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Archive for the 'Mens 2XI' Category

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Hockey Day 2011 16 April

07 April 2011 at 00:00

Stroud Hockey Club HOCKEY DAY 16 April 2011 will take place between 11am and 3pm at Stratford Park LC astroturf. Format ...
11:00-12 noon JUNIORS with awards at 11:50 - 12 noon-13:00 MEN - 13:00-14:00 LADIES - 14:00-15:00 MIXED. This is the same day as the Dinner and Dance. Do the special dance in advance to guarantee SUN and WARMTH ! Help is encouraged so please offer if you can.

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*** Dinner Dance DETAILS for THIS SATURDAY ***

15 April 2010 at 00:00

Please arrive at Forest Green Rovers FC from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ready to eat at 7:45 p.m. prompt
-----------------------------------------
Starters
French Onion Soup or Caesar Salad
-----------------------------------------Mains
Traditional Gloucestershire Sausage with Butter Mash & Onion Gravy or Citrus Chicken with its own Sauce
-----------------------------------------
Vegetarian
Goats Cheese & Wild Mushroom Pancakes
-----------------------------------------Desserts
Chocolate Steamed Pudding or Forest Fruit Pavlova

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M2 Team for 6 March 2010

05 March 2010 at 00:00

Confirmed team for tomorrow (6 Mar 2010) is Kev Sinden, Andy Murray, Matt Watts, Rob Gleed, Paul Ratcliffe, Scott Patient, Calum Norman, Andy Hines, Alan Edwards, Ben Orme and Tim Norman
Meet 1:30 p.m. at LC pitch in RED - 2 p.m. start

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Quiz Night Success

02 March 2010 at 00:00

The club-family-and-friends Quiz Night held last saturday at the Halfway House was a great success, raising ?142-10 for the club and providing quality entertainment for all attendees. Many thanks to Rob Waite and Ben Orme.

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New Year Hockey Fun 2nd January

31 December 2009 at 00:00

January 2nd 2010 - Stratford Park LC - welcome in the New Year with a bit of fun hockey for everyone. Just roll up along from 12 noon and play a bit until 2pm ... but WRAP UP WARM as it may be only just above freezing.

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Pre-Christmas Social Friday 18 December

13 December 2009 at 00:00

We have organised a social evening next Friday 18 December 2009 as there is no 1st XI or 2nd XI game on Saturday. Start is 7.30pm ; venue is The Crown and Sceptre pub on Horns Road ; fancy dress theme is Christmas Jumpers and Cords !!!

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Summer Hockey

13 September 2009 at 00:00

Summer Hockey is in full swing, contact Rob Fynn if you want to get involved with the men's teams. email rob(dot)fynn(at)renishaw(dot)com
put dots and @ symbol in.

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SATURDAY *** Quiz Night at The British Oak 4 April *** SATURDAY

04 June 2009 at 00:00

Saturday Night is Quiz Night from 7pm at The British Oak ... 4 April 2009 - please let Ben Orme know rough numbers of people.

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Dinner Dance Menu and Cost

05 March 2009 at 00:00

Dinner Dance 18 April Menu at ?23-00 per head is ...
Starters - French Onion Soup / Chef's Pate of the Day with Melba Toast
Mains - Baked Cod with a Tomato & Mustard Sauce / Citrus Chicken with its own Sauce / Goat's Cheese & Wild Mushroom Pancakes
Desserts - Lemon Cheesecake / Forest Fruits Pavlova
Please see your captain or Tim Norman (treasurer) ASAP to book your place(s). Payment must be in advance, preferably at the time of booking and making your food selections.
Those wishing to come along for the Disco but do not want to eat, please use the "Honesty Box" on the night to make a contribution towards the musical entertainment.

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Christmas ten-pin bowling

22 December 2008 at 00:00

As a final get together before Christmas, Stroud Hockey Club are going ten-pin bowling at Stroud Bowl above the cinema on Christmas Eve-Eve - Tuesday 23rd December 2008.

It's all fairly informal - just turn up if you feel like joining in.

Bowling starts at 5:30pm (in order to take advantage of the cheap bowling prices) followed by futher drinks in Stroud's various drinking establishments and almost certainly topped off with a visit to Stroud's finest - the Rajdout - for those feeling a bit peckish at the end of the evening.

Hope to see you there. If not, Merry Christmas...

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Christmas PUB CRAWL THIS SATURDAY 7-30pm

08 December 2008 at 00:00

Pub Crawl starting at the British Oak

Saturday 6 December from 7-30 p.m. - please encourage your team members, at least those OLD enough, to join in the fun ! Theme is anything Christmas-related !! Presumably that includes Christmas Pudding bodysuits - perhaps the keepers have special kit like that for December matches ?!?!

