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Archive For 'January, 2013'

Another Goal-Fest for M2

28 January 2013 at 09:00

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, chalked up another high-scoring win on Saturday.  Fielding yet another combination of players, they began the match intent on control rather than out-and-out gung-ho attack.  Observers would have been impressed.  Returning Nick Hitchcroft provided the back diamond pivot for Ian Gill, Matt Watts and Ben Drury to feed from defence.  Tim Norman, having relinquished his forward role, saw plenty of the ball at right mid, with captain Rob Gleed mirroring this on the left.  Patient build-up and sensible passing left the home side flailing.  Hitchcroft’s ball into the D was deflected subtly by Tim Norman and watched into the corner by the entire defence.  Stroud were off the mark.  Craig Wathen and Chris Bargh worked hard to prise more out of the Cleevillians defence, whilst Tom Sharpe posed a threat at the head of midfield.  Another short corner was earned.  Gleed’s strike could only be parried right by the keeper and injector Norman capitalised to flick home his second.  Stroud were in control of the game.  Young Hamish Norman came on up front and held the ball up nicely for the midfield.  Sharpe went close to getting Stroud a third goal, but it was Cleevillians, totally against the run of play, who clawed a goal back.  Craig Breddy made a sharp stop from an initial shot, only for the rebound to be struck against the far post.  In a desperate bid to clear the ball, Gill could only see the ball roll tantalisingly inside the post.  This minor setback could have proved far more costly as Stroud were knocked back on their heels.  They could not find the net again, despite grabbing back the advantage.
The second half produced a better display in parts.  Andy Murray’s welcome return in front of defence was the key to controlling the play from the back.  Some superb possession hockey was played, from the assured Drury on the left, working nicely with Gleed, across to keen Watts who had a fine game at right back.  Stroud were not afraid to retain possession at the expense of the ball staying in their half.  Only when a rash speculative ball was intercepted did Cleevillians have a chance.  This they took to equalise.  A frustrated Stroud struck back almost immediately, Sharpe crashing the ball home.  The home side were gifted the ball again, another instance of patience running out, and they scored a third.  Stroud grasped the nettle once more and with Gleed, Sharpe and Bargh putting in some solid tackles, wrestled the advantage away from a resurgent Cleevillians.  A superb move from Watts to Hitchcroft, to Tim Norman to Wathen, back to Tim Norman and then a cross outside the far post for 14 year old Hamish Norman to score his first League goal in textbook fashion.  The next move began with Sharpe’s initial pass right to Tim Norman.  He drove into space and waited for the ever-vigilant Wathen’s run.  The pass was deftly deflected and, although not goal-bound, was met by the fast-moving Sharpe at the far post – another cracking goal.  The marauding visitors piled on the pressure, despite having to defend strongly as well.  The space they created was tremendous and the work-rate good – so good in fact that Drury found the net, audaciously chipping the ball over the falling keeper.  Minutes later, Bargh’s hard work was rewarded when he met a deflection at shoulder height to complete what looked on paper like a rout.  In fairness, Cleevillians worked hard and caused Stroud some moments of doubt, but controlled hockey from Stroud ultimately proved the winner.  Fine performances included Wathen and Hamish Norman up front, Hitchcroft’s quiet but assured midfield presence and the return of Murray to give a solid pivot at the back of midfield.  Good team play and a deserved win has confirmed Stroud’s second position in the table.

Posted in Mens 2XI | Match Reports | No Comments

L2 Dig Deep to Stay Top

28 January 2013 at 08:58

Stroud Ladies 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, won a hard fought battle against Painswick on Saturday, ending the match with a 4-3 victory.
In the opening minutes of the game, Stroud conceded a goal, but fought back hard, attacking the Painswick goal relentlessly and dominating possession. Despite countless great strikes and near misses from the forward line, they failed to score. Once a short corner opportunity presented itself, Stroud were determined to make it count, a goal being powered in by Kathy Williams. Back in the game, Stroud quickly made it 2-1 with a strong, clean strike by Hannah Scott from open play.
After half time, both teams came out fighting but it was Painswick who dominated the early minutes, finding the goal twice in quick succession. 3-2 down, Stroud fought back for a second time. Facing several tough Painswick short corners in the second half, Stroud showed guts and determination defensively, Ali Breddy making important saves in the face of a powerful forward line. Eventually, it was Stroud who made a short corner count.  Stroud were determined not to miss the opportunity to equalise and made the most of the next opportunity.  A great joint effort saw Hannah Scott once again find the backboard to make it 3-3.
Determined to hold Painswick off and achieve a win, the whole team dug in and worked hard, eventually rewarded from open play, Judith Cave supplying the all-important winning goal.

