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Bristol & West Hockey Club

"Bristol's friendliest (and most affordable) hockey club"

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3rd Team Match Reports

B&W B 5 v 4 Wotton-under-Edge B, 19th January 2019

A nail-biting finish to today’s game, eventually emerging victorious 5-4 at home to Wotton-under-Edge B.  The two teams at the bottom of the division stood toe-toe for 70 minutes like gladiators, never separated by more than one goal.  For a change we didn’t give our opponents a two goal lead but took the lead ourselves after Joe had driven around the baseline and laid it on a plate for Dan.  The lead was short-lived after an idiot in orange gave the ball away – what was he thinking? – and a shot into the D was deflected around Mike.  We had a number of short corners but despite a little bit of practise at training, execution remained mediocre.  We went back into the lead when Ross picked a pocket in midfield and rolled the ball into the D for Dan to hit first time into the far corner.  The celebrations had barely died down before Wotton equalised and then took the lead, both resulting from loose balls from our players (no need to emulate the captain).  3-2 down at half-time but a time for cool heads.  A short corner flick from Dan gave us the equaliser and then Ed roughed someone up in midfield, which the umpire deemed legitimate, found Dan in the D who squared the ball (unselfishly J) to Ross who couldn’t miss.  But of course Wotton didn’t lie down and they equalised themselves from a powerful flick at a short.  The stage was set for a final Dan flick, the best of the afternoon, leaving us 7 or 8 minutes to see the game out.  Man of the Match was Dan, partly for his goal scoring exploits, partly for his unselfish assist and partly for staying off the pitch for the last few minutes as we looked to see the game out.

Cardiff & Met D 2 v 2 B&W B, 12th January 2019

Things were set up so well – the strongest squad we’ve had this season, a beautiful blue pitch and we even threw in a warm-up.  However, 2-0 down after five minutes was not how it was meant to be.  (If anyone knows how this keeps happening, let me know.)  One goal was a tap-in at the far post, the other from someone dancing through the middle.  We then proceeded to dominate much of the possession in the first half and had shots cleared off the line legally and illegally, the latter resulting in a P-flick which we failed to convert.  Several short corners were squandered for good measure.  The first goal after half-time would be crucial and it came our way when the ball found its way back to Josh during a short corner that had gone wrong and he swept it under the keeper.  Another P-flick quickly followed after a deliberate foot on the line but despite a change in taker, we couldn’t score.  Within a few minutes we finally gained parity when Don hit a screamer across the D into the far corner.  By this time Cardiff’s discipline had gone and on top of a couple of yellows they had received, one of their players was shown a red for saying nasty things to Josh J.  Down to 10 men and Cardiff defended for their lives.  Another yellow and they were temporarily down to 9 men.  Surely the winner had to come?  No, it just wouldn’t happen and the bouncy pitch came to Cardiff’s rescue several times more.  Man of the Match was Wayne for a commanding performance at right back.

B&W B 4 v 2 Bridgend A, 1st December 2018

This was our best performance of the season so far in terms of passing, control, finishing and work-rate – a winning recipe.  It wasn’t all plain sailing though as we went behind after giving the ball away in midfield.  The ball was fed up to a striker who found the by-line and fed the ball back at 45 degrees to his colleague to finish – a bit like we’ve been doing in training!  Within a minute, however, we were back on level terms after Joe had curved a run round from the right into the D to find Dan who volleyed in.  The second goal came soon after when their keeper wiped Dan out and Dan sent the keeper the wrong way from the resultant P-flick.  More joy followed soon after when Andy popped up to finish a short corner.  3-1 at half-time and a time for cool heads, knowing that the next goal was crucial.  The second half continued in the same vein but we couldn’t find that elusive goal until Reef rode a few challenges as he cut across the D from the left and calmly slotted home.  4-1 up but I just couldn’t tame the rampant mustangs in front of me, hungry for more goals, despite frequent remonstrations.  Bridgend pulled a consolation goal back but there was only ever going to be one winner.  A real team performance but Man-of-the-Match went to Joe John for turning the game in a 15 minute spell in the first half.

