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Bristol & West Hockey Club

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3rd Team Match Reports

B&W B 8 v 1 UWE A, 20th January 2018

Probably the best performance of the season so far today, winning 8-1 at home to UWE A.  The hare and the tortoise springs to mind.  UWE were quick out of the blocks, winning short after short in the first 10 minutes, eventually taking the lead.  But hockey is a game of 70 minutes in which you need to take your chances, which is what we did.  We equalised very quickly through Dan, took the lead through Don (assist from Dan), extended the lead through Dan and scored a fourth from Joel as he latched onto a drilled diagonal ball from Dan.  4-1 at half-time, which was a little flattering given the balance of play.  The same tactical change as last week at half-time (a secret known only to 3s players) and we went out and scored four more – a P-flick from Don and a second-half hat-trick from Dan (including an awesome drag flick) to bring his tally for the game to five – touché, Don!  Perhaps the best goal of the game was a run from Dan starting in his own half where he just got to the ball before a UWE player on three separate occasions before he found Don in the D with a diagonal ball, then ran onto the right post to receive the ball back from Don for a tap-in.  Most noticeable today more than any other game was the passing and teamwork between the forwards – lovely to watch and long may it continue!  We may have scored eight but UWE had their chances and were thwarted on several occasions by AD in goal, who was outstanding today.  Also outstanding was Ollie, who was everywhere in defence and was voted best defender by UWE!  Man of the match shared today by Dan and Ollie for obvious reasons.

Swindon B 0 v 12 B&W B, 13th January 2018

A clinical performance today, winning 12-0 away to Swindon B.  Despite dominating early possession and creating several chances, there was a hint of relief when we finally opened the scoring after 15 minutes through Harvey. That broke the seal and we continued to play good hockey and notch up four more goals before half-time, Don and Curtis sharing the spoils.  Perhaps the best goal of the half saw Joe John driving around the baseline before pulling the ball back at 90 degrees for Curtis to slot in - just like in training!  5-0 at half-time and a bit of déjà vu – the identical half-time score to when we played Swindon B earlier this season.  However, unlike last time when we only scored one goal in the second half, this time we changed formation to create more width.  Stu Banks marked his return from three months travelling, finishing a left slip at a short, Joel volleyed in at the left post, Joe John creamed a reverse inside the right post, Don converted his second P-flick, looped a shot in from a short and finished another from short range to bring his haul to five goals for the match.  Joe John powered in a shot from top of the D just before the final whistle to complete the rout.  Unluckiest player of the day – Andy Bryce for tweaking his back whilst marauding down the wing.  Man-of-the-match for his pace, trickery, goals and assists – Joe John.

B&W B 2 v 3 City of Bath B, 16th December 2017

The City of Bath B team that turned up had obviously discovered the elixir of youth, because the average age of the team had reduced by about 15 years compared to when we played them in the first game of the season.  (Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that their 1s and 2s were not playing.)  Either way, we turned in a fantastic performance, losing by the odd goal in five.  It was clear from the whistle that we had our work cut out but we staunchly defended and managed to create several opportunities ourselves.  The deadlock was broken when a mishit reverse shot was partially blocked and deflected over Mike Lilley to a poacher waiting on the post.  However, we soon equalised when Don danced first left then right at a short before firing low into the bottom right corner.  1-1 at half-time and we changed shape slightly to counter the marauding Bath midfield.  Despite being more solid we went behind from a drag-flicked short from one of their three no. 9’s, then 3-1 down when another no.9 scored at the back post from a well-worked short.  We gave their third no.9 a few chances but Mike Lilley thwarted him on each occasion.  Most of their players had no numbers and wore T-shirts – curious that they decided to wear an away strip when we didn’t bother in the first match against them and there was no problem – can’t think why they did that. We made the last few minutes interesting when Don converted a P-flick after a Bath defender had stopped a shot on the line with his chest.  We then nearly equalised when Don span and shot, only for the keeper to make a good save.  Man of the Match – Mike Lilley.  A bit of fun ensued down the club afterwards when some of our 1s recognised some of the Bath 1s/2s – entertaining for us, embarrassing for them.  Our performance was honest and true – thank you to all who played.