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

Vixens Show Great Promise

14 January 2013 at 10:16

Stroud Ladies’ Vixens travelled with only 8 players on Sunday, yet produced a tremendous performance in an entertaining end-to-end match.  Playing the first half with only 8 players, they still managed to take the lead before the 3-girl advantage took its toll.  Newent kindly donated 2 players for the second half and eventually ran out the victors, but Stroud passed the ball well and always looked like scoring.  This they did, 3 times in all, the third of which was a textbook passing move worthy of an international side !  Many thanks to Candice Johnson and Karen Whitehead who played as the 2 adults.  They inspired the girls to what they described as their best game yet.  Here’s hoping for more to come in the next few weeks.

Posted in Junior Hockey | Match Reports | No Comments

M3 with another League Win

14 January 2013 at 10:15

Stroud Men’s 3rd XI scored another League victory with a tremendous performance on Saturday.  Showing great maturity at times, the whole side were resilient and the epitomy of a team.  Goals came from Chris Bargh, Ben Lilly and Nigel Sherwood.  Everybody worked really hard for this win, but other notable mentions should go to Chris Hayward, Barney Franklin and captain Kev Sinden in goal.

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M2 Come from 3 Down to Win 6-5

14 January 2013 at 10:14

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, did not appear to turn up for the first 20+ minutes, going 3-0 down in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  The initial shell-shock slowly wore off and a tough, close-fought battle ensued.  Craig Wathen began the fight back with the 1st of his 4 goals and, eventually, the home side found themselves pegged back by an emphatic finish by Stephen Shipp.  Try as they might, Stroud went further behind, before Wathen completed his hat trick and more.  The goal-fest left the score at 5-4 to Cirencester with 10 minutes remaining, before a another cool finish from Wathen made it 5-5.  The visitors sensed victory was a possibility and powered forward.  Rob Waite got the winner with sublime deflection and only a mere handful of minutes left on the clock and a nervous 2 minutes played out in Stroud’s favour.  This was a real battle and a well-deserved turnaround.

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Badgers Produce Another Fine Display

14 January 2013 at 10:11

Stroud Men’s Badgers again showed their growing stature in a close, entertaining game at home to Lansdown.  Both sides played some lovely passing hockey, Lansdown taking an early lead.  Seb Wathen continued his regular scoring, netting Stroud’s equaliser, before the visiting side went ahead once more.  An Alex Richards run gave Stroud their second.  Bryn Nicol made several important saves in the Stroud goal before an inspired run down the left wing from Ed Paddock finally saw a one-two in the D, Paddock scoring his first of the season and Stroud’s winner with minutes remaining.  The whole team produced a fine display.

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Stroud M1s overcome Cleevillians

13 January 2013 at 18:34

Stroud Mens 1st XI battled to a vital home win on saturday against a strong Cleevillians team.
Stroud began the game well with some early possession, looking solid defensively and dangerous in attack. Danny Clifford offered a great outlet down the right as Stroud had the better of the opening exchanges, creating several half chances for Alex Waring and Zac Lees. The first goal came after a period of pressure from Stroud, but it was the Cleevillians keeper who applied the finish, not the Stroud forwards, after his mis-kicked clearance deflected Richard Fynn’s cross into the goal.
Cleevillians responded well - but for strong defending from Matt Waite and Rob Dove, they may have got an equaliser. With half time in sight, the visitors won a short corner and reacted well as it broke down to find a free man in the D.  He finished sharply at the near post.
With constructive words from captain Waring ringing in their ears, Stroud started the second half where they began the first ; working hard and moving the ball well. With the game in the balance, Calum Norman and Rich Fynn both came close, whilst Dave Cruickshank was forced to make a couple of fine saves to keep the scores level. With a quarter of the game remaining, the visitors lost their heads and saw 4 players sin-binned for bad tackles and chat back to the umpire, in quick succession. Stroud took advantage of their numerical superiority.  A fine pass from Fin Dixon found Calum Norman in the D.  Norman finished with aplomb on his reverse stick to score his first league goal of the season and what turned out to be the winner for Stroud.
Cleevillians threw everything at Stroud as their sin-binned players returned but it was not to be their day.  Stroud stood firm, surviving a few last minute scares, to hold out for a hard fought victory.

Posted in Mens 1XI | Match Reports | No Comments

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