Alderley Edge Ladies 1s v Fylde Ladies 1s
It only takes 48 seconds to score a goal and Ladies 1s proved this in their match today against Fylde. The sun shone brightly from the moment the team arrived at the pitch and spirits were high. It was Molly Bridgewater's debut for the team. After a rousing team talk from Michelle Fletcher and an inspiring 'Warrior Mindset' video from the captain Sophie Hetherington, Alderley looked ready to go.
Alderley started off with a bang and kept this up for the whole of the first quarter. A record-breaking fast goal was scored by Sacha Hateley after an impressive 48 seconds! Alderley continued on with a spring in their step and energy levels looked high. They were consistently first to the ball and stepped in front of the opposition giving them little time on the ball.
Alderley continued to dominate throughout the second quarter and their hard work paid off with a second goal scored once again by Sacha Hateley who was on fire. Lottie Wright hit the ball like a bullet to the top of the D to Tilly Hinds who slapped it in and it was expertly deflected in by Sacha Hateley. The Alderley goalkeeper Grace Hardy made some phenomenal saves in the many defending short corners.
The 3rd quarter was a foil to the first and was abundant with green and yellow cards for both teams.
Alderley gave Fylde too much time on the ball and didn't appear to step in front giving Flyde had a near goal however it was skillfully watched out by Grace Hardy as it hit the post. This was followed by a successful goal from Fylde which added to the already tense atmosphere. During the quarter there were some flashes of brilliance especially from the Alderley team, Issy Reynolds-Duffy who made an amazing interception during a defensive short corner which was speedily passed it on to Honey Dickinson who proceeded to pass it up the line to Immy Walker we came immensely close to scoring but just missed out.
The final quarter and Alderley Ladies looked determined to not concede goal. They battled hard and the ball went from one end of the pitch to the other. The final whistle blew marking the end of our hard fought battle. 4 quarters, 5 PCDs, 3 cards, 1 PCA, 2 goals and 1 very happy team was the result . It was a fantastic win for the Ladies 1s and let's hope this is the start of a winning streak. Player of the match went to Issy Reynolds-Duffy for her relentless hard work up and down the line and for her speedy runs. She stepped in front of every ball and stuck to the opposition like glue.
Then on the sunny Sunday afternoon the men hosted Doncaster
Edge started the game the better of the two sides, moving the ball quickly despite the dry pitch, creating a few opportunities but unable to find the back of the net.
Doncaster started to build into the game, but a very good defensive press organized by Charlie Lowen and George Bradbury limited Doncaster's attacking threat. The deadlock was finally broken by Edge when Jack Smith was picked out on the baseline, where he beat his man with some lovely skill, sat the keep down and lifted the ball high into the net from a tight angle.
Edge continued to threaten the Doncaster backline, with debutant and joint Man of the Match Archie Offer working hard up front. Edge again creating chances but unable to score.
A lapse in concentration led to a long ball cutting through the centre of the press getting Doncaster into the 'D' to win a penalty corner, which was converted low to the goalkeepers left.
The first half ended 1-1 after Edge were unable to convert a penalty stroke after the goalkeeper brought down Ben Gregory to deny a clear goal scoring opportunity.
The second half continued much like the first, with Edge controlling the midfield through the other joint Man of the Match, Kieren Hall, and continuing to test the Doncaster backline but unable to find the net. Story of the match and season so far.
As Edge searched for the winning goal more space opened up behind which was exploited by Doncaster. They created a few chances and were awarded two penalty strokes, both for the ball hitting a foot on the line. The strokes were converted meaning a final score of 3-1 to Doncaster.
A frustrating afternoon for Alderley who felt, after a good performance and numerous chances created, that they deserved something from the game.
Next Saturday the mens and ladies host Wakefield Ladies at 2.00pm and the men at 4:30pm against a side who sit just 2 points ahead of Alderley. A must win game for both sides.
There was a lot of cup action on Sunday , the U16 girls travelling all the way to Brighton in the semi-final of the U16EH cup , despite a battling performance they went down 6-1 to a very strong Brighton side , but can very period of themselves in getting to the last 4 of the national cup competition, at the other end of the age spectrum the mens O50s travelled to play the City of York in the quarter-finals of the O50s EH cup , coming away with an impressive 4-1 win , the final goal will be longed talked about as Roberto Bagio Woods finished a flowing move with aplomb.
The Under 14 boys also playing in a England Hockey quarter final produced a fine performance at home to beat Harrogate 6-2 and progress to the semi-finals , the Under 16 Boys take on Leek in their quarter-final this Thursday.
Match report by Phil Benton.