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Archive For 'November, 2011'

Back to Winning Ways for Table-Topping Stroud M2

28 November 2011 at 10:46

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, took the spoils in a bruising affair on Saturday.  Goalkeeper, Dave Cruickshank, was never really put under pressure but Stroud’s early dominance did not produce a goal for a while.  Zac Lees impressive strike gave them the lead and some pleasant use of the flanks stretched the visitors’ defence.  The fine work ethic eventually sapped the energy of Lydney.  Steve Shipp and Fin Dixon did a good job in midfield, as did Ben Orme, but the second half saw Nick Batten come to prominence, his fine support from right back and solid tackling earning him the man-of-the-match award.  A superb strike by Rich Cartmell eased the tension in the second half before Nick Hitchcroft did his utmost to score his first ever hat trick, scoring twice with fine strikes in quick succession.  This was a solid performance from a 2nd XI with yet another line-up, showing their strength in depth and ability to win regardless of team structure.  Last week’s unfortunate slip against Newent A was dispelled with this win which keeps them top and with an improved goal difference.  They play Gloucester City C next week, in a match they must win to keep up their title aspirations.

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27 November 2011 at 10:26

Stroud holds 4th place in the league, with just 3 points separating it from the top team, Newent.  This week’s 3 points against EG, a team above it in the league, was a result of a determined effort by a now regular team of players.  A welcome return by Heidi Hepher-Dalton supported by Carrie Sanders meant that Stroud had attacking pace on the right of the pitch, and through Nic Kelly-Davies (who scored Stroud’s opening goal) and Hannah Scott (who scored Stroud’s second goal) on the left hand side too.  The speed of the attackers meant that the Stroud mid-field was given the opportunity to control the all-important centre of the pitch.  Stroud’s goals came in the first half and the EG goal just 3 minutes into the second half – a reminder to the Stroud players to remain focused and to move up and down the pitch as a single, complete unit.  Player of the match was awarded to Katherine Stevens for her relentless marking of EG’s most skilled forward.

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LADIES 2ND XI Continues its Strong Run

20 November 2011 at 10:18

The Stroud defence excelled this week against sustained pressure, particularly in the last 15 minutes of the match.  It was no surprise when keeper Helen Summers was awarded the ‘player of the match’ award for her determined, successful and important saves.  Stroud made an excellent start to the match with goals from Nic Kelly-Davies and Kathy Williams securing the team a 2 goal lead going into half time.  The Colwall forwards were fast and skilful, and all the members of the defensive team – Andrea Preston, Catherine Stevens, Letty Adams and Lesley Macdonald were called into action to prevent Colwall from scoring.  When Stroud did take command of the game its attacking formations were strong and the team was unlucky that strikes on goal from short corners were saved by the Colwall defence.  A good performance from the Stroud team, which this week had no substitutes, and one which allowed it to retain 4th place in the league.

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Tight Top of Table Clash Ends All Square

15 November 2011 at 13:37

After the exuberance of their 12-0 victory last week, Stroud knew full well they were in for a far tougher experience on Saturday.  Ross were lying 2nd and had an even better goal difference than Stroud.  It was clear from the opening salvos that the visitors meant business.  Both sides passed the ball around with good pace and gave little away.  Good movement from Tom Sharpe, given a forward’s role, opened the game up for Stroud.  Steve Shipp and Calum Norman, playing the pivotal roles in centre midfield, had little time on the ball compared to previous weeks.  This did not lead to stalemate, however, both sides launching attacks.  Matt Watts and Henry Bonham really stepped up to the plate.  Watts was quick to spot potential danger and Bonham was solid and controlled as ever.  A deliberate trip went unspotted and a petulant reaction left Stroud a man down for 10 minutes.  As the home side recouped, Ross piled forward and took the lead after a well-executed move.  Stroud were not out, just temporarily wounded.  A positive reaction ensued and they passed the ball around with more purpose.  Acting captain Shipp applied the pressure and drove into the D.  His shot was heading into the far corner but Sharpe made sure with a touch that ensured the keeper had no chance.  Stroud returned to full strength before half time but the score remained 1-1 at the break.

