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Archive for the 'Match Reports' Category

L3 - PLAYING AS A UNIT = 3 POINTS!

20 January 2018 at 17:56

This match was Stroud 3rd team at its best with swift ball movement, accurate passing and a determination to retain possession.  With 9 players at the whistle the team knew that it had to prevent the Colwall forwards from rushing the Stroud defensive goal and the strong passing, calling and interceptions made that a reality.  One of many athletic runs up the right of the pitch enabled Marie Louise Finch to push the ball past the Colwall keeper during the first half.

The team continued to put into action all the moves it had practised at training – passing wide, passing back and posting-up:  despite being short on players the team looked invincible.  Wonderful attack by Sarah Scott and Anne Narbour meant that Stroud looked dangerous time after time.  Megan Cooper, Marie Louise Finch and Marsi Whelan were rock solid in the middle of the pitch and it was their command of mid-field gave Stroud the edge.  Alice Taylor, normally a forward, was a natural at right back and she was ably supported by talented sweeper Sophie Payne.  Pauline Edgington at centre back was pleased to have Kathy Williams alongside her to keep the Colwall wing under lock-down.  GK Ella Bullock again stepped in at just the right moment to save a certain goal in the second half and ensure that the Stroud team gained 3 points.  A fabulous birthday present for the captain!

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L1 - A NICE ROUND DOZEN TO KICK OFF 2018!

14 January 2018 at 14:39

Stroud's first league game following the Christmas break was against Old Bristolian's 3rd team. Stroud had a strong side and everyone worked well together from the start of the game. Stroud were quick to attack and put pressure on the Old Bristolian's defence. Although Old Bristolian's absorbed this pressure well, Stroud were persistent in their play and this paid off with several goals in the opening 15 minutes. All Stroud's goals came from the team maintaining good shape and passing the ball around. Old Bristolians managed to beat the defence and sneak one into the back of the net just before half time. The score going into the break was 8-1

Stroud knew the opposition were going to come back out of half time fighting so they upped the tempo, tightened the marking and ensured that all 50/50 balls were won by Stroud. This worked well and Stroud went on to score more goals. As the Stroud team started to tire it allowed Old Bristolians to get back on the score sheet and get 2 goals before the final whistle. Stroud played at a high intensity throughout the whole game with great ball pace. All this was great to see so soon after the Christmas break and makes the rest of the season look promising. The final score was Stroud 12 Old Bristolians 3.

The goals came from Lucy Moule (5),  Cerys King (2), Kyishia Cooke (2), Emily Campbell (1), Freya Robb (1) and Clare Oliver (1). Player of the match went to Freya Robb who had an amazing game as centre mid distributing the ball well.

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L3 - SUPERB BALL SKILLS - 7 PLAYERS KEEP CONTROL!

13 January 2018 at 16:35

Taking on the 2nd in the league with only 7 players was not the original game plan, or even plan B!! Fortunately the cavalry arrived within 10 minutes to push the team up to 10 players and to provide much needed support.  As always with the L3 team, the passing was accurate, fast and direct.  Collection of those passes was just as sharp and it is these skills that stood the team in good stead for the entire game.  Player of the match, GK Sara Price, was bombarded from the first whistle and 'the force' was certainly with her as she saved shot after shot.  Not to be outdone, Kathy Williams, playing out of position as LB, also pushed a Blockley shot off the line.  Sophie Payne's tackling skills have been exemplary over recent weeks and today proved to be no exception as she took the sweeper role.  She plus 'silky skills' mid-fielder Tabitha Dickson were voted players of the match.  Jules Le Bihan, Marsi Whelan and Pauline Edgington were under constant attack and fought with intention to stem the Blockley forwards.  Anne Narbour, playing for the first time in the team, was an incredible asset as she, Hannah Scott and Sarah Scott surged forward time and time again.  With only 7 for the first few moments of the game and with only 10 players for the rest of the game the team was delighted to have prevented Blockley from scoring during open play.  Both the Blockley goals came from short corners.

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L3 - CHRISTMAS PUD TAKES ITS TOLL!

13 January 2018 at 16:22

L3's arrived to a frosty (but not frozen) pitch, full of New Year cheer and turkey dinner excess!

With Stroud's 11 vs Thornbury's 14 person squad, the match began. Naturally, Stroud looked to the Captain (CB) for command and leadership but unfortunately she was away Skiing, so it fell to Marsi (CH/CB) to step in. The new Stroud defence took a while to establish itself and within the first 8 minutes Thornbury was on the score sheet;  a second followed swiftly making it 0-2 before half-time. Stroud soon settled and from a fantastic break through the mid-field, Hannah (CF) had an accurate shot on goal, unfortunately the whistle was blown a matter of seconds before, for a Thornbury foot inside the D of which Stroud were unable to convert from the awarded shortcorner.

In the second half Stroud created some lovely movement of the ball with the forwards Sarah (LF) Hannah (CF) and Leonie (RF) all putting in some great runs and shots on goal. The midfield of Tabitha (LH) Megan (CB/CH) and Marie-Louise (RH) worked tirelessly to help defend and create attacking opportunities.  Special recognition for the defence Amiee (LB) Sophie (Sweeper) and Jules (RB) who all worked hard in the second half after some relentless pressure from an ever changing, fresh legged, Thornbury side who made it 0-3 before the final whistle was blown. Players of the Match were Tabitha and Sophie

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L1 - Friendly vs Lansdown

08 January 2018 at 13:33

The first game back after Christmas saw Stroud take on Lansdown, away. The squad was made up of 1st XI, 3rd XI and Old Stroud players.

Stroud started strongly, gelling well and adapting to how one another played. Stroud were quick to get into the attacking D to have a chance at scoring. This was well defended by Lansdown who cleared the ball straight through the middle and managed to find the backboard. Lansdown dominated the first half and managed to score a futher 4 goals. Stroud had some chance and short corners but none were converted into goals.

After a brief half time team talk, and a change in formation, Stroud were back to it. Despite the score Stroud remained positive. They also tightened up the marking and prevented Lansdown attacking through the middle of the pitch. This proved more successful and allowed Stroud to play their own game. After a period of attacking play from Lansdown, Stroud cleared the ball wide, drove up the wind and crossed it to Lucy Moule who scored from a straight strike at the top of the D. The final score was Lansdown 7 Stroud 1. Player of the match went to Angharad Roberts who was the rock of the defensive line. 

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L3 AWESOME COMMAND OF MIDFIELD

16 December 2017 at 10:07

Stroud L3 continue to grow in expertise, strategic play and fitness!  In an incredible display of mid-field dominance Stroud took command of the match with some fine passing, moving and phenomenal marking.  There were breakthroughs by Bourton but these were stopped time and time again by the back 4 defenders - Sophie Payne, Claire Crosthwaite, Di Furlong and Pauline Edgington.  Ella Bullock was rock steady in goal and made some inspired saves to ensure that the team retained a clean sheet.  It was a mother and daughter attack up front with Sarah Scott's pass across the goal being placed nicely in the back of the net by Hannah Scott.  The mid-field of Marsi Whelan, Kathy Williams, Tabitha Dickson, Megan Cooper and Marie Louise Finch worked tirelessly to push the ball up the pitch into the Bourton D.  Bourton's GK must surely have been their 'player of the match' as she saved shot after shot both from open play and short corners.  A fabulous 3 points for the team heading into Christmas - Santa is going to have his work cut out to beat that!!

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L1 - 10 GOAL THRILLER!

04 December 2017 at 12:48

This friendly saw Stroud take on Cirencester in a home game. With many of the 1st XI missing it was a great opportunity to see some of the 2nd XI step up and fill in the gaps. Stroud players settled in nicely together and were quick to start playing as if they had played together every week. Cirencester also started strongly and had equal amounts of possession to Stroud. It was a high intensity game with fast ball pace and fast runners on both sides. Stroud did well to absorb the pressure from the Cirencester attach and were able to clear any ball that came their way. The opening goal came from Lucy Moule for Stroud following a nice passing game between the mids and attacks. Cirencester were quick to responds and almost immediately scored a goal themselves. This was very much the pattern for the whole of the first half. At half time the score was Stroud 4 Cirencester 3. Lucy Moule getting the other 3 for Stroud.

 

Following a brief-half time talk Stroud went straight back to it, tightening up the marking on their players and ensuring that they pre-scanned before passing the ball. This made it harder for Cirencester to get the breaks and interceptions they wanted and Stroud continued to apply constant pressure. Cirencester did manage to equalise but Cerys King quickly found the back of the net for Stroud to re-gain the lead. In the last 10 minutes Cirencester scored an equaliser meaning that as the final whistle blew the score was Stroud 5 Cirencester 5.

 

Player of the match went to Emma Boyd in midfield for not only being on her second match of the day but also worked her socks off to support both the attack and defence. It was also her first appearance in the 1st XI. 

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L3 - GK SAVES PENALTY!

02 December 2017 at 17:37

Stroud L3 were into their smooth, flowing, accurate hockey from the whistle and put immense pressure on the Cirencester defence with fabulous shots from Sam Norman and Sarah Scott both being saved by the Cirencester GK.  The Stroud mid-field worked extremely hard to control the match and were successful for most of the match with right half, Marie-Louise Finch being voted player of the match for her tireless defending and attack throughout.  Stroud's GK, Sara Price, faced 2 penalties the first of which hit the target and the second of which she saved with panache.   This was a frustrating game for Stroud as the score most certainly does not reflect the balance of the game as Stroud's passing found its mark time after time.

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L1 - HAT TRICK FOR CAPTAIN!

26 November 2017 at 17:58

The last league game before Christmas was Stroud play at home against South Gloucestershire. Stroud started the first half well and maintained control of the game and the majority of the possession. They applied constant pressure to the South Gloucestershire team resulting in Stroud sneaking an early goal passed them. This positive play throughout the first half meant Stroud won several short corners. Unfortunately these were not converted into goals but Stroud managed to score another 2 goals before the half was over.  

 

South Gloucestershire came out of the half time break hard and applied a lot of pressure to the Stroud defence. The defence worked tremendously hard to get back having pushed up to support the attacks and mids, despite this South Gloucestershire scored 2 goals in the second half. The final score was Stroud 3, South Gloucestershire 2. Lucy Moule scored the 3 goals. Player of the match went to Sarah Tudor who had a solid game in defence. 

 

Having many new players in the squad its been a great first half season seeing Stroud  sat 4th in the league table. Each and every player has worked extremely hard- this has been shown through each week's player of the match being a different person. They have played 9. 3 of those have been loses, 1 a draw and 5 wins. There are 2 friendly games before the Christmas break. 

 

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L2 - 2 Goals from 2 Strikes

26 November 2017 at 09:03

Stroud Ladies 2's travelled away to Ross On Wye with the bare eleven. From the start, Ross made the most of their home advantage pressuring the Stroud defence -Bev King, GK Emma Crowe, Di Furlong, Pauline Edgington, Cordy King. Ross eventually scored their first, immediately answered by Claire Crosthwaite with her first touch in the D unfortunately also followed by Ross scoring again. The second half saw Ross score 2 more in five minutes. The midfield Victoria Sharpe, Lizzie Woods (capt) and Emma Boyd with winger Sophie Payne worked hard to move the ball forward only to find the Ross defence. Finally Stroud found form and Woods timed a great pass to Ellie Freer at the top of D, converting Strouds second strike into its second goal. Ross were the stronger side and scored once more but during the match Stroud showed that given the opportunity, the back board is always within reach.

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L1 - TOTAL TEAM FOCUS!

19 November 2017 at 12:27

Stroud’s last away game before Christmas saw them travel to KLB school to play Wootton-Under-Edge in a early push back. From the outset both teams started strongly demonstrating great individual and team skills. The ball ricocheted from end to end with both teams having ample opportunities to score. Stroud defence absorbed the pressure from the Wootton attack well but the team were unlucky to concede 2 goals going into half time.

The second half saw Stroud continue to play well. They maintained good structure, pressed Wootton well and stuck closely to their players. Stroud were very unlucky not to score in the second half as they were dangerous on the break they just couldn’t get it past the agile Wootton goalkeeper who smothered any ball that came her way.

The final score was Wootton 3 Stroud 0. Although Stroud didn’t get the 3 points they had hoped for, they demonstrated a brilliant attitude throughout the whole game and each individual player bust a gut to do their bit. Player of the match went to Sarah Mace who had a fantastic game as right mid.

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L3 - STILL KNOCKING IN THE GOALS!

19 November 2017 at 10:33

Stroud L3 continue to whip balls into the opposition's goal!  In a pressured match Stroud did well to hold the league leaders to three goals.  Some great 'off the line' clearances by Aimee Robb and Sam Summers were vital and some wonderfully timed tackles from sweeper Di Furlong kept the Bourton attack at bay.  Keeper Sara Price was under fire many times and she was able to clear the ball to a perfectly placed Marie-Louise Finch.  The combined force of forwards Sam Norman, Sarah Scott and Claire Crosthwaite is hard for any opposition.  A signature shot from Sam Norman knocked their keeper for six and Stroud's goal, from Claire Crosthwaite, sent Bourton's in-pain GK to the sub benches.  There was a welcome return to the team for Sophie Payne who had not lost her touch. The player of the match this week was unanimous (less voting for herself of course!) and it went to Frankie Hobbins who did a fabulous job as centre half. A special thank you to the umpire from Leamington who, despite the atrocious weather, did a great job of spotting a raft of errors.

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L1 - FACE TOUGH CHALLENGE FROM YATE

12 November 2017 at 19:46

Stroud played Yate away in the 7th league game of the season. Yate were quick off the mark applying a great deal of pressure to the Stroud team. Stroud absorbed this pressure well and closely marked their players making it difficult for Yate to convert their chances. Yates tenacity, however, paid off and they scored the opening goal. Stroud didn't let this dishearten them and at times were dangerous on the break. Yate fought back hard but Stroud, despite valiant efforts were unable to find the backboard in the first half of the game. Yate managed to pull through twice more before the half time whistle blew. This meant the Stroud were trailing 3-0 at half time.

During the second half Stroud continued to play well and develop their play. This hard work from the team played off and Stroud scored 2 goals in the second half. Both came from Lucy Moule following brilliant passages of play from the defence, through the mids and up to the attack. Unfortunately it wasn't to be in this game and Yate also scored 2 goals in the second half. The final score was 5-2 to Yate. Player of the match went to Goalkeeper Aleasha Holder who made a countless number of excellent saves throughout the game.

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L2 - EMILY JONES SCORES A HATTRICK!

12 November 2017 at 10:28

Stroud Ladies 2's bounced back in style after losing to 1-0 to Colwall and Malvern last week and beat Cirencester 3, 5-0. Throughout the game, Stroud were constantly in the attacking D. After a few missed shots, Jones scored her first, shortly followed with a second goal from a mighty strike from Hannah Scott. The 3rd came from a great tackle by Victoria Sharpe just outside the D, converted to a deflected goal by Ellie Freer. Cirencester 3 stepped up in the second half but Stroud still dominated with a perfectly aimed shot from Emily Jones. Not happy with only 2, Jones got her hat trick through quick reactions in the last short corner of the game.

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L3 WIN IN STYLE!

11 November 2017 at 17:32

A scrumptious 3 points for L3 this week as all their forwards were on the score sheet!  Kanyana Mutalindwa started the ball rolling with an early, solo run up the pitch and successful shot on goal.  That was shortly followed by a classic left wing goal from Sarah Scott, in the perfect position to push the ball into the net.  The understanding in mid-field between Tabitha Dickson, Sam Norman and Marie Louise Finch was clear as they each took the role of attacker and then defender.  Sam Summers was awarded player of the match status for her impressive marking of the Lansdown right wing and the defence was once again on its best form with GK Sara Price making a number of excellent saves, sweeper Di Furlong catching up the loose players and Jules LeBihan sticking like glue to the left wing.  Goals in the second half were from an extraordinary interception by Amy Lloyd-Jones and a signature 'at speed' shot from Sam Norman.  A great result from a determined team.

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L1 - Running rings around the Robinsons!

05 November 2017 at 10:30

Today’s game saw Stroud take on Clifton Robinson’s in a late push back. After a slow start Stroud managed to gain some momentum and put pressure on the Clifton Robinsons defence. Clifton Robinson’s defended well but Stroud managed to win a short corner which Cerys King converted into a goal with a cracking deflection. This was the catalyst Stroud needed and they quickly scored a second, this time from Clare Oliver. Clifton did well to fight back and got themselves on the score sheet before half time. This put the score at  2-1 going into half time.

Stroud's play improved throughout the second half with everyone showing great a work rate. The Stroud defence worked especially hard to keep up with some very speedy Clifton Robinson’s forwards and managed to clear the majority of balls  that came their way. Clifton managed to get another 3 goals passed Stroud but it was not enough to match Stroud’s further 5 in the second half. Evie Robb scored and Lucy Moule got the other 4 which earned her today’s player of the match.

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L3 - Nip and tuck with goals galore!

04 November 2017 at 18:17

Stroud Ladies' 3rd team's performance was exceptional this week, with the game too close to call until the final whistle.  The passing was excellent with the forward line of Hannah Scott (player of the match), Sarah Scott, Claire Crosthwaite and Sam Norman working together like a dream.  Marie-Louise Finch made some fabulous runs and passes from the right half position many of which were capitalised upon by the forwards.  It was good to welcome Sam Summers back to the side, particularly when she cleared a ball from the goal line!  Stroud's goals came from Claire Crosthwaite, a direct, rapid shot on goal, Hannah Scott, from a fast paced solo run up the pitch, and Sam Norman as usual striking the ball with unstoppable force.  The Stroud short corner awarded in the dying seconds of the match was just centimetres wide of its target.  The defence of Sara Price (GK), Di Furlong, Kahy Williams, Marsi Whelan, Jules LeBihan and Pauline Edgington worked hard to contain the Lansdown attack and were successful time after time.  Against the team who are second in the league this was a fine performance from the Stroud team.

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M3 - STRONG TEAM SPIRIT KEPT HOPES ALIVE

22 October 2017 at 18:59

WSWHL The Marches 1 League (sponsored by Go Cre8 Hockey Camps)

 Brian storm might have been raging strong but Stroud 3XI (sponsored by Connexus) travelled with hopes held high, despite only mustering 9 men. These were quickly dashed in the first 10 minutes when Hereford put 3 past Stroud, however Stroud did manage to pull one back when some slick passing and moving allowed Alex Elder to slam home past the Hereford kicking back. Stroud managed to batten down the hatches and some resolute defending by Chris Bargh and Harvey Freer, and great goal keeping by Reuben Dodd, enabled Stroud to go in at the break with some confidence in knowing that it could be closer than the score line suggested. After a whirlwind first 10 minutes of the second half, Hereford grabbed an early settler but undeterred Stroud managed to grab one back through Dom Creech who poked home a reverse stick sweep into an empty net. Hereford capitalised from a “unique” and controversial short corner routine but Stroud bounced right back, this time, captain Chris Bargh hustled the ball just outside of his own D and went on a rampaging run, giving a 1-2 with Danny Rose-Innes before shuffling the ball to Dom Creech who squared for Tim Norman to reverse sweep through a crowded goal mouth into the back board. Hereford’s final goal should not have stood as the umpire missed a blatant stick tackle in the build-up allowing them to dribble the ball over the line.  At the final whistle the comradery shown by Stroud was commendable in the face of such adversary and next week they play at home (Stratford Park) to Cirencester A in the hope they can grab points that they fully deserve.

 Currently Stroud 3XI sit 5th in the league with 2 wins, 0 draws, 2 loses, 0 goal difference and 6 points, which, after being promoted, is a great testament to the skill, team work and passion shown by all involved.

 MOTM: Reuben Dodd

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L1 - DRAW AWAY vs WESTBERRIES!

22 October 2017 at 18:55

Stroud Ladies 1st XI travelled with the bare 11 to Westberries for this weeks wet and windy match! Despite this Stroud started well and showed some good passages of play and movement on and off the ball. Westberries matched this and showed great skills and team work.  Stroud fought hard to make sure that Westberries didn’t score with great defending and clearing of the ball. This hard work payed off with Stroud making it onto the score sheet first as a result of excellent play from the defence and mids passing the ball wide and driving down the wing. Westberries fought back with more dangerous attacking play but it was no match for the defence who cleared it every time. Just before half time Stroud won a short corner which was converted into a goal. Stroud entered half time 2-0 up.

 

The second half saw much the same with both teams working well together and having lots of chances. Westberries managed to score a good goal but Stroud responded straight away with matching it and also scoring. The score was then 3-1. With 15 minutes to go and the Stroud team tiring Westberries were persistent in their attacking play and scored another 2 goals. The final score was 3-3 with Lucy Moule getting a hatrick. Player of the match went to Emily Campbell for her brilliant work rate to help both the attacks and defence making some vital tackles. 

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L3 TOTALLY FOCUSED!

21 October 2017 at 15:04

As expected from this enthusiastic, determined, energetic team the players were focused on what needed to be done and fought hard to stop the relentless Newent attack.  Newent dropped into this league at the end of last season and the match was expected to be challenging.  Added pressure was brought to bear by having only 10 players for most of the game and at one time 9 players due to injury. The midfield had been tasked with controlling the centre of the pitch and Debbie Ratcliffe, Marie-Louise Finch, player of the match Kathy Williams and Pauline Edgington stuck fast to that role.  The additional Newent player meant that there was 'overload' in the Stroud defensive circle and credit must go to Di Furlong, Jules LeBihan and Pip Robb for their strong marking.  A special mention for Ella Bullock (GK) who saved shot after shot to keep the Newent score line in single figures!  Stroud's goal came in the first half with an excocet missile shot from Sam Norman which bounced off the keeper's pads and which was neatly struck into the back of the goal by Sarah Scott. Despite the scoreline Stroud played some strong hockey with good passing, excellent 'running into space' and some neat square balls.  A focused performance from an on the ball team!

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L1 TEAM WINS AGAIN!

15 October 2017 at 16:49

Stroud's first home game of the season saw them take on a strong Redland UWE team.  Stroud immediately put pressure on Redland UWE and were the first to win a short corner. Redland UWE did well to clear the ball and looked dangerous on the attack.  Tireless work from the whole of the Stroud team paid off meaning that Redland were unable to convert their breaks of play into goals. Stroud were first on the score sheet with some lovely play from the mids and forwards  with Clare Oliver scoring the goal. This was shortly followed by another goal this time from Lucy Moule. Redland UWE were not giving in though and their persistence in attack meant the score at half time was Stroud 2 Redland UWE 1.The second half saw Stroud demonstrate some great triangle work from the good structured play enabling Stroud to score their third goal from Clare Oliver.  Redland UWE also started the second half strongly and the ball was end to end. Redland managed to get another goal  narrowing the scoreline to 3-2. Stroud were not over yet and the defence did well at clearing any balls coming into the defending 25. This along with a good press from the Strouds mids and attacks meant the Stroud finished the game winning 4-2 with a final goal from Lucy Moule with a straight strike from a short corner. Player of the match went to Clare Oliver for her efforts throughout the whole game.

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L2 FORWARDS ON FIRE!

15 October 2017 at 10:03

Stroud ladies 2s travelled to Cheltenham early on Saturday.

As normal Stroud started slowly, and found ourselves 1-0 down. Stroud started to play the ball around and used the wide areas. With some strong running from Emma Boyd Stroud won their first short corner, and with persistence Stroud's Victoria Sharpe equalised. 

Stroud decided to toughen up in the second half and battled hard being rewarded with a second goal this time from Emma Boyd. Cheltenham came back with lots of pressure but Stroud's defence stayed strong . With some more great running from Emma Boyd Stroud won and converted a short corner, with Elaine Noone hitting the spot, to make the final score 3-1 to Stroud.

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M3 Rise from the Depths

08 October 2017 at 20:57

Stroud Men’s 3rd XI, sponsored by Connexus, produced a tremendous mixture of panache and bravado as they almost claimed an unlikely point after trailing 4:0 with 20 minutes to go.  Against one of the stronger sides in Marches Division 1, Stroud were always going to find life difficult.  The visitors’ athleticism and well-drilled formation was evident from the start, and they almost found the net with the first move of the game.  The Stroud forward line barely touched the ball for 10 minutes and, despite weathering a veritable storm, Stroud finally succumbed to the pressure.  Reuben Dodd in goal was understandably busy but made some fantastic saves, his confidence going up game by game.  Wotton’s exuberance got the better of them on several occasions and two goals were disallowed for fouls on the keeper. The home side’s work rate, however, was impeccable and Stroud created several opportunities to pull a goal back.  With Wotton still in the ascendance, half time could not come quick enough and Stroud went into the interval 3:0 down.

Determined to finish the match having competed to the best of their abilities, Stroud’s players buckled down and started to produce some more productive hockey.  They could not stop Wotton from extending their lead to 4:0 before they really came alive.  Perhaps it was the realisation that they had nothing to lose, other than the game, of course, but Stroud’s forwards, Tim Norman and Dom Creech, began to stretch Wotton’s defence with wider and more penetrating runs.  Bruce Rowland and Calum Norman took more control in centre midfield and this spurred on the gradually more invasive wide players, Louis Scott, Ollie Roberts and Dan Rose-Innes.  When Nigel Sherwood arrived at left mid, he found extra space, or so it appeared.  As Stroud began to wrestle the game from Wotton, so their opponents became somewhat rattled.  The first half was physical, but the second became more so, as a concoction of tiredness and semi-panic led to a couple of green cards and then a yellow for Stroud.  Not before Stroud’s persistence led to a penalty stroke, converted by acting captain Tim Norman.  Minutes later, Creech swept the ball home for Stroud’s second goal and now a rampant home side really did believe they could come back, seemingly from the dead. When Stroud were down to 10 men, Norman reverted to a roving role, but even with a man fewer, Stroud still managed to pass the ball – a significant point – even under pressure, passing works.  It was end-to-end stuff as Wotton struggled to regain a semblance of control.  To describe Stroud’s defence as resilient would be to do them a disservice.  Matt Watts, Nigel Williams, Harvey Freer, Huw Widgery and Bob Brewer worked like veritable Trojans to dissipate any potential threat.  Another barnstorming attack led to another penalty stroke for Stroud, this time converted by Creech.  None of the home side really knew how long was left, but the roar from substituted Brewer was almost as deafening as the thundering from Stroud’s feet as they relentlessly tried for an equaliser.

Epic is a good description.  Stroud’s relatively sedate warm-up games did not prepare themselves for the inevitable onslaught, but in true M3 fashion, the team rose to the occasion and did captain Bargh proud.  He was a spectator for the first half, but, sadly, he missed the superb turnaround in the second half.  Well done, lads – all for one, and one for all !

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STROUD SEE THE LIGHT AGAINST WICK!

07 October 2017 at 16:04

Stroud arrived in plenty of time for their game against Wick. Following a good warm up Stroud started the first half strongly. Wick were also quick off the mark with the ball ping-ponging from each end of the pitch. The Stroud defence absorbed the pressure very well and managed to quickly clear all balls that came into the D . This play from the defence allowed the mids and forwards to look dangerous on the break. Stroud were able to get the first short corner of the game which was converted in to a goal from a straight strike from Lucy Moule.

The second half started strong with Stroud upping the tempo of play and quickly scoring 2 goals. Emily Campbell getting a deflection on one and Cerys King with a penalty flick. Throughout the second half the defence communicated well between themselves to establish who would mark whom. This positivity of play and good structure allowed Stroud to finish the game winning 3-1. Player of the match went to Cerys King who played brilliantly throughout her first match for the first XI. 

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L3 MATCH TOP OF THE TABLE!

