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Bristol & West Hockey Club

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5th Team Match Reports

5s 4-3 Gryphons Nov 10th

“No more heroes anymore” sang Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers in the late 70’s (ask your grandparents) – given yesterday, he was wrong and what more can, or needs, to be said after man of the match Steve Mildren’s late late show including a winning goal with the very last hit of the game?

A strong looking Gryphons side combining both youth and experience seemed likely to provide a stern test – but we couldn’t have guessed just how stern when starting strongly, we seemed to be in cruise control, dominating the play with the trademark possession passing and moving, with the backdrop of the dark and dismal weather conditions illuminated and gilded by the flicks and tricks of Kian, Hobbes and Luke….but all we had to show for this was yet another poachers goal from Luke and Chris in goal looking lonely and forlorn as the weather….

During the first half, Gryphons had struggled to get and retain or use the ball - with pressing from Ian and Luke, and the midfield of Kian, Hobbes, Mark and Graeme more than holding their own, we regularly recycled their possession…and when they did break through they found it impossible to get past the defensive barriers provided by Ted, Chris, Paul and Rob and when Colm received the ball he strode imperiously forward, utilising the space & the ball really well.

And then – not sure how, suddenly things got interesting and with a quickfire exchange of scores - including Ian scoring his regular tap in - and a couple of pin ball moments in our D, incredibly, we found ourselves, incredibly, 3-2 down, incredibly - and heading into the incredible last few minutes.. and these were incredible in the truest sense of the word.

I may be mis remembering but the last 10 mins or so stand out – correct me if I am wrong – but - cometh the hour, cometh the man – and onto the pitch I strode, a colossus amongst…..well not quite true… more that -

Steve scored what we guessed might be the equalizer – I for one was relieved….and then, and then, one too many mis timed challenges saw a green card and we were down to 10 men, going into the last few - Gryphons sensed an unlikely win and pushed (and some might say hacked and pulled and hacked again) for the decisive goal….so picture this, which became our Anfield moment, May, 1989, going into added time, Mickey Thomas striding through the midfield (kids - ask your parents)…

They had possession in our D, we stole the ball and passed out of the D, only to be fouled - the umpire played a great advantage and we broke the length of the field and the ball was played to Steve for the clincher…just outstanding hockey – and the umpire blew for time…..I need confirmation of which of the guys got the assist – but – wow.

Some points of note – tremendous team spirit and attitude from all the guys, heads never dropped despite the way that the oppo came back into the game….some very physical play saw us not react/respond – and when we were knocked over, we got up and carried on - perhaps our theme tune could be “I get Knocked Down (but I get up again - your never gonna keep me down)” by Chumbawumba, and we let our hockey do the talking. (I did hear one of their players ask what we were complaining about noting to his colleague ”it’s a violent game’). Hm, yes, right.

Like a fine wine – or coffee - our balanced blend of youth and experience seems to be working well. I was proud the other week – up to the next level this….what is round the next bend in the roller coaster ?

Keysham 1-1 B&W 5s Oct 20th

Pride

The match of the day cameras missed a treat today with stand out performances from front to back and back to front again, with every player turning the effort dial up to 11 (copyright This is Spinal Tap  - kids, ask your parents – actually, parents ask your parents). Orange and black umbrellas acting as sun shades were provided for the travelling faithful – may come in more handy over the coming months.

A look at the opposition line up showed why they were doing well in the league, a strong team, with experience and international caps aplenty, I thought we were in for a rough ride – I shouldn’t have worried, as from the start we took the game to the opposition. And were so, so close to a deserved win….1-1 draw and seems wrong but disappointed as we could have won…

Changes at the back saw Danny between the sticks and making enough saves to garner a few man of the match votes…. Ted returning to the side, his aerials and slapped passes meant that the opposition were never sure whether to stick or twist until a last minute calf strain saw limp off the field; Chris ‘the destroyer’ broke up play and used the ball positively (although he gave me kittens a few minutes from time when he ventured towards the half way line…..from sweeper for heavens sake…). Rob at left back was more than solid, pushing forward and using the ball well. In taking a break, Stewart made a significant contribution to the side this week and was clearly ‘the difference between the sides’ – he’ll get me back no doubt…

In the middle ‘cave canem’ Graham, making his first appearance at this level (this season) & despite playing for higher teams previously didn’t seem out of his depth and held the base of the diamond, breaking up play and using the ball efficiently…Ollie played a blinder working himself into the ground, looking for the ball and Steve mirrored these efforts on the other side – I THINK fair to say that the above provided a solid platform that enabled some of our other players to weave some phenomenal patterns.