Wotton-under-Edge A 3 v 2 B&W B, 24th November 2018

Before today’s match Wotton were unbeaten in six games but they were certainly glad to hear the final whistle today.  Despite playing three-quarters of the game with 10 men (due to six greens and one yellow, because we’re clearly one of the dirtiest, ill-disciplined teams in the league), we pushed them hard.  We went behind when a mis-hit reverse shot hit me at the top of the thigh and we conceded from the resulting short.  (Apparently the top of the thigh is classed as below the knee in Wotton.)   The second quickly followed and we found ourselves with the usual 2-0 deficit at half-time.  We had struggled with our control on the bouncy pitch and as a result the balls out to the strikers seemed to keep coming back.  We pulled a goal back when Edd Wood, despite being constantly fouled, managed to squeeze a reverse into the far corner.  The next goal was crucial and it went Wotton’s way when the young striker was through on goal and swung and missed, nearly taking Wayne’s head off.  The ball dribbled through and was finished by the other striker.  (Apparently a swing and a miss is ok in Wotton if it means you score.)  We never lie down and Rob Hazelwood went on another foray down the right, found Edd Wood who passed a bouncing ball into the D for Mark to smash into the net.  Any further attacks were snuffed out by more and more bemusing umpiring decisions.  Notable performances from Ross Williams and Wayne but Man-of-the-Match was Rob Hazelwood for excellent attacking play down the right (and for staying on the pitch).  Special thanks to Ollie for coming to support us when injured.

B&W B 2 v 2 Whitchurch B, 17th November 2018

Due to a couple of drop-outs in the morning we fielded the bare 11, fortunately against Whitchurch’s equally bare 11.  It became clear after the opening salvoes that there was something in the game for us but, not for the first time this season, we didn’t convert our chances and we entered the break 2-0 down.  Besides not finishing our chances, we seemed to be making the wrong decisions and giving the ball away cheaply on numerous occasions.  This continued into the second half but as our share of the possession increased we cranked up the pressure and it was only a matter of time before we pulled a goal back through a Dan straight hit from the top of the D.  The equaliser came from a short where Dan’s flick was too strong for the keeper’s parry and the ball span and looped into the net.  One or two chances came to win the game but it wasn’t to be.  Possibly two points lost in the end but we can’t be greedy although still drawing despite not playing well is promising.  Man of the Match was newbie, Alex, for industrious work down the left side of midfield and bursts of pace and flashes of skill that bode well for the future.

Stroud 4 v 1 B&W B, 10th November 2018

A heroic performance from Duncan in goal today kept us in touch at half-time but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 4-1 defeat away to Stroud.  We sustained a lot of pressure in the first half, conceding numerous shorts,  but with Duncan in goal they could shoot all they liked but they weren’t going to score!  We eventually went behind just before half-time from a well-worked short that they scrambled in at the left post despite my nifty footwork.  The last ten minutes of the second half we seemed to gain some traction and we won our first short.  Only 1-0 down at half-time and then we had the audacity to equalise straight after the break from our second short, which Matt finished off with a flick on the left.  We were behind again almost immediately, this time from a short where we were a defender short after a little over-exuberance from someone defending his first ever short corner.  After good work from Don on the right, we nearly equalised within a minute when no-one could convert the ball across the D past the post.  The score became 3-1 from another short, then a fourth followed from a P-flick after my nifty footwork this time stopped the ball going over the line.  Man of the Match, Duncan, for obvious reasons although Dave picked up quite a few votes.

B&W B 1 v 3 Gwent, 3rd November 2018

A disappointing defeat today, going down 3-1 at home to Gwent.  A bright start saw us take the lead when a short corner flick from Dan hit a foot on the line but Tom V wasn’t going to wait for the P-flick decision and slotted the ball home from close range.  Our work rate was good, our marking was good but then it suddenly unravelled within a mad minute as we gave the ball away twice and conceded two goals.  Gwent changed approach in the second half and pressed us well, creating extra men and space at will when they were on the ball.  Their third goal came from another lost ball in front of goal and their lumbering striker bagged his second of the day.  Over the course of the game we must have had ten shorts – this is clearly an area we must improve on if we are to get results in this division.  Man of the Match was Jake for tireless running and several jinking runs.

B&W B 1 v 3 Whitchurch C, 27th October 2018

With low expectations going into today’s game against top-of-the-table Whitchurch C, we ended up feeling disappointed not to get something out of the game, losing 3-1.   After a very even start we were the first to win a short corner and Mark’s shot was well saved by the keeper, a theme for the rest of the game.  We went behind from a move down their right when the ball somehow sneaked in at the near post.  The equaliser nearly came from a flowing move down our right, where Mark squared the ball to Alex who guided the ball inside the near post only for the keeper to make a miraculous save.  1-0 at half-time but we were still very much in the game.  We pressed hard for the equaliser and we thought we had it from another short but Whitchurch cleared their lines and broke, creating an overload from which they scored with a good deflection.  Their third came a couple of minutes before the end but we got our consolation goal at the death when Kevin knocked in from close range.  A very promising performance which shows that survival in this division is possible.  Man-of-the-Match was Ross for giving the team structure and solidity in the holding midfielder position.