07 October 2017 at 15:07

Bretforton dropped down into this league this season and Stroud did incredibly well to hold them to 3 goals.  Not surprisingly the Stroud GK, Sara Price, was awarded player of the match for her electric saves throughout the game.  There was some lovely play up the wings and the blocking of Bretforton's hit outs was just as practised at training.  Defensive short corners were ably dealt with by Kathy Williams, Di Furlong, Jules LeBihan and Pauline Edgington:  for the first time this season Stroud did not have the opportunity to shoot at goal from an attacking short corner. Bretforton scored swiftly from the first whistle but tight marking from Frankie Hobbins and Marie Louise Finch meant that Bretforton found it difficult to find space to score again.  During the second half Stroud began to tire and Bretforton scored twice.  Marsi Whelan left her sick bed to doggedly support the team in mid-field and Sarah Scott, Leonie Colley and Hannah Scott were tireless in their pursuit of a goal.

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L2 CONTINUE WINNING FORM!

01 October 2017 at 17:10

Stroud Ladies 2s  started slowly absorbing pressure by Ross from the whistle. Stroud’s passing game lead to prolonged periods of attack, perseverance paying off with a goal from Tabitha Dickson.

Stroud continued to attack and were unlucky not to score again in the first half. 

The second half started with Amy Lloyd-Jones picking up a through ball and with super stick skills & vision set up Tabitha Dickson for Stroud’s second. Ross weren’t finished either sending a barrage of shots towards in-form GK Emma Crowe. Stroud finished the match with a wonderful individual run and goal from Jenny Howorth.

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M3 OFF TO A FLYING START

01 October 2017 at 14:50

Stroud (sponsored by Connexus) continued their unbeaten start to the season with a resolute 2-1 win over a determined Lansdown side. It was shock and awe in the first 10 minutes by Stroud as they played some exquisite hockey to go 1-0 up. Great interchange play by Alex Elder and Tim Norman allowed Nigel Sherwood a shot on goal that Dom Creech helped on in to the corner of the net. And for the rest of the first half Stroud piled on the pressure but could not put the game to bed despite Nigel Williams coming close with a well drilled shot from a short corner that the goalkeeper kicked away and the rebound being cleared off the line by a Lansdown defender. As the 2nd half started Lansdown pressed and levelled the score with a fine move which punished Stroud for not taking their chances. Again,  Stroud piled the pressure on and Chris Bargh came close with a sweet short corner strike well saved by the goalie and Tim Norman being denied with a vollied goal line clearance. Ollie Roberts toiled and tried to turn the skill on by turning the keeper but he was denied, with only minutes left though he managed to lift the ball over the keeper from an acute angle to score the winner and send the team joint 2nd with Stroud 2XI after one game with Newent the only other side to register a win in the league. 

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L1 - CHALLENGED BY LYDNEY

01 October 2017 at 14:47

Stroud travelled to Lydney for the second game of the season. Stroud were slow to start and quickly conceded two goals. Following this Stroud managed to pull together to get a goal back with Lucy Moule scoring. Lydney, however, were persistent in their attacking play and although the mids and defence kept closely to their players Stroud entered half time 3-1 down.

The second half saw moments of better play from Stroud who managed to gain some structure and perform more as a unit. Despite this, it was not Stroud's day and they could not match Lydney's consistency of play throughout the game and the final score ended Lydney 5 Stroud 1. Player of the match went to Olivia Lowery who had a very impressive game holding the defensive line.   

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L3 TEAM - WELL DESERVED POINT!

30 September 2017 at 15:34

Another fine performance from Stroud with some fabulous attacking runs, defensive formations and superb passing.  Colwall went into the lead early in the first half and despite efforts from the forward line of Sarah Scott, Marie Louise Finch, Kanyana Mutalindwa and Claire Crosthwaite the team was unable to equalise in the first half.  A fabulous pass from Sian Freer enabled Claire Crosthwaite to fire the ball into the net whilst on the run - a great goal.  Jules LeBihan time and time again was able to move the ball up the right hand side and Di Furlong ensured that anyone that escaped their marker had no room to shoot on goa.  Kathy Williams was tireless and ran hard to support both the attack and the defence.  Sam Summers and Marsi Whelan had some great connections in mid-field and Pauline Edgington stuck close to the Colwall centre forward.  In her first match for the team Ella Bullock pulled off an important save in the last 10 minutes of the match to ensure that Stroud had a well deserved draw and a dreamed for first league point!

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L1 TEAM - WIN IN STYLE!

24 September 2017 at 13:47

 

Stroud ladies 1s went out strongly and quickly established their presence against Old Bristolians 3s. Defensive drills were carried through from training throughout the game. This allowed Stroud to take an early lead with good play from the forwards and mids with Freya Robb opening the score sheet. This positive play continued to half time with with another goal from Freya and one from Lucy Moule. 

Old Bristolians came back strongly in the second half but the Stroud mids worked tirelessly to get back to help the defence. This disciplined approach allowed Stroud not to concede a goal and score a further 5 in the second half. 1 from Freya , 3 from Lucy  and one from Evie Robb. 

This was a great first game from everyone adapting well to new players and formations. Player of the match went to Charlotte Bullock on her debut for the team.   

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L3 - CHALLENGING START TO LEAGUE SEASON!

23 September 2017 at 14:37

The score does not do credit to the excellent moves made by the Stroud 3rd team up and across the pitch.  There was some fine moving, passing and attacking from the Stroud team but it was unable to contain the experience and speed of the Blockley side. Blockley's goals came from 2 x short corners and 5 'breakaway' goals.  New comers to the team Leonie Colley and Kanyana Mutalindwa were exceptional and goal scorer Leonie Colley was voted player of the match. Jules LeBihan stuck doggedly to her player and created some nice moves up the left hand side of the pitch.

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STROUD LADIES 3rd TEAM PASS PERFECT!

16 September 2017 at 17:22

Stroud's pressure on the Thornbury defence was relentless and the team took an early lead with a powerful short corner strike from Sam Norman.  Stroud dominated the first half but the excellent Thornbury keeper saved over 10 shots on goal, much to the frustration of the Stroud team.  Marsi Whelan's ball distribution in mid-field was excellent as she opened up the width of the pitch with some great square and back passes.  The practiced 'down the line' balls succeeded time and time again, with Sian Freer and Sarah Scott in perfect timing.  Marie-Louise Finch was in the right place at the right time and linked well with player of the match, Sam Norman.

 

 

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L3 HAVE THE EDGE OVER WOTTON!

09 September 2017 at 16:59

Having brushed the rust off their hockey skills, enhanced their fitness and immersed themselves in hockey during August Stroud ladies' 3rd team was ready to take on Wotton under Edge.  A friendly match played in a great spirit saw both teams take control of the game at various stages but Stroud's determination to score goals eventually won through.  Wotton took the lead in the first half and, with a new formation, Stroud began to settle during the second half as they took control of the mid-field.  The defence fought hard and successfully to stop Wotton scoring a second time with keeper Sara Price making some vital saves.  Both of the goals from Stroud were expertly scored by Claire Crosthwaite and the cohesion amongst the forwards meant Stroud always looked dangerous in attack.  A great start to the new season.  Player of the match, defender Sam Summers.

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LADIES 3rd TEAM RISE TO THE OCCASION vs ROSS!

25 March 2017 at 16:33

For their final match of the season Stroud pulled off a draw against one of the top 3 teams in the league!  The development of this new Stroud side during the season has been astounding; from a team that had never played together to a team holding its own in the league is impressive.  The level of ball control, the standard of the tackling and the passing is a result of strong determination, commitment and training.  Stroud's goal came from Sarah Scott who perfectly executed the 'take the defender with you, then dodge back' move.  She lost her marker and was able to slip the ball past the Ross keeper.  Stroud's GK, Sara Price, remained calm and business-like under pressure.  The defence of Lydia Wakefield, Emma Crowe, Karen Whitehead and Pauline Edgington were under sustained Ross attack for much of the game, but were able to prevent the Ross players from scoring.  The Ross goal came from a short corner.

Centre midfield, as always, was controlled by Marsi Whelan, who was expertly and ably assisted by Sian Freer, Sophie Payne and Mandi Lewis.

The forwards were on fire this week with star player Annabel Wigley determined to escape her marker and forge into the Ross 'D'.  Issy Smith's solo runs and Pip Robb's short passes ensured that the Ross team were under pressure for much of the game.  1:1 draw was a great result for Stroud and a wonderful way to finish the team's first season.

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M3s are Champions

20 March 2017 at 08:24

Stroud M3s are Marches Division 2 Champions

Stroud Hockey Club’s 2016-2017 season end celebrations feature a marvellous performance by the Men’s 3rd XI.  The team secured promotion 2 weekends ago with a nervous 0-0 draw at home, before sealing the Champions’ spot on Saturday, beating a resolute, but destined to be second on the day, Newent B side.

With one game remaining, Stroud can afford to enjoy the game, safe in the knowledge that all their hard work, dedication to the team and a massive desire to play attractive hockey, has paid dividends.  Under the auspices of captain Chris Bargh, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, the squad’s almost unique blend of youth and experience, pace and cunning, ensured the small but stalwart band of supporters were entertained week after week.  Half-time jelly babies aside, no dubious deliveries of controversial substances were required and once Stroud hit the top in the game before the Christmas break, beating then title contenders Winchcombe 6-0 at home, they never looked back with any conviction.  It was all about the next win.

A magnificent defensive record, and an unbeaten home record to boot, were just two stand-outs from the season.  To concede a more than frugal 5 goals at home all season is fantastic.  The defence, fronted, or perhaps backed, by Bryn Nicol in goal, was the foundation of the season-long performance.  Sol Bowen, one of several youngsters who grew in stature throughout the season, cemented his position at left-back and deservedly won the award for most improved player.

Centre midfield maestros – maybe that is an overused term these days – Alex Elder and Steve Batt provided the pivoting power, distributing the ball with aplomb and displaying more than a pinch of tenacity and steel when the chips were down.  They were also gracious enough to allow part-time midfielders, namely the strikers, to take their places when required.  In all honesty, the squad had the ability and confidence to play in almost any position on the pitch, without detriment to the result.

A goal difference of 71 is something at which nobody should sniff.  The potent strike force of Chris Bargh, voted player of the year by our readers (sorry, players) and Tim Norman, 28 goals and counting, was pretty deadly, complemented the frugality of the defence.

Before giving a mention to all regular and semi-regular squaddies, mention must be made of Bob Brewer and Nigel Sherwood’s appearances for Gloucestershire Over-60s.  Sherwood reached the semi-finals and attended England O60s trials at the illustrious Olympic Park.  Brewer was unfortunate to miss several matches in the latter half of the season, but was named the club’s Umpire of the Year at the annual Dinner and Dance, as he switched his efforts.

Yes, perhaps it is all about the statistics, but, in truth, all we need to say is “We are the Champions” and give a shout-out to the valiant buccaneers who have made those such an enjoyable and successful season.

The regulars … Chris Bargh, Tim Norman, Matt Watts, Dom Creech, James Testar, Sol Bowen, Nigel Williams, Huw Widgery, Bryn Nicol, Ollie Roberts, Alex Elder, Steve Batt, Harvey Freer, Dan Rose-Innes, Bob Brewer

The slightly irregular (no offence intended) … Stuart Holt, Hamish Norman, Calum Norman

The odd appearances … Nick Hitchcroft, Dan Richards, Henry Bonham, Elliott Bonham

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FORWARDS' STRIKES BLOCKED!

18 March 2017 at 16:25

With a baker's dozen or more shots on target the Stroud attack and midfield went all out to push the ball past the Wotton GK.  Small of stature and big on ability the youngster stopped shot after shot from entering the Wotton under Edge goal.  This was a nice performance from Stroud whose passing was top notch;  balls were passed and picked up square, up the line, across the top of the 'D' and in both corners of the pitch.  Playing with just 11 players the Stroud team began to tire in the final 10 minutes but still kept up its defensive work with this week's star player Lydia Wakefield stopping the Wotton attack from the first to the last whistle.  Fit Bit figures this week were 3.4 miles, 4 miles and 6 miles!

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LADIES 3rd TEAM FIGHTS TO THE FINAL WHISTLE!

11 March 2017 at 15:25

Stroud Ladies 3rd' X1 never gives its opposition time to rest and today was no different.  Having gone 1-0 down against the run of play, the team threw all its energy, effort and skills at finding an equalising goal.  The short corners were well executed with some fine, forceful hits by Jenny Howorth.  The attacking formation of Mandi Lewis, Pip Robb and Sophie Payne was determined and the smooth, accurate passing of the ball was a delight to watch.  Defenders Lydia Wakefield and Jules LeBihan both gave their opposing players no space for personal flare or fast-moving attack.  The Di Furlong, Sara Price duo as sweeper and GK was dynamic.  It was a pleasure to have Sian Freer back in the team after recovery from injury and the half line of Sian, Marci Whelan and Kathy Williams had the centre of the pitch wrapped up.  Stroud's goal was scored in the dying minutes by Mandi Lewis from a fabulous pass, typical of her extraordinary performance throughout the match, from this week's star player Issy Smith.

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L3 BATTERED BY BOURTON SHOWERS!

05 March 2017 at 11:37

Stroud were battered relentlessly by torrential downpours in their match against Bourton 3rd team.  Always a challenging game this Bourton team were determined to win.  They went ahead when the rain made it impossible for the ball to be stopped cleanly by the Stroud defence and the ball trickled over the line.  There was a repeat goal a short time later.  Stroud's attack made some headway with shots by Issy Smith, Sarah Scott and Annabel Wigley.  The short corner routine was well executed by Marsi Whelan and Stroud were unlucky not to deflect the ball into the net.  Di Furlong did a great job of covering for Pauline Edgington in centre field who was struggling with a hamstsring injury.  Kathy Williams was awarded Player of the Match for her dogged determination throughout the game.

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STROUD LADIES 3rd TEAM - PRESSING UNTIL THE LAST SECOND

25 February 2017 at 15:28

The score completely belies the fantastic hockey played by Stroud against top of the table, Bourton 2nd team.  The successful implementation of a number of short corners kept the Bourton keeper busy and the movement of the Stroud forwards in the 'D' was particularly impressive this week.  Sarah Scott was unlucky to have her close range shot on goal saved twice.  There was a great performance in defence too from sweeper Di Furlong, left back Lydia Wakefield, GK Sara Price and 'player of the match' Jules LeBihan. The movement of the ball in the first half, square, back and straight enabled Stroud to retain possession and Stroud was in the ascendance with the home side just a goal behind. 

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3 MEGA POINTS FOR THE LADIES' 3rd TEAM!

11 February 2017 at 16:00

Despite the cold weather this plucky Stroud team were on fire!  Right from the whistle Stroud took the game to Painswick and within the first 20 minutes were awarded with 3 well taken short corners.  Stroud too were put under pressure with a number of Painswick shots going wide of the goal and half a dozen shots on goal being expertly dealt with by Stroud GK, Sara Price.  Stroud had practised square and straight passes on Tuesday evening and again as a warm up exercise at the match and the team used the skills to fantastic effect, particularly in the midfield.  Marsi Whelan controlled midfield with some strong, accurate square passes to Karen Whitehead and Sophie Payne.  Use of the straight ball was beautifully demonstrated by Kathy Williams, Mandi Lewis and Sarah Scott, whilst Annie Hobbins rose to 'superstar' status when stopping 2 individual Painswick shots on the line.  Stroud's goal came in the second half from a great shot from Jenny Howorth, the culmination of some fantastic attacking work by her and Annabel Wigley.  The defence of Di Furlong, Jules LeBihan and Pauline Edgington produced some accurate passing and tight marking.  The average distance travelled by each player this week was 2.6 miles and the player of the match was Marsi Whelan.

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L3 BLOCKED BY BLOCKLEY!

04 February 2017 at 16:33

Stroud Ladies 3rd team played this match with endless enthusiasm, commitment and energy.  This week's opposition were 2nd in the table and it was always destined to be a tough game.  Two new players to fitted in to the team immediately:  Frankie Hobbins did a fine job of marking and Annabel Wigley is clearly an out and out forward.  Jules Le Bihan's save on the line was awe inspiring, Pip Robb's left wing runs effective and Annie Hobbins gave the Blockley centre forward very little room to move.  Stroud were unlucky not to score on a number of occasions with Sarah Scott and Karen Whitehead moving the ball up the right hand side of the pitch at pace.  They were thwarted many times as their 'on target' shots were saved by the Blockely GK.  Mandi 'flick the ball over the opponent's stick' Lewis was in the right place many times and Marsi Whelan's command of the midfield this week was awesome.  Captain Pauline Edgington had lost her voice and Emma Crowe stepped in to manage the team and to play in goal.  GK was a busy position and time after time Emma did a great job of fending off the Blockley attack.  Players of the match Marsi and Emma. Average distance covered by each team member .... 2.6 miles!

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Ladies 3rd team face fast opposition!

28 January 2017 at 16:21

Once again the Stroud team piled on relentless pressure in the final 10 minutes, this week against Colwall, and the team was unlucky not to have equalised.  The Colwall side started strongly and scored first:  Stroud's Karen Whitehead equalised moments later from a great move down the right wing.  Colwall then flooded the Stroud defence and at half time Stroud were 3-1 down.  Never daunted, disheartened or weakened the Stroud side honed its skills more tightly, settled down and a solo run from Sophie Payne provided a second goal for the team.  There was lots to be proud of in the match, the passing was accurate, Stroud's retention of the ball in the second half was excellent and the runs to the back line with subsequent passes into the circle were well drilled.  A smashing pass from Marsi Whelan, deflected in front of goal by Karen Whitehead just touched the side of the Colwall's keeper's pads and went wide.  A frustrating result but a good performance against a young, well drilled side.

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LADIES 3rd TEAM PERFORM WELL!

22 January 2017 at 11:09

Stroud Ladies 3rd team are 6th in the table and played incredibly well against Cirencester who are in 3rd place.  Having scored no goals in the away game against Cirencester, Stroud scored 2 excellent gaols at home;  one a lovely passing move up the pitch initiated by Sophie Wathen and finished off with determination by Issy Smith.  The other from a well taken short corner and the routine was precisely that practised the previous Tuesday:  a well struck ball from Jenny Howorth was pushed into the net at the left hand post by Kathy Williams.  The Cirencester attack was fast and furious and always a challenge but the entire Stroud team fought hard to contain the higher placed team and in the last 15 minutes of the game Stroud were the much stronger side and unlucky not to score that illusive equaliser.

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GAME BALANCED ON A KNIFE EDGE!

08 January 2017 at 10:56

The Stroud team's incredible enthusiasm meant that during the first half everyone wanted to be involved in the game at every stage and the team structure became unstuck.  During the second half the structure was regained and the team settled into its normal rhythm.  There were some great moves from Karen Whitehead to Sarah Scott on the wing and good  'moving into space' from all the other forwards (Issy Smith, Mandi Lewis, Sophie Wathen)  The team's attack was particularly impressive this week.  Stroud did not have the game all its own way and the result reflects the tussle in this game with the ball moving from end to end throughout the match.   Keeper Sara Price made some important saves, with defenders Lydia Wakefield, Jules LeBihan, Sian Freer, Marsi Whelen and Pauline Edgington all making inch perfect tackles at key times in the game.  Kathy Williams was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for her direct shot on goal. Player of the match, voted for by the team, was Issy Smith.

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OLD B's HOLD OFF STROUD LADIES 3rd TEAM

03 December 2016 at 16:13

Old B's were into the game before Stroud had properly settled and within 10 minutes the Stroud side was 2 goals down.  From then on Stroud took control of the game with some excellent passing backwards and across the pitch which resulted in some impressive attacking moves.  It was unfortunate that despite 6 short corners and a number of shots on goal, saved by the GK, that those all important goals eluded the Stroud side.  This was a great match to finish the first half of the season as for many years there has been a strong bond of friendship between the two clubs.  The match provided Stroud with some good training opportunities over the next few weeks.  Cordy King was player of the match.

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STROUD L3 - OVERCOME BY NUMBERS!

26 November 2016 at 18:52

This was without doubt Stroud's best team performance to date with some great passing, moving of the ball and possession.  Despite sustained attack from Ross during the first 25 minutes of the match the Stroud defence prevented Ross from scoring and at half time the score was an incredible 0-0.  Sarah Scott's collection of the ball was text book and Jules LeBihan had yet another game where her marking was limpet like. The midfield worked tirelessly to command the centre of the pitch and did a fantastic job of disarming the Ross players. Centre half Marsi Whelan was player of the match.  Eventually the pressure of a Ross squad with 14 players and a Stroud team of only 10 meant that the Stroud team began to tire under the relentless pressure.  A fabulous performance from the entire squad, Emma Crowe (GK), Di Furlong, Cordy King, Jules LeBihan, Marsi Whelan, Kathy Williams, Sian Freer, Pauline Edgington, Sara Scott and Sophie Wathen.

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LADIES 3rd TEAM HAS THE EDGE OVER WOTTON!

19 November 2016 at 15:54

Another great win for the fast improving ladies' 3rd team which gives a stronger performance each week.  The passing was again exceptional and there were some fantastic forward moves up the pitch which enabled a cracking goal from player of the match Jenny Howorth and a second by a fast paced Issy Smith.  Sophie Wathen found lots of space up front and Lydia Wakefield was determined to prevent the player she was marking from finding room to score.  Marsi Whelan's performance in mid-field was as effective and controlled as ever and Stroud's defence at short corners proved to be impassable for the Wotton forwards. Jules LeBihan was on top tackling form!

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L3 - PHENOMENAL WORK RATE REWARDS STROUD WITH A POINT!

12 November 2016 at 15:51

Stroud were the first to score with some fabulous passing, movement and dribbling down the left hand side of the pitch, resulting in an inch perfect pass to Mandi Lewis who swept the ball into the goal.  Lansdown were swift to strike back with a goal from a short corner and despite a fantastic save by GK Sara Price, followed by a stop on the line by Jules LeBihan and a first time clearance from Emma Crowe finally Lansdown pushed the ball into the net to equal the score.  The second half saw sustained attack by Lansdown with Stroud finding it more and more difficult to find space to move forward and the team did a fantastic job at diluting the Lansdown attack.  There was almost a last minute upset when against the run of play and in the dying moments of the match Stroud's Sarah Scott and Mandi Lewis both had direct shots on the goal just saved by the keeper.  Cordy King provided fantastic defensive cover throughout the match.

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TRIO OF PLAYERS SCORE STROUD'S 3 GOALS!

05 November 2016 at 14:33

A standout performance from Stroud Ladies 3rd team!  The commitment at training paid dividends with a well practised short corner being fantastically executed.  Marsi Whelan's inch perfect pass to the right hand post allowed a poised, ready and calm Sarah Scott to push the ball into the goal behind the Bourton keeper.  The passing this week was exceptional with balls being moved between Stroud players before a tackle could be made by the opposition.  Mandi Lewis found some great space within the 'D' to fire home Stroud's second goal with Pip Robb providing a fine cross.  Some determined, skillful and creative work by Sophie Wathen enabled a perfectly placed Issy Smith to touch the ball across to Kathy Williams for the third goal.  The game was 'end to end' so the Stroud defence had to react to several short corners and Jules LeBihan, Sian Freer and Sara Price mark rose well to the occasion.  Sweeper Di Furlong barely put a foot wrong and Lydia Wakefield was rock solid as left back. 

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L3 DRAW IN THE SECOND HALF!

23 October 2016 at 08:47

In facing Bourton's 2nd team Stroud L3 faced their toughest opposition to date.  Bourton has been relegated from the league above and fought very hard indeed for the win.  Stroud were physically overwhelmed during the first half but in the second half used a different type of play, new tactics and a more flowing style of hockey.  A deliberate foul on Sarah Scott resulted in Stroud being awarded a penalty flick and Karen Whitehead rose to the occasion, expertly putting the ball in the top corner of the net.  A little later Sophie Wathen was perfectly positioned on the left hand post to push the ball into the net for Stroud's second goal.  Stroud was on the up and unfortunately there was insufficient time for the team to pull back the first half deficit.  A great performance from the team:  defenders Sara Price(GK), Di Furlong, Cordy King, Ellie Freer and Pauline Edgington; in mid-field Sian Freer, Marsi Whelen and Kathy Williams; on the forward line Sarah Scott, Lydia Wakefield, Sophie Wathen and Karen Whitehead. The team may have been down on goals, but it was never out of contention!

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BLOCKLEY BLOCKED!

15 October 2016 at 15:11

In a tight game which saw Stroud time and time again block the advances of the Blockley team, at the final whistle it was Blockley that edged a win.  Some fantastic saves by guest GK Emma Crowe kept Stroud in contention throughout the game with her final save of the game worthy of a 'save of the day' award!  Blockley were the first to score and then Jenny Howorth pulled in the equaliser after some wonderful passing between herself, Issy Smith and Sophie Wathen.  Player of the match, Lydia Wakefield was rock solid in defence and the ball moved well through the midfield.  In the dying moments of the game Stroud were awarded 2 short corners and were unlucky not to convert the penalty corner to a goal.  A good performance from 12 players that each week regroups into a team, reforms with new members of the squad and which swiftly learns to play together.

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L3 - SECOND HALF STRIKES SECURE DRAW!

08 October 2016 at 18:41

Stroud Ladies' 3rd team started the game with energy, enthusiasm and speed, such that the Colwall side was overwhelmed and Stroud's attack was almost unstoppable.  Stroud was awarded 4 short corners which were well executed and saved by an expert Colwall keeper.  Under pressure for the first 15 minutes then the Colwall side sprung into action and scored 2 goals in fairly quick succession, one an easy goal the other a fabulous touch from a short corner. The Stroud team went into half time with a 2-0 deficit but as always with this team the players expound all their energy, expertise, commitment and drive until the end of the game and this paid off beautifully.  Sophia Binns scored for Stroud from a top of the 'D' strike and then a short corner, one of 4 Stroud was awarded in the second half, was successful with Player of the Match Sian Freer tucking the ball neatly into the goal from the left post.  It was still not easy for the Stroud team and GK Sara Price was called into dramatic action twice within the final 10 minutes to ensure that the Stroud team held Colwall to a draw.

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LADIES' 3rd TEAM - IMPROVING ALL THE TIME!

01 October 2016 at 17:32

Stroud L3 held Cirencester to a 0-0 draw in the second half of this away match and were unlucky not to have found the net on a number of occasions.  There were some fabulous moves between Cordelia King and Sophie Wathen with Di Furlong and Marsi Whelan working terrifically together at the back.  There were some good attacking moves, good ball control and super passes.  It took the Stroud team a while to settle and it was during the first 15 minutes that 2 of the goals were scored, the 3rd from a short corner right on half time.  Jade O'Connell was fantastic as a stand-in GK and stopped many shots from the Cirencester side, so many in fact that she was voted player of the match!

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LADIES 3rd TEAM TOP OF ITS LEAGUE!

24 September 2016 at 15:18

Stroud Ladies' 3rd team achieved a 4 - 1 victory over Painswick in the team's first league game and, without all results of the day being posted, was top of its league!  The team has trained hard together over the past weeks and it utilised all the passing, positioning and jabbing skills that had been developed.  Stroud was off to a flying start with a goal mouth rush allowing Karen Whitehead to put the team ahead and it wasn't long before her second goal hit the back of the net.  Player of the match Sophie Wathen was relentless in her desire to move the ball up the wing and into the circle and she moved up the field with determination and distinction.  The final Stroud goal of the first half was a controlled, accurate and rapid set of passes between Sian Freer, Marcella Whelan and Kathy Williams with Kathy hitting the ball in the net.  During the second half Painswick pulled a goal back but a fabulous 'first time strike' from Sophia Binns ensured a win for Stroud.