Rich Gealer came on to assist the defence, he and Rob Waite soon under pressure as Ross looked to regain the lead.  Gealer tracked brilliantly and did enough to halt the assault.  Rob Gleed opened up the right, Craig Wathen and Zac Lees now occupying the forward positions and working hard to offer an outlet.  Good control from Shipp and Norman gave Stroud several short corners but Gleed was not able to convert them.  As Stroud pressed forward they were hit on the counter and Ross appeared to have broken home hearts with a goal 10 minutes before the end.  Derek Pittaway came on for Stroud’s keeper – losing 3-1 or 2-1 was no different, so applying more pressure made sense.  Ross went down to 10 men and Stroud desperately pushed forward.  Great work earned them a short corner with few minutes remaining.  As the ball broke to the left, Norman struck a fearsome reverse stick shot which was deflected off a knee when goalbound.  Sharpe stepped up to the plate and drama began in earnest as he scuffed his penalty flick.  As Ross celebrated, the umpires ordered a retake as the keeper had made the basic schoolboy error of standing in front of the goal line !  Sharpe then roofed his second attempt to equalise in emphatic fashion.  Only a couple of minutes remained and Dave Cruickshank came back on in goal to close the hatches.  This was a tough test for Stroud but they came through relatively unscathed and are now 3 points clear of Cirencester A with Ross a further point adrift.

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Stroud Win Close Encounter

15 November 2011 at 13:35

In a close fought encounter, Stroud’s U16 boys got the better of Cheltenham with goals from Andrew Reader and Jamie Penmore, the latter with a fine solo effort in the second half.  The whole team produced a fine performance, but notable contributions were made by Hamish Norman, Gabriel Robinson and goalkeeper Bryn Nicol.

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Stroud start slow

14 November 2011 at 08:36

Stroud Men's 1st XI travelled away to Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Saturday to play Whitchurch B, full of optimism following last week’s excellent performance.

Unfortunately, most of that optimism washed away within the first 10 minutes of the match as Stroud found themselves 3-0 before they had blinked.  Stroud were guilty of not being switched on and a strong, well-organised Whitchurch side duly took advantage.

Stroud steadily regained some composure and began to find their feet.  They tested the Whitchurch keeper on a few occasions and won a couple of short corners.  The umpire denied Whitchurch a fourth goal and Stroud counted themselves lucky to go in at half time only 3-0 down.

The second half saw a better Stroud performance but, in truth, Whitchurch had already done the damage.  With nothing to chase they soaked up pressure and passed the ball well.  Stroud dominated the possession and if they had made a few of their early short corners count, may well have got back into the game.  Fin Dixon deflected in a Rob Fynn short corner strike with about 20 minutes to play and for a short while the Stroud players sensed a comeback. That was until Whitchurch put the game beyond doubt with a well-taken breakaway goal.

The match finished 4-1.

An honest appraisal would be that Stroud were some way off the pace in this match - playing good hockey for half a game isn't good enough and Stroud will need to find more consistency and resolve if they are to harbour ambitions of a high table finish.

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Hard earned win for Ladies 1st XI

13 November 2011 at 21:59

After a good win for the ladies they hoped to keep the impressive work up against Avonmouth.

A solid start meant that despite Avonmouth attacking the D they where unable to get past Strouds solid defence of Aleasha Holder, Becky Stevens, Sarah Tudor and Angharad Roberts.

With Stroud gaining possession they passed the ball around and used some of the skills that have been practiced in training.

Several attacks on Avonmouth’s goal led to short corners but the ladies where unable to get a shot on goal. With the midfields and forwards keeping the ball, Avonmouth's frustration started to show and Claire Crosthwaite was able to score the first goal. 

Debbie Ratcliffe, Julie Whiting and Kate Davies had several more attempts before Julie was able to score the second goal of the match.

After this the important thing was to keep hold of the ball and prevent Avonmouth from getting hold of it. Some brilliant work in the middle of the pitch by Karen Whitehead, Karen Willsher, Elaine Noone and Hattie White allowed Stroud to maintain possession and keep cool until the final whistle.

With a final score of 2-0 the Stroud Ladies 1XI are currently top of their division.

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13 November 2011 at 09:34

Stroud Ladies 2nd team knew that this Cirencester match would be tough as Cirencester has not lost a game all season and holds 2nd place in the league.

The Stroud team took a while to settle, but the speed and accuracy of the Cirencester squad did not allow Stroud to establish its usual, well structured game.  Stroud had one or two chances on goal from open play, and was unable to secure a short (penalty) corner at any point during the game.   Player of the match Katy Stotesbury.

