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Archive For 'February, 2012'

Dave Defends Dignity as Stroud Struggle Riled by a Resurgent Ross

29 February 2012 at 18:42

Stroud travelled to league leaders Ross on Wye on a sunny Saturday aware that a win could see them move back to the top of the table but aware that they were missing their strongest lineup. The Stroud starting side looked good with a mix of skilful younger players Rohan Sopp, Rich Cartmell, Zac Lees and Tom Freer in attacking positions. The experience of Steven Ship, Tom Sharpe, Ian Gill, Nick Hitchcroft strong in the midfield. Henry Bonham, Rob Gleed and Matt Watts completed the lineup with Dave Cruickshank in goal.

Ross started strongly with the majority of possession across the middle of the pitch but unable to break the Stroud defence, denied by several outstanding saves from Dave who looked solid between the posts. Ross were unable to find the back of the net even from several short corners. Stroud made a couple of changes before half time and bought on Dom Creech and Derek Pittaway to support the middle of the pitch. Cruickshank was further called into action denying the home side right up to half time.

At the half time talk Stroud reflected on the positives, they were level with the best side in the league and the opposition were visibly rattled losing their cool against unexpected strength and determination of the younger Stroud players. The second half saw both teams come out wanting the first goal with Strouds chances coming from breaks in the play when most of the pressure was at the other end of the pitch. Cruickshank was called into action again and again, but eventually the pressure on the Stroud goal was too great and the home team forced a goal.

Stroud fought on in the setting sunlight with Rohan Sopp and Steve Shipp looking dangerous in the middle, and all parts of the Stroud defence working hard to keep the game open. Zac and Tom upfront looked useful when they had the ball but were somewhat kept out the game by a strong Ross midfield and attacking players. Both sides were noticeably tiring after a long and competitive game in the February sun but knew the next goal would be decisive. A killing blow came when Ross were awarded and scored from a penalty flick when a goal ward ball in a goal mouth scramble found a foot on the line.

Stroud carried on tired but knowing they had put on a good fight. Stroud finished the game with 10 men after Rob Gleed stepped off late in the game with a yellow card. A MOTM performance from Cruickshank in goal keeping the score to a PG rating kept the team feeling they could take something away from the other side of the border.

As always a tight finish to HG1 sees 2nd place Stroud take on 3rd place Newent at home next week as the first stage of a double-header. They are away to Cirencester on Sunday.

It seems an eerily similar story to the last few years when a strong performance in the first half of the season starts to slip away meaning the pressure is really on the last few games of the season. With 5 matches to go, Stroud need to prove they are ready to take themselves to the next level.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments


25 February 2012 at 16:25

Stroud took command of this match from the whistle and was the dominant force throughout the game.  The strength of the Blockley defence prevented Stroud from scoring from the many short corners and shots on goal that were executed.   The Stroud team played some strong, attacking hockey passing the ball well and using the square and straight balls that it had practised at training:  Carrie Sanders in particular moved the ball strongly and quickly from the mid-field to the attack line.  Lizzie Woods and Hannah Scott had some good passing moves on the forward line and it was Hannah Scott that found the goal, on the 3rd rebound from the Blockley keeper.  Blockley had a number of attacking moves but these were halted by Stroud’s mid-field until the last 2 minutes of the match.  Defender Katherine Stevens was left alone with 3 Blockley attackers and she put in an important tackle to slow the Blockley attack.  It was then left to keeper Tati Howell, who had not touched the ball until then, to save the shot on goal and ensure that the Stroud team’s hopes of a win remained a reality.  Players of the match – Carrie Sanders and Katherine Stevens.

Posted in Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Win Keeps Stroud in the Hunt

21 February 2012 at 08:00

In a pretty one-sided affair on Saturday, Stroud roared out of the blocks, going 3 goals up within the first 10 minutes.  An incisive attack and pass across the top of the D found Tim Norman, whose reverse stick shot wrong-footed the keeper for goal number one.  Norman’s cross a couple of minutes later was beautifully despatched, first time on the reverse into the goal by Rohan Sopp.  A Zac Lees tap-in made it 3 before Stroud went quiet for a while when the home side lost 2 players in quick succession, captain Norman struck on the hand by a short corner strike and Derek Pittaway with a muscle pull.  As fortune had it, they had a couple of subs able to step into the breach.  Norman reappeared for a while before being driven to hospital to tend his wound.  Sopp scored 2 more cracking goals to complete a richly-deserved hat trick and Rob Gleed got on the score sheet, too.

With Alan Edwards and Ian Gill solid at the back, Matt Watts was freed up to engage in a spot of attacking on the left.  Tom Freer enjoyed more of the ball up the right and Stroud never really looked like conceding a goal.  Indeed, this was a comprehensive rather than stunning victory, keeping Stroud firmly in second spot.  Their visit to leaders, Ross, next week, looks troublesome, however, particularly having lost their captain, a prominent midfield maestro and another striker last week to a hamstring pull.  Tough call indeed, but fingers crossed for lady luck to shine on them.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments


19 February 2012 at 11:47

After 2 weeks of postponed league games this friendly was a welcome opportunity to hone hockey skills in readiness for next week's league games.  Fighting at times against torrential rain and in strong winds both teams worked hard to gain the upper hand.  In a well-balanced match the ball moved swiftly from end to end with Stroud GK, Aleasha Holder making some important, acrobatic saves to ensure that Stroud maintained a clean sheet.  Sarah Tudor's lightening runs stopped the Cirencester attack on many occasions and the ball was moved swiftly back up the pitch.  Stroud's winning goal came in the final 5 minutes of the match and it was the result of a fabulous attacking move from Angharad Roberts:  she stopped a hit from the Cirencester defender at point blank range, tipped the ball into the D and neatly put the ball past the Cirencester keeper.

Posted in Ladies 1XI | Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Fingers Crossed that Games are on Tomorrow

10 February 2012 at 11:11

Wicked weather abounds, with everybody crossing digits and limbs in the hope that tomorrow (11 Feb)'s matches will be played after the postponements of last weekend.
L2 play at 9:30 at home, although this could be in doubt as the forecast is -3 between 9am and 12 noon.
M1 start at 12:30 at home v Weston, followed by M2 at 2:00 v Bourton & Sherborne

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

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