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HISTORY MADE BY STROUD LADIES 3rd TEAM

18 September 2016 at 12:33

For the very first time in its history Stroud Hockey Club fielded a 3rd ladies team registered in the West Clubs Women's Hockey League.  A new team with a mixture of experienced, young and returning players walked onto the pitch and worked hard at becoming a cohesive unit, a dynamic group and a united team.  Thornbury scored both their goals in the first half and Stroud's goal too was early in the match. The mid-fielders Mandi Lewis and Sian Freer controlled the ball well in the centre of the pitch.  Stroud's young forwards Lydia Wakefield and Sophie Wathen, able supported by Marcella Whelan and Pip Rob provided space for Teigan Hurlock to sweep the ball into the net from the centre half position.  From half time the Stroud team really began to connect well, knew where their team mates were likely to be and the passing improved markedly.  Despite incredible and almost relentless pressure from Thornbury some fabulous saves from keeper Sara Price, determined defending from Di Furlong, Jules LeBihan, Izzy Hawkins and Pauline Edgington meant that the team retained a clean slate for the 2nd half.  A great start for this burgeoning side.

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A RIP ROARING END TO THE SEASON

04 April 2016 at 17:50

The final match of the season was just as fast and furious as those earlier in the season with the Stroud team on its mettle throughout the game.  Stroud had the most wonderful start with a fabulous goal within the first 5 minutes which started with a defensive pass from Ellie Mapletoft, moved through midfield management from Candice Johnson to the attack and an absolutely fabulous finish by Freya Robb.  Ross on Wye were right back in the game with a well taken short corner and Stroud were then on a mission to gain the 3 league points earned from a win.  Some fabulous work in midfield from Sophie Payne, Victoria Sharpe, Sian Freer and Charlotte Bullock enabled the forwards to continue their push forward with Claire Crosthwaite 'touching on' a ball in front of the goal to enable Harriet Smith to sneak the winner for Stroud.  Ross, in the relegation zone, were desperate for 3 points and the Stroud defence of captain Aleasha Holder, Bev King, Teigan Hurlock and Pauline Edgington had their work cut out to keep the ball out of the net but they were up to the task and the Stroud team finished an impressive season with a fabulous win.

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POLISHED PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE TOP OF THE LEAGUE

19 March 2016 at 15:44

Chipping Campden are top of the league and Stroud were delighted to take the lead in the first half and put 2 goals past the Campden keeper.  An inch perfect pass from Freya Robb to Hannah Scott provided the opportunity for Hannah to 'fly' into the attacking D and fire the ball past the Campden keeper.  Stroud's second goal came from a fabulous move down the right, initiated by Ellie Mapletoft, involving Katie Elder, Freya Robb and Iona Strang with the pass across the D enabling a well positioned Hannah Scott to reverse stick the ball into the goal.  As last week, the attacking move was a replica of the skills practised at training and it was inspiring to see the movement both on and off the ball.  Chipping Campden do not hold top spot in the league by failing to rise to a challenge and they did just that.  The Stroud defence was challenged many times with balls stopped on the line by keeper Aleasha Holder, sweeper Claire Crossthwaite and defender Charlotte Bullock.  Despite their determination, continued efforts and commitment the more youthful Stroud team was unable to beat the 'retrenched', experienced and equally determined Chipping Campden side.  The Stroud players left the pitch with their heads held high after a very polished performance. With one league match left this season the Stroud team will be aiming for 3 points to be absolutely certain that they remain in Severn 2.

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BATTERED BUT SPIRITS WERE UNBRUISED!

06 March 2016 at 14:04

The result does not reflect the commitment, determination and resolve of the Stroud team who played well and maintained their composure against a very much strengthened Badgers side.  There was some fabulous hockey from Stroud:  with a move that was a direct replica of Tuesday's training session Freya Robb, Hannah Scott and Victoria Sharpe moved around the 'D', pulled a Badgers defender and provided the perfect opening for Iona Strang to crack the ball home and open the scoring for Stroud.  Badgers immediately responded and the Stroud defence was under pressure for much of the game.  Some great saves by keeper Aleasha Holder ensured that the Stroud team left the pitch with their heads held high.

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Stroud Ladies 3rd XI - very well matched!

01 March 2016 at 16:26

Stroud Ladies 3rd XI and Hartpury College were pretty well-matched with the scoreline reflecting that fact! Iona Strang opened the scoring in the first half for Stroud, then Hartpury broke twice to score, nudging them ahead. The second half saw some super passing moves from Stroud, resulting in Harriet Smith pulling the scoreline equal with a goal from just in front of the keeper. The 3rd team is a development team and a mixture of experienced players, youngsters moving up from the junior Vixens' side and adults returning to hockey after a (sometimes substantial) break.  Everyone played well and there was some skilful, flowing and accurate hockey.

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FLUID HOCKEY IN BOURTON ON THE WATER!

27 February 2016 at 18:26

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FLUMMOXED BY THE FORMATION

20 February 2016 at 17:14

The formation operated by Shipton Oliffe flummoxed the Stroud team for the first 20 minutes of the game, during which time Shipton scored 3 times.  For Stroud, whose natural style of hockey is free flowing and down the wings, the Shipton 'pack the middle' approach was initially difficult for Stroud to deal with.  All that changed in the last 10 minutes of the first half and the entire second half with as Stroud began to wrestle control from Shipton and play its free flowing hockey down each side of the pitch.  Stroud's defence of short corners was impressive and the team was unlucky not to score from the 2 short corners awarded during the game.  Stroud's goal came from a well taken deflection by Emma Crowe which left their keeper bemused.  A draw during the second half was a result of the team's constant ability to regroup, understand what's needed and then have the commitment to the task.  Shipton were top of the league before having 3 games postponed.

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AIMING FOR GREATNESS AND GAINING 3 POINTS

06 February 2016 at 16:49

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 were aiming for greatness this week and after winning their match against higher placed Bretforton they felt great indeed!  The Stroud side looked well composed throughout the match and high from last week's victory against Cirencester they used their passing skills, running with the ball abilities and accurate tackling to keep the Bretforton team under control.  There was some smashing work up the right hand side of the pitch between Lizzie Woods, Candice Johnson and Freya Robb.  No to be outdone, the left hand trio of Katie Elder, Kathy Williams and Harriet Smith were just as attacking.  With the Bretforton team playing much of the game in the centre of the pitch, it was down to the team's backbone of Iona Strang, Victoria Sharpe, Emma Crowe, Pauline Edgington, an impressive Hannah Scott as sweeper and keeper Aleasha Holder, to manage the attack.  All the goals were during the second half and Stroud's were expertly scored by Freya Robb and Iona Strang.

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NIP AND TUCK TO THE VERY END!

23 January 2016 at 20:45

Both teams felt they should have won.  Both teams felt the other team could have won.  Both teams of players came out of the game with their heads held high and a draw was a fitting result.  In what was an end to end game Stroud played some of its best hockey of the season.  Stroud's passing, marking and tackling were impressive.  Players passed the ball well, anticipated balls from their team mates and ran into spaces to pick up precise passes.  It is difficult to pinpoint particular stars - captain (and keeper) Aleasha Holder made some important saves, sweeper Claire Crosthwaite picked up all the 'escapee' Newent players and Charlotte Bullock, Sophie Payne and (an out of position) Lizzie Woods 'stuck like glue' to the forwards they were marking.  The Stroud midfield and forward line were very impressive and it was Candice Johnson that scored Stroud's goal during the first half.  Newent equalised during the second half despite the incredible efforts of the Stroud defenders to stop the ball crossing the line.  Both teams had a goal disallowed.  Another point for the Sroud team in its committment to remain in Severn Division 2.

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LADIES 2nd TEAM - GAME OF 4 HALVES!

28 November 2015 at 18:18

Stroud's eventual control of the mid-field, with a rotation of 4 players filling the 'half' roles meant that the Chipping Campden attack found it much harder to break through during the second half of the game.  Conceding goals from some extremely well practised short corner routines during the first half of the match, Stroud found it difficult to surge forward from the halfway line.  United in its determination to grasp the game, the team came out in the second half with some strong passing, good ball possession and some fine runs from the forwards earning them a corner from which Victoria Sharpe scored for Stroud.  Charlotte Bullock and Katie Elder, in their first league games were excellent at the left back position and their marking was commendable.  Ellie Mapletoft and Claire Crosthwaite were rock solid in defence and, having lost the first half 4 goals to 0, Stroud drew the second half 1 - 1 against this strong, top of the league, side.

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L2 had Badgers under their Control

16 November 2015 at 13:12

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 were up to the challenge of this match against the higher placed Brockworth Badgers team. Badgers scored mid way through the first half from a well worked short corner. The Stroud goal was from open play, up the right hand side of the pitch with Harriet Smith, whom the captain asked to position herself near the post, knocking the ball into the net. This was an extremely competitive match with everyone playing at the top of their ability. Ellie Mapletoft and Iona Strang, as the sweeper and centre back respectively, cut out much of the Badgers central attack. The work between the defence, mid-fielders and forwards was startling in its fluidity. Jordan Turnbull, Candice Johnson, Hannah Scott and Freya Robb working well on the right, with Pauline Edgington, Sian Freer, Kathy Williams, Victoria Sharpe and Debbie Ratcliffe moving the ball up the left hand side of the pitch. The save of the day was from Stroud keeper, Aleasha Holder, who pushed the ball over the bar with her stick to deny Badgers a winning goal.
The Stroud team was itself unlucky not to score from a short corner in the final 2 minutes of the game.
A fabulous, high level performance from a team tha looked in control of the ball throughout the game. The passing square, back and up the line meant the Stroud team held the ball for the majority of the game to achieve a thouroughly deserved draw.

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L2 in Winning Form

16 November 2015 at 13:04

Stroud were determined to gain those all important points this week and worked hard to beat Bourton 2 goals to 1. Stroud's first goal came just before half time with a super pass from Ellie Mapletoft up the right wing to Kathy Williams, on to Debbie Ratcliffe who neatly passed it to Claire Crosthwaite in a good position on the penalty spot. Stroud's second goal was a solo run from Iona Strang who put the ball into the net from an almost impossible position on the base line. Bourton's most impressive player managed to elude her Stroud marker for just a moment and went on to score for her side. It was not enough to take the victory away from Stroud whose attack was very much on its mettle for the whole match. With a constantly rotating team of players and of positions the Stroud team had to be alert to changes through the match and it coped admirably. The passing was accurate, the marking excellent and the attack determined. The play was not as wide as the team usually operates in part as the halves and backs were pulled into the centre of the pitch to mark their Bourton opponents.

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LADIES 3rd TEAM SKILLS IMPRESSIVE

08 November 2015 at 18:47

The new ladies 3rd team continues to impress with some excellent passing, movement and attack in this match against Hartpury.  The score belies Stroud's command of the game with some fabulous, text book passing between Katie Elder, Freya Robb and Elly Freer.  Sweeper Charlotte Bullock was always alert to attack by Hartpury and the timing of the tackles by Lettie Adams were perfect.  The goal was a well worked movement of passing up the pitch and the ball was nicely slotted into the goal by Sophie Powell.  Hartpury's goals came from a well worked short corner and misundersatnding about which team had been awarded a free hit.

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NEW LADIES' 3rd TEAM FOUGHT HARD!

31 October 2015 at 16:24

This is the first season for Stroud's 3rd team and the team attacked today's match with enthusiasm, drive and ambition.  During the first half Stroud were the more dominant team with Charlotte Bullock working well in the sweeper role ably supported by two back-from-retirement veterans Di Furlong and GK Helen Summers.  Stroud's attack was penetrating and the team was awarded a number of short corners from which it was unfortunate not to score.  Katie Elder had some great runs up the right hand side of the pitch and there were some great moves from Freya Robb who has the 'bounce it over the opponent's stick' technique down to a fine art.  Debbie Ratcliffe and Harriet Smith worked well together in attack and Elise le Francois was always in the right place at the right time.  As the Lansdown attack surged forward in the second half the mid-field had a particularly hard time containing them in what was a very fast game in Spanish style sunshine.

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L2 Fight Back Well

12 October 2015 at 18:29

Stroud's keeper, Aleasha Holder, was kept busy throughout this match against Newent and was called into action time and time again. The Newent attack was relentless, well orchestrated and it took Stroud until the second half to understand how best to deal with it through using the width of the pitch, passing back and retaining possession of the ball. When Stroud played their possession game it was difficult for Newent to break through. Some fine shots on goal by Iona Strang, Elise le Francois, Victoria Sharpe and Pauline Edgington were all well handled by the Newent keeper and it was a short corner from one of these shots that enabled Candice Johnson to score Stroud's goal in the final minutes of the match.

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Deserved Win for L2

12 October 2015 at 16:27

Stroud played some fantastic hockey in this local derby against Cirencester with exceptional passing, movement on to the ball and marking. The forwards were on fire with their attacking moves swift, wide and determined. It was great to see the forward line working so well together moving into space, picking up balls down the line and creating space for their team-mates by pulling the Cirencester defenders wide. The mid-field and defence ably supported the attackers and made it extremely difficult for the Cirencester attack to enter the 'D'. When the challenges came the defence, led by captain Aleasha Holder closed rank, marked determinedly and ensured that Cirencester were unable to hit the back of the net. Stroud's goal was a fabulous run from the centre field into the circle by Freya Robb: her first time this season on the forward line and one which she clearly relished. Debbie Ratcliffe, looking to add to her goal tally, was disappointed to have a goal disallowed during the second half. Every player contributed to this week's victory and it would have been against the run of play if Stroud had not been awarded a very well deserved 3 points.

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M3 Make it 3 from 3

12 October 2015 at 10:40

Stroud men's 3rd XI gave captain Chris Bargh the perfect present for his recent fatherhood with a comprehensive 4:0 victory over visitors Lansdown C. To be honest, it was Lansdown who looked slightly sharper out of the blocks, but Stroud never really looked in danger. A mixture of ages yet again proved a useful combination. Zak Knight and James Testar were the youngest guns and again proved themselves, Testar's pace and Knight's growing confidence showing. There were a couple of interesting moments during the first half, Tim Norman having to rescue things from centre mid with a 3-on-1 nightmare scenario. Some fine passing from Stroud and a confident gait gave them the breakthrough. The goal of the game epitomised Stroud's team ethic. A superb cross field pass to Nigel Sherwood gave the veteran left winger the chance to drive down the line before he crossed to the far post where the athletic Steve Batt was on hand to semi-dive and 2-touch the ball into the goal. With Alex Elder and Norman finding plenty of space in centre midfield, the surrounding players' movement made it easy for them to find passes. Everybody did their bit and Stroud came away with a 3rd League win from 3.

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DETERMINED FORWARDS ENSURE A DRAW FOR STROUD

26 September 2015 at 18:06

Stroud started the match as they planned to continue, by retaining possession of the ball.  It was this passing, accuracy and control that hinted at the determination to come.  The midfield of Kathy Williams, Sian Freer, Freya Robb and Victoria Sharpe stopped much of the Shipton attack, ably supported by defenders Ellie Mapletoft, Teigan Hurlock, Pauline Edgington and keeper/captain Aleasha Holder.  Stroud were unluck to conceded 2 well worked goals from Shipton Oliffe during the first half but a stunning goal from (back to top form) Debbie Ratcliffe meant that just before half time Stroud were back in the game.  The forward line of Iona Strang, Lizzie Woods, Hannah Scott and Debbie Ratcliffe fought hard to score the elusive 2nd goal and it was Hannah Scott, in her final match before leaving Stroud for university, who scored the equaliser from a short corner.  Keeper Aleasha Holder was brought in to action in the dying minutes of the game and the ball was finally swept from the D by Ellie Mapletoft to give Stroud a well deserved draw.  Stroud had played the ball wider in the second half and as a result the tiring Shipton team had found it difficult to keep up the pace shown during the first half.

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Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 - half time turn around

20 September 2015 at 12:08

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1, buoyant after last week's match, came up against a tougher opposition this week and took some time to settle into their stride.  Yate scored 3 goals in the first half but only 1 in the second half when Stroud's marking was tight, the midfield focused on stopping through balls to the Yate forwards and the Stroud attack worked as a unit.  Stroud's defence of Yate's penalty corners was impressive and Stroud was unlucky not to score from its own, well deserved, short corner.

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Ladies 2nd team off to a cracking start!

12 September 2015 at 16:08

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 started the season with aplomb with a fabulous show of pacy, accurate and well-thought out hockey.  The Stroud and Wotton teams were fairly evenly matched with both keepers kept busy but it was a fine shot from Sian Freer who opened the season's scoring for Stroud.  There were some fabulous moves across the pitch, up the wings and into the 'D'.  The Stroud forwards were fast and furious and looked likely to score on many occasions.  The mid-fielders were dominant in the centre of the pitch which prevented Wotton from achieving the breaks they wanted.  The defence was on its mettle and some fabulous marking and tackling meant the Wotton attack was stopped time after time.  The team has a number of returners and new members this season:  it is credit to every member of the squad that the team looked composed, well practised, united and confident.  A great start to the season!

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STROUD LADIES 2nd X1 HIT THEIR TARGET!

29 March 2015 at 09:54

 

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 set themselves the target of rising to 5th place in the table this season and they have done just that!  The committed squad fought hard for every point during the season and had some well deserved, impressive  wins during the second half.  Stroud's goal came from open play when Kathy Williams snatched space to put the ball in the net. This match against Bretforton was not one of their best and replicated in many ways the away fixture when, Stroud were winning at half time and Bretforton bounced back to score 3 goals in the last 30 minutes of the match.  There were some super passing moves from the Stroud side and the short corners were periously close to hitting their target.  Very well done for seting an objective and meeting it!   This season's squad:  GK & Captain Aleasha Holder, sweeper defenders Jordan Turnbull, Mopsey Voss, Sarah Mace, Pauline Edgington, Teigan Hurlock, Jemima Friend, Emma Hall, mid-fielders Sian Freer, Kathy Williams, Victoria Sharpe, Candice Johnson, Emma Forrest, Sandra Glass and forwards Carrie Sanders, Hanna Scott, Evie Robb, Harriet Smith, Iona Stang and Freya Robb,  Looking forward to next season already!

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LADIES 2nd X1 FLEXED BEAUTIFULLY

22 March 2015 at 11:08

Stroud flexed its muscles beautifully and many players showed their skill, flexibility and determination by playing out of position to ensure that the team fielded the strongest squad possible.  Ross opened the scoring but it was not long afterwards that a fantastic 'along the back line' strike from Stroud's Hannah Scott was in the back of the net. 

Stroud's defence was on its mettle throughout and the marking needed to be tight to contain the constantly changing Ross forward line.

There was some impressive across the pitch passing from Stroud as the team adapted to the 'attacking in triangles' formation of the Ross team.  With some quick, accurate, stick to stick passing the Ross were unable to match the pace of the ball and so Stroud's breaks were well executed and controlled.  Despite a number of short corners and a fabulous attacking move in the dying minutes of the match, Stroud was unable to score an additional goal but were pleased to take another league point.

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LADIES 2nd X1 FLEXED BEAUTIFULLY

22 March 2015 at 11:06

Stroud flexed its muscles beautifully and many players showed their skill, flexibility and determination by playing out of position to ensure that the team fielded the strongest squad possible. Ross opened the scoring but it was not long afterwards that a fantastic 'along the back line' strike from Stroud's Hannah Scott was in the back of the net.

Stroud's defence was on its mettle throughout and the marking needed to be tight to contain the constantly changing Ross forward line.

There was some impressive across the pitch passing from Stroud as the team adapted to the 'attacking in triangles' formation of the Ross team. With some quick, accurate, stick to stick passing Ross were unable to match the pace of the ball and so Stroud's breaks were well executed and controlled. Despite a number of short corners and a fabulous attacking move in the dying minutes of the match, Stroud were unable to score an additional goal, but were pleased to earn another league point.

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STROUD LADIES 2nd X1 DOMINANT

14 March 2015 at 18:09

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 has gone from strength to strength and this dominant performance against Cirencester was characteristic of how the team has improved.  The defence was well organised, disciplined and accurate with its tackling:   the mid-field showing great skill, passing well, intercepting frequently and stopping the ball on a sixpence.  This strong support enabled the forwards to provide a staggering display of fluid, creative and speedy team work which put the Cirencester under pressure throughout the match.  The 3 short corners were well taken but Cirencester GK was quick around her goal and thwarted the Stroud forward team on all 3 occasions.  This result means that the Stroud team is well away from relegation and, with two matches to play, pushing for 4th spot in the division.

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Friendly Ladies Enjoy the Sun

09 March 2015 at 11:06

Stroud Ladies' 2nd XI hosted an Old Bristolians' side on Saturday in a friendly. The visitors were short of players and, in the spirit of sportsmanship, they were donated a court of Stroudies to even the sides to 10 apiece. The early breakthrough came from Harriet Smith, playing for the opposition. Her far post pick in mid-air was a nice finish, indeed. When Stroud used the space on the pitch to their advantage, they looked dangerous, particularly with the 3 youngsters, Iona Strang, Freya Robb and Teigan Hurlock, the former scoring twice, much to the delight of the supported who were enjoying unusually Spring-like sunshine. OBs showed their potential on many occasions, however, meaning goalkeeper and captain Aleasha Holder was called upon to make several telling saves. Mopsey Voss impressed again with a solid performance. All in all this was an enjoyable and a valuable exercise ahead of next weekend's League game.

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Deflections defeat Stroud

01 March 2015 at 14:51

Gloucester's use of deflections to score 3 out of the 4 goals was, ultimately, Stroud's undoing. Goals scored by a 'touch from the stick' rather than a precise shot on goal is not a technique used often in Severn Division 2!  The clash against the new 'top of the table' was always going to challenge the Stroud side, but buoyed by a series of wins over the past few weeks Stroud were keen to tackle the stronger opposition.  The Gloucester team was well drilled, mobile and knew where their team mates were on the pitch and what they were likely to do with the ball.  Stroud did well to try and contain the Gloucester side and made some good attacking moves and were rewarded by short corners on a number of occasions. 

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GOOD WARM UP FOR LEAGUE GAMES

22 February 2015 at 11:57

Victory in this match rested upon which side dominated the mid-field. In the first half Yate had control with their centre half and right half proving to be effective forwards and Yate scored before the half time whistle. During the second half Stroud's marking of those key players meant that Stroud had control of the midfield, allowing Ellie Towler to score with just 2 minutes remaining. Kathy Williams' marking and Jordon Turnbull's tackling were excellent and GK Aleasha Holder made a number of important saves as did the Yate keeper, to leave the final result a draw.

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3rd PLACE IN THE LEAGUE FOR LADIES 2nd X1

07 February 2015 at 17:15

Stroud fielded a team with a perfect mix of youth, experience and determination.  The Chipping Campden side had earlier in the season been top of the league and Stroud knew that it would be under pressure to pass well, stop the ball accurately and tightly mark the opposing forwards.  The marking was particularly challenging as the Chipping Campden team was constantly changing its formation and players were swapping from side to side throughout the game.  Another great pass from Hannah Scott allowed Evie Robb to fire the ball into the goal and put the Stroud team ahead in the first half.  Chipping Campden came out fighting and Stroud had to defend a run of short corners and some determined attack into its circle:  the Stroud defence reacted by raising its game to ensure that the good work by the forwards and midfielders in taking the lead was maintained.  The last 5 minutews of the match were dominated by Stroud's ex-Vixens players with the attack of Evie Robb, Iona Strang, Jemima Friend, ably supported by Teigan Hurlock in defence, running rings around the tired legs of the Chipping Campden side.  Another 3 points and a great result for the team.

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STROUD LADIES 2nd X1 - TWO WINS IN TWO WEEKS!

31 January 2015 at 17:23

Another great performance from the Stroud Ladies 2nd X1, this week against the bottom of the table.  Having beaten the top of the table last week and lost to this Cirencester team at home Stroud were determined to carry forward their momentum from last week's win against the top of the table.  The energy was palpable and from the whistle the Stroud side were attacking and creating challenges for the Cirencester defence.  It was a great solo run from Hannah Scott that gave Stroud the lead after only 10 minutes.  From then on Stroud continued to fire shots at the Cirencester goal and had to defend a number of Cirencester short corners.  Emma Forrest played a vital role at one of the defensive corners with Candice Johnson energetically ensuring that the Cirencester team could not equalise.  A further 3 points for the Stroud team.

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STROUD LADIES 2ND X1 SURPRISE THE TOP OF THE LEAGUE

24 January 2015 at 16:08

Stroud had command of this match from the first whistle and looked the better team throughout, surprising top of the league Cheltenham.  The Stroud attack was smooth, seamless and efficient with the forwards working together as an effective unit.  All 3 forwards were involved with the goals, a well struck pass from Hannah Scott finding Harriet Smith in front of goal and 2 goals from Evie Robb.  Evie's second was a fine breakaway goal, finished with a flamboyant slap to beat the despairing Cheltenham keeper.  The defence of Emma Forrest (welcome back!), Mopsey Voss, Teigan Hurlock (welcome to the side!), Aleasha Holder (captain and keeper) and Pauline Edgington fought hard to stem the attack from Cheltenham.  The midfield played an essential role in moving the ball from the defence into attack, with Victoria Sharpe, Candice Johnson, Sandra Glass and Sian Freer controlling play in the middle of the pitch.  Stroud defence was under sustained assault from Cheltenham short corners, but the Cheltenham goal came in the final 10 minutes from open play.  A great victory for Stroud and 3 well deserved league points.

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Stroud L1 Shock Leaders

19 January 2015 at 09:48

Stroud L1 caused a shock on Saturday, putting Division leaders, Jaspers, to the sword.  In a bottom v top clash, the bare 11 players from Stroud were not really anticipating victory, but a tremendous team effort and some neat hockey proved too much for the visitors.  Stroud took the lead in the first half through a well-placed Ellie Towler short corner strike and went 2:0 up before half time when Claire Crosthwaite’s goal-bound shot was deflected by a defender over the Jaspers’ keeper.  Within a minute of the second half starting, Stroud’s lead was halved and a torrid 15 minute spell could have meant curtains for them.  Their resolute attitude, self-belief and team spirit paid dividends and they frustrated the visitors by hanging on to claim all 3 points in a game from which they never expected anything.  Super stuff – keep it going for the rest of the season.

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STROUD LADIES 2ND X1 GAIN A POINT

18 January 2015 at 18:59

This was an end to end match with both teams taking possession of the match on many occasions and causing havoc in their opponent's attacking circle.  Gloucester scored early in the first half from a scramble in the D.  Stroud's goal was a reward for some good, passing and accurate attack from the Stsroud forward line when Hannah Scott fired the ball into the D and Evie Robb deflected it past the Gloucester keeper.  Niether team was short of penalty corner practise!    Gloucester won a spate of short corners in the dying minutes of the game but the Stroud defence remained determined, calm and focused.  The score remained a 1-1 draw. 

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SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED

10 January 2015 at 16:45

The 2nd team had the full squad available under English Hockey Rules in order to give all players the opportunity to take part in a match before their league game next Saturday.  The game started well with a goal from Sian Freer and at that point Stroud was the dominant side.  Pucklechurch then began to capitalise on the fact that they had no GK and 'over filled' their forward line.  This left the Stroud side facing an additional attacker throughout the match and resulted in the team struggling to gain possession of the mid field.  Stroud would have liked a victory in this pre season friendly but they were playing a team that is currently 3rd in the league above and so benefitted from a match against stronger opposition. Stroud was a little shaken but not stirred and will rise to the challenge of their league match next Saturday.

