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Archive For 'October, 2011'

Stroud On Top from the Start

31 October 2011 at 09:09

Bourton and Sherborne 0  Stroud A 4
Goalscorers: Zac Lees (2), Tom Sharpe, Ben Orme

This was another inspired performance from Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity.  Having the dubious luxury of 14 players, captain Tim Norman elected to run the substitutions for the first half.  It proved a tremendous spectacle, Stroud coming out of the blocks in determined fashion.  It took a mere 3½ minutes for them to take the lead through a neat passing move, finished off by Tom Sharpe who thus claimed his first League goal for Stroud.  16 year old Calum Norman, rested by the 1st XI, was a welcome addition to the midfield and he formed a good working relationship with Steve Shipp.  Pivoting off each other, they fed the lively Sharpe and another 16 year old, Fin Dixon down the flanks.  Spotting Sherborne’s defensive weaknesses, Stroud capitalised by passing the ball wide.  Zac Lees, who earned himself the man-of-the-match award, and Ben Orme ran the defence ragged.  Several superb balls from Shipp and Calum Norman to the back line almost resulted in goals as Orme and Lees peeled away from the goalmouth.  On the end of a stunning passing move down the right wing, Orme got his reward after 10 minutes to give Stroud a 2 goal advantage before 15 year old Rohan Sopp and Craig Wathen came on up front to continue the barrage.  Their more intricate stick skills gave a different slant on the game and Sherborne found it difficult to adjust.  Sopp had a couple of great strikes, one on the reverse, but the keeper stood firm to deny him.  Despite the pressure, the home side did break out on occasions, but Dave Cruickshank was imperious in Stroud’s goal.  He did a fine job ushering the defenders.  To be fair, Stroud’s defenders needed little advice.  Nick Hitchcroft, given a more unusual task of centre back, worked nicely with the ever-active Alan Edwards.  That backbone was a perfect foil to a strong midfield.  With the whole team giving 100% effort, control belonged to Stroud.  Half time came with Stroud 2-0 up, although it should have been more.

The break did nothing to dampen Stroud’s resolve.  As the midfield was working well, substitutions tended to be with the forwards, all of them keeping the tempo high.  Rob Gleed’s incisive passing from his right wing-back position gave Stroud a good springboard.  Whenever they looked ragged, Stroud recouped and made their possession and fitness tell.  As the game progressed, Edwards was able to push forward to support the midfield, sound in the knowledge that Hitchcroft and Matt Watts were covering his every move.  Tim Norman came on for a spell at left midfield.  It was obvious that a lot of space was made, but not always used.  When it was, the results were devastating.  Calum Norman and Shipp had time to pick their passes.  The forwards’ movement opened up the middle for the midfield to work.  Great work from Sopp earned Stroud a short corner from which Gleed was unlucky not to score.  Tim Norman worked well with Sharpe but still the goals did not materialise.  Perhaps Stroud could be guilty of over-complication near the D and also passing a little late at times – at any rate, their total control of the game was not being reflected in the goal tally.  It was left to Lees to correct that, his goal-scoring touch returning as he grabbed a quick brace to put the result beyond doubt.

This was an impressive display by Stroud, again one in which a double-figure tally was not out of the question.  Lots of positives can be taken – the 3 youngsters looked solid and hard-working.  Calum Norman looked much more composed alongside Shipp in the midfield, his pace putting Sherborne under a lot of pressure.  Dixon did a fine job, deputising towards the end for Edwards in front of defence.  Sopp used his lovely stick skills to fine effect.  Sharpe was tenacious and assured in midfield.  Shape-wise, Stroud looked strong.  Only on rare occasions was there a gap between defence and midfield, Gleed, Watts and Hitchcroft keeping well up with the game to support the team.  With Orme, Lees and Wathen all dangerous up front and Cruickshank keeping his first clean sheet of the season, this was a fine win.  The icing on the cake was previous leaders Ross losing, thus leaving Stroud top of the division.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Men's 1s back to winning ways

31 October 2011 at 09:07

Stroud travelled to Weston Super Mare on Saturday looking to re-group after last week's second half collapse against Yate.

Stroud started the game well, putting together some fluid moves and pressing Weston back into their own half.  Dan Clifford and Matt Williams won early short corners that tested the Weston keeper.  Despite not getting an early goal, Stroud remained patient and continued to pass the ball well to keep prolonged possession.

Dan Clifford eventually unpicked the lock as a good passing move resulted in his low drag shot finding the back board.  Stroud finished the first half deservedly in front.