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Alex Needs Mo' Money!

11 November 2011 at 18:35

Hi all, Alex Waring, Men's 1stXI skipper, here.

It’s Movember, the month formerly known as November, now dedicated to growing moustaches and raising awareness and funds for men’s health; specifically prostate and testicular cancer. I’m donating my top lip to the cause for 30 days in an effort to help change the face of men’s health. My Mo will spark conversations, and no doubt generate some laughs; all in the name of raising vital awareness and funds for cancer’s affecting men.

Why am I concerned about men’s health?
*1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
*This year 37,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed
*1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
*26% of men are less likely to go the doctor compared to women

I invite you to join me by registering to grow or by donating to my support of the Mo

If you want to go old school you can write a cheque payable to “Movember”, reference my name and Registration Number 2616314 and send it to: Movember Europe, PO Box 68600, London, EC1P 1EF

Or just shove some cash in my hand next time you see me and I'll make sure it gets to the right place.

Funds raised will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others. Through the Movember Foundation and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and The Institute of Cancer Research, Movember is funding world class awareness, research, educational and support programs which would otherwise not be possible. 

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please click on the links below:
About Movember 
Prostate cancer genome mapping 
Prostate Cancer Foundation research
Global Action Plan 

Thank you in advance for helping me change the face of men's health. 

Posted in Social | Mens 2XI | Mens 1XI | Ladies 1XI | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Six from Six as M2 Score 12

07 November 2011 at 09:09

It was Top v Bottom on Saturday – always a potential problem.  Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, refused to bow to the tempter that is complacency, however, a stern warning before the game enough to settle them.  Steve Shipp and Calum Norman took early control of the midfield as they had done the previous week.  They were untroubled and were soon proving fine pivots.  Composed passing and good support were key factors and that included the defensive line of Rob Gleed, returning Henry Bonham and Matt Watts.  Pushing forward to help the attack was no problem for them and at no time were they put in danger.  Nick Hitchcroft provided the bridge between them and the midfield.  The first goal was passing personified – probably 6 in total, worked down the right.  Calum Norman threaded the ball through to Zac Lees on the back line and he drove along it before giving the perfect pass on the penalty spot for Tim Norman to fire the ball in off the far post.  If they weren’t relaxed beforehand, they were following that first goal.  Ben Orme switched up front and immediately found the net, having snatched the ball back from a dithering defender.  Rob Gleed’s sweetly struck short corner, aimed outside the right post, was deflected in neatly by Calum Norman.  Orme collected a second before Tim Norman’s goal-bound flick was blocked by a defender’s body.  The resultant penalty flick was taken By Tom Sharpe who saw the ball hit the bar and cruelly bounce the wrong side of the line.  Lees’ goal was as simple as they come following another superb passing move which left the opposition without a hope.  Sharpe’s efforts at left midfield were nearly rewarded but the home side’s crossbar came to the rescue once more.  Steve Shipp popped up with a goal before Gleed converted a short corner clinically for a 7-0 half time lead.

Nobody was clear what the score was at half time, to be perfectly honest.  It mattered not – Stroud cam out firing in the second half, looking to continue their passing game.  This they did to great effect.  Dave Cruickshank was called upon to make one save and that was from a shot going wide.  That’s statistic alone showed the superiority Stroud exuded.  They held their shape well and happily moved the ball back to keep possession and switched flanks.  Calum Norman finished off a flowing move down the left, before completing his hat trick with a fine individual run and sweet reverse stick strike which left the keeper stranded.  When on form, Gleed’s short corner striking is a joy to behold – he got his second of the game with a perfectly-struck shot.  Tim Norman poached his second after a shot was saved.  As the Cleevillians side tired, Stroud exploited the space even more.  Hitchcroft found Lees whose great running wide right beat the defence.  His inch-perfect bullet of a cross was expertly converted by Rohan Sopp to complete the rout.

Stroud thus managed to stave off a potential slip-up against the bottom-placed side and did so in style.  Lovely passing hockey was the name of the game, but everyone worked hard, too – a good pointer towards next week’s home game against erstwhile leaders, Ross.  Stroud really need to keep the pressure on and continue playing the superb team hockey exuded on Saturday.

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