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Good Shape and Effort Rewarded

01 December 2014 at 10:16

Stroud M2 hosted a potentially tough match with Lydney A on Saturday and came away with a thoroughly deserved 3 points.  Their commitment and fine team shape stood them in good stead for the entire game and they were relieved to take an relatively early lead to settle the nerves.  Captain Rob Fynn ushered the defence and midfield with calm confidence and Stroud looked firmly in command of the game throughout.  Steve Shipp excelled in his forward-centric midfield role and scored Stroud’s third goal with a cracking strike.  Lydney pulled one back late in the second half, but were never really in danger of letting things slip.  This was an excellent team performance, but mention should be made of the youngsters, Ed Golding, Jed Stening, Hamish Norman and goalkeeper Bryn Nicol, all of whom had fine games.  Nice to see the M2 holding their own in the division, lying 5th but the points are very close and a win next week could see them moving up as Christmas approaches.

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BRETFORTON WAS "ROBB'D"!

29 November 2014 at 16:12

 

The thrill of scoring first was sufficient to carry the Stroud ladies 2nd team to a second goal within a matter of minutes!  The team had struggled to find the net earlier in the season but some fine runs from the forwards were rewarded by 2 excellent oals for Stroud.  The first was from an inch perfect pass from Hannah Scott to Evie Robb who was nicely positioned on the penalty spot and the second was the result of a fine, hot footed, solo run from Evie Robb who fired the ball past the Bretforton keeper.

The Bretforton side was young, fast, well drilled and desperate to win the match.  Stroud tired slightly in the last 15 minutes of the game giving just sufficient space for Bretforton to equalise.  GK, Aleasha Holder, was once more phenomenal in goal;  the defence stopped many of the Bretforton attacking runs but on at least half a dozen occasions the captain had to stop a direct shot on goal.  In the closing minutes Bretforton had a run of short corners but the determined Stroud team did enough to come away with a valuable league point.

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STROUD LADIES 2nd TEAM ON THEIR WAY UP

22 November 2014 at 17:11

 

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 were always in control of this match against Ross on Wye and played the first 20 minutes of the game in the Ross 25 yard area.  It was therefore completely against the run of play when Ross broke away and scored from a well taken shot at the edge of the 'D'.  Stroud responded immediately with a pass from Pauline Edgington to Hannah Smith on the left post saved by the keeper, but nicely tucked into the back of the net by Victoria Sharpe on the rebound.  Stroud's other goal was from an impressive short corner routine, with Hannah Scott striking the ball towards Candice Johnson on the left post, who neatly put it into the goal.  Another good performance from Stroud with Mopsey Voss taking command of the right defence to enable the forward to move up the pitch and into their opponents 'D'.  The team looked strong, effective and once more committed to the task in hand.

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Ladies Hockey 2nd X1 Stroud

15 November 2014 at 15:45

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 played with passion, drive and determination to earn a well deserved point against this strong Cirencester side.  GK, Aleasha Holder was outstanding and the defence successfully controlled a constantly changing Cirencester forward line.  Each member of the team did what was required of them with aplomb:  the midfield carrying the ball forward and the attack firing ball after ball at a somewhat bemused Cirencester defence.  After a few weeks of trying new formations the team now looks lean and mean which bodes well for the remaining league games.

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FORWARDS STILL ON FIRE

09 November 2014 at 10:23

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 took some time to settle during this match but in the final fifteen minutes the pressure exerted by Stroud was overwhelming for the Old Bristolians team. Stroud were awarded a string of short corners, with strikes missing the goal by inches.  Sandra Glass and Helen Summers guested in the right and left back positions respectively and their canny tackling was needed on many occasions.  Stroud's movement up the pitch this week was impressive, with some fine passing on both the left, between Emma Hall and Harriet Smith, who scored both goals, and on the right between Carrie Sanders and Candice Johnson.  Jordan Turnbull left her sweeper role during the second half and was instrumental in influencing the short corners.

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Goals galore as attack surges forward

01 November 2014 at 14:52

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 were always in control of this match with their attacking runs looking increasingly dangerous.  Goals came from forwards Carrie Sanders, Harriet Smith and Evie Robb (2) with Hannah Scott being unlucky with a number of her shots going just wide.  Stroud's midfield and defence formed a solid partnership, building the attack from the back and keeping control of the ball in the vital midfield area.  Stroud had focused on attacking moves at training and that work paid dividends in the match.  Lansdown's goal came early in the first half but the team did not come close to scoring during the second half.  A great result for Stroud and one they will be hoping to replicate when the league starts again in 2 weeks time.

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Bob Brewer keeps clean sheet as 16 Man Stroud capitulate to strong Bourton

25 October 2014 at 23:28

Bob Brewer keeps clean sheet as 16 Man (and 1 manager!) Stroud capitulate to strong Bourton (2nds with bits of 1sts because they didn't want to travel to Cardiff)

A bumper weekend for players and an administrative error from usually well organised captain and talisman Chris Bargh saw Stroud (sponsored by Ecotricity) travel with 17 players AND keeper Mike Hallett arriving late, just after the pushback. Someone had to take the managerial role and the ever-reliable Nigel Sherwood donned the flat cap and Primark suit and gave encouragement and critical feedback throughout the match. Bob Brewer stepped up as kicking back for the absent keeper for the first 5 minutes, in which time he did not let a single goal in. Needless to say the umpires could have been happy for Stroud to play with 12 but since we are no cheats, a legitimate sub for James Tester did occur to leave Stroud with 11 on the pitch. For the first 20 minutes Stroud turned the screw on Bourton and were camped on the 22 metre line with Nick Hitchcroft, Alex Elder and Tim Norman battling hard in midfield to make a break through, with some good interplay with Ben Evans. Dom Creech made an impact by trying to go around the back and a series of short corners came to nothing. Wingers, John Osborn , Joe and Josh Baum all tried to do the same with the same outcome. Lots of guile but not enough penetration on a very slow pitch which suited the home side. When Bourton did break, Stroud were left bare at the back, although some very good work from Matt Watts, Stuart Holt, James Tester, Harvey and Joe Freer may well have saved more embarrassment for Stroud. Ultimately, sloppy passing let Stroud down and were dominated throughout the rest of the match, and once they were 3-0 down never looked like turning it around. Next weekend they have a double header with Cheltenham on Saturday and the possibility of Newent on Sunday to turn their fortunes around.

MOTM: James Tester

Stats:

6 short corners, 0 goals.

Sitting 6th with 7 points from 4 games (with a game in hand)

+20 Goal Difference

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Ladies 2nd X1, best performance this season

25 October 2014 at 15:40

The Stroud team played flowing, controlled and skillful hockey against the Gloucester side and needed to keep its wits about it in this tough game. GK, Aleasha Holder was exceptional in her determination to stop Gloucester from scoring and she was ably assisted by the Stroud defence with Emma Hall swiftly picking up what was required from her in a new, left back, position. The attack from the Gloucester side was relentless and they scored early in the first half. Stroud defended numerous short corners, which were taken at speed, and the defence did well to thwart all attempts to score. Stroud had a short corner awarded just before half time and were unlucky not to convert it to a goal. The second half saw the Stroud forwards, supported by mid-field, really put pressure on the Gloucester team with Hannah Scott, Evie Robb and Carrie Sanders working particularly well on the RH side of the pitch. It was a hard and fast ball from the right which Sian Freer deftly picked up and, with a one touch, flicked it towards goal. The ball had maintained its pace but against the odds the keeper saved it. The Stroud team was proud of a fine performance and a draw would have been the icing on the cake.

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TOUGH MATCH

06 October 2014 at 12:44

Cheltenham came into Severn 2 from the league above and, as expected, this proved to be a tough game for the Stroud side. During the first half Cheltenham had a run of short corners which were skilfully dealt with by the Stroud defence. Cheltenham scored twice during the first half and Stroud's Carrie Sanders was able to pull a goal back and going into halftime the score was 2:1.

Early in the second half, Stroud had 20 minutes of sustained, skilled and impressive attack when the Cheltenham defenders were under pressure and their GK was called into action a number of times. The ball stubbornly refused to go into the net. Stroud's defenders continued to block much of the Cheltenham attack, including an over the bar save by GK Aleasha Holder, but the relentless pressure, and ultimately superior fitness of the Cheltenham team, gave them the victory.

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Stroud Mens 3 XI vs Cirencester B

05 October 2014 at 16:59

 

On the 4th October 2014, the weather told a tale of two stories. In the morning it was drab and drizzly but then the sun broke through in the afternoon for the perfect conditions for two mighty goliaths of The Davis Wood Hockey League, Marches 2 division to clash. Stroud's match (sponsored by Ecotricity) was very much like the weather average in the first half and glorious in the second. Wearing their new home kit they set about the early pace sucking up Cirencester's pressure well with vital interceptions in front of goal by Matt Watts, Harvey Freer and Bob Brewer. Returning squaddy Stuart Holt also made his presence known with some good interception work down the left hand-side. On occasions when the ball was spread wide to Josh Baum and John Osborn it looked like Stroud could take the lead however quality in the final third was lacking. Right the way through the first half Stroud managed to keep Cirencester's midfield relatively quiet with battling tackles and passes from Tim Norman and Alex Elder however Cirencester managed to crack this 5 mins before half time when they squeezed a short corner routine into the bottom corner past flailing keeper Mike Hallett. After the break, Stroud were energised.  Not just with captain, Chris Bargh's team talk, but also with his presence as he managed to earn a short corner off an opposing players foot and convert it with a slide rule push through the keeper to level the scores. As the match progressed through the second half it was more of a stalemate, with Stroud having more shots on target and hitting the post twice. Through the late stages, the youthfulness of Joe Baum, Joe Freer and Chad Trainor all played a part in keeping the attack alive although could not convert the possession gained into a vital winning goal. Still undefeated, with an average 8 goals a game scored, the future looks bright!

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Stroud maintain positivity in defeat

29 September 2014 at 00:21

Stroud Ladies 1XI: 0 - Jaspers: 7

Despite a good strong start to the game, Stroud Ladies 1XI conceded several goals to a very strong Jaspers side. Sasha Jones in goal made some lovely saves, and with Sarah Thomas, Katherine Stevens, Sarah Tudor and Angharad Roberts as the defensive back line, Stroud were able to hold Jaspers at bay for a while.

Some great passing work in the midfield by Sophie Fynn, Elaine Noone, Ellie Towler, Emma Crowe, and Karen Whitehead allowed Stroud to have some opportunites at attacking the goal, with some unfortunate missed shots at goal. Claire Crosthwaite, Kyishia Cooke and Lucy Moule were unlucky not to gain any points from these opportunities.

However despite a loss, there was some great play and lots of team spirit amongst the Ladies, all of whom are looking forward to next weeks home game!

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Fifteen fantastic finishes sweep Stroud to stunning season start

27 September 2014 at 20:10

Stroud B (sponsored by ecotricity) travelled to Cleevillians keen for a strong start to the season.
A new captain, new season, some new players and some older ones lined up and started strongly. Andy Reader opened the scoring and I'm not quite sure in what order the goals came in but the final tally was Reader 3, Osborn 2, Evans 3, Bargh 5, Freer 1 and Norman 1.
Stroud moved the ball around well and dominated the middle of the pitch, winning the ball back and keeping the pressure on the opposition. Some of the goals were better than others with a few goal mouth scrambles resulting in desperate saves but the ball just about making it over the line.
Stroud should be happy with a good opening game, a good team attitude and useful mix of players. They will face stronger sides but the start to the season couldn't be better. Well done lads.

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Good start for Stroud Ladies 2nd X1

27 September 2014 at 16:10

Stroud Ladies 2nd X1 secured a point at the start of the league season in their game against Gloucester.  The match was played out in the mid-field with the ball ranging from the 25 yard line to 25 yard line and both teams were unable to put sustained pressure on their opponent's defence.  As last week, Stroud's defence line was rock solid and Emma Hall, in a new position at left back, was impressive. 

Stroud had 2 short corners, as did Gloucester and neither team was able to overcome the tenacious defenders to take the lead.

The Stroud team is aiming for a position within the top five of Severn Division 2 this season, and a point moves them in the right direction.

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STROUD LADIES HOCKEY 2ND X1

20 September 2014 at 17:40

 

In its 3rd match of the season the Stroud team honed its skills, polished its attacking moves and improved its short corner routines. With a new formation the team took a little time to settle and during that time, and against the run of play, South Glos were able to find the net. But in precisely the same was as it did last week, Stroud rose to the occasion and the team was even more dominant during the second half. There were no holes in the defensive line-up and the attack was strong, fast and accurate. This week's stylish goals were both scored in open play, one by Hannah Scott from a direct shot on goal and one from Victoria Sharpe on the rebound. Jordan Turnbull was rock solid as sweeper, ably supported by Jemima Friend and Evie Robb in defence.

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Stroud settle to sink seven in sunny skirmish

14 September 2014 at 21:12

After finding the right car park to meet in, an unconventional Stroud A team travelled away to Witney for a pre season friendly. Starting well with two goals from John Osborn in nearly as many minutes. Stroud then set about defending like Newcastle for a brief spell allowing the opposition to equalise. Eventually finding some shape and composure Stroud proceded to score two more going into the halftime break 4-2 up.

Shippy and Sharpy controlled the middle of the pitch well in the second half allowing the defending line to move up to support attacks down the wings. Plenty of short corner practice resulted in a more goals and several spells of possession and good team passing really put the pressure on the Witney defence, raising the goal tally of the second half. The final score was 7-2 reflecting on a good performance from the Stroud side.

Good performances from the younger members of the team with Bryn, Ed, Jed and the two Joes playing around a core of more experienced players, special mention to Craig for surviving a warm up and a whole match without injury and tactical jug avoidance from John after his two early goals.

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2nd Half Victory for Stroud Ladies 2nd X1

13 September 2014 at 16:30

Stroud were unlucky that sickness prevented the team from fielding 11 players from the first whistle and Yate took advantage of their greater numbers to pass the ball deftly, accurately and swiftly. Yate had scored 6 goals before Sarah Mace pulled one back for Stroud just before half time.

With 11 players on the pitch the 2nd half was markedly different for Stroud with the team scoring 3 goals to Yate's single goal. The Stroud goals were all incredibly stylish with textbook right hand post deflections from Emma Forrest and Victoria Sharpe, and Hannah Scott firing her goal from the centre of the 'D'.

Stroud had some lovely passing moves with Evie Robb settling well into an attacking right back position. In her first game for the Stroud Ladies side, Jemima Friend's passing was accurate and well timed. The final score was 7 to Yate and 4 to Stroud.

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Great Start to the Season

08 September 2014 at 12:22

Stroud Ladies 2nd XI had a cracking start to the season with a great game against Dursley.  Kyisha Cooke started the ball rolling for Stroud within the first 10 minutes and keeper/captain Aleasha Holder had to make a number of key saves during the first half of the match to stop Dursley running away with the game.  At half time the score was 2-1 to Stroud and the team changed its formation, to increase the mid-field attack.  Stroud then had control of the match.  After an hour in the strong sun, the heat began to tell on both teams and Dursley found space to score twice during the final 15 minutes of the match, their player Zoe Balfour creating much of the pressure. Stoud's strong performance, with 2 goals each from Kyisha Cooke, Hannah Scott and Sarah Mace, plus a 7th from Victoria Sharpe meant that Stroud were the deserved victors.

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L1 are Severn Division 1 Champions

30 March 2014 at 11:27

Stroud Ladies' 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, only needed a draw against Lansdown to guarantee finisheing Division Champions. They were determined, however, to win their final game. The match turned out to be a good battle between the two sides. Lansdown looked dangerous, but strong defensive work from Katherine Stevens, Rebecca Stevens, Steph Woodward, Sarah Tudor, captain Jade O'Connell and Karen Whitehead, not to mention goalkeeper Sasha Jones, prevented Lansdown from scoring.  Stroud pegged back the home side and for quite some time they didn't come near Stroud's D. The midfield and forward line produced some fine attacking moves, nice passing from Elaine Noone, Emily Allan and Angharad Roberts feeding Claire Crosthwaite and Kyeisha Cooke.  Despite strong pressure, the visitors were unable to beat Lansdown's goalkeeper. They retained their composure and were determined to score at least one goal. The second half saw the effects of the glorious sunshine starting to appear in both teams, a more possessive, passing game being played to conserve energy. Neither team was able to score as the match drew to a close. On virtually the final whistle, Stroud were awarded a short corner - their last opportunity to put a goal past Lansdown. The entire team surrounded the D to keep the ball in play. A quick injection by Crosthwaite was stopped by Noone and struck by Allan. The goalbound shot could only be deflected into the goal by a Lansdown player, leaving Stroud with their final League victory of the season and a Division title to boot !  Lansdown were gracious in defeat and congratulated Stroud on their promotion as Severn Division 1 champions 2013/2014. Congratulations to the ladies and many thanks to Captain, Jade O'Connell, and Coach, Tim Norman, not to mention the huge support of club members.

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L1 Keep up the Pressure

24 March 2014 at 09:50

Stroud L1, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced another solid performance to beat Badgers at home on Saturday.  In a keenly contested match, the home side knew they were in a game, but held their nerve and always looked as though they would emerge victorious.  They produced some nice passing hockey at times and now require just a draw from next week’s final League game to win the division title as they lie 3 points ahead of Cheltenham B.

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M2 Win Well

24 March 2014 at 09:30

Stroud M2, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced a much more convincing performance against Lansdown on Saturday. Regardless of the score line, both sides played the match in the right spirit and showed what sport is really about.
The visitors started with a focused, passing mentality, intent on securing at least one more win before the season ends next week. What is now a pretty settled back four, Captain Gleed and the 3 Year 11s, Alex Richards, Hamish Norman and Ed Golding, showed their mettle once again. Bryn Nicol, yet another youngster, was assured in goal. Stroud moved the ball around nicely, although the slowness of the pitch did nothing for their ball pace early on. Early flurries from Ben Orme and Tim Norman at the head of affairs nearly gave Stroud the lead. Orme then played the ball into Norman ; one touch and a shot under the arm out Stroud 1 up after 15 minutes. Norman then moved to left midfield (perhaps as punishment) as Chris Bargh came on up front. More attacks ensued, due in large part to Steve Shipp and Tom Sharpe's control of the midfield. Untroubled yet incisive when required, they combined nicely with Dom Ellis who provided lively attacking skill at right mid. Stroud extended their lead when Richards pounced on a loose ball at a short corner and scored his first goal for the 2nd team. Stroud passed the ball with growing confidence, Hamish Norman finding plenty of opportunity up the right flank. His hard work won him a deserved man of the match award and led to several openings. A marvellous team goal, beginning with Sharpe, the ever buzzing Craig Wathen and Tim Norman in midfield, saw short passes and a long pass wide right. Hamish Norman's cross was nicely met by Orme who swivelled in trademark style and gave the ball to Ellis to score. Orme was rewarded shortly afterwards with a neatly taken goal to make the game safe beyond doubt. It was a pleasure to see Stroud passing comfortably and confidently. Shipp made a big difference in the midfield and all players deserve a pat on the back for a solid win.

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L2 Stay Up

23 March 2014 at 15:09

“WE DID IT”!

 This was the finest performance of the Stroud Ladies 2nd team this season; the impeccable marking by all the players was outstanding.  They stuck to their players like limpets and Lansdown couldn’t even find a barnacle sized space to fire on goal.  The fabulous marking is proven by the fact that the Lansdown goal came from a short corner in the dying seconds of the match.

 Stroud’s forwards controlled the ball well and despite the Lansdown ‘triangles’ formation they found sufficient space to move the ball cleanly, accurately and with pace.

 Carrie Sanders scored both goals, the first coming from open play with a fabulous move up the left initiated by Kathy Williams and the second in the most perfectly executed short corner of this season.  The Lansdown team was at a loss to know which of Stroud’s forwards would touch the ball next – the routine involved 5 players!

 Last season both Lansdown and Stroud were promoted to Severn 2 and both teams knew that this was the ‘relegation’ play-off match and on the day the Stroud team showed its true mettle and the victory was sweet indeed!

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Stroud win means 4 points clear

09 March 2014 at 23:32

Stroud Ladies’ 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to Newent and won again, scoring another whopping five goals for the second time in as many weeks. On a glorious spring day, with the bare 11 players and the captain away, the ladies were determined to win this game and stay top of the table. They started slowly, however, and Newent tryed to force Stroud to play a different style of hockey.  This led to the visitors conceding an early goal.  The ladies did not let a little thing like one goal stand in the way of victory and Stroud began to play a bit more passing hockey, conserving their energy in the heat.  Soon they equalised through Claire Crosthwaite and followed this with a second from Elaine Noone. The defenders had to work hard, however, the midfield dropping back to help them defend some strong Newent attacks.  Goalkeeper, Aleasha Holder, saved a few great shots, whilst the defensive line of Steph Woodward, Rebecca Stevens and Katherine Stevens stayed solid, aided by huge support from Karen Whitehead and Sarah Tudor. The three midfielders, Noone, Emily Allan and Angharad Roberts, worked hard to drop back and defend, as well as push forward with the attack. With the score standing 2-2 after Newent scored another, Stroud upped the ante and made use of the wings, along with Kyishia Cooke's rapid pace, to attack the Newent goal at speed.  This led to Cooke scoring two fine goals in quick succession, making the score 4-2. As was the case the previous week, 4 goals simply wasn't enough.  In the last 2 minutes of the game, Roberts received a pass in the D from Crosthwaite ; Cooke provided a dummy shot, making the goalie attempt a save, the ball sailing under Cooke's stick for Roberts to tap it into an empty goal. Stroud are on good form, their excellent play producing many goal scoring opportunities.  Next week will be their hardest game so far, as they meet Cheltenham in a top of the table clash.

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Good Performance Despite the Loss

03 March 2014 at 09:41

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI may have lost 3-0 to Cheltenham 3rd XI on Saturday, but they played some nice hockey at times and deserved more from the game.  Defensively, youngsters Hamish Norman, Alex Richards and Ed Golding again proved their worth and the team as a whole kept a pretty good shape throughout.  Stroud did make strong inroads but were unlucky not to score at least one goal against opponents who are vying for promotion.  Stroud have another tough game away to Gwent next week, but their good performance should give them heart.

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Stroud Ladies Hockey Club

01 March 2014 at 18:03

Stroud played some excellent attacking, accurate and possession hockey this week to take 3 essential points from Cheltenham Civil Service.  The attacks were well-worked down both flanks and the team was pleased to welcome Mopsey Voss back after ‘maternity leave’.  Golkeeper, Jordan Turnbull, was called upon to make important saves on 3 occasions in the first half, leading the defence to tighten its position during the second half and making it much harder for Civil Service to break through.  Stroud's goal came from a nicely worked attack from Jade Rigglesford and Carrie Sanders. Sanders deftly put the ball past the Civil Service keeper.  Candice Johnson played well at right half, supporting both the attack and the defence as required.

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Stroud ladies 1XI victorious over Gloucester

01 March 2014 at 16:15

Stroud Ladies 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, went out to win and stay top of the table in saturday's game against Gloucester - a match which Stroud dominated.  They barely let Gloucester near their D, playing great possession hockey and using both the width and space available to them. An early goal from Emily Allan gave Stroud a great head start in the game. Despite Gloucester's best efforts, the defensive back line of Katherine Stevens, Rebecca Stevens and Steph Woodward held firm, aided by some great saves from Aleasha Holder. A very attacking midfield helped create the second goal for Angharad Roberts, her shot just bobbling over the line. Lovely passing between Karen Whitehead, Elaine Noone, Sarah Tudor and Allan, meant Stroud were on the attack once again, their efforts rewarded with a beautiful goal for Claire Crosthwaite. Gloucester came back strongly and eventually scored their one goal, with what looked like a very good cricket swing! Stroud were not resting on their laurels, however, and pretty soon launched Kyishia Cooke up the wing.  She took on the goalie herself and scored a sweet goal to put the score at 4-1. This was still not enough for the Stroud ladies, though. After receiving a couple of odd tackles, Roberts dribbled the ball up the left wing before slipping it past the Glos goalkeeper to put the nail in the visitors' coffin and consolidate Stroud’s winning margin. This was a well-played game from Stroud who kept their heads and played their own style of hockey to keep themselves leaders of Severn 1 Division.

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Friendly draw against Lydney for Ladies 1XI

23 February 2014 at 18:42

Ladies 1XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, went away to Lydney for a half term friendly. After their first league loss two weeks ago, the team wanted to play good hockey and look at tactics that could be utilised over the next few weeks. A good start by both teams, it was difficult to tell who would come out on top. Some great passing round the back and up the wings from Stroud led to some lovely possession play, and despite several shots on goal, Lydneys goalkeeper was able to save them and keep the score clear. Lydney also on the attack made some good attempts at goal, however a solid Stroud defence kept them at bay for a while. A flick against Stroud was given for a foot stopping a goal, and Stroud's captain Jade O'Connell, who had to step up as goalkeeper, saved it brilliantly. Lydney however came back and scored a goal, followed by an attack from Stroud with an equaliser from Lucy Moir. Lydney came back with their second goal of the game, an unfortunate rebound saw Rebecca Stevens lose her stick and therefore was unable to prevent the goal from crossing the line. Claire Crosthwaite however scored for Stroud, equalising once more. Stroud looked strong for the remainder of the game, and concentrated on playing the game that they have played for most of the season. Good passing, using the width and not giving the ball away too often. Overall an enjoyable game for the Ladies 1XI, and all are looking forward to next weeks league game, especially hoping that the sunshine might stay!

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Stroud Ladies 2nd XI on the way up

09 February 2014 at 16:03

Stroud ladies 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, chalked up a significant 2-2 draw against Chipping Campden on Saturday. Playing a team currently sitting second in the division, Stroud showed that they have moved up a gear following good results in recent weeks. The teams were well matched and battled hard from the off. Campden scored first, making the most of a short corner. Stroud came back hard and equalised when Jade Rigglesford executed a glorious run all the way from the centre line, defeating 3 defenders before deftly and confidently flicking the ball to the back of the net. Shortly before half time Campden scored a second goal from open play.

The excessively strong winds didn’t hold either team back but did exhaust them, both sides looking weary as they fought their way through the second half. Both had opportunities and tension mounted. The Stroud back line and keeper worked hard, showed great team work, and saw off many strong attacks, but it was Stroud who finally changed the score line, Kathy Williams’ persistent hard work paying off when she sneaked one into the net to equalise.

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3s create 3 in keeperless clean sheet

01 February 2014 at 21:05

After a good performance two weeks ago and a disappointing game last week, Stroud M3, sponsored by Ecotricity, took white shirts and no keeper to Monmouth to face the bottom of the League side. Stroud started well and took command of the midfield, moving the ball around calmly. With Ross defending the D with a lot of players Stroud had a few chances to take the lead but had little time and space to convert them.
The first half finished 0-0 with Stroud playing well but aware of how vulnerable they might be to an attacking break without a keeper. Starting the second half, Stroud continued to control the middle of the pitch and Chris Bargh was able to score a much needed goal. Ross continued to attack and forced Stroud to defend several short corner, a block by the runner Matt Watts and a ball saved on the line from Bob Brewer kept Stroud ahead. The continued pressure at the other end of the pitch gave way when a great team transfer moved the ball wide from the back, up to hard working Nigel Sherwood on the left and into the D where a looping ball from a deflected Alex Elder shot dropped under the bar and over the keeper's shoulder to strengthen Stroud’s position.
Great work from MOTM Jed Stening,  covering the centre back position and moving up into the middle of the pitch as Stroud pushed forwards, making several key challenges when needed to and moving the ball well. A possible goal of the season contender and second goal for Chris Bargh left Stroud winning the match 3-0 with only the second clean sheet of the season.This was a great team performance and continuing good individual performances from all members of the team.
Next week they face Winchcombe at home, a fairly even looking match up with Stroud looking to win a clean sweep after an away win in the first part of the season. They need to build on the good performances from the last few games, keep up their work rate, ball pace and shape. If they can continue to defend the oppositions 16s from the front, and give themselves more options from their own 16s they will make things life easier by keeping hold of the ball and being able to build more of the great team goals which have helped them win matches. If the results go their way against the teams around them, Stroud could be pushing for a third place finish in the division but would be more than happy in the top half.