The second half saw a very compact Stroud unit working hard to keep Weston at bay. Stroud played some good solid hockey and despite not scoring again they were always in command of the game and were rarely troubled at the back by Weston. The Weston keeper was called into action by Rich Fynn on several occasions and Alex Waring should have scored when Brad Mears put him through one-on-one with the keeper.

Despite their chances, the game finished 1-0 to Stroud.

Stroud were delighted with all the points away against a tricky Weston side, although they would have liked to make their superior possession count in terms of more goals.

Posted in Mens 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Ladies 1XI secure win against Jaspers

24 October 2011 at 15:25

Stroud 1st      3                 Jaspers 2nd       1

In a far better performance than in the previous week, Stroud Ladies 1sts were able to secure themselves a win against Jaspers.

With a lot of the game spent on the attack it was promising to see the first goal from Claire Crosthwaite find the backboard. However one goal was not enough for the Ladies and so Stroud went on the attack again allowing Angharad Roberts to take a hit from the top of the D which went straight into the goal. 

Jaspers fought back and were able to get a goal past Aleash Holder but Stroud were not going to let them creep back into the game. and a lovely goal from Debbie Ratcliffe meant that Stroud won. With better passing and positioning the ladies put a lot of effort into this game and deserved a good win.

Man of the Match is Debbie Ratcliffe.

Posted in Ladies 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments


23 October 2011 at 06:24

Stroud Ladies’ 2nd team was back on form as it put 2 goals into the net in its away match against Lansdown.  The team got off to a shaky start and the defensive players fought hard to keep a clean sheet.  Katherine Stevens made some important tackles and Helen Summers some excellent saves, ensuring the half time score remained 0-0.  After the break, Stroud’s midfield and forward line then began to increase the pressure on Lansdown, taking control of the match.  Stroud’s first goal was deftly picked up from a rebound off the Lansdown goalkeeper and put into the net by Karen Whitehead.  The team’s second goal was the result of an impressive solo run by player-of-the-match Victoria Sharpe.

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Superior Stroud take the Spoils

17 October 2011 at 09:39

Lansdown A 1  Stroud A 3

Goalscorers: Tim Norman (2), Steve Shipp

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, proved the superior side on Saturday, producing a fine, controlled performance against a potentially awkward Lansdown team.  With only 2 recognised defenders, Stroud lined up in attacking mode and soon got into their stride.  A Rob Gleed short corner strike appeared to ricochet in a haphazard fashion before reaching Tim Norman who turned the ball in from short range.  As Matt Pearce and Nick Hitchcroft took control of the midfield, Lansdown surprisingly equalised but Stroud were undeterred.  Man-of-the-match Scott Patient looked assured in the heart of Stroud’s defence and the general movement of the ball and the team’s shape were good.  Steve Shipp earned 9.9s with his diving shot from Pearce’s fine through-ball – a super goal to put the visitors in front.  Several further chances went begging, Zac Lees narrowly missing the crossbar and Tom Sharpe going close.  It was Ben Orme’s great work down the left which led to his pass across goal for Norman’s second.  Lansdown would not lie down, Dave Cruickshank making several fine saves, but, in truth, the threats were few and far between.  Tired legs meant Norman coming on at left-back, unusual for a centre-forward, but such was the superior team mentality of Stroud, everybody worked brilliantly to control the game and gain a deserved 3 points.  A little more switching of play could be an improvement, but this was a fantastic performance.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Clinical Stroud make Newent pay

16 October 2011 at 09:58

Ecotricity sponsored Stroud Men's 1st XI did a smash and grab job on the 3 points this week with a 2-0 win over local rivals Newent.

Stroud arrived for this fixture determined to improve on their poor showings against Newent last season, having lost both home and away games.  Stroud were focused from the off and resolutely played to their game plan.

Newent saw far more possession in a first half they dominated in all except goals scored.  They overloaded the Stroud defence on numerous occassions as they poured forward.  Stroud remained resolute. Keeper Cathie set the tone early on with a brilliant reaction save low to his right after a strong reverse stick strike - a contender for save of the season.  Newent won 8 short corners in the first half but couldn't find a way to unpick the lock.  Rob Fynn and Andy Murray calmly dealt with everything Newent could muster whilst Andy Hines at right back and the returning Rob Waite at left back ensured the ball was cleared well down the lines.  

Stroud were patient and waited for the opportunities they knew they could create. Their first meaningful foray into the Newent D resulted in a goal.  Matt Williams battled hard to win back the ball in midfield and found skipper Alex Waring on the penalty spot.  Waring was tightly marked but he sharply moved the ball out of his feet and sent his reverse stick strike high to the keepers left, giving him no chance. 1-0 Stroud at half time.

