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Archive For 'January, 2012'

Tough Time but Deserved Draw

30 January 2012 at 11:18

This was a tremendous match to watch, both sides producing some fine hockey and a draw was probably a fair result.  Stroud were under strength, however, without several regular players and losing a key member to illness on Saturday morning.  No substitutes either for the home side, but they did work hard to take control of the game early on.  Missing last week’s scintillating strikeforce meant Stroud had some difficulty making chances during the first half, eventually falling behind as Lansdown broke swiftly down their right.  Henry Bonham, Rob Gleed and Matt Watts did look solid throughout as Stroud’s defensive line, but the home side found it difficult distributing the ball wide enough to really make any telling attacks.  They were awarded several short corners but even Gleed’s accurate shooting could not deny the useful Lansdown keeper.

Lansdown went 2-0 up before Stroud altered the line-up slightly.  Tim Norman moved up front and everybody to a man works their socks off to battle back into the game.  Steve Shipp’s performance again earned him man-of-the-match and Rohan Sopp looked dangerous when running at the defence.  With Stroud now snapping at the heels of a tiring Lansdown, Tom Sharpe’s made an incisive run down the right.  His raised cross was somehow collected on the reverse by Norman but the shot had little power.  It was enough to cause an error from the keeper and Shipp was perfectly positioned to put the rebound in, giving Stroud a lifeline with a few minutes remaining.  They refuse to give in and with their tails up attacked again.  Norman spun and fed Sopp who fired in a fine pass to Sharpe who made no mistake scoring the equaliser, much to the relief of all and sundry.

Stroud showed immense strength of character to come back from 2-0 down against a very handy Lansdown team, especially given their weakened side and no subs.  Although they have lost their top spot, they remain a force with which to be reckoned.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

PUSHED TO THE FINAL WHISTLE

28 January 2012 at 18:51

In its first league game since Christmas the Stroud side was pleased to record a win.  Stroud had an early goal scored by Sandra Glass from an inch perfect pass from Player of the Match Victoria Sharpe.  The lead wasn’t held for long as Painswick managed to pull a goal back and at half time the score was level.  Stroud’s keeper Tati Howell was called upon to athletically save a Painswick sure-fired shot on goal and Katherine Stevens prevented a Painswick forward from sneaking a ball past the post in the last 2 minutes of the game.  Most of game was controlled by Stroud and the team made much use of the straight and square balls it has practised at training.  The game was focused on the centre of the pitch and the team must work at using the entire width in its future matches.  Stroud had a number of short corners, but the team’s second goal came from open play when Victoria Sharpe foiled the Painswick keeper.  A determined Nic Kelly-Davies found the net but the goal was disallowed.

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | 1 Comments »

Superior Stroud Wreak Havoc

23 January 2012 at 09:50

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to the Leominster beach looking to consolidate their victory last week and signal their intentions for a top-2 finish.  The chilly conditions did nothing to curb their enthusiasm and it was not long before they showed their worth.  The key difference between the 2 sides was Stroud’s ability and commitment to possession and passing.  Dave Cruickshank had little to do in the Stroud goal and a formidable defensive line of Rob Gleed, Henry Bonham and Matt Watts provided the perfect basis for Stroud’s attacking play.  Watts, in particular, enjoyed the space on the left and this gave the visitors extra strength in midfield.  Young Rohan Sopp earned his man-of-the-match award with a confident and hard-working performance at top diamond, aided by the steadying influence of Derek Pittaway behind him.  Ben Orme broke the deadlock with a well-taken goal as Stroud spread the ball from flank to flank.  The sandy surface should have favoured the home side, but it was Stroud who continued to pass the ball intelligently.  Nick Hitchcroft’d cool head in front of the defence steadied their hand and captain Tim Norman’s tenacity in midfield rattled Leominster.  Orme struck again as he and Tom Sharpe showed signs of ripping the home defence to shreds.  As half time loomed, Sharpe converted a penalty flick to give Stroud a 3-0 advantage.

A totally rampant Stroud ran the game in the second half.  Youngster, Tom Freer had another solid game at right mid, well-supported by his older teammates.  Norman got on the scoresheet, latching onto an inch perfect through ball from Sopp before nutmegging the keeper.  Orme and Sharpe then went on the rampage.  In truth, the entire team played brilliantly and set up the forward line who did not disappoint.  Orme put a lovely reverse flick over the keeper and Sopp provided the perfect pass for Sharpe to convert.  Stroud’s control of the midfield through Sopp, Norman, Pittaway and the advancing Watts and Gleed, became a formality  Leominster were reduced to the long ball, snuffed out early on many occasions.  Norman’s run from left mid opened the defence and Sharpe was perfectly positioned on the left post to deflect another goal.  Gleed, bolstered by his stint in the 1st XI, enjoyed his return.  Two superb team goals, involving six or seven passes rounded off a formidable performance, keeping Stroud top.  Superb finishing from Sharpe and Orme, plus a tremendous performance from the whole team – everybody had a good game – produced a result of which Stroud should be proud.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Swansea Too Strong

22 January 2012 at 17:53

Stroud Men's 1st XI made the long away trip to play Swansea University on Saturday, hoping to complete a double over the student side having beaten them 4-2 at home earlier in the season.

