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Archive for the 'Mens 1XI' Category

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Fingers Crossed that Games are on Tomorrow

10 February 2012 at 11:11

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

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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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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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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 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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Alex Needs Mo' Money!

11 November 2011 at 18:35

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

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

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

I invite you to join me by registering to grow or by donating to my support of the Mo http://mobro.co/lexmo

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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Waring Scores 5 in Gloucester win

25 September 2011 at 22:41

Stroud Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, finished off their pre-season matches in style on Saturday defeating Gloucester City by 9 goals to 4.

In a dominant 1st half, Stroud played assured, at times scintillating, attacking hockey.  It took an early goal from Gloucester to spark Stroud's performance.  Stroud levelled through captain Alex Waring who received a Rich Fynn pass on the back post and had the simplest of jobs to score.  Waring soon gave Stroud the lead.  After a good breakdown of play from the midfield, Waring collected the ball on the top of the D, beat the advancing keeper only to be pushed wide but somehow squeeze a lunging reverse stick strike into the backboard. 2-1 Stroud.

Stroud continued to dominate the first half proceedings and Calum Norman added a 3rd before Waring collected his hat-trick with a well worked short corner routine. At 4-1 Stroud pushed on and once again Waring arrived at the back post to score his 4th of the game. 5-1 Stroud.

With Stroud dominant in possession, and keeper Cathie left as a bystander, Stroud kept an increasingly demoralised Gloucester under the pump.  The midfield trio of Brad Mears, Matt Williams and Fin Dixon worked hard to win the loose ball and consistently set pacy forward Clifford free down the flanks, whilst Rich Cartmell added to Gloucester's worries with his attacking forays from right back.

Stroud signed off the half with one more goal, Brad Mears collecting a loose ball on the top of the D and clinically drilling the ball into the goal.

The second half saw Gloucester regroup as Stroud tried to build on their impressive first half.  Gloucester strung together some better possession and played some more coherent hockey, resulting in some short corners.  They scored from 2 of these after keeper Cathie had made the first saves only to see the rebounds sent beyond him into the goal.  

Stroud continued to attack and create opportunities at the other end.  Rich Fynn rounded the keeper after a strong run and brother Rob Fynn went close with a couple of short corner strikes.  Brad Mears scored a carbon copy of his first goal with another great top of the D strike.  Skipper Waring wasn't finished either as he deftly deflected a Rich Fynn pass into the net for his fifth of the game. 9-4 Stroud.

Tom Sharpe and Rich Cartmell performed well out of position in defence and Fin Dixon impressed as the youngest player on the pitch.

Stroud will look to build on an impressive pre-season in their first league match next week against Bristol & West.

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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/

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Wotton Tournament for M1 this Sunday

13 September 2011 at 15:44

Stroud Men's 1st XI play in the Wotton-under-Edge hockey tournament at Clifton College this Sunday 18 September 2011.  Matches start at 9 a.m. with Stroud's first game at 10 a.m.  A healthy BBQ and a bar will be available all day.  The schedule follows ...

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

GROUP A

GROUP B

09.00 Firebrands v City of Bath

09.00 Wotton v Bristol

10.00 Lansdown v Cirencester

10.00 Chippenham v Stroud

11.30 City of Bath v Lansdown

11.30 Bristol v Stroud

12.30 Cirencester v Firebrands

12.30 Chippenham v Wotton

14.00 Firebrands v Lansdown

14.00 Wotton v Stroud

15.00 Cirencester v City of Bath

15.00 Bristol v Chippenham

 16.15 Final and 3rd/ 4th play off

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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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Mens 1st XI Promoted Again as they Edge Out Wotton

25 March 2009 at 00:00

North 2 League Winners 2008/09 - Stroud Mens 1XIStroud went away to Wotton knowing that a win would mean guaranteed promotion for Stroud but also relegation for their local rivals. The game started brightly with Stroud linking some nice passing moves and probing into Wotton's D. A breakaway from Wotton saw an overload at the back post and a goal was scored to put Wotton ahead.

Stroud responded quickly with a goal of their own from Jamie Batten. Another followed quickly when Batten made a superb break away and from the left side of the D scored an impossible reverse hit - goal of the season for the 18 year old forward.

Wotton came out for the second half with rejuvenated fight in them, and the derby feel of the game was in evidence as tempers were stretched. A well worked move from Batten and Dan Clifford was finished, with real determination, by Stroud forward Ben Orme, clattering the ball into the back board.

The defensive midfield work of Matt Waite to contain Wotton's main player earned him man of the match but even this work couldn't stop Wotton from scrambling the ball across the line at the left post. In the final 5 minutes Stroud were down to 10 men after a poor tackle from the right back led to a yellow card. This meant that the last few minutes were very tense, leading to a short corner being given to Wotton right on the final whistle. A fine save from keeper Cruickshank and a cool clearance by midfielder Brad Mears gave Stroud a thoroughly deserved victory. This is the Omega Group-sponsored firsts team's second promotion in as many seasons and sets a final game of the season with Devizes A where victory could mean a the league title if Old Bristolians slip up against Cheltenham side, Lansdown.