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Stroud 2XI victorious at last

01 February 2014 at 21:01

Stroud Ladies 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, chalked up only their second League win of the season against Cirencester. Looking more confident than they have all season, they started strongly, despite being a player down for the first half. Stroud created several opportunities which resulted in short corners and while they didn’t quite find the net, the third corner resulted in a penalty flick. Captain ‘Victorious’ Sharpe stepped up to the mark and executed an accurate flick; the Cirencester keeper did well to make contact with the ball but it found its way across the line putting Stroud ahead. In the second half the wind got up, the hail came down but the score line remained stubbornly static. Stroud worked really well across the field playing good, fluid hockey. Aleasha Holder made some courageous saves and was well supported by a determined and effective defence which successfully defended 3 short corners. This was a great result for Stroud.  Player of the match was Jordan Turnbull.

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Fantastic win for Stroud 1XI Ladies

01 February 2014 at 19:47

Stroud Ladies' 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, won convincingly against local rivals Cirencester, the 5-0 score line reflecting their superiority. A great start saw the home side passing the ball around and making full use of the space across the pitch. Some forceful attacking work by the midfield and forwards, allowed Claire Crosthwaite several opportunities from which she was unlucky not to score. A fine pass from Crosthwaite to the centre of the D gave Angharad Roberts the perfect opportunity to slot into the back of the goal. A 1-0 advantage gave Stroud the incentive they needed to take control of the game. A penalty flick scored by Lucy Moir was closely followed by two goals from Emily Allan, before a fifth and final goal from Moir again. Many more goal opportunities were created, but Cirencester's goalkeeper had a great game, saving several fantastic shots. Stroud's defence had a great game and worked hard to keep Cirencester from even looking like scoring. Despite a yellow card in the last 5 minutes, Stroud had a great game and showed once again why they remain top of the table.

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Poor Weather no Deterrent

27 January 2014 at 09:16

Stroud Men's 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, began a windy away fixture at a relatively slothful pace on Saturday.  Their opponents certainly seemed quicker to settle and Stroud’s rather tentative start gave them a few early scares.  A fortunate touch from a Stroud stick in the D after a hit from outside the 23 gave Cirencester a somewhat lucky lead, although their pressure deserved something.  That shot in the arm proved the catalyst Stroud required and within a minute they had equalised through Jonny Matthews.  A further period of attacking play gave Stroud the lead when a speculative pass somehow bobbled past a defender for Ben Orme to score.  A 2-1 half time lead was far from comfortable.  The next goal was crucial, but as the second half began so did the gale force wind and a hailstorm.  Undeterred by these common forces of nature, Stroud appeared to pick up their game.  Within minutes of the restart, strong forward running from Tim Norman and Dom Creech led to a save by the keeper, Norman pouncing on the rebound to extend the lead.  More fine movement from Steve Shipp in the midfield and some keen passing gave Tom Sharpe an opportunity and he made it 4-1.  Stroud were certainly in control and, despite Cirencester’s willingness to play passing hockey, the visitors showed resilience in the face of attack.  Youngsters Alex Richards, Hamish Norman and Ed Golding belied their age with confident performances at the back.  The shape of the side was good and captain Rob Gleed could have few qualms about the second half.  Bryn Webber in the Stroud goal made some cracking saves to deny an increasingly frustrated home side, particularly in the second half ; the triple save most notable.  To round things off, a long pass from Sharpe was expertly held up by a defender for Orme to strike once more as the game came to a close.  This was a much needed and far stronger display of defiance from a team in transition.

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L1 Stifled by Colwall and Malvern

26 January 2014 at 16:49

The Ladies’ 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to Malvern for their furthest League fixture this season.  The team were hopeful the weather would stay pleasant for the duration of the game and in the first half this was the case.  Stroud looked a little rough around the edges, some fine passing countered by them giving the ball away cheaply.  A goal from the home side gave Stroud the impetus they needed.  Stroud began to pass the ball around better and looked more dangerous in attack, a goal from Karen Whitehead restoring parity.  All square at half time, Stroud needed to come out and really attack in the second period.  Within the first 5 minutes, they looked like they were going to take control, but the weather took a turn for the worse, the umpires deciding to stop the game until the wind and hail died down.  After destroying an umbrella and knocking down one of the goals, the weather lightened up and the match resumed.  The cold break in proceedings, coming so soon after the half time break, made it difficult to get going again.  Despite goals from Angharad Roberts and Claire Crosthwaite, Colwall and Malvern were able to equalise again, leaving Stroud with just one point, a fair conclusion to a difficult game, but far from the result the table toppers anticipated.  A stronger team performance is needed next week to continue their promotion charge.

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M2 Lose Narrowly

20 January 2014 at 10:02

Stroud Men's 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, hosted a very organised and focused Cirencester A team on Saturday.  A young home side were up against it from the start as the visitors passed the ball around with confidence.  Out-muscled in the midfield, Stroud succumbed to Cirencester's early pressure, going a goal behind after 15 minutes.  Try as they might, Stroud failed to exert enough control to cause any real damage to the visitors' defence, despite relentless running by their two forwards.  Stroud did show cohesion at times and when they kept the ball strongly were able to put together some neat passing moves.  As they found themselves with more possession in the second half, they were hit a second time when nobody closed down a Cirencester midfielder.  Hard work was rewarded finally, Stroud winning a penalty corner, subsequently executed slickly and finished convincingly by Rob Gleed to make the score 1-2.  Cirencester played out the last few minutes by attempting to keep ball, but Stroud's unstinting efforts almost caused that to backfire.  A shame for Stroud to lose, but their young side showed some good signs and worked hard, building towards next season when those youngsters will play a more important role.

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Another Fine Victory for L1 Keeps them Clear at the Top

19 January 2014 at 22:29

Stroud Ladies’ 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced a fine 5-0 win over East Glos to stay top of the division by 6 points.  Despite fielding a strong side, at first it looked like this could be a difficult game as East Glos were well-drilled and motivated opponents.  Stroud eventually showed why they are justifiably the top of the division, with good ball skills and movement from the defence all the way up to the opposition D.  An inch-perfect pass from Lucy Moir put Kyishia Cooke free on the right and her pass back to Moir at the top of the D was finished comprehensively.  Karen Whitehead picked up a loose ball and produced a fine looping strike to put Stroud further ahead.  Emily Allan finished off a fine individual run with a goal.  Further goals from Kyishia Cooke and Claire Crosthwaite completed what, on paper at least, was a bit of a rout. This was a well-deserved win for the ladies, particularly against a strong side in EG, and a brilliant way to start the second half of the League season.

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M3 in Quintessential Comeback

19 January 2014 at 19:04

Stroud M3, sponsored by Ecotricity, started the second half of the season with a score to settle against a side who had beaten them in the opening game.  Stroud started slowly and took a while to get settled.  During a fairly even first half, neither team took command of the game until the opposition scored the opener.  Stroud were unable to settle after making several changes and went into the half time break 2.1 behind.
Resetting to the original lineup for the start of the second half and adjusting the marking gave them more control in the middle of the pitch.  Stroud stepped up the pace and drew level.  Once Stroud gained momentum they became a potent force, a hat trick from MOTM Chris Bargh completed with a skilful turn and reverse stick finish.  Good goals from Nigel Sherwood and John Osborne turned a shaky first half performance into a convincing 5-2 win.  Stroud sit mid-table and face a good side next week, but if they can play as they did in the second half of this match, rather than the first half the game, they will make things a lot easier for themselves.

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Stroud Ladies 1XI draw friendly

11 January 2014 at 16:57

After a long Christmas break, Stroud ladies 1XI looked ready to get stuck in with a friendly to kick off the new year.. An enjoyable game against Thornbury, however an early goal meant Stroud had to play catch up. Brilliant defensive work from the defenders and midfields, and some great saves from goalkeeper Sasha Jones meant that the score didn't go up. Stroud constantly looked good on the attack, and were unlucky to have several goal attempts and short corner routines saved by Thornbury. A short corner given in the last minute for Stroud, gave them the final opportunity to score, and a final shot by Angharad Roberts gave Stroud the equaliser to put the score at 1-1. Overall a well played game by the ladies and looking forward to getting back into league hockey next week.

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Stroud ladies 2XI find it rough-on-Wye

04 December 2013 at 21:36

Stroud made a great start to their match against Ross on Wye on Saturday. They looked the stronger team and within 5 minutes had scored; Carrie Sanders taking the ball into the D and making it look easy with a clean strike.  Unfortunately this seemed to wake Ross up and they equalised within minutes, then went on to dominate the 1st half. Ross played great hockey relying on persistent marking, strong intercepts and short, fast passes, racking up a further 3 goals, their confidence growing with each one. Half time gave Stroud a chance to regroup and in the second half they put up a good fight. Ross continued to play well and were rewarded with a further 4 goals but Stroud fought hard across the pitch. The only way Stroud could break through was to connect as a team and work hard from the backline, through midfield to the front. Work hard they did, and they were rewarded with a well-deserved second goal by Nic Kelly-Davies late in the game, which finished a punishing 8-2.

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Stroud Lose Out in Severnside Salvo

03 December 2013 at 11:31

Stroud M3, sponsored by Ecotricity, faced division leaders Lydney A away on a sunny Saturday. Starting the day with a bare 11, they were rescued by late recruit Joe Freer, giving them an extra man. Stroud knew they would face strong physical opposition but went into the match with a strong spirit and the drive to make a game of it. They lined up with Bryn Nicol in the goal, Joe and Harvey Freer defending wide and Bob Brewer and Matt Watts in central defence. Jed Stening, Alex Elder, John Osborn and Nigel Slater played midfield with Dom Creech, Ben Evans and Chris Bargh taking the forward roles.
The game started with both teams moving the ball well, but Stroud came off second best in the run of play. Lydney pushed hard and Stroud conceded goals from short corners and open play. Stroud were a little uncomfortable when they had the ball and were quickly closed down until they started to use the space and keep the ball away from the opposition.
At the break, Stroud were several goals down but still had fight left in them. They moved the ball well with a spell of dominant play in the second half but couldn't find a goal. As Stroud pushed forward to try and get a consolation goal the opposition defended strongly and broke back to increase the lead. The final score was 7-0 but against a strong side who have not lost a match this season, Stroud should be proud of their performance.
Great work from Alex Elder, man-marking in the middle of the pitch and making things difficult for the opposition midfield. Solid defending and great work rate from both Freers at the back, covering a lot of ground the entire match. The forwards had a difficult job against a strong midfield and defence who kept on the pressure, but there was good movement on the flanks and when the forwards created space running wide they would have scored against any other side.
Stroud B sit mid table with one more game to play this half of the season. They have played all the strongest sides away from home and are eager to win points from the return fixtures at home next year. The younger players have grown into solid team players and have learned much from the older players who have passed on their passion and commitment to the game and the club.

Posted in Match Reports | Mens 3XI | No Comments

Sun shines for Stroud Ladies 2XI

24 November 2013 at 20:16

As the frost melted on the astro pitch, Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud took on Lansdown with the backdrop of Stratford Park in all its autumnal glory. Stroud didn’t waste any time taking control of the first half. Within minutes their strong, confident passing and solid teamwork were rewarded as Rosie Jones made it 1-0 with a great strike from open play. Lansdown had no intention of making it easy, however, and despite Stroud dominating, Lansdown were able to equalise from a well-executed short corner. Stroud kept their cool and were soon back on top, Jade Rigglesford producing an impressive finish to a great run to make it 2-1. Moments before the half time whistle, Lansdown broke through Stroud’s hard working defence to make it 2-2. In the second half Lansdown fought back hard but despite two short corners and numerous attacks on goal, they were held off by a very determined Stroud defence with bold, effective goal keeping by Helen Summers. When Stroud did break away, the forward line flew and player of the match Carrie Sanders executed a great finish to score the winning goal.

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L1 Clear at the Top

19 November 2013 at 11:16

Stroud Ladies' 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to a young and fit table-top sharing Cheltenham in Saturday. The battle of the leaders was a hard-fought affair, Stroud's relatively older side seemingly up against it, as the Cheltenham youngsters showed speed and skill. The visitors were undaunted and their resilience showed. Again, Stroud moved the ball around nicely and despite their forwards struggling to see much of the ball at times, came away with a tremendous 3 points to take them 3 points clear at the top of Severn Division 1. Keep up the hard work - it is clearly paying dividends.

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M1 Let a Two Goal Lead Slip

19 November 2013 at 11:12

Stroud Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, yet again squandered a 2-goal advantage, ending up on the receiving end of a 3:2 defeat. They clearly have what it takes to do well in this division, but need to hold on for the victories they have earned.

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Encouraging Teamwork from the Badgers

19 November 2013 at 11:11

Stroud's U16 Boys' side ayes a strong Cheltenham side on Saturday. Given Stroud's relatively young average age, this was a tough test for them. Slightly awe-struck and then shell-shocked as early goals went in, Stroud re-grouped at half time to produce a fantastic reply in the second half. The key to their improvement certainly lay with a strong team effort, superb passing and support from everyone. Stroud's youngsters have a tradition for passing hockey and this showed again. The lads should be proud if themselves and continue the hard work as a team.

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Better Performance Despite the Loss

19 November 2013 at 11:08

Stroud M2, sponsored by Ecotricity, may have lost on Saturday but their performance was much better than in previous weeks. Gwent, something if an unknown quantity, proved worthy opponents, clearly looking for a good result and playing some quick passing hockey. The visitors took the lead in the first half, countered shortly afterwards when Ben Orme slotted the ball home from a short corner move. Both sides tried to take command of the midfield, but the evenly-matched sides meant neither team was truly dominant in that department.  As the game yo-yield from end to end, so did the score. It was Gwent, however, who ran out eventual winners, but the home side should take heart from this performance against well-drilled and strong opponents.

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Stroud L2 Rewarded with Draw

17 November 2013 at 20:04

Stroud held their heads high despite the final score line of 0-0 in Saturday’s game against Gloucester. Stroud fought hard from the off, displaying good team work and persistence. Passing was strong and accurate, allowing Stroud to create some chances and some good link work meant that Stroud moved the ball confidently down the wings. Stroud’s back line was solid, and saw off the strong opposition and survived 3 attacking short corners. Stroud were unlucky not to make this a win but had done enough to earn a valuable league point. They certainly showed their hard work at training is paying off, a much better team performance ensuing. Continue with the wide running and strong support and the league wins will come.

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Fine Win for L1

21 October 2013 at 11:06

Stroud Ladies' 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, showed all their hard work is paying off, comprehensively beating a strong Bourton side on Saturday.  It was a true team performance, everybody working hard for each other and an insistence on moving the ball quickly.  The visitors were no slouches, however, looking very dangerous at times and passing the ball nicely, as were Stroud.  With Stroud moving into space and creating momentum down the flanks, it was they that took the lead, Claire Crosthwaite converting her first of 3.  Shortly afterwards, she scored her second and Lucy Moir made the score 3-0 at the half time break.
Stroud’s defence was worked hard, man-of-the-match Steph Woodward undaunted in the face of fierce attacks.  Despite their best efforts, Bourton pulled a goal back, before Moir fired the home side further ahead again.  The visitors struck back once more but Crosthwaite’s short corner strike put the game safe at 5-2.
There was some excellent hockey on display from both sides, but Stroud deserved the win and are now creating space and moving the ball with real panache.

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M3 Alive with Five

20 October 2013 at 15:08

After a fine result last week and great availability for this match, Stroud, sponsored by Ecotricity, took a fairly young side over to face Winchcombe.
Stroud had the lion's share of ball in the first half, moving the ball well and winning the 50/50 chances and interceptions in the middle of the pitch. Keeping the pressure on led to a couple of well-worked goals with the ball being moved wide and brought into the D along the base line and cut back for deflections and tap ins at the far post - almost as if it had been a training exercise. Although sometimes struggling to find passes and make the best use of the spaces available on the wings of the pitch at times, Stroud kept the pressure on and despite conceding to a breakaway, they scored more goals before the break to lead 4-1. At half time, Stroud tried to gather themselves and focus on how they wanted to play in the second half.
The home side started the second half strongly and Stroud conceded two goals in a short space of time, an unfortunate deflection from a runner on a short corner (great finish though) and getting caught with too many men going forward put Stroud under a great deal of pressure and the enjoyment of the first half was starting to wear thin.
Stroud settled down and began to play like they had in the first half - not pretty at times, but effective enough to secure a 5th goal and leave a valuable two goal cushion for the final part of the game.
Stroud need to focus on dead-ball plays, defend from the front and look for the space in the opposition's half. When the opposition's 16s were ringed, and on our 16s when the ball was moved wide out of defence and up the wing and injected from the baseline to be deflected at the near post, Stroud looked like a strong side. When they got caught out of position when defending in the middle of the pitch or took the ball into contact in the final third of the pitch they looked like a different side. Taking the positives from the last two games into next weekend, they look for three wins in a row when the face Cheltenham D at home.
Comment from the captain: Not the tidiest performance we've put in and it got a bit close for comfort near the end until we got the 5th goal but ... a Win is a Win!
At least there was a good deal of spirit and effort and great availability.

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Ladies 2nds Battle hard against Chipping Campden

20 October 2013 at 10:46

Stroud Ladies' 2nd XI, newly-promoted to Severn Division 2, were unlucky to end 1-4 down against Chipping Campden in Evesham. Play was open and possession well-balanced between the two teams.
Chipping Campden marked tightly but Stroud took advantage of their tendency to play down the middle, finding plenty of opportunities to take the ball out wide. With some great passing into space to shake off the opposition, and impressive awareness of one another, Stroud were able to move the ball effectively the length of the pitch.
Chipping Campden scored first from open play, soon followed by an equaliser from Candice Johnson determined to find the goal. Chipping Campden had two short corners which Stroud defended well, but the home side scored again from open play to make it 2-1 at half time. Coming out again, it looked like anyone’s game and both teams fought hard and played some great hockey. In the last 10 minutes Chipping Campden scored a beauty, a nifty deflection from a strong hit outside the D.  Now riding high, this was immediately followed with another, making it 4-1. Far from being down-heartened, every Stroud player should be very proud of their performance. Man of the Match was Sian Freer for her outstanding commitment in defence.

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Nice 3 Points in Tough Home Encounter

14 October 2013 at 09:48

Stroud M1, sponsored by Ecotricity, took the maximum 3 points from their home encounter with a physical Neath side.  Great work rate by the whole team and some slick hockey at times gave Stroud the edge.  Calum Norman earned himself man-of-the-match and Rich Cartmell scored coolly from an impossibly tight angle to give the home side the spoils.

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Long Journey Rewarded with 3 Points

14 October 2013 at 09:37

Stroud M2, sponsored by Ecotricity, continued their League campaign away at Hereford A on Saturday.  None of the team can remember ever visiting Hereford and coming away with 3 points.  This time, after last week's disappointment of possession with few goals and a subsequent 1-1 draw, Stroud desperately wanted the win.  They started well, their extra pace showing early on.  A couple of chances went begging, before a well-struck ball into the D was controlled by Tim Norman whose pass to Ben Orme was dispatched into the goal.  Stroud continued to press, eventual man-of-the-match Scott Patient working tirelessly in midfield with Nick Hitchcroft.  One momentary lapse then led to an equaliser, reminding the visitors of the need for vigilance.  Having got used to the bobbly pitch, Stroud's defence, comprising captain Rob Gleed, Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Tom Sharpe at sweeper, were called into action on several occasions, but dealt with any marauders. Relief came when Norman collected the ball top D and gave the visitors the lead again with an interestingly mishit shot.  The extra impetus saw both Tom Freer and Jonny Matthews make strong runs into the Hereford 25.  Better control ensued and Orme came close to a second, before captain Gleed scored Stroud's all-important 3rd goal with an imperious short corner strike.  With their tails well and truly up, Stroud almost made it 4-1 but the final whistle blew as the last shot was struck, the resultant crash of the backboard all in vain.  This was a strong performance by Stroud, keeping them near the top, 2 wins and a draw a good start to the league season.

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Ladies 1st XI Continue Great Start to the Season

14 October 2013 at 09:34

Stroud Ladies’ first team, sponsored by Ecotricity, showed their mettle today against a good Cirencester team.  Having lost their captain, Karen Willsher, recently due to injury, they could be forgiven for having a bad game after a bit of a reshuffle.  The ladies, however, showed that they are true sportswomen today, playing some great hockey under a new captain, Jade O'Connell.  After a rather rough start, the ladies worked well as a team, putting Cirencester under a great deal of pressure.  Some lovely transfers across the back line, and great work by the midfield and forwards, resulted in a lovely goal by Lucy Moir, followed closely by a 2nd from Claire Crosthwaite.  A short corner routine by Stroud gave them a third goal, slotted in by Angharad Roberts, then a pass into the D gave Stroud a fourth goal, again from Lucy Moir.  Cirencester played well, but they only managed to break through Stroud once to score a goal.  There was a lot of work put in by everyone to keep Cirencester in their own half, and Stroud showed the skills they have been practising in training.  Continuous hard work from all the ladies made this such a good game to play and in which to work hard.  There was 100% effort from everyone involved, even when we were a player down.  So, a big thank you to Karen Willsher for all the hard work she has put in over the years, and congratulations to Jade O'Connell for stepping up to the mark.  Well done ladies !

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M2 Rewarded in Tough League Start

30 September 2013 at 09:11

Stroud M2, sponsored again by Ecotricity, started their League campaign away at Cirencester A on Saturday. Always a tricky proposition, the home side were true to form, taking a very early lead. Stroud were not perturbed, however, and began to settle as the half progressed. Calum Norman and Steve Shipp worked tirelessly in the midfield and there were good signs for games to come. The forwards pushed and their hard work was soon rewarded, Andy Hines equalising with a trademark sweep from a penalty corner. Stroud then broke again, Shipp's run and pass finding Calum Norman. He coolly drew the keeper, pulled the ball left and gently guided the ball reverse stick into the open goal. Craig Breddy was kept busy in the Stroud goal and was aided in many occasions by Ian Gill, Rob Fynn, captain Rob Gleed and Ben Drury at the back. Cirencester's persistence paid off as they scored an equaliser, but Stroud were not in the mood to give up points and went ahead through a nice strike from Tom Sharpe. Several other opportunities went begging and the visitors' one goal advantage began to look rather precarious. It was enough, however, and a hard-fought 3:2 win was fully justified. Calum Norman's excellent work ethic and fine midfield work earned him the man-of-the-match award.

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Promising Start Continues

16 September 2013 at 09:33

Coming off the back of an impressive first game of the season (6:1 victory at local rivals Lansdown) Stroud were slow to get up to speed, gifting the home team an opening goal within the opening 5 minutes.
After some consolidation, Stroud got themselves into the game and converted their possession into shots on goal, forcing an equaliser from a deflected own goal.  5 minutes later, Dan Clifford scored with a close range volley, leaving the visitors with a comfortable 2-1 lead at the half time interval.
In the second half, Stroud stamped their authority with short, quick, cutting passes by Brad Mears, Matt Williams and Rich Fynn in central midfield, leading to many attacking opportunities for a very hard working forward line.  The dominance in possession was upgraded to short corners and a well-deserved strike by Rich Fynn rocketed past the Witney goalkeeper to take Stroud 3-1 up.
As Witney threw men forward in the latter stages of the match, a brilliant reaction stop from Kevin Sinden did nothing more than frustrate the home team.  Calum Norman look very comfortable and competent on his debut at left back, his work leading to many counter attacks from which the final goal came.  Dom Ellis looked to have wasted a good opportunity, but regained his composure to strike the fourth goal firmly past the Witney keeper from the by line.
Another brilliant result for Stroud as they build towards the start of the new League season. Next week’s game is another friendly at Stratford Park, starting at 14:00 against Swindon.

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Routine without a Sparkle

16 September 2013 at 09:31

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, beat Witney at home on Saturday, although their performance was only good in fits and starts.  Against League sides, they will need to up their game, but promising signs were there as long as they move the ball around quicker and more often.  Stroud’s passing game, keeping possession and working the gaps, is where their strengths lie.  Tom Sharpe (2), Craig Wathen and Andy Hines got on the scoresheet for the home side and many cobwebs were blown away … the inevitable stiff muscles on Sunday morning proof of that !

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So Near Yet So Far for M2

18 March 2013 at 09:14

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, saw promotion slip from their grasp over the weekend, despite a comprehensive victory over Wotton on Saturday.  Letting in an early goal could have spelt doom and gloom for Stroud, but they refused to panic and hit back through Craig Wathen to level the scores and effectively start from scratch once more.  The clinical Stroud machine began to click into gear and the team spread the ball around with conviction.  Looking for goals, goals and more goals, the visitors soon went ahead, Ben Orme providing a deft touch to beat the keeper.  Tim Norman stole the ball tenaciously inside the Wotton D, before reverse-stick shooting Stroud further ahead.  Tom Sharpe and Nick Hitchcroft pushed forward from midfield to provide extra fire-power and Stroud earned themselves several short corners, most of which narrowly escaped the Wotton goal.  Orme snatched a second to put them 4-1 at half time as Hitchcroft and Norman combined effectively down the right.

Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Matt Watts looked solid at the back, giving a forward-thinking Stroud a fine backdrop.  Ben Lilly looked sharp at right midfield and linked nicely with captain Rob Gleed, building attacks down the right flank.  Norman grabbed another, deflecting the ball past the keeper, then scrambled a loose ball over as a defender tried to dribble the ball away from his own goal line to complete a hat trick.  Orme got his hat trick shortly afterwards, before Wotton’s never-say-die approach got them another consolation goal from a penalty flick.  Rob Waite, stand-in goalkeeper, had very little to do, making a couple of saves all match.

With Lansdown A winning 4-1 and 6-2 over both days, Stroud missed out on promotion with their goal difference 3 worse than their rivals.  All in all, though, this was a tremendous season.  The team have entertained, competed, scored goals nad, above all, enjoyed themselves immensely.  A superb spirit, under Rob Gleed’s first season as captain, was a credit to the club and all players must feel very proud of the achievements.  Roll on next season and more of the same !

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Stroud L2 Reign Despite Rain

17 March 2013 at 22:38

It takes more than torrential rain to put Stroud Ladies 2nd XI off their stride, as East Glos found when they met in Cheltenham on Saturday.
Stroud had a strong opening 10 minutes.  Nic Kelly-Davies and Kathy Williams’ work up the left was rewarded with an early goal from Kelly-Davies.  This was just the opening Stroud needed to boost their confidence against an athletic side, but East Glos fought back hard.
East Glos looked like a real threat at times and Stroud’s defence had their work cut out.  Pauline Edgington once again proved to have a very safe pair of hands at centre back, showing determination and leadership.  Steph Woodward and Katherine Stevens, left and right back, respectively, worked hard to interrupt some skilful attacking hockey from East Glos.  Sweeper Lesley Macdonald protected Stroud’s goal from direct attack on several occasions.  When East Glos did break through, Stroud keeper Ali Bredy was ready for them and did well to retain a clean sheet with some confident and well-judged saves.  Keen to get back on top of the game, Stroud made the most of a short corner, Claire Crosthwaite’s clean strike making it 2-0 at half time.
The second half saw Stroud continue to play well against a determined opposition.  They held their nerve and patiently sought out the right pass.  It wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that Crosthwaite sneaked the ball over the line to make it 3-0.  This was one of the toughest games Stroud Ladies 2nd XI have faced all season, making it a particularly pleasing result and ensuring they win the division title.  Players of the match Lesley Macdonald & Allison Breddy.