As expected, the game started at a high pace with Swansea dominating the early exchanges.  Stroud worked hard but found it hard to get the ball and Swansea put together some ominous attempts on goal.  The students made the most of their early domination and scored twice.  The Stroud defence struggled to get to grips with the pace and movement of the Swansea front line.

Stroud responded very positively to the two goal deficit and set about finding a way back into the game.  Man of the match Matt Williams set the tone with a higher press from the midfield and the whole side responded by upping their work rate and retaining possession.  As Stroud started to put the students under more pressure it became evident that they were vulnerable at the back.  Rich Fynn made some probing runs from midfield and he won a penalty flick when fouled on rounding the keeper.  Fynn duly dispatched the flick signalling the start of a fight back.

Stroud found more confidence and began to look like the better of the two sides as they worked the ball around well and stretched the Swansea defence.  Calum Norman won a short corner with a good bit of skill and Rob Fynn scored with a clean and clinical strike.  Stroud went close to taking the lead on the stroke of half time as another short corner chance went close.  

Stroud were buoyant at half time, full of belief that the could go on to take all the points.

The second half started well enough with Stroud defending well.  Keeper Cathie was called upon to make some good saves but Stroud also showed purpose going forward.  With 20 minutes remaining and the score at 2-2 the game was in the balance. 

As is often the way in hockey the balance tipped decisively in a few crucial minutes of play.

Stroud worked a brilliant opportunity to take the lead when Liam Tunney, Matt Pearce and Rich Fynn combined down the left, swiftly turning defence into attack.  Calum Norman was on hand to finish off the move with a superb diving reverse stick strike, beating the on rushing keeper.  Unfortunately for Stroud, he didn't beat the post and the ball cannoned back out to a grateful Swansea defender.  Swansea quickly shifted the ball back down the other end and inevitably scored.  Keeper Cathie was left stranded by an unfortunate deflection off defender Rob Fynn's foot.

The goal lifted Swansea and they scored a fourth just minutes later.  A one in a million chance converted with a diving, one handed, reverse stick strike from the byline. Some days you get the feeling that you just weren't meant to win!

Having worked so hard to get back into the game only to be undone by two chance goals was a tough one to swallow and it took its toll on Stroud's work rate and physical efforts in the closing stages.

Stroud looked for a way back into the game but were hit on the break twice more in the last 10 minutes.  Swansea closed out the game with two well worked goals.

In truth, Stroud came up short despite their fighting spirit and once again only really performed for half a game.  They will look to get back on track next week with a home fixture against Newent

Posted in Mens 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Excellent Opportunity to Improve

21 January 2012 at 19:06

Having played Bristol away and drawn the match the home side believed that there was the opportunity to do slightly better this time and from the first whistle was keen to take command of the match.  It was Bristol that scored the first goal, but that was quickly followed by the equaliser from Kathy Williams, scoring from a well rehearsed short corner routine.  Stroud then struggled to contain the Bristol attack, and possibly due to the strong wind the team was considerably out of sorts, scoring 2 own goals and giving away a penalty.  Hannah Scott, playing in goal for the first time, was a stalwart keeper and prevented Bristol from scoring on many occasions.   Katherine Stevens was tireless in defence and Kathy Williams & Carrie Sanders determined in mid field.  To have the season’s worth of errors, mistakes and mis-hits in a single match means there is the opportunity for the Stroud team to put today’s match behind firmly it, unite as a single, determined, well oiled hockey machine and ‘return to form’ in time for next week’s league match. 

 

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

You Win Some You Draw

16 January 2012 at 17:41

Ecotricity sponsored Stroud Men's 1st XI played out their second 1-1 draw of the season with Bristol & West on Saturday at Stratford Park in a game that ebbed and flowed but which neither side truly dominated.

Bristol started brightly with a period of early possession but were not able to do anything with it as they found the Stroud defensive unit hard to break down.  Stroud were patient and showed a few early signs of looking dangerous on the break - Mat Pearce went close with a great effort from the top of the D.

Skipper Alex Waring broke the deadlock mid way through the half.  Rich Fynn did all the hard work, collecting a loose pass in just outside the 25 before driving towards the byline.  Waring was on hand to deflect his rising cross into the back of the goal. 

Fynn and Waring almost made it 2 minutes later with a similar move but this time just lacked the killer touch.

Bristol then had a decent spell where they put together a few short corners and the Stroud defence will count themsleves unlucky to have conceeded when Bristol squeezed their 3rd over the line. 1-1 at half time.