B&W B 4 v 2 Wootton Bassett A, 9th December 2017

Honours even at the beginning of the match but we were the team to break the deadlock after Edd Wood was received the ball on the left edge of the D and fed a square ball to Joel who steered it past the keeper.  We made it two when Joel drove along the baseline on the right and managed to find Dan who duly tapped if from two yards.  Bassett were unlucky to have a goal from a short struck off following a conflab between the umpires.  We desperately wanted to kill the game off after half-time with a third goal but it was Bassett who scored from a short corner with a low flick.  Our two-goal cushion was regained when Don was put through, only to be taken out by the keeper.  With no-one else looking interested, Don converted the P-flick himself by cleverly ricocheting the ball between the keeper’s legs.  With constant subbing from the 16-strong Bassett team, we changed shape to see the game out but we were caught napping with a few minutes to go when a slap into our D found two Bassett players running to the far post to deflect in.  What could have been a tense last few minutes was alleviated when a neat one-two between Edd and Jonny allowed Jonny to slot the ball past the advancing keeper.  Man of the Match for great work all over the pitch – Lawrence.

Bath Buccs F 1 v 2 B&W B, 2nd December 2017

After yours truly mis-controlled an interception at the beginning, the Buccs striker ran through and managed to squirt the goal under Duncan to take a surprise lead.  Not the first time we’ve been behind this season and we were soon on level terms as Curtis powered down the right wing, the path seeming to open ahead of him to the extent that he suddenly found himself in front of the keeper and cheekily slotted the ball between his legs.  Jonny then made it 2-1 from a straight strike at a short corner.  Plain sailing from then on?  Not a bit of it!  The rest of the contest was reminiscent of the Hagler v Duran boxing matches of the 80s, both teams slogging it out, pressing high and creating chances.  Neither keeper succumbed, with Duncan showing particularly neat footwork at times – Strictly Come Dancing next year?  The commitment and effort from each and every player was outstanding, including the marking which was something we needed to improve on from previous weeks.  Man of the Match – Ross Williams, for stepping into the Ed Faulkner role with panache.

Chippenham B 2 v 6 B&W B, 25th November 2017

The script of the game today was very similar to our last three victories – complete domination in the first half followed by a spluttering second half.  Today we were 5-0 up at half-time.  We opened the scoring when the ball rolled inviting to top D for Jonny to slap goal-bound only for Dan to deflect it past the keeper.  Jonny scored the second, this time making sure he didn’t let the ball get within Dan’s reach.  Don made it three from close range then Dan scored the goal of match, firing a bullet into the top right corner from top D.  Within a minute or so, Dan completed his hat-trick with a short-range reverse.  As has happened many times this season, the goals didn’t come in the second half despite numerous chances and some good saves by their keeper.  It was Chippenham who scored first in the second half after a goal-mouth scramble.  Don very quickly restored the five-goal cushion but Chippenham got a second from a flick at the short which nearly took Joe’s head off.  We got very narrow in the second half which is why we changed formation towards the end in order to create more width.  Man of the Match – Jonny.

B&W B 4 v 2 Devizes A, 18th November 2017

Despite dominating possession in the first half, we only went into the break 1-0 up following a pass from Gary into the D that Joel guided past the keeper.  Things were a bit more even in the second half but Don managed to deflect in a hard ball into the D from Andy.  2-0 up and we should have closed the game out but Devizes seemed to go up a gear and we conceded a goal right through the middle of the defence from top D.  We had a game on our hands but quickly snuffed out any threat through a sweeping shot from Joel which Don claims he tickled past the keeper, then Joel burst through across the top of the D slotting the ball over the advancing keeper.  Not for the first time this season we conceded straight from the restart but Devizes were never going to find a way back.