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Unlucky loss for the ladies 1st XI

10 March 2013 at 17:48

Stroud ladies 1st XI sponsored by Ecotricity were unlucky to not gain any points this weekend. Both Stroud and Wotton-under-Edge started the game showing good promise and strength. A goal scored by Wotton in a short corner routine gave them the upper hand, however a second disallowed goal meant Stroud kept their heads up and didn't allow the pressure to get to them. Some lovely passing by the midfield into the attacking D by Stroud gave them several attempts at goal which Stroud were unlucky not to get points from. The defence did some great work in preventing Wotton from scoring at several oppurtunities however a second goal eventually came from another short corner routine. Strouds composure and skill was evident as they managed to hold Wotton off, and a goal finally came after som good work in the D and a final tap into the goal by Lucy Moir. A well worked game by the ladies and despite their best efforts the score remained at 2-1. A well worked effort by all who played, and Stroud Ladies 1st XI remain 6th in the league table.

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Nervous Stroud M2 Held to a Rare Goalless Draw

04 March 2013 at 10:01

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, struggled to find the goal on Saturday and felt fortunate to come away with a point.  Sometimes things just don’t go your way and that was clearly the case.  Fielding a squad with 2 substitutes, the visitors should have been comfortable, but they lost Craig Wathen with a calf strain after only 5 minutes.  After 15 minutes, goalkeeper Craig Breddy put his life on the line, against his own defensive line as well, the subsequent collision causing him to break his collarbone in two places.  Rob Waite then took up the mantle.  Despite playing some nice passing hockey at times, Stroud’s attacks came to nought, despite several close shaves.  Any other day, Stroud could have been 5 goals to the good, but nothing seemed to go their way.  Newent found the net in the second half, only to have it overturned as a Stroud defender’s stick had been kicked out of the way several times in the build-up.  With ten minutes to go, Stroud intercepted the ball outside their D and the counter-attack so nearly brought victory, but a promotion-seeking Stroud were pleased to come away with a point at the end of the day.

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A Goal Difference of 61 sees Stroud TOP the Division

04 March 2013 at 07:43

Saturday’s win having extended Stroud’s lead at the top of the division table, the ladies needed victory at Bourton-on-the-Water on Sunday to guarantee them the top spot for the season, with 2 matches in hand.
It wasn’t long before Hannah Scott opened the scoring.  Goals came thick and fast in this eventful game, which ended 9-3.  Nic Kelly-Davies scored a hat trick and Claire Crosthwaite scored 4 goals, the 9th goal coming from Victoria Sharpe from a short corner.  Tension continued throughout the match, culminating in an exasperated Stroud player being sent off for a short period in the second half.  Stroud fell back on the things that have served them so well all season; accurate, short passes … retaining width and position … working together.
While Stroud dominated, Bourton’s young and rapid team played some good attacking hockey, making the most of any opportunities and scoring 3 goals in the second half, 2 from open play and 1 from a short corner.
This victory puts Stroud Ladies 2nd XI safely clear at the top of the table, not having been beaten in the League all season – a great achievement and a fitting reward for a team who have worked relentlessly to develop their skills, tactics and spirit over the last few years.

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Stroud Keep Division-Winning Hopes Alive

04 March 2013 at 07:41

With Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud on the top of the division and Bourton in second place, this was an important match for the Stroud team on a mission to earn promotion.
The first 10 minutes caused Stroud’s supporters some anxiety but the ladies soon settled into their game and the scoring was opened by Hannah Scott from open play.  Claire Crosthwaite made it 2-0 at half time with a skilful strike from close to the goal line.  Bourton earned a string of short corners in the first half but were denied a goal by Stroud’s rock solid defensive line of Katherine Stevens, Sian Freer, Steph Woodward and keeper Ali Breddy.
In the second half it was Stroud who had the opportunity to test their well-practised short corner routine and they did not disappoint.  Kathy Williams scored from the first, powering a goal home from the edge of the D.  On the second opportunity, Williams passed to Victoria Sharpe who struck the ball cleanly into the net. Even at 4-0 down, Bourton were far from beaten and took full advantage of a mistake by Stroud to make it 4-1.  Stroud continued to work hard, dominating the final quarter of the game.  Hard work by the midfield and forward line gave Nic Kelly-Davies the chance to score from a strong Jade Rigglesford pass, followed soon after by another from Kelly-Davies to end the match 6-1

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Stroud M2 Consolidate their Second Spot

25 February 2013 at 09:52

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, consolidated their second position in the table with a hard-fought 5-2 victory over hard-hitting Gloucester B on Saturday.  They started in a workmanlike fashion and were 2-0 up within 20 minutes, Craig Wathen starting the ball rolling with a classy solo run and finsih.  The visitors clawed a goal back and a nervous few minutes had to be overcome, the previous 7-6 victorious encounter still fresh in the minds.  Ben Orme got on the scoresheet, as did Nick Hitchcroft from a short corner.  Rob Fynn sauntered up from sweeper to force the ball over the line late into the second half.  Stroud needed to keep their wits about them throughout the match.  This they did, and with Lansdown A losing, Stroud are now securely ensconced in second spot, 4 points needed from the last 3 games to guarantee that position.

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Ladies hold their 'Top of League' position

23 February 2013 at 14:34

Stroud took the match by the scruff of the neck and came out determined to maintain their winning form.  There were numerous shots on goal and the visitors were unlucky during the first half not to bag a goal.  Stroud’s defence remained solid and held up the Blockley attack that had only one direct shot on goal, neatly defended by keeper Ali Breddy.  The second half saw the Stroud team apply even more pressure.  Some great work by Candice Johnson & Hannah Scott on the righthand side of the pitch saw the ball moved accurately and swiftly across the D onto the stick of Sandra Glass whose great precision placed the ball in the net.  The Stroud side was relieved to have scored in the last 20 minutes of the game and they remain undefeated at the top of the division.  Players of the match were Kathy Williams and Steph Woodward.

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Stroud M2 Cruise to Victory

18 February 2013 at 09:28

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced a calm, collected, yet ebullient performance on Saturday as they demolished Lydney at home.  The die was cast within 4 minutes of the start as they went 2-0 up through Craig Wathen and Ben Orme.  Despite Stroud controlling the game, Lydney got a goal back shortly afterwards with a perfect strike into the far corner, Stroud keeper Craig Breddy getting his only touch of the ball, retrieving it from inside the goal.  Prolonged periods of Stroud possession were delights to see.  Patient build-ups produced some neat attacking moves.  The ball was transferred flank to flank, forwards to backs at times, Lydney simply not getting a sniff of the ball.  Several short corners were won and Stroud benefitted from these.  Wathen completed his hat trick before half time.  Starting the second half the way they finished the first, Stroud pushed forward, right back, Rob Waite, overlapping Tim Norman at right midfield, confident in Ian Gill and Barney Franklin’s ability at the heart of defence.  Scott Patient and Tom Sharpe were assured in the middle, swapping roles as attacking or defending centre mids as required.  Matt Watts fed Tom Freer up the left flank, leaving Wathen and Orme to roam free up front.  As the ball was held up nicely, so the midfield pushed through to support.  Only on the odd occasion was there a disconnect and Stroud’s shape was good.  Norman pounced on a partially-cleared short corner strike to make it 5, before Sharpe scored Stroud’s 6th.  Lydney’s goalkeeper was then yellow-carded for a challenge and red-carded for subsequent foul language ; a disappointing example for the visitors younger players.  With the visitors playing without a keeper, Stroud were on easy street and Orme rounded the last defender to score his second with Sharpe getting another to complete an 8-1 victory.

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Beleagured Stroud M1 Narrowly Beaten

18 February 2013 at 09:26

A depleted Ecotricity-sponsored Men’s 1st XI were narrowly edged out in a close-fought battle against Wotton on Sunday.  Everybody worked really hard and Stroud arguably played the better hockey on the day.  Luck was not on their side, however, Dom Creech breaking a finger after 10 minutes, Matt Pearce hurting his knee after 15 minutes and Rich Fynn up-ended in the second half to stunt his speed to half-pace.  Stroud passed the ball around smartly at times, Nick Batten and Andy Murray creating a sound defensive line with part of the visitors’ carpet of Matts, Mr Watts.  The injury to Pearce meant nigh-50-year-old Tim Norman moving back to left midfield, while Rob Fynn occupied the unusual position of centre forward, offering himself as a virtual bounce-board up front.  Matt Williams and Rich Fynn buzzed around in midfield, Matt Waite and Tom Sharpe providing the pivot at the back of midfield.  Stroud’s keen attitude won them several short corners, but Rich Fynn’s drag flicks were ably dispatched by the defender on Wotton’s right post.  Having gone one down, Stroud equalised when Rich Fynn’s short corner strike was struck low to his left.  It was end-to-end stuff, particularly in the second half, and Kev Sinden did himself proud in the Stroud goal.  As Stroud’s injuries became more of an issue, a re-shuffling saw Rob Fynn move back into defence and Pearce leave the field reducing them to 10.  Still Stroud pushed, even when they went behind again.  Desperate to squeeze at least a point out of the game, Stroud pushed to the last.  The last gasp short corner saw them go close but they just failed to grasp the equalizer in the dying moments.  This was a gutsy display from Stroud, showing they still have the will to stay up.  More of the same is needed next weekend as they once again have 2 matches, this time both at home.

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10-Man Stroud M2 Take the Big Win

11 February 2013 at 09:20

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to the Herefordshire town of Leominster on Saturday, knowing they had the bare eleven players.  One of those 11 players failed to materialise, however, leaving Stroud the unenviable task of facing an opposition with 5 substitutes.  Pragmatic to the last, the visitors were looking for the win and sorted their formation to suit the predicament.  Benny-no-mates Orme was hung out to dry as lone striker, while Dom Creech relinquished his chance to spearhead the attack, instead taking up residence at left back.  Despite the extra player, the home side found it difficult to make it count.  Stroud’s insistence that Leominster’s wide players not be given room to manoeuvre was a key ploy.  Their shape was held and possession when it came held in high esteem.  An early short corner awarded to Leominster found a defender’s foot and was deemed to stop a certain goal.  Last week’s man-of-the-match, Craig Breddy, set the tone for the rest of the match, going down to his right to save the resultant penalty flick.  Buoyed by this, Nick Hitchcroft, Tom Sharpe, Rob Gleed and Tim Norman relaxed into their midfield roles, passing the ball around in a controlled manner.  Sensibly, Stroud chose not to over-exert themselves with long runs, preferring the passing and support play option.  Orme’s strong running earned a short corner and captain Gleed smashed the ball into the left corner to give the visitors the lead.  Good marking kept the home side at bay and a strong move down the left flank left Gleed to cross the ball for unmarked right back Ben Drury to pick up and plant in Leominster’s goal for a 2-0 lead.  Leominster must have felt this unlikely, whereas Stroud knew they were out to win.  As the home side struggled to string attacks together, Matt Watts and Ian Gill made light work of defending at times, before Hitchcroft tangled with Leominster forward.  Whatever really happened, both players were sin-binned for the rest of the half.  Whether this hindered or helped Stroud’s cause was a matter of debate.  Nevertheless, Orme’s relentless exuberance earned him the man-of-the-match award.  At times he simply needed to hold up the ball, but at others he kept possession by going forward.  Either way, Sharpe was given time to follow up in support.  As the game progressed through its second period, 10-man Stroud actually appeared to have more space available.  Their insistence to build-up their attacks, rather than adopt route-one hockey, paid dividends.  Occasionally, Gill at the back was drawn into shelling the ball to safety, but sensible hockey frustrated Leominster.  Good defending kept them at bay, Breddy dictating the defenders’ positions to ensure nobody left a free man and making several sharp save to boot.  As Gleed channelled, Sharpe and Hitchcroft frustrated.  Norman and Drury marshalled and snuffed out Leominster’s left side of midfield, also giving a potent attacking force when the opportunity arose.  Stroud were on their game and up for the win.  Norman earned a free hit near the 25 and quickly took it to the attentive Orme, whose cross was controlled by Sharpe.  Having taken the ball neatly round the keeper, he flicked the ball home for 3-0.  With less than 15 minutes left on the clock, Stroud were able to relax a little – maybe not so much that you would have noticed, though.  The pressure had eased and everyone pushed up a little more as Leominster battled their own demons as well as the visiting team.  Creech asked to go forward and did so, to be rewarded with Stroud’s 4th goal from all of 12 inches away !  That was the icing on the cake.  Stroud came away with, perhaps, an unlikely 3 points, but they were without a shadow of doubt the better side and thoroughly deserved the win.

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Jubilant Stroud Ladies 1st Team Take 3 Points

10 February 2013 at 21:02

Stroud Ladies 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, managed a 1-0 win against local team, Dursley. In an evenly-matched game, both teams pushed for the first goal from the off.  Stroud were unfortunate not to turn their attacks into goals, whilst their defence was able to keep Dursley at bay with some fantastic work by Becky Stevens, Katherine Stevens, Jade O'Connell and Sarah Tudor.
At half time, Stroud were down to the bare eleven as Debbie Ratcliffe was unfortunate to take a stick to the hand, causing a fractured thumb.  All members of the team kept going, however, for that all important goal.
Multiple attacks were instigated by midfield and forwards - it started to feel like Stroud might just have the edge over Dursley.  With ten minutes to go, a lovely cross into the D by Kyishia Cook was caught on the reverse by Angharad Roberts and slotted neatly into the far right corner of the goal.  After this, Stroud needed some composure and not give away possession.  Some well-defended short corners were followed by some great drives up the pitch and a jubilant Stroud gained three points to stay mid-table.

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Cracking Top of the Table Draw

05 February 2013 at 12:37

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, had a busy weekend, hosting division leaders, Hereford, on Sunday.  This match was an altogether different affair to Saturday's.  Without doubt, Hereford are the best side Stroud have played this season and the contest was worthy of its top-of-the-table clash billing.  In the early flurries, both sides moved the ball quickly and accurately.  Stroud missed the opportunity to go one up when a penalty stroke went wide, but they were undeterred.  Some sensible midfield play and possession-keeping involving Nick Hitchcroft, Andy Murray and Steve Shipp gave Stroud a slight edge in the highly competitive atmosphere.  Craig Breddy was forced to make many telling saves, his performance deservedly rewarded with the man-of-the-match award for sublimety, or should that be sublimeness or subliminality (ask him).  Captain Rob Gleed felt Hereford’s opening goal was against the run of play, but in such a close encounter, that was a difficult call to make.  Nonetheless, Stroud continued to work really hard, Tom Sharpe, Dom Creech and Tim Norman sharing duties at the front.  Some great movement gave Hereford’s defence problems.  Several short corners were won, Gleed converting one to bring the game back all square.  In the ascendance, Stroud piled on the pressure, Tom Freer making several incisive runs down the right.  A side-line ball from Hitchcroft was well-supported and some interplay in the midfield gave Sharpe an opportunity down the left.  His cracking accurate cross was met by Norman to put the home side ahead.  Rob Waite came on at right wing and his running intensified the Stroud attack.  A long ball left to right corner found him and his cross was deflected dangerously by a defender’s stick.  The tension could be felt all around the pitch as the resultant Gleed short corner strike was rightly judged a few inches too high to count.  With minutes remaining, the visitors were awarded a short corner from which they equalised, setting up a nail-biting finale.  Ian Gill, Matt Watts and Ben Drury held firm at the back, releasing the midfield and forwards in a last ditch effort to keep Stroud’s title hopes alive.  The game was over, however, and Stroud’s valiant display earned them a draw when the win was required to topple the leaders.  Stroud should be very proud, nonetheless, for their part in a cracking game of hockey.

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M2 Take Comfortable 3 Points

04 February 2013 at 09:40

Stroud started Saturday’s match with one eye on Sunday’s top-of-table clash and, despite taking an early lead through a Ben Orme short corner strike, allowed Lansdown back into the game against the run of play, much as they had done against Cleevillians the week beforehand.  Before half time, Stroud’s pressure build-up paid off as they went ahead once more, Tom Sharpe scoring.  A few moments of worry in the second half were enough to keep the home side’s defence occupied, but Stroud were the better side.  Although their passing play has been better, plenty of movement ensure they had control of the match.  Another short corner strike from Orme and an open play goal from Sharpe meant Stroud took the 3 points available

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Badgers Shine Once Again

04 February 2013 at 09:39

Stroud U16 Badgers yet again gave a strong performance in an entertaining match against Cheltenham on Saturday.  Although not quite reaching the heights of recent weeks, their teamwork showed improvement in this end-to-end contest.  Jed Stening and Jack Thompson had fine games, their pace and skills on the flanks working wonders, whilst Ed Golding was solid as a rock in defence.  Team: Hamish Norman (captain), Danny Sopp, Alex Richards, Ed Golding, Bryn Nicol (GK), Zac Knight, James Testar, Jed Stening, Jack Thompson, Elliot Bonham, Andrew Reader, Joe Freer  and Seb Wathen.

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Sun Shines on L2

04 February 2013 at 09:37

What a beautiful day for a hockey match - blue skies, warm sunshine and a slight chill in the air.  The sun was certainly shining on Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud Ladies’ 2nd XI who beat Newent 10-0.  Their dominance of the game was never in doubt. Sandra Glass opened the scoring with a strong goal from open play after a lovely cross by Claire Crosthwaite.  Kathy Williams wasted no time making the most of the first short corner of the match, powering the ball straight in to make it 2-0.  The third goal was from open play, Crosthwaite making it look easy.  Nic Kelly-Davies scored the fourth from open play and followed it up minutes later with a goal from a long corner.  Sian Freer made it 5-0 before half time, with a great strike from the top of the D.
Kelly-Davies got the second half scoring underway.  Well-positioned to receive a long pass, she found the goal for her hat trick.  Stroud’s defence not only protected their goal but also worked hard further up the pitch.  Steph Woodward even had a strike on goal.  It rebounded and was picked up by Victoria Sharpe who deftly deposited it into the goal.  A run of short corners towards the end of the match gave Stroud the chance to practice their routine.  Twice Sandra Glass found the goal, making it a hat trick for Stroud’s most capped forward, and this week’s player of the match.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Confident M2 Continue to Thrive

10 December 2012 at 10:16

A supremely confident Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, completed the first round of League matches with a comprehensive victory over a youthful and useful Wotton side on Saturday.  With a couple of niggling injuries and two first choice players unavailable, Stroud could have buckled under the responsibility.  Not so, though, as they started with one thing in mind … a win.  Steve Shipp’s energy down the left led to a powerful cross, collected neatly by Craig Wathen, whose turn and sharp shot gave the home side an early lead.  The pressure told again, with a dominant Stroud midfield superbly supported by Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Matt Watts in defence.  Captain Rob Gleed, scored Stroud’s second with a powerful short corner strike to give Stroud a 2:0 half time advantage.
The second half saw even more control from Stroud.  Andy Murray’s man-of-the-match winning performance in midfield provided great linkage between Stroud’s players.  At times it looked as though Stroud had an extra player on the pitch, despite having to defend stoically as Wotton refused to back down.  Once Shipp had put the third goal away it meant Stroud were able to relax a little more.  That relaxation actually led to more assured passing and they looked comfortable.  Still working hard, however, Tim Norman won the ball in midfield and threaded the ball through to Ben Orme.  With the scent of the goal in his nostrils, there was never any doubt he would put the ball away for Stroud’s fourth.  Craig Breddy was a happy man in goal, with his first clean sheet of the season.  This was another fine performance, albeit not quite top drawer – enough to see them in a comfortable second, a full 7 points clear of 3rd and 4th places.

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Stroud Badgers Produce another Fine Display of Hockey

03 December 2012 at 09:37

Stroud Badgers U16s travelled to a chilly Lydney on Saturday morning and produced a tremendous display of controlled passing hockey.  Everybody played their part and they scored 8 goals in a dominant performance.  Seb Wathen managed to score 3 goals, with 2 from captain Hamish Norman, 2 from Danny Sopp and one from Alex Richards.  The real winner was the game of hockey, however, as Stroud in particular showed how well they can perform as a team.  Without any substitutes, they soon found their form, using the whole width of the pitch and involving the entire team.  Credit should also go to the young Lydney side who, despite not getting on the scoresheet, battled hard to the end and showed great promise for the future.

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Depleted M2 Earn a Draw

03 December 2012 at 09:34

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, lined up in a somewhat depleted state on Saturday, their 1st XI suffering from injuries as well.  A youthful-looking Lansdown side made a spirited start and looked the more likely to score as the first half progressed.  Lo and behold, the home side took the lead despite some strong defensive work by Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Matt Watts.  With Craig Breddy forced to pull off several saves, it seemed as though the writing was on the wall for Stroud, particularly as they went further behind.  Sporting two 15 year-olds in Drury and Freer and one 14 year-old in Hamish Norman, it was down to stand-in captain Ben Orme to organise the offensive.  The youngsters worked hard and a positional change gave Craig Wathen, Tom Sharpe and Nick Hitchcroft more scope in midfield.  A slick passing move which began midway in Stroud’s half led to a fine cross from the left by Orme.  Freer was free on the far post to slide the ball in to make it 2-1 at the break.
The visitors sensed they could take away something from the game and piled on the pressure in the second half.  Lansdown weathered the storm but could not penetrate the away side’s defensive blockade.  Fine work led to Stroud’s equaliser, Drury popping up at the right post to convert a chance.  A nervous 15 minutes ensued at the end of the game, Stroud looking as though they could snatch victory, but in an instant looking as though they could leave empty-handed.  Excellent work-rate and determination gave Stroud a point and, although this was a slight dent in their title hopes, a point was well-deserved given the depletion within the club this weekend.

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L2 Hold off Strong EG Side

03 December 2012 at 08:52

Stroud came up against tough opposition at Stratford Park on Saturday, but succeeded in retaining their place at the top of the division with a 1-1 draw.
Stroud got off to typically impressive start, finding space and passing well to dominate the game. The home side failed to capitalise on their strong attacks and when East Glos did manage to get the ball into Stroud's D, they scored, leaving the home side a goal down at half time.  This gave East Glos the psychological advantage and Stroud’s game lost its dominance.
In the second half Stroud came out determined not to succumb to defeat and regained their form. Good performances across the team, with particular strength in the half line, meant it wasn’t long before Nic Kelly-Davies found the goal with a great strike from the top of the D, latching onto a Jade Rigglesford pass. At 1-1, battle ensued. Strong defending from both teams meant no further goals.
A draw was good enough to ensure Stroud Ladies' 2nd XI retain their place at the top of the division as we go into the Christmas break.

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M1 Defeat League Leaders

02 December 2012 at 21:10

Stroud, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced a valiant and disciplined display away to top-of-the-table Cardiff and UWIC B.  With 7 players out and travelling down with a bare 11, Stroud had to dig deep from the first minute as a skillful, well-drilled Cardiff team moved the ball swiftly, dominating the early possession. Stroud began to establish a foothold in the game, defending their D and then hitting the opponents on the break with some good work from Rohan Sopp and Matt Pearce.  Steve Shipp forced an excellent save after a quick turn and shot.  The half chances began to come for Stroud as Cardiff struggled to work a way through Stroud’s tight defence.  A direct run from Richard Fynn yielded the first short corner and as the ball was fired in on goal, Calum Norman was first to react to a rebound, only to see his flick strike an opponent on the line, leaving the umpire no option but to award a penalty flick. Richard Fynn slotted the penalty to give Stroud the lead and Stroud ended the half on top as Cardiff’s frustrations boiled over into some reckless challenges resulting in a 5 minute sin binning of one player.
The second half began with the students upping their game as Stroud struggled to get hold of the ball.  The equaliser came after a smart deflection from a powerful cross.  Instead of buckling under the increasing pressure, Stroud continued to defend resolutely and looked dangerous on the break.  An archetypal mazy run from Danny Clifford eliminated 3 defenders and his through-ballwas controlled by Steve Shipp, showing great determination to reach the ball first.  His pass found Matt Pearce who finished coolly past a diving defender.  With 20 minutes of the match left, Stroud were organised and disciplined as Andy Murray, Matt Waite and Rob Fynn marshalled the team, limiting Cardiff to speculative balls into the D.  Keeper Dave Cruickshank was assured throughout and he ensured Stroud left with all three points by making a strong block from a penalty corner strike in the last minute of the game.
Everyone deserves a mention for a superb display: Dave Cruickshank, Rob Fynn, Matt Waite, Danny Clifford, Rohan Sopp, Andy Murray, Matt Pearce, Calum Norman, Zac Lees, Steve Shipp, Rich Fynn.

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M2 Go Top of the Table

26 November 2012 at 09:53

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, won a hotly-contested match on Saturday to put them on top of The Marches Division 1.  Both sides started competitively, but once Stroud got themselves in the groove, they looked the more dominant team.  A couple of penalty corners nearly gave the home side the lead before Tom Sharpe popped up at the far post to convert a cross for 1:0.  Newent fought back to level the score but Stroud went ahead once more as a powerful strike into the D was deflected into the net by a defender.  Ben Orme made it 3:1 with another fine effort to leave Stroud looking more comfortable.  Not that they had everything their own way, but comprehensive defensive work by Ian Gill and some fine stops by Craig Breddy in goal kept the visitors at stick’s length.  The next goal was key and, fortunately, Stroud got it, Sharpe getting his second of the game.  After a consolation goal from Newent, captain Rob Gleed then deflected the ball sweetly to give the home side a superb 5:2 win, putting them top of the table.

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Unfortunate loss for Stroud Ladies 1st team

25 November 2012 at 23:18

Stroud Ladies’ 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, had a strong start, their defence showing promise. Unfortunately, Wotton eventually opened the scoring.  Stroud refused to give up, though.  Two more goals from Wotton painted a bleak picture, but there was also some lovely work from the defence, including great blocks from Becky Stevens on the goal line. Goalkeeper, Aleasha Holder, also made some good saves to keep the score down.  Lucy Moir led the attack and wwas rewarded with a goal.  Several near misses, however, meant the score remained 3:1 against.  The midfield played some good hockey and the team made good use of available passes as well as putting in some very good defensive work.  The side continued to show signs of improvement and look forward to next week’s game.

Tags: Ladies | Hockey

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Pipped at the Post by Puffins

24 November 2012 at 18:08

Stroud Ladies’ 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, used this away game against Puffins to practice its short, sharp, accurate passing and to focus on square and 'back' balls.  Stroud found the undersized pitch was difficult to adjust to and their normal game was curtailed without the width or length to allow its normally fast, flowing game to be played.  The goals, however, were classic Stroud!  A fine run from Hannah Scott (sporting a new go-faster hair style) from the half-way line rewarded her with Stroud's first goal as she powered it into the net.  Stroud's second goal from a short corner was struck with just as much determination by Kathy Williams.  With next weekend's League match against EG it allowed the team to work on play in close groups and tight situations.

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Stroud Ladies 2nd XI keep another clean sheet

19 November 2012 at 12:44

Bourton 2nds have been hot on the heels of Stroud in the division table, making this an exciting and important encounter. Stroud expected a battle but looked confident and dominant throughout. They found space, moved the ball well and demonstrated the great team work which has earned them their place at the top of the division so far this season.
Claire Crosthwaite opened the scoring, finding the goal from open play. A second goal before half time was set up by Carrie Sanders and finished by a well positioned Candice Johnson. In the second half Stroud continued to dominate. This led to several short corners which, to Stroud’s frustration, Bourton defended well.  Eventually the pieces fell into place and Johnson scored again, connecting with a beautiful strike from Kathy Williams to make it 3-0.
On the few occasions the boisterous Bourton team did manage to break through Stroud’s very strong midfield, the defence once again performed very well, and Jordan Turnbull made some good, confident saves. An enjoyable match, helped by strong, fair umpiring.