Hobbes and Luke worked tremendously hard, making the darting runs that created space and their first touches  often took oppo players out of the game, enabling them to move it around….one superb piece of skill saw Luke leave two players for dead  sadly they rose from the deadly quickly enough to sandwich him and leave him flat on the floor….Ian  was always available chasing ad harrying and joining Luke in a competition for miss of the season…..Now, Colm and Kian had other commitments and arrived late so became our super subs and what  a pair – Colm slotted in across the back and, as ever,  just did everything right….Kian linked play, made himself available and created havoc…

As a conservative estimate I reckon we had 60% + of the play and most of the chances – but, guttingly a  melee in the D led to a goal for Keynsham – to be fair against the run of play and one which could have knocked the stuffing out of us…… but what a response, an absolutely superb short corner, which Ted played to the far post and Kian deflected in to register his first of the season and led to a well deserved man off the match……

A couple of weeks where I am not around ‘vamos a la playa’ so – I DEMAND 6 points (pretty please) -  ‘Per adua ad astra’ in my absence guys ‘per adua at astra’

Proud of you guys today.

Dave

B&W 5s 2-5 Firebrands

Starting and finishing points MUST be that we played an exceptionally experienced and skillful ‘Brands team and, across the park, the whole team gave 110% - I don’t think anyone had more to give & as Steve and Liam noted at the end of the match, on a different day, a few things go our way and we put chances away or snuff out their moves. A strong opposition, but they knew they had been in a game, and next time I do think we can take them Fine margins were the difference today – some geezer who Colm had in his pocket for much of the game, scored a couple – and other chap stepped up with 2 and some one else go their fifth – BUT to be honest we were back in it t 3-2 when we tired, things broke down and they scored on the break. So, where to begin – Steve made some vital stops between the sticks, the defence, which has been growing in confidence week by week was more assured with Stewart picking passes to Colm and Joe to use and push forward and Andy ever destructive and disruptive of the Brands forward play – and all three across the back either driving forward themselves or using the ball well. Liam’s cameo in the midfield broke up play and distributed the well bringing Kian, Steve, Hobbes and Baber into it, and Luke worked tirelessly along with his attacking partners. We had a number of chances which might have gone in, and we had a fair number of shorts – again which WILL be converted in future – something to work on in training. We got our reward with a couple of cracking goals – the second, following a great team move and a pull back from (I think Kian) fell to me, around 10 yards out – the crowd held its collective breath as my exceptional effort was headed for the roof of the net (***) past a despairing brands keeper before Andy made sure, poaching from close range. Hobbes had notched our opener scoring with a well taken finish and we were well and truly back in the game. (*** I may have possibly somewhat exaggerated my contribution here) Hobbes’ all round play and goal saw him garner support for player of the match, but Colm – in recognition of the sterling work in handling the oppositions main threat (with allegedly 500 career goals under his belt) , combining defence with attack & exceptional effort in running 1 at short corners, including ‘taking one for the team’ – was deservedly voted Player of the match, I THINK for the second week in a row. Who will wrest the crown from him ? As squad, the gauntlet has been HURLED down in our direction by the youth members - and we need to respond – week on week we are seeing exceptional efforts from the – Colm, Hobbes, Kian, Luke are paying the game with vision, skill, expression and combining it with supreme effort – IF we can all match that, and things click, then we ARE going places and woe betide some of the other teams we will come up against.