Cheltenham B 4 v 0 B&W B, 20th October 2018

A valiant effort today – real backs to the wall stuff – but we couldn’t match the youth, pace and skill of Cheltenham B, eventually losing 4-0.  We set ourselves up more defensively today – driven mainly by the fact we had no less than 7 defenders – and with the score 0-0 at half-time despite soaking up a lot of pressure, it seemed the right call.  However, when we quickly went 2-0 down early in the second half and pushed higher to chase the game, we left ourselves open and conceded two more before the end.  Mike Lilley was outstanding in the first half, saving shot after shot from the many shorts they generated.  It was ironic that Cheltenham took the lead from a cheeky reverse lift that dribbled in at the near post.  In fact most of their goals were soft and one was a mis-hit that bobbled in, although that’s not to say Cheltenham weren’t fully deserving winners.  They seemed to have extra men in all positions, with their forwards constantly interchanging positions.  Phil and Ross W manfully competed in midfield but we struggled to create many chances.  Man of the Match was Ross W for his tireless running and support for the defence.

B&W B 4 v 6 Penarth A, 13th October 2018

One of those games today where it could have gone either way, unfortunately not the way we wanted in the end, losing 6-4 at home to Penarth A.  We nearly went behind early on from a short corner but Chris managed to save the shot and clear the ball.  Wayne was groaning for some reason and it turned out the ball had ricocheted into his shoulder on the line.  We eventually did go behind but then quickly equalised when Josh and Mark pounced on a goalmouth scramble and Josh got the last touch.  Suddenly we were 3-1 down after they jinked their way through our defence twice in rapid succession.  Penarth were then awarded a P-flick for a foot on the line but Chris Egitto stepped up to save it.  The best move of the gave then saw Ross find Edd on the right-hand side of the D, who drove across and then squared the ball to Josh who made no mistake.  3-2 down at half-time but all to play for.  The next goal was all important but it went the wrong way, followed by another.  Edd Wood grabbed a goal back through the keeper’s legs but then Penarth scored their final goal, although we had the last laugh when Ross fed Edd on the right baseline and he slipped the ball past the keeper from a narrow angle.  Wayne wasn’t injured last week but made up for it with a ball to the head as well as to the shoulder.  Man-of-the-Match – Phil Brown for trying to hold the midfield together in the face of stiff opposition.

Wotton-under-Edge B 2 v 7 B&W B, 6th October 2018

Memories of last season as we blew away Wotton-under-Edge B 7-2 away.  After an even start Charlie fed Don who rounded the keeper at the edge of the D and calmly slotted the ball away.  Wotton drew level  from one of many short corners that other umpires wouldn’t have given – fortunately that was the only one they scored from as Mike Lilley was in great form.  After practising shorts before the game, with Don at the helm, one arrived for us while Don was off the pitch so Josh decided to flick us into lead (even though he told me before the game he couldn’t flick).  A sloppy equaliser then followed after a quick self-take.  Mark was unlucky not to slot in at the far post after good work from Charlie down the right.  2-2 at half-time (30 mins 29 seconds according to Wayne’s time-piece) although the umpire thought we were 3-2 up.  We went up a gear in the second half, with Josh rounding the keeper in a Donald-esque manner and Don himself roofing in at the far post after Josh had driven along the baseline to make it 4-2.  After the keeper wiped Josh out when clean through, a P-flick resulted.  Again, Don was off the pitch at the time so Josh dribbled the P-flick in, again reminiscent of a couple of Don’s P-flicks from last season.  The piece de resistance came when Josh was again charged by the keeper at the top of the D but he calmly lobbed the ball over him, the ball just creeping in under the cross bar.  With the final play of the game, Josh was unlucky not to score with a bobbling reverse but Mark was at hand to ease the ball over the line, the only player in the squad to maintain a 100% scoring record!  Man of the Match went to Josh for a four-goal debut although a number of other strong performances were noted in the post-match debate, including Ross Osborne who played well in an unfamiliar holding midfielder role.

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