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Bristol & West Hockey Club

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



3rd Team Match Reports

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.

B&W B 2 v 6 Cardiff & Met D, 29th September 2018

Welcome to de Cymru & The Marches 2!  A tough game today, going down 6-2 at home to Cardiff & Met D.  It all started so well, holding our own in the first 10 minutes and even taking the lead from a short which Dave Vernon finished off with a reverse on his league debut.  The lead didn’t last long as we gave the ball away in midfield and they carved through us like a knife through butter, someone pulling the ball back at 45 degrees for their striker to finish, just like we were doing at training last year.  They took the lead a short while later with a tap-in at the far post after we failed to clear a hit into the D.  We started the second half at walking pace and within a minute we were 3-1 down.  Two more goals followed as we lost our shape.  To our credit we still tried to play attacking hockey and were rewarded when Jake set up Mark to score his debut goal.  A wicked deflection at the end allowed their young striker to finish with a reaction volley past Mike.  Man of the Match – Ed Faulkner for his tireless running.  At least we now know the standard we must reach in order to earn some points in this division.  First priority is short corner practise at training  - converting one from seven can be improved upon!

B&W B 4 v 1 Chippenham B, 24th March 2018

A bit of a tense game yesterday with a lot riding on it, but in the end a comfortable 4-1 victory at home to Chippenham B to clinch promotion.  After some early chances that were well saved by the keeper, it was beginning to look like one of those games where we were dominating possession but not getting the breakthrough.  Indeed, we had many short corners but rarely seemed to get anything clean away due to the fast runners.  The first goal finally game when the ball rebounded off the post (or was it the goal wheel?) and Dan pounced to sweep the ball in with a reverse.  A short corner at the half-time whistle saw us ring the D to create many options.  Of course, Dan received the ball and rather than pass decided to jink one way then the next to take out the two runners and calmly flicked the ball past the keeper.  The first goal after half-time was crucial and it came our way, the best goal of the game.  Ollie received the ball in defence and powerfully pushed the ball down the centre of the pitch to Dan, just left of centre.  Dan immediately – yes, immediately – played the ball forward to Joe on the left, who squared the ball into the D to find Curt sliding in to nutmeg the keeper.  Those knees will be sore today but worth the pain.  The Chippenham keeper – apparently only 15 years old – continued to make awesome saves for the remainder of the game, once to deny a Dan flick that was heading for the top left corner, when he suddenly appeared flying through the air at full stretch – probably the best save I’ve ever seen.  Dan had the last laugh though and completed his hat-trick from a lower flick into the side netting on the right.  Man of the match, Dan, scoring his fifth successive hat-trick for the team.

Royal Wootton Bassett A 2 v 6 B&W B, 17th March 2018

A comfortable (yet extremely uncomfortable) victory today, 6-2 away to Wootton Bassett A, the game having been played in 45mph winds with a wind chill of -8degC.  Most hands were numb before push-back and one of the Bassett players even tried to play in a hoody with his hood up, which was fine as long as the play was directly in front of him.  We nearly took the lead after 30 seconds when Dan tricked his way into the D only for the keeper to save.  A few chances subsequently went begging before Dan fed the ball in from the right which Curt let roll across his body with his back to the goal and finished with a diving reverse.  Soon after, Dan cruised into the D on the right and finished with a powerful flick.  The third came with a low reverse from Dan from top D.  Cruising at 3-0 but a comedy moment allowed Bassett  back into the game when an aerial was mis-controlled by yours truly and the striker mis-hit his cross-goal shot to allow the ball to bobble agonisingly into the opposite corner.  The usual formation tweak at half-time didn’t result in the usual outright dominance, but our fourth came when Dan completed his hat-trick after more trickery, and the fifth came when James danced into the D and swept a flick into the roof of the net.  To Bassett’s credit, they kept pressing really high and pulled another back after the ball was lost in midfield and their striker cleverly deflected past AD.  Just in case the rules were last goal wins, Don got in on the action with a strong shot from the top right of the D.  Before today, Bassett had scored 42 goals at nine home games and conceded only 13.  Shame.  Man of the match for a dominant game in midfield, James.

B&W B 8 v 1 Bath Buccs F, 10th March 2018

A potentially tricky fixture well negotiated today, winning 8-1 at home to Bath Buccs F, although the shine was taken off the victory by Joel’s broken jaw caused by a reckless point blank aerial attempt by a Buccs player.  After dominating early possession we cruised to a 2-0 lead, the first goal set up by Dan for Don, and the second set up by Joe for Don.  However, we then seemed to lose our way and couldn’t string two passes together.  After conceding a P-flick from a short, it looked like Buccs had found a way back in but AD gave their player the eyes and the ball flew past the post.  We managed to get to half-time without conceding before opting for the now familiar formation change.  Dan made it three from a flick at a short but then Buccs pulled one back almost immediately.  The fourth came after a flowing move down the right, Joe driving around the baseline and pulling the ball back for Don to hit in on the reverse.  The fifth came when a ball broke loose for Don to pounce on, and the sixth when Joe fed Dan in the D and he made no mistake.  Don pounced on another loose ball to make it seven and Dan completed the rout with another flicked short after the final whistle.  Five for Don, three for Dan, 54 goals between them for the 3s so far this season.  Not bad I suppose.  Man of the match shared between Patch and Joe for making our right-side unplayable in the second half.  Of course, the icing on the cake was West Wilts A losing 5-4 to Swindon A, meaning that we need to win both of our last two games to clinch promotion.

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