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Bristol & West Hockey Club

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3rd Team Match Reports

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.

Devizes A 0 v 3 B&W B, 24th February 2018

An ugly win today.  I thought the rugby started later in the afternoon but obviously the umpires thought differently, allowing Devizes to play a rather agricultural style of hockey.  When it wasn’t rugby, it appeared to be football with nice footwork from both teams.  We took a while to settle down but eventually took the lead after Don swept low to reverse in after a duffed short.  We doubled the lead before half-time, again through Don as he jinked and flicked the ball past the keeper.  The customary formation change at half-time prevented Devizes from leaving their half very often, as we covered the pitch more evenly.  The only goal came after a move down the right found Don in the D but he couldn’t muster enough power in his shot to claim his hat-trick so Curtis had to make sure.  There was a debate at the end as to whether AD had touched the ball once or twice, which gives a measure of our dominance.  Man-of-the-match was a close-run thing but Phil pipped Joe after a solid performance anchoring the midfield and snuffing out Devizes’ best player in the second half.

Yate A 1 v 8 B&W B, 10th February 2018

We started briskly and took the lead when Don teed up Dan.  The second came after Jonny made an interception in midfield and burst forward, playing a one-two with Don before feeding Joel near the P-spot who made no mistake.  Don made it three from the second phase of a short, Dan made it five at the far post after a scramble, then Dan scored the sixth with a screaming reverse.  6-0 at half-time and cruising.  We were then hit by the second-half blues, as has happened a few times this season.  After we failed to score from a couple of shorts, Yate seemed to gain in confidence, having the audacity to score the next goal following a swing and a miss (which wasn’t deemed dangerous).  We quickly responded with a Tom Varney reverse then finished the scoring after good work from Jonny down the right saw him pick out Joel for a point-blank tap-in.  Man-of-the-match was a tie between Dan and Jonny.

B&W B 5 v 4 West Wilts A, 3rd Feb 2018

A must-win game today. And we did, 5-4 at home to high-flying West Wilts A who hadn’t lost since 14th October. A topsy-turvy game which saw us cruise to a 2-0 lead through goals from Stu Banks and Jonny Gray. West Wilts then showed why they had scored 84 goals so far this season. Two flowing moves and they had pulled the game back to 2-2 at half time. The second half started in much the same way and we were 4-2 down in a blink of an eye due to some more excellent passing and clinical finishing from their two strikers. There didn’t look to be any way back but the turning point came when a poor aerial from Stu hit one of their players in the head. Whilst Andy administered first aid, the team had a huddle and we changed our shape. In the following 20 minutes we played scintillating hockey. We immediately pulled a goal back when Don passed into Dan, the ball got deflected and Dan helped it over the top of the advancing keeper. The equaliser nearly came soon after when Joel dived for a Dan hit across the goal, narrowly missing. We didn’t have to wait long to pull level when Dan drove across the D from the right and finished with a reverse into the far corner. The winner was tantalisingly close to being scored when Tom nearly finished at the far post but from the resulting short, a left slip to Dan saw a flick burst the net in the far corner. A sixth nearly followed straight after when Dan was unable to convert at the far post. Absolutely rampant! Man-of-the-match was Jonny for boundless energy in midfield, breaking up play continually with low reverse picks.

Swindon A 4 v 3 B&W B, 27th Janiuary 2018

So near yet so far yesterday as we went down 4-3 away to division leaders Swindon A.  Fortunately for us the game before over-ran because there was no sign of our goalie, Mike Lilley.  The umpires were lenient and gave us a few minutes which was long enough for Mike to appear, having been given duff directions by a local (obviously connected to the Swindon hockey club).  The game started evenly but we went 1-0 down from a relatively soft shot on the right-hand side of the D.  For once, we had started well and were playing really controlled passing hockey, transferring the ball across the back and waiting for openings to appear.  The equaliser came with a bit of Dan brilliance, flicking over the keeper from a tight angle.  We went behind again from a soft goal when one of their players mis-controlled the ball in the D, wrong-footing everyone, and one of their strikers was quickest to the loose ball.  The equaliser came from a Dan flick at a short, then just before half-time we took the lead as Curtis swept in a bouncing pass from Dan.  3-2 up at half-time against the league leaders, and deservedly so!  We decided to keep the tactics the same at half-time but we weren’t able to cope with the initial onslaught from Swindon, conceding the equaliser within five minutes of the restart and going behind from a deflected short.  Swindon then sat deep and defended their lead, getting everyone behind the ball.  We had several shorts but we were unable to replicate the clinical finishing of the first half.  The writing was on the wall when we were denied a clear P-flick when the ball was stopped from going in by a defender’s leg. A good performance, very unlucky, but Swindon said we were the best side they’d played.  Man-of-the-match was Ross Williams for his tireless running in midfield and control of the game.

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