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Hockey Horror Show Charity Match

08 September 2008 at 00:00

Stroud Hockey Club changed shape for a Sunday lunchtime Charity Match in aid of the Cotswold Care Hospice. Opting to dress up in Rocky Horror Show garb, they donated over ?100 to the local charity, scaring the local squirrels at Stratford Park in the process. It was not all blood and gore, however, with costumes including daring basques, capes and leopard-print one-pieces ! The costumes did not appear to reduce the skill level, and Stroud Hockey Club are seriously considering a change of strip for the League season, particularly given the shock effect such attire would provide. Not only did the participants provide good entertainment, the weather held out, too. With Stratford Park providing the pitch for free and the British Oak feeding the weary players afterwards, a thoroughly enjoyable lunchtime was had by all.

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D & D 2008 - Please Pay Tim

15 April 2008 at 00:00

A great time was had by one and all ! Those of you who have not yet paid for your Dinner and Dance tickets, however, please send a cheque payable to Stroud Hockey Club to Tim Norman, Gin House, Bisley Road, Stroud, Glos. GL5 1HS.

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80th Anniversary Hockey Day

13 March 2008 at 00:00

As you will have seen, 12 April is the day of the 80th Dinner and Dance but, not only that, it is when our Annual Hockey Day is being held at Stratford Park Leisure Centre between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The match format is ...
11 a.m. Badgers v Vixens
12 p.m. Men v Invitational XI
1 p.m. Ladies v Invitational XI
2 p.m. Club Mixed game

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Stuttering Start for M2

01 October 2007 at 00:00

Leominster Men?s 2nd XI 2 Stroud 2nd XI 1

Goalscorer: Ben Orme

Omega-sponsored Stroud suffered a second consecutive League defeat, despite an improved performance away to Leominster. Another slow start saw their opponents take a 5th minute lead which immediately put Stroud firmly on the back foot. Tim Norman and Ben Orme, however, spearheaded Stroud?s recovery and the high work-rate of the entire team saw them take control of the match. Inexplicably, Stroud failed to score more than a solitary goal, this coming from man-of-the-match Orme who pounced on a short corner save to convert with a reverse-stick strike. Stroud continued to apply pressure but Leominster scored another against the run of play. A dozen short corners must have been earned but Stroud failed to score from them. Mike Hallett did a good job in defence and there were some sparks of inspiration, Rich Cartmell and Paul Ratcliffe producing some nice interplay down the left. Ultimately, a lack of cohesion between the different parts of the team left Stroud the also-rans but there are signs that the tide will turn. It is still early days but winning ways must start soon.

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Super Start from the 2nd XI

17 September 2007 at 00:00

Stroud Men?s 2nd XI 2 Witney 2nd XI 1
Goalscorer: Dan Clifford (2)

On a blistering hot day, Stroud Men?s 2nd XI looked up against it with only 10 men to face a strong Witney side. Leaving a lone striker, the rest of the side took a few minutes to get themselves organised in the first game of the season. This momentary lapse was all it took for Witney to open the scoring but Stroud are built of sterner stuff and soon showed the visitors they were not going to have a walk in the park. Rich McColl?s strong presence at the back helped by Graham Morris and Mike Hallett soon built a near impregnable fortress. With Dan Clifford?s zip in midfield and youth in the form of Rich Cartmell, Stroud soon produced several attacks. Barney Franklin?s solid midfield performance was supported well by Tom Brooks and Rob Goad.
A Stroud clearance was nicely controlled by Tim Norman. Having got the call, he despatched the ball into the path of Clifford who proceeded to beat the keeper superbly before running the ball home for the equaliser. All square at half time but Stroud were in the ascendance and this continued throughout the second half. Norman?s runs kept Witney on their toes and they were unable to commit too many players forward. Stroud used the width to great effect and the determination of Cartmell, Clifford, Brooks and Goad stopped Witney from taking control. Kev Sinden was relatively untroubled in goal, particularly as his defence worked so hard. Another Clifford run saw him fouled and the resultant short corner was the last action of the game. McColl?s strike was well saved but the ball came out to Clifford on the left and he pushed the ball home for a deserved victory.

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Superheroes Hockey in Aid of The Meningitis Trust - 1st September

16 August 2007 at 00:00

1 September 2007 sees Stroud Hockey Club in fund-raising mode once more. This time we are collecting for The Meningitis Trust, the Stroud-based charity fighting the sometimes fatal brain disease.

Please come along between 12-30 and 3 p.m., preferably dressed as some sort of Superhero, and take part in some fun hockey at Stratford Park Leisure Centre whose managers have kindly provided the pitch for FREE. There will be food and drink available.

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Calling all Facebookers!

27 June 2007 at 00:00

For those of you who are into a bit of online social networking and have a Facebook account I have created a new Stroud Hockey Club group called 'The Mighty Stroud HC' within Facebook.com so go check it out. (This is a totally unofficial group and serves no purpose other than as a bit of fun. Nothing that is said or written on the site is in anyway representative of the official views of Stroud Hockey Club or it's members!) That said, get on there and have a rant!

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