OBs 3-1 5s 6th Oct

Interesting game today where we came up against a strong and organised OBs side. At ‘silly o’clock’ in the morning, and in horrid conditions – VERY big shout to the hardy parents and siblings (and fans) who drove and braved the elements – thanks again & hope you enjoyed the well deserved coffees and hot dogs/bacon butties in the club house afterwards. Changes across the back with Rob, Steve and Chris coming in didn’t disrupt the side and we looked reasonably solid despite shipping three goals (different day and a bit of luck and a few of those don’t go in) . Colm gave a man of the match performance at right back – rampaging forward at every opportunity and breaking up opposition attacks regularly. We played some really bright hockey throughout, moving the ball well and hitting the post early through ‘big Luke’ and we could arguably feel a little hard done by, 0-3 at half time….we looked at our best when we moved the ball quickly, and wide, and kept it away from their ‘old hands’ – but when we didn’t - OBs were able to break up the play and their experience told……The attack again both created chances AND defended from the front with Kian and Hobbes chasing back, and the midfield worked really hard. Despite crating plenty and having possession in exciting areas, we were unable to either convert pressure, or to upgrade & get short corners. In the second half, highlights included a long chase which saw the ball ricochet off the OBs post and be scrambled clear just before a B&W stick could put it home - other chances came and went before Luke B took his goal very well to give the side hope, sadly we were unable to claw back more –‘winning’ the second half 1-0 and with Mark and Chris both hobbling, soaked to the skin, I guess we were fairly happy to hear the final whistle…... So guess a few points to think about for next week – but we can NOT be down after today -well done - Teamer alerts out – and I have made a note of availability for next week – heads up – onwards and upwards!

WSM 0 - 4 B&W 5s 29th Sept

Cracking start to the season on a lovely, sunny afternoon in Weston, where 4-0 didn’t really reflect the match as we could have had more and for long periods kept Weston penned in to their 23. A brace each from Hobbes and Ian – including some excellent efforts - capped a fine all round performance by the team in the opening league fixture.

Morgan made a very assured debut in goal, concentrating throughout (hard when we were camped out in the opposition area for long times) and stepping up with some great stops and clearances when required – gotta be pleased with a  clean sheet.  The back was solid, with Colm on the left always available providing an outlet and supported by Matt winning a cracking battle on the left with two skilful and fast young Weston players.  Stewart was solid – stepping out to intercept and distributing well - and the out ball to Colm and Ted whose aerials were often very effective and distribution and clearances were strong & one excellent through ball provided an assist for Ian.

Across the middle, Mark and the twin Matt twins broke up opposing attacks and created the basis for some sumptuous attacking hockey – where the interplay between Hobbes, Kian, and Luke – as individuals and as a front three, four or five when supported by the midfield weaved some very pretty patterns, creating chances, upgrading to shorties and scoring. Lovely 3 D skills and fast footwork and stick work bamboozled the opposition. Some of the work off the ball was particularly pleasing.

Cracking start – well done

Somerset Gryphons ‘A’ 2 – 1 B&WHC ‘D’ - Saturday 17th February 2018

A tough away game was in order when we went to top of the table Somerset Gryphons.  The game started positively with some good possession and team work leading to us putting some pressure on their defence.  The pressure continued with a couple of chances being carved out but we were unable to convert.  Gryphons attacked well and also had several chances of their own but some fine defending and goal keeping managed to keep them at bay.  Gryphons scored their two goals in quick succession near to half time when some quick breaks through midfield lead to them converting the shots from just inside the D.

We didn’t let our heads drop and started the second half well.  A sublime solo effort from Ben Davison led to our goal within the first two minutes of the second half.  He intercepted a Gryphons ball in midfield before surging forward past three of their defenders to let off a strike from just inside the D to the bottom corner of the goal past their outstretched keeper.  The game continued in an evenly fought way with both sides creating several chances but the defences held firm.  A draw would have been a fair result but we were unable to get the elusive equaliser.  Nevertheless the team can be proud of the effort everyone put in and the way we continued to play some really nice hockey throughout the game.

Bristol & West D 1 – 1 Old Bristolians D, Saturday 10th February 2018

An evenly matched game ensued when Old Bristolians D came to visit.  The first half was an end to end affair with Bristol & West creating the best of the opportunities however both teams defended well so shots on goal were few and far between.  We did manage to break the deadlock however when a shot just in the D, after a break down the right wing, took several deflections before Ian Martin got the last one to ease it past their keeper.  Old Bristolians continued to press and a short corner followed soon after, the shot from which managed to get past our defender at the near post.  The first half ended 1-1.

The second half continued in a very similar fashion to the first but we managed to carve out several breaks in their half in addition to several short corners.  Unfortunately the shots from these either just missed or their keeper saved well.  An injury mid-way through the half meant that we had to play the remainder of the game with 10 players and inevitably this lead to continued bouts of Old Bristolians pressure on our D.  Fortunately some stout defending and good goal keeping managed to keep them at bay to enable us to hold out for the draw.