The second half saw more of the same, both sides creating decent chances but neither finding a way through.  Danny Clifford came closest to winning the 3 points for Stroud.  Mat Pearce played a defence splitting pass and Clifford's first time deflected effort flew agonisingly over the cross bar.

The drama was saved for the final minute though.  Stroud pressed hard for the win and won a succession of short corners.  Again Clifford thought he had won the game, this time dribbling the ball neatly before despatching the ball into the back of the net only for the whistle to blow for.... another short corner.  Stroud couldn't believe their bad luck and Bristol & West were relieved to clear the final corner and walk off with a hard fought point.

Posted in Mens 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments

Promising Start to 2012

16 January 2012 at 09:25

A glorious sunny winter afternoon was the back-drop to a promising start to 2012 by Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity.  A fairly meagre scoreline belied the dominance Stroud showed throughout the game.  Defensively, nobody recollects a shot on goal from the visiting team, the only “save” from keeper Kev Sinden a clearance with his stick from outside the D.  Henry Bonham was rock solid in the heart of defence, as was Alan Edwards playing just in front of him.  Matt Watts and Dom Creech busied themselves at left and right back, providing more of an attacking presence at times.  Good work-rate from the midfield kept potential Cheltenham threats at bay and more sensible possession-keeping passes gave the home side confidence.  It did not take long for Stroud to threaten the visitors’ goal, Ben Orme and Zac Lees keen to get on the scoresheet.  The pressure gave Stroud a short corner from which the initial save was converted with a neat flick by Lees.  This was just the start required to calm the nerves and relax the team.  More hounding of Cheltenham’s midfield, gave Stroud more breaks, although they were forced back on their heels several times.  A strong work ethic snuffed out the threats.  Another short corner gave Orme his goal, a clean strike with a resounding thud on the back board.  Tim Norman’s tenacity almost led to another, but stick upon stick seemed to materialise out of nowhere.  Rohan Sopp was dangerous in the 25 and he was unlucky not to convert a chance near the left post.  Stroud continued to apply pressure without extending their lead, some good crosses narrowly failing to find a Stroud stick.  The dominance Stroud had could not be turned into more goals, however – chances were created, but the Cheltenham keeper managed to find a way of keeping the ball out.  14 year-old Tom Freer, making his debut for the 2nd XI, grew in confidence and played his part admirably.  With good support from his teammates, he slotted into midfield nicely as Stroud’s interplay improved.  Nick Hitchcroft’s control of the midfield and Derek Pittaway’s presence at back diamond gave a nice pivot point during the second half.  Edwards showed no signs of slacking and Tom Sharpe was as versatile as ever.  Despite the fact that they scored no more goals, Stroud ran out comfortable winners, but will be looking for more offensive success next week when they travel to Leominster as division leaders again, albeit by 2 points and having played one more game.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

STROUD LADIES 2nd X1 BETTER LAST YEAR’S PERFORMANCE

14 January 2012 at 18:49

Stroud lost heavily to the Gloucester side in the friendly before Christmas and the team was pleased with its performance against the Gloucester side – which plays in the league above.  This was the first time this season that the club’s new pitch was hit by overnight frost and it performed extremely well.  Although frozen it was not slippery on the top and the ball did not bounce in the alarming fashion that it did on the old pitch when it was frozen.  Despite that both sides made a tentative start playing on a completely white pitch for the first half of the game.

 

Stroud had the first attack but it was then Gloucester that applied the pressure and despite the efforts of ‘Player of the Match’ Jordan Turnbull the Stroud team conceded two goals in the first half.  The second half saw the Stroud team playing a more attacking game with the forwards pulling the game wide to allow the front & back diamond players the space to run through and support the attack.  Gloucester found the goal a third time.

 

Stroud had a number of fine attacking moves but the final strike into the goal eluded the team’s usually ‘goal mad’ forwards.

 

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Badgers Team for Saturday 14 Jan 2012

12 January 2012 at 11:05

Badgers play Newent at Newent Community School, Watery Lane, Newent GL18 1QF, starting 3:30 and meeting at LC Car Park 2:15.

Team is:-

Bryn Nicol
Hamish Norman
Matthew Penmore
Zac Knight
Alex Richards
Andrew Reader
Ed Goulding
Danny Sopp
Joe Freer 
Tom Freer
Seb Wathen
Ed Paddock
Gab Robinson
Craig Wathen

Posted in Junior Hockey | 1 Comments »

Adult Training 10 January 2012

09 January 2012 at 14:20

The ladies will share the pitch with the men on Tuesday 10th January and both will train from 8pm - 9pm.  The club has 0.25 of the pitch between 7pm and 8pm for warming up, so please ensure you are ready to train at 8pm.  Normal training times will be resumed on Tuesday 17th January 2012.

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