurgarland & Jack Fudger

Stafford Fathom / Development Team :

1) Tom Stanley ( G/K )

2) Taran Bassie

3) Paul Rennie,

4) Tom Deakin

5) John Sinclair,

6) Ben Deakin

7) Ollie-Joe Simmons

8) Will Buckley

9) Kyle Rennie

10) John Sinclair

11) Jack Hodgkinson

12) Neil Jinks

Stafford Fathoms had to wait until this Saturday to play their first home game of the season and again like last week were giving another young player, Ben Deakin ( brother of Tom Deakin ) his hockey debut in the side and they were also being watched from the sidelines by Stuart Sutton an Ex-Stafford Hockey Player who had come along to watch his young Grandson, Will Buckley play for Stafford Fathoms and I am sure as the game progressed that he picked up on the togetherness and experience that all Stafford Young Fathom Players had gained from playing in last Saturday’s fathom game away to Barlaston Fathoms / 2nd. Team and from the start Stafford started well and were holding their own against another opposition which like last week had a number of experienced players in it’s side. For 15 minutes both sides were evenly balanced and playing some nice hockey, but then North Staffs Fathoms were awarded a short corner and from it, they managed to take the lead from it, when Stafford didn’t defend it as well as they could of done. Stafford didn’t allow this set back to up-set them and just like last week they kept plugging away but unfortunately just as half time was looming North Staffs extended their lead, when Stafford didn’t mark as well as they had been and North Staffs nipped in to go 2-0 up.

The team talk at half time by Stafford Fathom Vice Captain, Paul Rennie to the rest of the team, was to ignore the score-line of 2-0, as both goals had been the only time Stafford’s young keeper had really been tested by in the first half and they both could have been prevented with a bit better defending. The team also needed to pass and communicate with one another a little bit better than they had been in the first half, as the experienced players in the North Staffs Fathom Team in the first half had managed to contain the raw energy of the youngsters in the Stafford Fathom Team, so when the second half started Stafford fathom youngsters took on board the half-time team talk and started well against North Staffs but the opposition did however up their game and started to test Stafford defence a lot more in this half than the first half and as a result Stafford Fathom Keeper, Tom Stanley had a lot more to deal with, which he dealt with splendidly and young Tom Deakin playing only his second competitive hockey game was doing a sterling job in midfield for Stafford, with some real good tackles and lay offs to fellow team mates and Kyle Rennie, George Hodgkinson and Will Buckley for Stafford were combining well up front for Stafford and were constantly testing the experienced North Staffs Fathoms Defence but eventually North Staffs got the better of Stafford and managed to score another 2 goals despite Stafford competing with them all over the pitch and at the final whistle North Staffs ran out 4-0 winners but just like last week the opposition praised the way Stafford Fathom Team had battled and kept going in a good, well fought and entertaining game.

Stuart Sutton as mentioned at the being of this report was watching the game from the side-lines and he was very impressed on how all players in the Stafford side had kept going and hadn’t let their heads drop at any time even though they eventually lost the game 4-0 and he was also asked before the game started if he minded naming a Man of the Match for Stafford Fathoms and after the game he nominated young Stafford Fathom Keeper, Tom Stanley as Man of the Match for his splendid performance in between the posts for Stafford and young Tom Deakin playing only his second game was also nominated / awarded Man of the Match for Stafford Fathoms, for all his hard work and endeavour in midfield for Stafford by Stafford Fathom Team Captain, John Sinclair.

Stafford Fathom’s next game this Saturday is an Away game to Old Wulfs Fathoms and is a 2.30pm pushback at Wolverhampton Grammar School, Compton Road, Wolverhampton WV3 9RB and all players picked to play in this fathom game will need to meet at 1.15pm at Stafford Hockey Club.