Westbury & UB F 0 – 4 Bristol & West D – Saturday 20th January 2018

We started the game strongly in the first few minutes with some nice passing leading to several opportunities on goal.  Our first goal came during this period when a strong run into the D by Ben Davison left him one on one with the keeper before a quick pass to Paul Addicott on the back post lead to a tap in.  We continued to press and carve out opportunities through the half but some superb keeping kept the score low.  We managed to get our second goal near half time when a short corner was drilled into the bottom corner by James Baber to take us to the half 2-0 up.

In the second half Westbury started to put some of their own attacks together but our defence saw these off with little pressure being put on our goal.  Our third goal came courtesy of another James Baber shot from a short corner.  We continued to press and had numerous other opportunities to increase the score line if it wasn’t for further superb keeping and some valiant Westbury defence.  A quick break down the right lead to our 4th and final goal as Ian Martin drove towards the base line and managed to sneak a shot in past the keeper at the near post.

That’s how it stayed until the final whistle, a well-played game with good composure and teamwork throughout which lead to the nice, and well deserved, victory.

Bristol & West D 7 – 1 South Glos B, Saturday 13th January 2018

A great start to the game meant we put lots of pressure on their D and generated numerous short corners but we were unable to take any of these opportunities.  South Glos took the lead when a long ball from the back managed to find their sole player in our half who was in open space and had a clean run at our goal before he managed to take it round our keeper and slot home.  We didn’t let our heads drop and continued to press and an equaliser soon followed from Ian Martin.  More goals came in the first half from Ben Davison (nice finish at the near post after breaking into the box to collect the ball crossed into the D) and Ted Rippon (short corner drag flick) before an Ian Martin goal saw out the first half.

The second half continued as the first had finished with us pressuring their defence and it soon paid dividends when a second goal from Ben Davison further extended our lead.  James Baber got on the score sheet with a deft little chip over their on rushing keeper to put the ball home and take us to 6-1 up.  Our final goal came from Ben Davison who managed to convert a goal mouth scramble.  Throughout the game we had numerous chances to extend the lead but some ‘interesting’ shooting and missed opportunities meant that we had to settle for the 7 goals.

A special mention has to go out to Pete Calvert who put in a very strong performance in his first game for the club.

Old Bristolians E 0 - 4 Bristol & West D

A sublime start to the first half meant that we dominated possession and territory which lead to numerous chances on goal and an Ian Martin hat trick in the first 15 minutes.  On all occasions he found himself unmarked in the middle of the D when the ball found its way to him before he managed to slot the ball past their keeper.  The first half continued with several more chances on goal with only a sporadic attack from OBs.

The second half continued in a very similar vein to the first with us dominating possession and territory leading to even more chances.  Only the sterling work of their defence and keeper kept the score line sensible for them.  OBs would occasionally have an attack but our defence saw to these with relative ease before sending it up the other end for us to continue our attacks.  Our fourth goal came from a short corner where Ted Rippon managed to drag flick it past their keeper.  Two further chances came late on from Dave Morgan who drove his powerful shot just wide and Steve Mildren who picked out an aerial before driving the subsequent shot just wide.  A thoroughly enjoyable game and a well-deserved 3 points.

Clifton Robbies 'E' 2 - 2 B&WHC ' D' - Saturday 9th December 2017

We started with a decent first 5 minutes with numerous breaks forward creating chances on their goal but we were unable to convert.  The game then flipped on its head as Clifton then camped out in our half creating chance after chance with us unable to clear the lines for any length of time.  Clifton’s pressure soon lead to a goal in the form of a powerful shot off a short corner.  The half ended 1-0 to Clifton.

During the break we managed to compose ourselves and this then lead us to start the second half by putting together some possession to help the defence out and relieve the pressure.  Clifton continued to break and their second goal came from a break down the right which lead to a spare man at the top of the D taking the shot putting it past our outstretched keeper.  We didn't let this get us down and continued to press and our first goal came down a break from the left that found its way to James Baber who duly put the ball in the back of the goal.

This goal gave us renewed optimism and we pressed hard searching for the equaliser.  It came a few minutes from the end when a long corner was eventually put into the far post where Josh Lindfield managed to get a deflection and put away the equaliser, and his first goal for the club, away.

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