City of Bath C 1 v 4 B&W B, 11th November 2017

After ten minutes of intense pressure from us, Bath finally ventured into our half for the first time and somehow ran through the whole defence to bobble the ball into the net.  However, there was only going to be one winner and we continued to play some lovely hockey, extra men popping up all over the place, particularly Ollie on the right who was in rampant mood.  Ed Faulkner equalised from a left slip at a short, Curtis made it two when the ball sat up invitingly, Don slotted the third and Winge rounded the keeper and walked in the fourth, literally – a little like watching a lion play with its prey before eating it.  Jonny, playing his first game, made several bursts into the right of the D and was unlucky not to score on his debut.  Half-time came at just the right time for Bath and they came out with a different strategy in the second half, which was to pack the D with defenders no matter where the ball was on the pitch.  We had many more chances and their keeper made several saves, but it was difficult to be clinical with so many players in the D.  Despite the efforts of Andy Bryce to ask tie-breaker questions, joint Men of the Match were Curtis and Jonny.

B&W B 8 v 0 Yate A, 4th November 2017

After several chances in the first few minutes, it was clear that there was only going to be one winner.  Interestingly, we didn’t score for the first 15 minutes and didn’t score in the last 15 minutes – all our goals were compressed into 40 minutes either side of half-time.  First half goals came from Lawrence (finishing on the left post after Joel had hit the right post), Don (volley after Winge’s shot had hit the left post) and Winge (making no mistake from the right hand side of the D).  For once, we upped the pace in the second half and scored five more through Don (straight hit from P-spot following a square pass from Joe), Joel (deflection), Graeme (sniffing round the left post), Don (completing his hat-trick) and James (pile-driver into the side netting).  There was some really nice hockey in the second half, made easy by some good running into space and composed passing.  In truth, but for their keeper, we could have had many more!  The formation worked well but it wasn’t really tested.  Man of the Match was James, although Rich did look good as he ran for the ball at 16s to keep warm.

West Wilts A 6 v 3 B&W B, 28th October 2017

A rather perplexing 6-3 defeat away to West Wilts A today.  After an early lead when Ryan had played Joel through to slot the ball past the keeper, things suddenly unravelled.  Two mistakes and a harsh short corner award saw us 3-1 down at half-time.  The leaves all over our D, the treacherous conditions on the right of the pitch and some peculiar umpiring didn’t help.  Nevertheless, we all believed that we could still get back into the game.  The next goal was crucial; unfortunately it went to West Wilts after one of several short corners awarded in the second half that we completely disagreed with.  It got even worse when we allowed one of their players to dance through the defence, making it 5-1.  We pulled one back through new boy, Matt, at a short corner but then West Wilts made it 6-2 when we didn’t pick our players up top-D.  Matt scored an almost identical goal from our next short but the game was already over.  A game to forget.  Wayne did, however, provide West Wilts with target practise with his legs, being hit three times in about five minutes.  “Is that really the same guy?” they said!

B&W B 2 v 4 Swindon A, 21st October 2017

A good performance today despite going down 4-2 at home to Swindon A.  Probably a bit too much respect given to them at the beginning, much the same as last week, allowing them to move to a 2-0 lead by half-time.  The next goal was crucial and it came our way when Don converted a returned right slip at a short.  We then committed the cardinal sin by not switching back on and allowed them back up the pitch to score at the far post to regain their two-goal cushion.  We made it interesting for the last quarter of an hour when we scored from another short, this time a straight hit from Don.  Swindon, however, killed the game off after a foot that the umpire didn’t see resulted in a short.  Despite Wayne putting his ankle in the way (ouch!), the ball ended up in the goal from a solid straight strike.  This game proved that we will compete with any team in this division – we won more shorts and created as many chances.  There is a lot of promise in this team; we just need to wait for things to gel as we get used to the formation and playing together.

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