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Another Superb Performance from the Badgers

19 November 2012 at 11:54

Stroud U16 Badgers secured victory on Saturday with goals from Jack Thompson and Seb Wathen.  The game produced some tremendous hockey from both teams.  Passing hockey, use of the space and good –natured competition … all the perfect elements.  Wonderful stuff.

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M2 Edge it in 13 Goal Thriller

19 November 2012 at 11:44

In an absolutely thrilling encounter, Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, narrowly came away with 3 points on Saturday.  The visitors were apprehensive as they began the match against a team relegated from the division above, knowing they were in for a battle.  Fielding two 15 year-olds and one 14 year-old, Stroud looked, on paper at least, understrength.  They need not have worried.  An end-to-end first few minutes set the scene, but Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Matt Watts looked up to the task in front of an initially nervous Craig Breddy in goal.  Tom Sharpe made the breakthrough within 10 minutes, although the lead could have gone either way.  Hamish Norman and Tom Freer shared duties in the outer reaches of midfield and belied their young ages.  Sharpe and Tim Norman then looked to work off each other, but Gloucester hit back with 2 goals in quick succession.  Ben Orme left the pitch for a short while with a cut, leaving both youngsters on the pitch for 10 minutes.  They were unfazed, but captain Rob Gleed began to look worried as the half time whistle brought a close first half to an end.

A resolute Stroud came out for the second half.  From the start a strong tackle–cum-pass from Tim Norman gave Andy Murray the ball in the centre of the pitch.  A short run and pass through to Orme gave him his second of the game and brought Stroud back on terms.  Another swift passing move saw Murray again crossing the ball from the right.  Sharpe was on hand at the left post to give the visitors the lead. No time to relax, though … Gloucester refused to keel over and put Stroud under some severe pressure.  All hands to the pump in defence, but the home side pulled a goal back from a short corner.  A dark few minutes ensued, Stroud conceding another couple of goals to go 5:3 behind.  Great work at the back and some fine stops by Breddy denied Gloucester any further goals.  Sharpe claimed another to put Stroud one behind, before smart work earned Stroud a short corner.  Gleed struck it sweetly to level the game at 5:5.  Gloucester struck back straight away, but Stroud were still not out of it yet and Orme’s quick reverse stick strike levelled it once more.  Great work throughout with youngsters Hamish Norman and Freer swapping on at left midfield and certainly not looking overawed, Stroud sensed victory and huge pressure earned them a penalty stroke which was duly converted by Sharpe.  Gloucester proceeded to equalise AGAIN, but another penalty stroke was awarded to Stroud as Gleed’s short corner strike hit a defender on the line.  Sharpe put Stroud 7:6 to the good with 2 minutes remaining.  Tim Norman earned another penalty corner and Gleed’s strike caught a slight deflection and narrowly missed the target in the dying moments of a tremendously exciting match.

As the score ebbed and flowed, the result could have gone either way, but a battling Stroud side were delighted to come away with 3 points, particularly with the side lacking their normal strength.  That aside, everybody played their part and should be proud of the result which keeps them one point from the top.
Breddy Drury and Gilly 17 Nov 2012

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Second Heaven for M2

12 November 2012 at 09:52

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to the other side of the Severn on Saturday, hoping to continue their fine League run.  With the sun low in the sky, the visitors were out of the blocks quicker.  Barely 2 minutes were on the clock before Stroud’s sharp passing gave Nick Hitchcroft the opening goal – a welcome calming influence on 3rd-placed Stroud.  Another two minutes elapsed and a shell-shocked Lydney gave away a penalty corner as Stroud piled on the pressure.  Captain Rob Gleed stepped up to convert this with aplomb, putting them 2-0 to the good.  The perfect start for Stroud … until Lydney struck back as the visitors relaxed momentarily.  Less than 15 minutes had gone and Craig Wathen, whose lively start with Ben Orme up front had promised plenty, pulled up with a hamstring pull, to play no further part for a long while.  No matter, With Steve Shipp and Hitchcroft looking formidable at centre midfield, Orme and Tim Norman were released to create havoc.  Ably supported by 15 year-old Ben Drury and Matt Watts on the flanks, strong work by Shipp and Gleed led to a loose ball being collected and hammered home by Norman to re-establish the visitors’ 2-goal advantage.
Lydney’s youthful side caused Stroud problems, however, and Craig Breddy was called into action on several occasions to make telling stops in goal.  He worked well with his defenders, particularly the rock-solid Ian Gill.  Andy Murray proved the lynch-pin in the middle, sitting in front of defence and becoming instrumental in kicking off Stroud’s attacking force.  His incisive run down the left led to his cracking cross for Norman to latch onto for his second was worth its weight in gold and the 3-goal cushion was very welcome.  Shipp then had to leave the pitch after a nasty hit on his foot.  Norman was given the central midfield marking role and Wathen limped on up front.  There then followed an unfortunate bounce in the middle of the pitch wrong-footed Watts and Murray, giving Lydney another goal and a faint glimmer of hope.  Stroud need not have worried as their tremendous work ethic continued.  Orme had several cracking strikes, agonisingly watching the ball go wide.  Great cover from defenders and midfielders alike helped Breddy in goal, before an absolute text-book attack down the right was made by Orme whose inch-perfect cross was put in by Hitchcroft arriving unmarked to give Stroud a famous 5-2 victory and cement 3rd place in the table, a mere one point adrift of leaders, Hereford A.
This was an excellent result for Stroud who showed their mettle, composure and fortitude in a difficult game.  Norman was man-of-the-match, although in truth everybody deserved an award of some description, including both umpires who did a fine job between them.

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Badgers Fight Back for Famous Victory

12 November 2012 at 09:50

Stroud U16 Badgers fought back from a 2-0 deficit to put paid to Cheltenham in a high quality game on Saturday morning.  Fine work by Bryn in the Stroud goal and a fine captain’s performance from Hamish Norman set the scene for a comeback.  The visitors’ lineup fluctuated throughout the game until it settled into a near-perfect one.  Alex Richards pulled a goal back for Stroud, before the skilful Danny Sopp equalised.  Jack Thompson’s great work on the flank was reqarded when his fine strike gave Stroud the edge with 5 minutes to go.  Ed Golding deservedly won the joint man-of-the-match award for his tremendous defensive work, with Seb Wathen the other recipient.

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Stroud Ladies 1st XI gain 3 more points

11 November 2012 at 20:09

Ladies 1st Xi gain 3 More Points

After a few tough matches, Stroud Ladies' 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, got stuck into this away game. Heavy rain before the match meant that the pitch had to be cleared of a deluge of water but, thankfully, the teams were able to get on with the game.
For the first ten minutes, Avonmouth were very strong attacking, and at times it looked like they may get the first goal. Several shots either went wide, were saved by goalkeeper, Aleasha Holder, or blocked by some fantastic defence work.
The game was then settled down, both teams making good breaks for goal.  Lucy Moir was able to get the first of her three goals, giving the team a boost in a very hard game.  Whilst Moir scored twice more, Stroud's defence put in a solid performance, and Avonmouth only managed to score a consolation goal in the dying minutes. Great work by attack and midfield led Stroud to multiple shots at goal.
The Ladies fought hard for this win, leaving them comfortably mid-table. It was good to have Captain Karen Wilsher on the sideline, lending support to the team which is looking better each week.

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Youth Stand Firm

11 November 2012 at 17:40

Facing a tough match, against top of the table Bridgend, the last thing Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud Men’s 1st XI captain, Alex Waring, needed was a glut of injuries depleting his options.  He was forced to make several changes on Saturday with 5 senior players unavailable.  The up-side was evident, however, as coach Rob Fynn’s youth policy is really beginning to pay off.  The 1st XI on Saturday contained five recent products of this youth system ; Rohan Sopp 15, Fin Dixon 16, Calum Norman 17, Rich Cartmell 20 and Zac Lees 21.  Stroud stalwart, Andrew Hines, was also recalled to the side, adding a little ying to the younger players’ yang !  Even more pleasing was how well the young players coped with strong and physical opposition.
The game started well, both sides passing the ball quickly.  The low, strong sunlight was a factor and Stroud’s players found it difficult to pick their passes or read the flight of aerial balls.  Bridgend found their rhythm quicker and began to put together some attacking opportunities, winning a few short corners and going close to scoring. 
Stroud maintained their discipline and worked hard to stay in touch, carving out a few chances of their own.  The game ebbed and flowed with both teams having spells with and without the ball.  Both keepers were called into action and the game looked delicately poised just before the half time break, when Bridgend managed to strike a crucial goal right on the half time whistle to go in 1-0.
The second half saw an impressive rear-guard action from the young Stroud side.  Stroud started well, looking to shore up the midfield and move the ball wide early.  They created several good chances and Danny Clifford earned a short corner with a powerful run into the D.  Rob Fynn’s strike looked to be going wide of goal until skipper Waring managed to get a sharp upright deflection on it.  The balled cannoned off a defender’s legs and found its way over the line to level the score at 1-1.
Stroud dug in and worked tirelessly for the rest of the half as the game became more physical and tetchy.  The umpires did well to keep a lid on things, as Bridgend became more and more frustrated when they failed to restore their lead.  Zac Lees ran selflessly up front, Calum Norman worked hard in midfield alongside Fin Dixon, both putting in some strong tackles. Rohan Sopp did well going forward with some great skills in and around the D, almost creating the winning goal in the dying moments.
Stroud could have sealed a famous victory with the last strike of the game.  The whole team went forward for a short corner after the final whistle.  Rob Fynn’s low strike went inches wide of the goal and narrowly missed the incoming stick of forward Lees.  Despite nearly snatching all three points Stroud were happy with a hard fought draw.

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Stroud L2 go from Strength to Strength

10 November 2012 at 22:06

Stroud Ladies’ 2nd XI had another storming match, this time beating Blockley 4-0 in a hard fought game.  Stroud came out fighting from the whistle and dominated the first half.  The Blockley keeper had an excellent match and saved numerous strikes on goal from Stroud’s forward line, leaving the scoreline goalless as the first half ended.  Allie Breddie, who came to Stroud’s rescue by stepping in to play in goal at the last minute, made an important save at the end of the first half, and was brilliantly supported by the back line.
Stroud held their nerve and battled on, determined to score.  Their 1st goal eventually came from a short corner ; a great team effort, finished with a powerful strike from Claire Crosthwaite.  Once the scoring had started, there was no stopping Stroud.  Jade Rigglesford made it 2-0 with a skilful, reverse stick goal.  Hannah Scott scored the 3rd from open play and Kathy Williams made it 4-0 with a lovely first time strike.
The team is consistently showing excellent passing skills, looking for the right option every time, patiently working the ball right around the pitch with confidence and skill.  Coupled with great communication and fantastic spirit, the team remains unbeaten this season.

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M1 First Away Win of the Season

06 November 2012 at 13:25

Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud recorded their first away win of the season, showing control and solidity despite several key injuries.
In a competitive opening, Stroud started well, moving the ball slickly in attack to create several half chances.  The first goal came after a strong run and pass from Calum Norman, setting up Richard Fynn for a reverse stick shot which was smartly deflected in by a well-positioned Alex Waring. Lansdown fought hard to break down Stroud’s movement and began to create chances. Dave Cruickshank made a sharp save from a short corner and Matt Waite, Nick Batten and Rob Dove worked hard to keep the opposition attack at bay.
The second goal came after a period of Stroud possession which created a one-on-one for Fin Dixon to beat his man and feed the ball into the D. A strong effort from Zac Lees left the ball with Danny Clifford who coolly flicked past the Lansdown keeper.
Injuries to the two Stroud centre midfield players meant Stroud's coach, Rob Fynn, had to reshuffle the formation and Lansdown started the second half the better with some sustained possession. As Stroud settled down again, the half chances began to come thick and fast, Lees coming close to a third after excellent work by Rohan Sopp. The third goal eventually materialised and it was well worth waiting for. Norman picked the ball up on the half way and beat his man with ease, before releasing Matt Pearce down the line. Pearce took his man on the outside before a beautiful reverse stick cross was touched in with aplomb by Rohan Sopp - his first senior goal for the 1st team.
This was a good win for Stroud, but a stiffer test awaits next Saturday when they host Bridgend at Stratford Park Leisure Centre.

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L2 Winning Streak Continues Unabated

04 November 2012 at 20:32

The late afternoon game began with low light streaming across the pitch making visibility a huge challenge for Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud Ladies’ 2nd XI.  The strength of Lansdown’s attacking game made it hard for Stroud to play their usual flowing hockey – a tough battle ensued.  Both teams had chances, but Stroud’s defence stood firm.  Stroud keeper, Jordan Turnbull, made several great saves and was supported brilliantly by a focused, strong and effective defensive unit.
Whilst opportunities to attack the opposition goal were fewer than recent matches, Stroud took full advantage when they did break beyond the halfway line.  Claire Crosthwaite opened the scoring with an unstoppable attack on goal mid- way through the first half.  Jade Rigglesford made it 2-0 with a lovely run, latching onto an inch-perfect pass from Victoria Sharpe.  Stroud continued to fight hard against determined opposition.  As the light faded, Stroud made it 3-0 with a textbook attack set up by Rigglesford and hammered home by Nic Kelly-Davies.  This was a very satisfying end to a challenging match.  Player of the match Steph Woodward.

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Onwards & upwards for Stroud Ladies 2nd team

21 October 2012 at 10:07

Stroud Ladies 2XI met their toughest opposition yet this season in the form of Newent, who ended last season at the top of the division.
Stroud dominated the game and ended with a 4-1 win, another well-deserved victory. Stroud worked hard to retain possession, demonstrating good passing and communication skills. Well-motivated, supportive of one another, aware of each others' strengths and working to a common plan, it is great to see the team developing from week to week.
The first goal was powered home by Claire Crosthwaite, Hannah Scott making it 2-0 at half time. Newent came out for the second half fighting, winning more possession and the visitors broke through as Stroud conceded their first goal of the season. Newent’s defensive line had a good second half, but finally, Stroud’s collective efforts were rewarded with goals from Jade Rigglesford and Claire Crosthwaite, again from open play.

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L2 On fire against the wicks

13 October 2012 at 15:25

Stroud Ladies' 2nd XI recorded their third straight League win of the season, beating Painswick 2-0 in the local derby.  The Stroud team played their usual tight, controlled, attacking hockey and had literally a dozen strikes on goal during the first half, all saved by the Painswick keeper. Carrie Sanders and Kathy Williams were tireless in midfield and Steph Woodward made some great tackles to keep the Painswick attackers away from the Stroud goal.  Captain Pauline Edgington says, "Regaining the team's structure in the second half gave Stroud the edge it needed to keep the ball in the attacking half."  Goals came Hannah Scott and Claire Crosthwaite, whose deft touches added considerably to the attacking formation.  Player of the match was Jade Rigglesford - a whisker ahead of Carrie Sanders !

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Double figures for Stroud Ladies 2nd XI

06 October 2012 at 21:09

Stroud Ladies' 2nd XI continued their run of impressive wins with a 10-0 home victory over Bourton & Sherborne.
The home side dominated throughout against the young visiting team and by half time had made it 4-0.  Goals came from Nic Kelly-Davies, Hannah Scott and two Claire Crosthwaite specials.  In the second half, Stroud settled into the game on which they have worked all season ; keeping formation, passing accurately into space, using the full width of the pitch and calling well. They were rewarded with a further rush of goals, Kathy Williams again scoring from the new penalty corner routine, Victoria Sharpe scoring from a textbook run and pass from Carrie Sanders, plus 3 further goals were from open play - one from Hannah Scott and two more from Nic Kelly-Davies.
Don’t let the score line deceive you into thinking the Stroud defensive line had time to rest. Yet again, they played a vital part in the team’s success, with notable performances from Steph Woodward and Katherine Stevens.  This was another great team effort, ensuring another week at the top of the division.

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Solid Start in the League for M2

01 October 2012 at 09:37

It was the 1st league game of the season for the Ecotricity sponsored Stroud mens 2nd team against an experienced Cirencester B side. Stroud started slowly in a frustrating first half with Cirencester stopping Stroud from playing their usual quick passing game. Nevertheless Stroud took a 1-0 lead into half time.
The second half performance was much improved. Quicker, shorter passing and a higher work rate off the ball opened up the tiring Cirencester defence and will and in truth the score could have been higher as the match drew to a close.
A period of dominance in the second half effectively closed the game off with three goals in quick succession from Ben Orme, Tom Sharpe and Steve Shipp. A consolation goal from Cirencester was quickly answered with another Stroud goal. The defence looked solid with notable performances from Andy Murray and man of the match Ben Drury who has stepped up to the 2nd team with ease, showing much promise for the season.

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Wotton-Under-Attack

16 September 2012 at 10:13

Another good victory with Stroud dominating throughout with some fine attacking hockey.  Jasmine Gardiner, playing in goal for the first time, was able to make her mark with a good save from a penalty corner in the first half. This was also a good first match for newcomers, Judith Cave and Libby Brown. Claire Crosthwaite set the theme with an early goal which was followed shortly afterwards by one from Candice Johnson. Stroud’s third first half goal came from a perfect Pauline Edgington pass, finished by Nic Kelly-Davies. Wotton came out fighting in the second half, but Stroud’s dominance never really looked in doubt. Despite a somewhat scrappy match, Stroud held their shape and delivered another 5 goals … one from Victoria Sharpe, another from Claire Crosthwaite and a further three from Nic Kelly-Davies were all the results of a strong attacking efforts by the whole team.

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Ladies 2nd team get the better of Bassett

08 September 2012 at 17:25

Stroud ladies 2nd X1 hockey team started the season with determination and  showed some excellent ball skills with a 3-0 over Wotton Bassett.

Stroud had much of the pressure and had a run of shots on goal which resulted in a number of short  corners.  The team has a new short corner routine, unpractised until the match and the corners will undoubtedly become slicker with  practise.   All 3 goals came from open play.  Nic Kelly-Davies got Stroud off the mark and went on to score a second, and Hannah Scott ensured a comfortable winning margin with the third.  There was some great passing from Katherine Stevens on the right and Kathy Williams on the left which beat the Wotton Bassett defence and allowed the Stroud attackers to surge forward.  The Stroud defence held firm and ‘emergency keeper’ Becky Stevens made some important saves to ensure the Stroud side maintained a well deserved clean sheet.

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STROUD FIGHTING FOR A DRAW

25 March 2012 at 11:35

The score of the match did not reflect the relative possession of the ball by each team:  Stroud played some good, controlled hockey and strikes on goal from Sandra Glass, Carrie Sanders, Nic Kelly-Davies and Andrea Preston were all just wide of the mark.  Much of the Bourton attack was from the team’s left wing and time and time again Katherine Stevens was required to intervene with a strong tackle.  The defence fought hard to maintain its clean sheet and was unlucky to concede a goal scored from a short corner.  Midfielders Victoria Sharpe and Pauline Edgington (player of the match) remained calm despite some unusual tackling by their opponents and the Stroud team was disappointed not to at least draw the match. 

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Cracking Win by the Badgers

19 March 2012 at 09:44

Stroud Men’s U16 Badgers, resplendent in their Ecotricity-sponsored shirts, came from behind on Saturday to conjure a win in the glorious pre-Spring sunshine.  Whatever they had for breakfast was not conducive to playing hockey, however, as they were slow out of the blocks.  Their relaxed attitude clearly masked their true feelings on the matter, however, plus a concerted effort from Alex Richards, Jed Stenning and Joe Freer thwarted an urgent-looking Wotton forward line.  The wake-up call really hit home as keeper Bryn Nicol was beaten.  A couple of substitutions ensued, Jack Thompson and Andrew Reader coming on up front to inject fresh legs.  Clearly the shuffling of players began to work.  Tom Freer and Hamish Norman looked stronger at centre midfield.  Their confident play showed Stroud’s burgeoning passing ability.  In truth, Stroud began to move the ball around with more confidence, encouraged by their adult mentor, Craig Wathen.  Seb Wathen relished his chances to run and some neat moves on both flanks, involving Ed Paddock on the left and Gab Robinson on the right, put the home side firmly on the back foot.  Ed Goulding’s strength and vision offered good support to Norman and Tom Freer.  Wotton were far from beaten, though.  Richards’ pace was called upon several times as Wotton kept two players very high, threatening Stroud on the break.  Joe Freer had an excellent game, showing good control at the back and working hard throughout.  Zac Knight, whose small stature belies his power, came into midfield keen to make an instant impression.  Thompson and Reader worked well together and the latter cracked the ball home for a deserved equaliser.  Stroud smelt more goals and earned a short corner.  Norman’s accurately slapped feed was smashed into the goal by Richards.  The turnaround gave the visitors a 2-1 half time lead.

Encouraged by their lead and buoyed by positive talk at the break, Stroud emerged raring to go again.  Paddock was switched from left to right, initially feeling apprehensive.  He excelled himself, keeping much-needed width to Stroud’s game.  Wotton still threatened, however, scoring an equaliser as they began to work some magic of their own.  The visitors were still prepared to pass much more than in previous weeks, surpassing even last week’s marvellous victory over Gloucester.  Their confidence showed in all areas of the pitch before Thompson cracked the ball home to take the lead once more.  Several saves from Nicol kept Wotton at bay and it really felt as though the next goal would be decisive.  After a brief interlude at centre mid, Paddock was united with Robinson on the left flank and they worked nicely with Norman and Tom Freer to make inroads.  Sustained pressure was soaked up by Knight, now on at right back and Stroud’s own attacking made for end-to-end action.  Some neat passing gave Stroud a few more chances before a clearance from the Wotton keeper went directly to Reader who wasted no time pushing the ball home.  That was that, despite a potentially nervous last 3 minutes.

This was a cracking performance from Stroud – a thoroughly deserved win enjoyed by everyone – the after-match doughnuts tasted ever-so much sweeter !

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TEAMS BATTERED BY HAILSTORM

18 March 2012 at 10:55

The Stroud side was beaten by the speed of the opposition, any loose balls, missed passes or inaccurate pushes by either side, were swept up by the fleet-footed EG team.  The Stroud side was put under sustained pressure for most of the match and as the conditions deteriorated (hailstorm for just under an hour), so players began to make mistakes as their fingers were unable to gain a tight grip on the stick handles and their visibility was impaired.  Stroud worked hard throughout the game and the scoreline is not a reflection on their effort.  They did attack strongly on several occasions and were rewarded with several short corners, but it was a movement from open play in the dying moments that saw Di Furlong fire a shot across EG’s bows for Carrie Sanders to deflect deftly into the net, for a deserved consolation to go some way to warming up shivering bodies.

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Ladies Win the Division with 3 Games to Spare

11 March 2012 at 19:30

Ladies 1st team stay top of league

Stroud Ladies’ 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, have won their Division with 3 games to spare, having dispatched Thornbury with a workmanlike, rather than electrifying, display.  This being Aleasha Holder's second week as Captain, Stroud were hoping to give her a further boost.  In unusually warm conditions, the home side took 20 minutes to get into gear.  In spite of this, they managed to keep a spritely Thornbury side at bay, even though the visitors had several breaks into Stroud’s D.

Some great work by the defence and midfielders meant Stroud were able to keep the ball out of their net.  As Stroud began to gain momentum, they won some short corners.  The overdue first goal was scored by Claire Crosthwaite, following a lovely Lucy Bishop pass from the top of the D.

Crosthwaite nabbed a second goal moments later to give Stroud assurance the win was within their grasp.  Debbie Ratcliffe scored a well-taken 3rd goal to give the home side a 3-0 advantage at the break.

Crosthwaite hammered the ball home for her hat trick and, now a comfortable 4-0 to the good, Stroud began to pass the ball around. They pressed strongly up front and created some neat passing triangles, allowing flow and continuity.  Stroud’s midfield worked tirelessly throughout the game, keeping to a tight formation. The defence held firm against several threatening Thornbury attacks, thus preventing any goals against.

A beautiful passing move in the last minute of the game finished when Elaine Noone sent a lovely pass across the D for Angharad Roberts to slap the ball neatly into the goal, having drawn the goalkeeper - the last touch of the game.

Watched by injured captain, Karen Willsher, this was another comprehensive victory for Stroud, handing them the Division title with 3 games to spare – a superb achievement, indeed.

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STROUD LADIES 2nd TEAM PICKS UP A POINT

11 March 2012 at 11:24

A mix up with umpires led to a delay, a curtailed match, a goal less draw and a single league point.  Stroud had been optimistic about winning this match against Colwall but the travelling and long delay before the match started had depleted the team's energy levels.  As Stroud re-energised so it took command of the match and played some excellent, fast, flowing hockey.  The passing this week was particularly good with balls moved around in straight, square and backwards formations and retaining possession of the ball undoubtedly led to the team's command on the match.  Player of the match Candice Johnson in left mid-field for the first time made some important tackles and some good passes through to Sandra Glass and Andrea Preston.  Stroud's 3 short corners were not converted with Pauline Edgington hitting the post for a fourth time (3 times whilst warming up) and the team was denied what-would have-been a well deserved goal.  The Stroud defence was delighted to keep a clean sheet for a second week.

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STROUD LADIES OUTPLAYED, BUT NOT DEFEATED!

04 March 2012 at 09:08

Cirencester are clear leaders in Severn Division 3.  Despite the score line Stroud had some fine attacking play and the team’s formation on the pitch and its close marking held firm:   Stroud was out run rather than out played.  The sustained pressure on the Stroud defence inevitably led to Cirencester scoring despite determined efforts of the Stroud players.  Player of the match – defender, Di Furlong.  

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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.

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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.

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STROUD LADIES LEAVE IT UNTIL THE LAST 5 MINUTES TO WIN THE MATCH!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Hannah Scott - A Thorn in the Side for Thornbury

08 January 2012 at 09:43

Thornbury was quick of the mark and  scored  within 20 minutes.  Stroud took time to settle as the team needed to adjust to new players joining the squad including a welcome appearance by Jordan Turnbull  in goal.  Thornbury had much of the attack, particularly during the second half when defenders Becky and Katherine Stevens were called into action time and time again.  The Stroud goal was a fair result for the team;  a direct replica of the practises carried out at training earlier in the week, Pauline Edgington passed the ball through the Thornbury players for Hannah Scott to pick up on the move and fire into the Thornbury goal.  There were several other near misses for both teams and it was defenders Jordan Turnbull and Katherine Stevens who were jointly awarded the Stroud team’s ‘player of the match’ award.

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Stroud Ladies continue to score!

18 December 2011 at 12:43

Stroud fielded an equal mixture of first and second team players in this Christmas friendly against Wotton Bassett and the match was played in the spirit intended.  Stroud was clearly the dominate side and went swiftly into the lead with a goal from Claire Crosthwaite.  The sustained pressure by the Stroud team allowed Kate Davies to push Stroud even further ahead.  Wotton Bassett found space to break the Stroud defences shortly after half time and pulled back a goal just after half time.  Claire Crosthwaite found the goal for a second time and Kathy Williams secured the win with Stroud’s fourth goal.

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Another Lacklustre Performance from Stroud M2

12 December 2011 at 09:32

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, were decidedly ordinary on Saturday, a solitary Tim Norman strike half way up the side netting almost the only thing about which to smile.  This came in the second half, all of Stroud’s first half pressure having come to nought.  The opposition described their defensive efforts in terms of Rourke’s Drift, Stroud failing to play enough of a passing game to prise apart the Cirencester defence.  To be fair to the visitors, they stuck to their task and held firm, but their young forwards were given too much leeway in the second half and Stroud paid the price fr not taking chances.  Tom Sharpe and Derek Pittaway came agonisingly close to pulling off a win, but that did not happen and, worse still, goalkeeper Dave Cruickshank suffered a dislocated shoulder which will keep him out for several weeks.  This was certainly an inauspicious end to the first half of the League season, despite Stroud remaining first or second in the table.  The club deserve better; the fans deserves better and, by jove, the team WILL get better for the New Year !