Stroud prepared for more of the same in the second half but it was Newent who found themselves on the back foot early on. The Stroud midfield and forwards put them under pressure in possession and forced mistakes.  Stroud began to work better periods of passing and looked to get in behind the Newent defence that kept pushing forward.  When Matt Williams found Waring up the right hand side the break was on, he in turn found Rich Fynn with a well weighted pass as he was breaking beyond the last defender.  Fynn did the rest, rounding the advancing keeper to send Stroud 2 goals to the good.  

At this stage the game tempo raised as Stroud sensed further goals.  Fynn nearly added a third soon after.  Rob Fynn throwing an aerial ball into his brothers path, Rich's first time touch lobbing over the keeper only to hit the inside of the post, roll along the line and back out again.

Newent were by no means finished and continued with their gung ho approach in search of a way back into the match.  They won further short corners but keeper Sam Cathie was equal to the task, with Andy Murray and Rob Fynn mopping up well. Newent kept pressing and will count themselves unlucky after hitting the bar and the post in later part of the half.

Midfielders Tunney, Williams and Mears worked very hard to keep hold of the ball and Stroud wound down the clock with good periods of possession until Newent won a final short corner on the last whistle.  Once again they were unable to find a way past the Stroud defence who will be delighted with a clean sheet and the 3 points!

In truth Newent were very profligate infront of goal and will rue the number of short corners they failed to convert.  Stroud on the other hand were clinical, taking their chances, and they made Newent pay.

Posted in Mens 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments

No goals for Stroud L2 a rarity

16 October 2011 at 08:25

For the first time this season the Stroud side did not score a goal:  a rare occurrence.  Despite having much of the possession in mid-field and some strong defensive work by Tati Howell in goal, the forwards were unable to find the form to secure that all important goal.  The lack of goals from Stroud can in part be attributed to the Newent defence – the team’s 2 best players played in the defence. For Stroud, Carrie Sanders did some wonderful attacking runs and was awarded ‘Player of the match’ for her determination and drive.  Captain Katy Stotesbury was commanding in the back diamond position and was instrumental in some fine attacking manoeuvres.  Stroud had 3 short corners and, unlike previous weeks, was unable to score from any of them.  The Newent keeper was called upon several times to stop a shot from the Stroud attack but the Stroud team, despite its sustained pressure was just unable to find the net.

Posted in General | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Ladies Hockey Shirts Ordered

14 October 2011 at 16:56

The new shirts have been ordered for the Ladies - estimated delivery time = December.

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Another Good Win for M2

09 October 2011 at 21:28

Another Good Win
Stroud A 6  Leominster A 1

Goalscorers: Rohan Sopp (2), Zac Lees (2), Tim Norman, Ben Orme

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, had another convincing win on Saturday, Zac Lees continuing his scoring spree with another couple of goals, along with youngster, Rohan Sopp.  Strong supporting work from Steve Shipp and Tom Sharpe in midfield kept Stroud on top of the game.  Stroud took an early lead through Lees, but conceded an equalising goal almost immediately – not good form.  They were shocked into life once more and strung some nice moves together before taking the lead again.  With the forwards working hard to stretch Leominster’s sluggish defence, openings came.  A fine short corner strike from Rob Gleed fell to Tim Norman who dragged the ball back and hammered the ball home.  Matt Pearce was influential in front of Stroud’s defence.  The prolific Lees struck another goal before half time.
The second half performance wavered between sweet passing and attempts to beat players needlessly.  Stroud were always on top, but should have been more convincing.  Ben Orme’s hard work was rewarded with a goal and Sopp scored two sweetly hit goals to put the game beyond doubt.  Dave Cruickshank made several saves to keep the visitors down to a solitary goal, but the result was never in doubt from half time.

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3 Points is Best Way to Start League Season for L2

09 October 2011 at 21:27

In the first league match of the season the Stroud team showed the same drive and ambition that it showed in the pre-season friendlies:  from the whistle the team controlled the ball well, made accurate, strong passes and executed some good tackles and interceptions.  The fast attacking pace of Carrie Sanders and Nic Kelly-Davies gave the Stroud team the edge when attacking and a fine shot across the D allowed Kathy Williams to open the scoring for Stroud.  Stroud’s second goal came from a light touch by Heidi Hepher-Dalton and at half time the Stroud side was 2 goals in front.  Stroud’s pressure was relentless and with so much control of the attacking play, the day belonged to the Stroud midfield and its forwards.Jade Crosthwaite was well placed to knock home Stroud’s 3rd goal and Pauline Edgington fired the ball into the net during the closing minutes of the match.  Stroud’s defence stood firm throughout and Stroud’s keeper was not called into action.  Player of the match, Pauline Edgington.

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

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