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Mens 1st 7th October

18 October 2007 at 00:00

Cheltenham B 0 Stroud Men's 1st 4



Stroud waited until the England rugby had finished to start their game. They came out fired up and put on a good performance of their own. The first goal came from Waring getting on the end of a hard ball into the D from Fynn and deflected it into the goal. The midfields passing continued to control the game for Stroud and brought another penalty corner. A reverse stick strike from Fynn put the ball in the back of the net to make it 0-2. Into the second half and the third goal came from a bit of magic from Waring who spun his defender then struck the ball deftly passed the planted keeper. With the game opening up fynn put a ball to Pearce playing on the right wing who sprinted all the way into the D with the ball and finished off his run with a diving shot to put the ball in the net. The defence of Pickard, Waite and Carlyon played fantastically in keeping some very skilled attackers at bay. Hermes Carlyon picked up man of the match for his superb efforts.



Cardiff Uni 0 Stroud Men's 1st 3



The second game of the weekend brought another good defensive performance from the Men's 1st. This time spearheaded by the forward lines retention of possession. The first half started nervously with a fit university side playing the ball nicely round the pitch. The deadlock was broken when a penalty corner was won and Mears scored from a straight strike at goal. Although Stroud continued to battle they couldn't get another goal before the break. After the break Stroud came out and played their best half of hockey this season. The lines of running and ball retention of Shipp, Batten, Clifford and Waring was superb and their constant pressure brought another short corner which Matt Waite drag flicked low though the keepers legs. The final goal of the game came from a series of eight short quick passes to work the ball into and around the right hand side of the D where Liam Tunney calmly put the ball passed the keeper, a fantastic team goal.

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29th Mens 1st report

02 October 2007 at 00:00

Stroud Men's 1st 4 Llanishen and Caerphilly 0

Stroud started their league season in impressive style. The forward line of Shipp, Batten, Waring and Clifford spearheaded the defensive performance which saw Stroud shut out the opposition. The organisation and work rate from the was a big leap from the disappointment of last season. The first half break through came from a short corner strike from Brad Mears. The second goal came 30 seconds before the break by Fynn off another short corner. After the half time break Stroud resumed there strong defensive play with Pickard and Carlyon. This set the grounding for Stroud's new South African Kyle Van Heerden to take the keeper on, the keeper made a save but turned round and put the ball in the back of the net. The final goal came at the end of a flowing passing move that saw Alex Waring's deflection shot pass the keeper in to the left hand corner of the gaol, the move was straight of the training ground. Next week see a double header, away on Saturday to Cheltenham and away again on Sunday to Cardiff Uni.

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Mens 1st match report 23rd September

26 September 2007 at 00:00

Winborne Wayfarers 3 Stroud 2



Stroud travelled to Dorset on Sunday, and unveiled their new playing kit sponsored by the Omega Group. They were playing the Wimborne Wayfarers in the first round of the Hockey Association knockout competition.



The game started with Wimborne having the upper hand. Stroud seemed to struggle to get the heads in gear after the long drive. The defensive team of Simon Pickard and Matthew Waite worked tirelessly to keep the Wimborne forward line at bay. However the forwards still managed to get some quality shots away in the direction of the goal. With the 1st team keeper Injured Sam Gilbert step in and showed why he was in the County set up at the U17 level. Sam looked cool and calm when making save after save to keep Stroud in the game.



Stroud welcomed back the newly wed Matthew Pearce to the side and with Liam Tunney and Brad Mears the midfield Trio has the legs to run any team of the park. The latter part of the first half saw Stroud beginning to keep hold of the ball and string some passes together. This pressure enabled Stroud to have a couple of forays into the Oppositions D. With 30 seconds to go before the half time hotter Wimborne broke down the right hand side and with some skill beat the defenders. The ball was put across the the left hand post where a quality finish to the left hand bottom corner beat the keeper.



Stroud came out to the second half with a greater confidence in their stride and the forward line of Waring, Shipp and Batten exploited the width of the pitch that had eluded the side in the first half. Some flowing passing moves saw shots from Waring and Batten being saved by the keeper. A shot corner was then awarded and Matthew Waite stepped up and slotted the ball in the bottom left hand corner with a perfectly executed drag flick. The belief was now in the Stroud side and with Hines rolling back the years and playing at right back the sides shape seemed to be working perfectly. Stroud were commanding the possession and creating chance after chance. The next short corner that was awarded was injected to the top of the D where Mears was waiting to stroke the ball passed the keeper, once again shaving the left hand post. Stroud where now up 2-1 with 5 minutes to go. The ball was unfortunately lost with 30 second to go and Wimborne earned a penalty corner. Their striker side stepped the on rushing Waite and slotted the ball into the goal. Extra time, Golden goal now loomed.



The extra time started and almost immediately a short corner was awarded against Stroud. In a Carbon copy of his last goal the Wimborne striker finished the game. This was an unfortunate end to what had been a good, competitive fixture between the two clubs. The umpires both deserve a mention for their efforts in making the tie an enjoyable occasion. Best of Luck to Wimborne in the next round.

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