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Clean sheet for Christmas

11 December 2011 at 19:18

Stroud Men's 1st XI signed off for the Christmas break with a win and clean sheet on Saturday.

Recently promoted Chippenham were the visitors to Stratford Park.  The game was closely fought throughout and Danny Clifford's 1st half goal proved enough to secure the 3 points for Stroud.

Both sides tried to play good passing hockey, but Stroud slightly edged the first half in terms of chances created.  It was from their first short corner that Clifford struck, collecting the rebound from the keeper’s first save before creating space with a mazy dribble and flicking the ball goalward.

Chippenham raised their game in the second half and put Stroud under more pressure, creating a number of chances but failing to find that finishing touch.  On the one occasion they did find the net, the goal was disallowed.  Stroud held firm, keeper Cathie pulling off several crucial saves and man of the match Nick Batten making some crucial tackles as well as relieving pressure with some marauding runs further up the pitch.

Stroud created more chances of their own but couldn't find their way around the Chippenham keeper who saved numerous attempts on goal.

The game finished 1-0 to Stroud.

This was a solid first half of the season with more games won than lost, but plenty to work on and improve for the New Year.

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Cracking Win Gromit

05 December 2011 at 09:47

Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud Men's 1st XI enjoyed themselves on Saturday, away to local rivals Cirencester.  Stroud took the league's bottom-placed team to pieces in a comprehensive 7-2 demolition.

Stroud were looking to find some form having lost their previous three league games but made the worst possible start, Cirencester taking the lead after 2 minutes.  Stroud quickly regrouped and responded immediately by winning a short corner.  Rob Gleed stepped up to the mark and duly dispatched a clean strike to level the score.

Stroud never looked back and dominated the rest of the half.  Rich Fynn dispatched 2 penalty flicks after goal-bound efforts were illegally halted by Cirencester defenders.  Danny Clifford brought new found vigour to the right side of midfield and scored a great goal after a marauding run into the D.  Skipper Alex Waring got in on the act too, squeezing a deflected short corner effort home.  Stroud finished the half 5-1 to the good.

The second half saw more of the same.  Rich Fynn secured his second hat trick in successive weeks when he arrived at the back post to finish the move of the game; Liam Tunney won the ball for Stroud in the left back position and found Waring who beat his marker before finding Matt Pearce in an advanced position.  Pearce played a first time ball to Rich Fynn who played a brilliant cross field ball to Danny Clifford wide on the right.  Clifford played his cross powerfully toward the back post where Waring and Fynn were queuing up to score.  Fynn applied the crucial finishing touch.

Cirencester managed to get a consolation goal after a deliberate foul in the D led to the 3rd penalty flick of the game.  The game was Stroud's, however, and Danny Clifford capped his man-of-the-match performance with a great individual finish, squeezing an unstoppable shot between the keeper and the post to round things off.

Creditable mentions must go to Rob Gleed in defence - he continues to develop in his new 1st team role; 16-year old Calum Norman who had an excellent game and to keeper Sam Cathie whose very vocal performance kept his side, not to mention the opposition, on their toes.

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Stroud M2 win but Lack Christmas Punch

05 December 2011 at 09:46

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, made heavy weather beating Gloucester C on Saturday.  Their team was, at least on paper, pretty strong, but they struggled to click into gear, over-complicating their play at times.  When they played the simple stuff, they looked good and the first half pressure could, indeed should, have led to several goals by the interval.  Ben Orme made the breakthrough eventually, nipping in front of the defenders as usual.  Indeed he should have put away another chance from a Tim Norman pass, but Stroud failed to extend their lead despite Tom Sharpe and Steve Shipp also coming close.  A disappointing half and a solitary goal was not enough for Stroud to feel safe and they were left with plenty to do in the second period.  An early goal from Zac Lees settled them and Shipp made it 3-0 a few minutes later.  The buffer was almost there.  Once again, however, they failed to exploit their superior pace and passing ability.  What should have turned into a rout proved unpleasantly harrowing.  With so much space to play with, Stroud often chose the narrow through-the-middle route.  Henry Bonham, Matt Watts and Rob Waite found themselves under more pressure than they thought possible before Gloucester pulled back an unlikely goal.  Stroud hung on to their 3-1 lead and the positive slant on a distinctly under-par performance, was that they can play relatively badly and still win.  They play Cirencester B this Saturday in the last League fixture before the Christmas break – a 2pm start at home.  Fingers crossed for a more positive and intelligent performance.

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NO BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED ‘WATER’

04 December 2011 at 11:33

Bourton on the water was in trouble from the whistle as Stroud started the match in style with a goal from Carrie Sanders whose shot was a ‘text book’, perfect deflection in to the goal.  In a fast and furious paced game, Stroud’s Nic Kelly-Davies found space to squeeze Stroud’s second goal past the Bourton keeper to allow the team to go into the second half with a two goal advantage.  There was some excellent passing and movement of the ball between mid-fielders Kathy Williams, Katy Stotesbury, Victoria Sharpe and Sandra Glass from whom a strong ball into the opponents D allowed Carrie Sanders to score her second goal of the match.

Bourton was relentless in its attempt to get a goal keeper Tati Howell was called upon to make some crucial saves, whilst Andrea Preston was called into action to stop a ball on the goal line.  Another fine performance from the team which has now moved into 3rd place in the league table.  League games recommence in the New Year.  Player of the match – Sandra Glass.

 

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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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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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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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Ladies 1st fighting back!

06 November 2011 at 21:38

Stroud Ladies 1st          5             Redland 3        0

A great game this week for the Ladies 1st XI with a lot of the posession played in Redlands half.

After a very good training session on Tuesday the Ladies felt confident that game play was getting better and proved it with a much improved passing and possesion based game. 

Both Stroud and Redlands had opportunities at goal in the first half, however some solid defending from both sides meant that by half time the score was still 0-0.

The second half told a different story, not long into it and Stroud had a break in which Claire Crosthwaite was able to score the first goal of the game.

After this the Ladies seemed to find a new level of confidence and composure and pretty soon the forward line was pressing forward once again towards Redland's quarter. With another great goal from Claire, 2-0, which was shortly followed by Debbie Ratcliffe's to put the Ladies up to 3-0.

Redland pushed back, however it was not long before Stroud gained posession and were able to apply the pressure and drive it up into the D for Angharad Roberts to ensure the fourth goal definitely went in.

Some brilliant work by Karen Whitehead, Karen Wilsher, Elaine Noone and Hattie White in the midfield meant that Stroud held onto the ball, working it around the pitch and using the width effectively. 

Some lovely passing up the pitch led to Debbie's 2nd goal and Stroud's 5th and final goal of the game, whilst Julie Whiting kept the pressure applied to Redland in their defensive quarter.

A last few attempts at attacking the goal from Redland ended unfortunately for them as Stroud's defensive back line of Sarah Mace, Sarah Tudor, Becky Stevens and GK Aleasha Holder held strong and let nothing through.

This boost in game play meant that the Ladies kept control throughout the entire game and never lost their cool, many feeling they had played the best hockey so far this season.

A great aspect was that despite being several goals down Redland kept fighting until the end.

A win has placed them 2nd in the League, and the Ladies hope that they can continue to go from strength to strength.

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Electric 6 for Stroud!

06 November 2011 at 14:41

Stroud Hockey Club is sponsored by local renewable energy specialist Ecotricity. Stroud Men's 1stXI produced a blistering 10 minutes of hockey on Saturday that can only be described as 'electric'! 

The first half against visitors Bridgend was a niggly, scrappy affair with both sides showing ill discipline and the umpires were forced to intervine with a number of green and yellow cards. Stroud finished the half 1-0 up.  The goal coming after some tenacious closing down by forwards Waring and Clifford; Waring winning the ball back off the Bridgend centre half for Clifford who then returned the ball to him to score at the back post.  Keeper Sam Cathie contributed to the half time lead by brilliantly saving a penalty flick low to his right.

The second half started well for Stroud with a solid period of possession and a few probing attacks.  It was after a brief delay due to an injury to the Bridgend keeper that Stroud flicked the switch and turned on an inspired performance.

Danny Clifford won a short corner with some good skills in the D.  Rob Fynn's low flicked effort was initially saved by the keeper but skipper Waring was on hand to score his second neatly tucking the ball away as it fell from keepers pads.  Cue Stroud goal mayhem! 

Stroud then proceeded to rip Bridgend apart in a blistering 10 minute spell.

Firstly Waring collected his hat-trick, crashing a loose ball into the net as it looped up over the keeper. 3-0.

Then midfielder Mears got on the score sheet with the very next attack.  A lovely passing move down the right hand side that scythed through the Bridgend defence, Mears was on hand to slot the ball home from the top of the D. 4-0.

Rich Fynn got in on the act, finishing off another great passing move. 5-0.

Stroud's final goal was from a well worked short corner, Matt Pearce arriving perfectly to calmly deflect the ball home. 6-0.

Bridgend didn't know what had hit them, the fight was gone from their game and Stroud played out the final 20 minutes in control. Safe in the knowledge that they had put the match well beyond the opposition with that brilliant spell of hockey.

Credit must go to the defence for their second clean sheet in a row but in truth this was the sort of result you get from great alround team performance.

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STROUD LADIES BLOCK A WIN FOR BLOCKLEY

06 November 2011 at 11:13

Stroud’s coach, Richard McColl, was on hand to provide strategic coaching and recommend tactical changes during this week’s 2nd X1 match.  With the new pitch at the LC the Stroud team always has a home advantage as the surface causes the ball to ‘bobble’ rather than run completely flat and it takes new users of the pitch 10 or 15 minutes to adjust.  Normally Stroud makes good use of the time to buffer itself with a goal, but this time it was Blockley that scored the first goal.  Undeterred and even more determined the Stroud team began to settle into its normal rhythm, allowing Pauline Edgington to ‘zing the ball into the top corner’ of the net.  Stroud’s top scorer, Nic Kelly-Davies then pushed home a ball on the rebound and the team went into half time with a 2-1 lead.  During the second half Stroud’s defence was called upon to dispense with a number of Blockley attacks, and Andrea Preston saved a goal on the line while Di Furlong & Katy Stotesbury made some important clearances.  The second half saw further goals from Stroud, with Hannah Scott’s powerful strike finding the goal and Victoria Sharpe making her trademark solo run and pushing the ball past the Blockely keeper.  Another good result for Stroud who will be training hard on Tuesday in preparation of meeting the team currently above it in the league.  Player of the match Kathy Williams.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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STROUD LADIES 2ND XI BACK ON FORM

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tough draw for Ladies 1st team

09 October 2011 at 20:48

Stroud 1st    2           Dursley   2

An away/home game meant that Dursley played host to Stroud but on Strouds home turf. This gives the advantage of an extra league game played on a new pitch that the Ladies have been training on and beginning to use to their advantage.

A quick start meant that both teams had to dig deep however the score at half time was still 0-0

Both teams had attempts at goal but Dursley found the backboard first, despite the defensive efforts of Aleasha Holder, Sarah Thomas, Becky Stevens and Angharad Roberts. Stroud fought back with two goals coming from Julie Whiting, some hard work from the midfielders Sarah Tudor, Hattie White, Elaine Noone and Karen Willsher allowing the ball to travel up the pitch.

Debbie Ratcliffes positioning at the goal was brilliant however several shots by Claire Crosthwaite and a lovely cross by Kate Davies were saved by the Dursley goalkeeper.

A last goal from Dursley gave them an equaliser near the end of the second half. 

Many thanks again go to Rich McColl for his support and assistance

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Men's 1s beat Swansea Uni

09 October 2011 at 12:09

Stroud 4 Swansea University 2

Stroud Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, played hosts to the student side from Swansea University on Saturday.  

Swansea arrived with a full squad of players and seemed very pumped up for the fixture after their long journey from Wales. The Stroud players knew they would have a game on the their hands against a fit looking student squad.

The game began at a frenetic pace, both teams moving the ball quicky and hounding down the opposition when not in possession.  Both sides won early short corners and both keepers looked to be in good form, making good saves.  

As the game settled into a pattern Stroud began to build some possession and had great 10 minute spell when they should have scored form one the 4 penalty corners they won.  Equally, Swansea looked dangerous on the break but couldn't find a way past the resolute Stroud defensive line.  Liam Tunney and Nick Batten were strong in the tackle and Andy Murray mopped up most things loose, frustrating the students side as they seacrhed for a goal.

The first half flashed by at pace but finished goaless, Stroud disppointed that they hadn't converted their superior possession.

After some words of counsel from Coach Derek Pittaway, Stroud started the second half strongly determined to find the first goal of the game.  They didn't have to wait too long.  It was skipper Waring who found the net but in truth the goal was all about Rich Fynn's contribution.  Fynn skilly fully weaved hs way through the Swansea defence beating 4 players before sliding the ball through to waring who was waiting on the post to turn the ball goalward. 1-0 Stroud.

Stroud held firm for a short while looking to build on their lead but the student side upped their game and pushed forward.  They won a number of short corners on the bounce and eventually found their equaliser as the ball was defelected into the roof of keeper Cathie's net. 1-1.

Stroud didn't have to wait long to regain their lead.  Again, Alex Waring popped up on the back post, this time to collect and errant shot by young Calum Norman, who made the goal through great tenacity.  Waring calmly controlled the ball and turned it in.  

Swansea pushed on in search of another equaliser but began to leave gaps at the back.  The midfield trio of Mears, Williams and 15 year old Fin Dixon began to exploit this space, often finding Waring or Clifford out wide.  The last 20 minutes of the game became the Fin Dixon show as he scored to goals to quash the oppositions hopes of getting back into the game.

His first goal for the 1stXI came at a crucial time.  A break away attack saw Williams find Waring on the baseline who held up the ball and pulled it back to the path of Calum Norman.  Norman centred the ball for the advancing Dixon who clinically swept the ball into the roof of the net from the top of the D, depsite the presence of the Swansea kepper charging out at him. A very cool finish from the young man.  His second coming soon after, again arriving late into the D he fired a low shot into the backboard to put the match beyond Swansea.

To their credit the students kept taking the battle to Stroud and managed to find one more goal, however despite their resurgance in the last 5 mins time was not on their side and the final whistle went to see Stroud victorious by 2 goals.  Final score 4-2.

Thanks must go to umpires Steve Court and John Cull for officiating well in what was a fast and frenetic game.

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Good start to the league for the Ladies 1XI

04 October 2011 at 09:51

Stroud Ladies 1XI   6     -    BAC   1 

After some good pre-season matches the Ladies 1st team came away with the first league win. Despite the hot and unusually warm weather of the day both sides looked strong. Right from the beginning though Stroud looked to dominate the game, some strong passes and good runs meant that forwards and midfield spent a lot of the match in BACs half.

The first goal was well worked, using triangle passing up the side of the pitch and then a cross into the goal from Claire Crosthwaite allowed Angharad Roberts to sweep the ball straight into the goal. 2 more goals followed quickly from Karen Willsher with one of these occurring from a short corner. A hat-trick was then completed by Claire Crosthwaite as for two of the goals she worked with Grace Cullinane, Elaine Noone, Debbie Ratcliffe, Carrie Sanders and Sarah Tudor up the pitch, Claire's third goal however was a one-on-one with the goalkeeper!

Solid work from the defence, Stroud welcomed back Sarah Thomas who worked well with the ladies newest addition Sarah Mace. Becky Stevens had some fantastic clearances, and Aleasha Holder saved a couple of goals using techniques that have been practiced in training.

Many thanks go to Rich McColl as the Ladies Coach for providing support and help during the game and for picking up on some things to work on in training.

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Tight Match for L2

03 October 2011 at 16:48

Bristol scored during the first half and an initially ragged Stroud pulled itself together and although there was little calling for the ball, the passing became shorter, harder and more accurate. The Stroud goal came from some good play from Karen Whitehead & Sandra Glass, allowing Kathy Williams to score from the middle of the D.  Tati Howell made some acrobatic and vital saves in goal and all three backs were relentless in their determination to stop Bristol scoring once more.  The Bristol goal came in the second half and Stroud’s ‘on the whistle’ short corner was saved by the keeper and the rebound shot saved by the Bristol defender to prevent Stroud from scoring the equaliser in a well-matched game.  Player of the day, sweeper Letty Adams.

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Comfortable Start to the League Season

03 October 2011 at 09:50

Surprisingly, the score could have flattered Cheltenham.  Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, should have made double figures in their first League game of the season.  Given the incredible, unseasonal October weather, 3 substitutes proved the right choice and kept Stroud’s side as fresh as possible.  The match began evenly, Cheltenham looking organised and dangerous on the break.  Stroud settled within 10 minutes, however, Nick Hitchcroft and Steve Shipp taking control of the midfield.  Much better distribution this week, released Craig Wathen and Rohan Sopp on the right and left, respectively.  As the game progressed, Rob Gleed and Alan Edwards pushed forward to give greater support.  Returning Ben Orme struck first, his trademark tenacity evident throughout.  Rob Gleed then poached a goal with his reverse before the ever-active man-of-the-match Shipp put the visitors 3 up by half time.  Stroud still needed to keep their foot on the gas, though.  Cheltenham were tricky on the break and Dave Cruickshank was called upon to make several good saves.  In general, Stroud played a calculating passing game, holding up the ball and looking to move it on.  When they reverted to the dribbling game, it simply didn’t work.  Hard work up front meant Stroud always had an outlet.  Gleed found Tim Norman with a 60 metre pass and he dispatched his flick with ease.  Late to the party, Zac Lees then scored a quick and clinical hat trick as Norman struck the left post 3 times.  Stroud’s nice mix of youth and experience was evident once again, Shipp and Hitchcroft working well together at centre mid.  Derek Pittaway and Reg Gealer provided a steadying influence, while Jack Hamilton and Matt Watts had solid games.  On a constructive critical note, more short corners need to be won, instead of going for half chances.  Stroud will look to consolidate their fine but comfortable start when they play hosts to Leominster A at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

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Control is there but more Style to Come

26 September 2011 at 10:59

Stroud A 5  Gloucester B 2

Goalscorers:Tim Norman (2), Fin Dixon, Rich Cartmell, Zac Lees

A fine pre-autumnal afternoon provided the backdrop to Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud Men’s 2nd XI on Saturday.  Yet another new lineup greeted the visitors, but a determined Stroud were soon on the attack.  Steve Shipp ticked all the boxes in midfield, providing Stroud with a pivot to feed wide midfielders, Fin Dixon and Rohan Sopp.  Jack Hamilton played a steady hand at left back, with Dave Cruickshank showing some wonderful athleticism in goal.  A powerful move down the left led to a fine probing cross from Dixon at Tim Norman whose deflection put the home side in front.  Gloucester pulled a goal back and Stroud laboured to get their game together.  Rich Cartmell and Zac Lees tried to work the right flank, before Cartmell positioned himself perfectly to receive a pass from the back line and put Stroud ahead again.  The home side then looked to have extended their lead before the break, but after some deliberation, the goal was not given.

The second half still left room for improvement as Stroud tended to steer clear of the right side of the pitch.  Movement was good, however, and Rob Gleed did find space to play the ball down the right at times.  A wonderful move involving Shipp, Cartmell and Wathen led to fine finish by Dixon, putting a smile on Stroud’s supporting faces.  A lull in proceedings allowed Gloucester to pull another goal back and for a few moments, Stroud found themselves challenged at the back.  Mike Hallett and Hermes Carlyon were not flustered and Cruickshank’s efforts ensured the visitors did not spoil the party.  Norman made the game safe with a typical centre forward’s poach before Lees continued his scoring spree with Stroud’s 5th of the day.

Next week they face Cheltenham C in the season’s first League encounter and will look to improve further still.

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Ladies Firsts Win Friendly

20 September 2011 at 14:58

Stroud Ladies 1st XI   6    Wotton-under-Edge Ladies XI   1

The ladies 1st XI put on an impressive start to the year with a win against Wotton-under-Edge. The first of several friendly’s proved to be a good warm up game before League starts.

With goals coming from Julie Whiting, Fran Evans, Lucy Moule and Elaine Noone, all showing an array of skills. The defence also held strong with Aleasha Holder saving several good goals, and new addition Sarah Mace put on a great performance, fitting right in with the team. The midfield kept going even when the team looked like tiring, never giving up. The team is growing in strength and hope to continue throughout the season with good performances.

A great start for the Ladies 1st team.

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You've Been Nic'd!

19 September 2011 at 12:34

STROUD LADIES 2ND X1 – 7    THORNBURY LADIES – 1

Stroud’s forward Nic Kelly-Davies made an impressive start to this season with a double hat-trick, scoring 6 of Stroud’s goals against Thornbury.

Stroud was very slow to get started but finally the rigorous short corner practise at training allowed Hannah Scott to open the scoring for Stroud when she powered the ball into the left hand corner of the goal from a direct strike. At half time the score was 1-0.

During the second half, Stroud got into its stride and played some flawless, textbook, attacking hockey.  The squad’s practise over the past few weeks had allowed the team to become accustomed to the bounce and speed of the Leisure Centre’s recently laid Astroturf pitch.  The new players in the squad this season - Katherine Stevens, Victoria Sharp, Emma Tapley and Letty Adams all fitted into the ‘diamond’ system well under the experienced guidance of this season’s team captain Katy Stotesbury.  Regular members of the squad slotted into their new positions impressively with Lizzie Woods and Carrie Sanders expertly and swiftly supporting the attack on many occasions. 

A great start to the season and the team is looking forward to its first league game in a few weeks time.  Player of the match was Nic Kelly-Davies.

Posted in Match Reports | Ladies 2XI | No Comments

M1 Win and M2 Draw

19 September 2011 at 09:38

Stroud M1 Win Convincingly

Stroud Men’s 1st XI  5     Lansdown Men’s 1st XI  1

Goalscorers: Jamie Batten, Brad Mears, Rob Fynn, Dan Clifford, Alex Waring

Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud started the match playing the passing and possession hockey that the team has been working towards for the last couple of seasons.  Excellent work by midfielder Brad Mears and sweeper Rob Fynn maintained the shape and enabled the skills of Rich Fynn, Jamie Batten, and Matt Williams to create inroads into the opposition D.  The forward line of Dan Clifford, Calum Norman and Alex Waring looked ever-menacing.

Stroud’s first goal came from a 1-on-1 by Batten who ghosted round the keeper.  The second came from a short corner breakdown where Mears slammed the ball into the back boards.  Stroud continued their form and the passing and possession of Hines, Nick Batten and Andy Murray in the back line helped force another short corner which Rob Fynn dispatched inside the right post.

In the second half Stroud’s game plan fell apart slightly and Lansdown came back into the match.  Despite a number of fine saves by keeper Sam Cathie, Lansdown finally managed to scramble a goal. This prompted Stroud to step up their game again and two more goals ensued as Rich Fynn created a chance that Clifford dispatched from the far post and Jamie Batten rounded the defence from the right side to set up captain Waring for the fifth and final goal.

Stroud M2 in Entertaining Draw

Lansdown A 3  Stroud A 3

Goalscorers: Rob Gleed (2), Zac Lees

Ecotricity-sponsored Stroud produced some good hockey at times on Saturday, unfortunately interspersed with the occasional aberration.  They started the match on the offensive, Tom Sharpe and Fin Dixon looking strong in midfield.  They should have been the first to score, but Lansdown took the initiative.  Stroud bounced back with a fine passing move, Zac Lees having the easiest of finishes with another 3 Stroud players vying for the honours !  They relaxed so much that they went behind again within a minute of the restart.  Rob Gleed’s short corner strike made it all square but Lansdown again took the lead.  Stroud stretched the opposition defence and were rewarded with another short corner from which Gleed scored his second.  There were some good signs, particularly on the short corner routine front.

Anybody interested in playing Men’s hockey is encouraged to call Tim Norman on 07774 273044 or email him at tim@timnorman.plus.com. Alternatively, visit www.stroudhockeyclub.com for details of training and matches.

Remember:

Training has started.  Tuesday nights at Stratford Park LC -  Juniors 6pm to 7-15pm,  Ladies 7pm to 8-15pm and Men 7-30pm to 9pm, roughly !

Club e-mail address:
tim@stroudhockeyclub.co.uk

Club website address:
http://www.stroudhockeyclub.com/

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

M2 Open their Account in Style

07 September 2011 at 14:12

Stroud A 8 Cleevillians A 3

Goalscorers:Tim Norman (3), Rob Gleed (2), Craig Wathen, Liam Tunney, Zac Lees

A new pitch and a new season materialised on Saturday. Stroud Hockey Club, sponsored by Ecotricity for another year, were joined by Stroud District Council to celebrate Stratford Park Leisure Centre’s first matches on the new surface. To be fair, Stroud Men’s 1st XI, played the opening match but, in truth, it was the 2nd XI who set it alight ! The usual start of season availability issues aside, Stroud’s side looked sound on paper. With Derek Pittaway in the role of manager, Tim Norman led his side into the friendly late summer opener, looking to avoid injury and pass the ball around in style. The presence of Liam Tunney at centre mid was a real asset. His experience and vision soon began to show. Craig Wathen shared the centre with him, but was given a more attacking agenda, while a fit-looking Rob Dove and eager Rob Gleed provided good opportunities down the left and right flanks. Norman belied his age up front with Zac Lees, a player 30 years younger. Stroud passed the ball around well, looking confident and determined. A spread of ages from 19 to 48 produced flair and control. Wathen’s early flurries offered early signs of greatness to come. Reg Gealer looked measured at left back and Alan Edwards was like a dog on a leash at centre back, always looking to break out. Sam Cathie in goal made several important stops and Andy Hines was a welcome addition to the defence. It was Mr Gleed who opened Stroud’s account. The early pressure finally told as he cleaned up after a half-clearance. Shortly afterwards, Wathen worked his magic in the D before tucking the ball into the corner. Tunney’s fine work gave him a shot from top D. Bound for the keeper’s pads, it was deflected into the top corner by Norman. Probably the move of the game followed. Six passes out of defence, down the left to Dove, across and into the path of Tunney to finish off a wonderful move. Tunney then fired in a fine pass to Norman whose stop, turn and shot into the left corner was too quick for the keeper. Cleevillians struck back, 3 times to be precise. It could have worried Stroud, but they were unfazed. Pittaway came on for Hines at left back, testing his ankle for the first time since an operation, and he looked sound alongside Andy Murray in defence.

The second half saw further developments, Stroud seemingly making space all over the pitch. Plenty of movement gave Pittaway, Murray and Gealer many passing opportunities and Stroud were not afraid to retain possession. Gleed scored a second, a cracking finish from the right. Then it was Gealer who fired in the perfect ball to Norman to deflect high into the net. Lees got his just reward for all his hard work at last, finishing off another fine move.

It may have been the first friendly of the season and a month away from the League opener, but the signs were there for good things to come. With players returning from holiday, the presence of Tunney in midfield, Pittaway directing, youngsters to return and experience all round, Stroud should be looking to put out strong teams for 2nd XI and 3rd XI games this season. A fine start indeed, and a nice way to christen the new playing surface. Well done, guys !

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CANCELLED *** TRAINING TONIGHT 8 March 2011 *** CANCELLED

08 March 2011 at 00:00

Training is CANCELLED tonight (8 March 2011). The astroturf pitch is being hacked about to determine what needs doing prior to relaying it during the summer.

Posted in Training | Match Reports | Match Reports | No Comments

CANCELLED *** TRAINING TONIGHT 8 March 2011 *** CANCELLED

08 March 2011 at 00:00

Training is CANCELLED tonight (8 March 2011). The astroturf pitch is being hacked about to determine what needs doing prior to relaying it during the summer.

Posted in Training | Match Reports | Match Reports | No Comments

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