All the match reports and results from a big weekend at Stortford in the race for promotions.

Ladies 1 | Ladies 2 | Ladies 3 | Ladies Archdeaconesses | Ladies 5 | Ladies Acolytes | Ladies 7
Men’s 1 | Men’s 2 | Men’s 3 | Men’s 4 | Men’s 5 | Men’s 6 (POSTPONED)

Ladies 1’s v Harleston Magpies 2’s – East Premier League
1 – 3 Loss (Home)

Stortford Ladies slipped to a second successive defeat in the East Premier League, losing 3-1 to Harleston Magpies a result that has dented the title chasing chances.

The visitors got a dream start with a goal in the first minute as Stortford were sluggish from the outset. The visitors were playing with much greater confidence and increased their lead after ten minutes. Stortford rallied but it was 20 minutes on the clock before Stortford forced their first short corner, when a Lexi Guthrie shot flashed narrowly past the post. However as Stortford found their attacking flare Abbie Barrett pulled a goal back just before half time.

The first 15 minutes of the second-half was all Stortford and they enjoyed a great deal of territorial possession and with Sally Powell and Katie Richards influencing play an equaliser looked on the cards. Disappointingly two difficult chances went begging as a shot from Livvy Smerdon went past the near post and another Abbie Barrett effort screamed over the bar.

More short corners followed and chances were created in open play but the experienced Magpies side resorting to some dogged defence worked hard to maintain their narrow advantage. They always looked dangerous on the counter attack, putting the game to bed with a third goal with ten minutes remaining.

Ali Martyn in goal made a series of fine saves to prevent a wider margin of defeat as Magpies, lying third and now only two points behind Stortford,  finished much the stronger side.

Men’s 1s v Old Loughtonians – East Div 1 South
1 – 4 loss (Home)

League leaders Old Loughts came out strong and took an early lead through a great reverse stick shot.  2 more goals followed in the first half, making it 3-0 at half time, with Bishop’s Stortford struggling to make an impact on the game.  

After some wise half time words from the captain, Andy Round, Bishop’s Stortford were stronger in the 2nd half, winning a number of short corners, and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty stroke.  The pressure eventually showed, as Jack Wheaton netted a short corner to make it 3-1.  

Despite working hard to create a few more good opportunities, and despite some magical goalkeeping from Man of the Match, Ryan Cruwys, Old Loughts were able to net once more before the end to take all 3 points.

Ladies 2’s v Shefford and Sandy 1’s – East Division 2 South West
2 – 1 win (Away)

A goal in each half secured the three points for Stortford as they ground out a win in a scrappy game against a physical Shefford and Sandy side.

Enforced changes to the side meant a very different team travelled to Sandy, with several players making their debuts for the 2’s.  It was Stortford who took a first half lead, captain Emma Hynds hitting her short corner shot with such power that, despite a defender getting their stick to it, couldn’t keep it out.

Stortford doubled their advantage early in the second half when the keeper cleared a ball straight to the stick Suzanne ‘Chucks’ Holmes. Still with work to do, she evaded several desperate tackles before firing home in the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

The hosts seemed to rely on forcing fouls and playing for short corners. This tactic paid off, with a Shefford short corner somewhat harshly adjudged to have hit a defenders foot on the line, a penalty stroke awarded and converted to give them a glimmer of hope. The defence were kept busy, and did well to keep their cool in the face of growing annoyance from a Shefford and Sandy. Hynds, having scored one goal, skillfully saved one off the line, picking the ball out of the air from a lifted short corner. Shefford thought they’d equalised right on the final whistle, however the umpire saw that the ball had travelled over the baseline in the lead up, and the goal was disallowed.  The win leave Stortford tied for fourth place. Their next game is at home against basement side, Saffron Walden.

Player of the match Anna Syds

Men’s 2’s v Hertford 2’s – East Div 3SW
5 – 4 win (Home)

Stortford moved to the top of the table with a 5-4 win against local and promotion rivals Hertford on Saturday.  A first half hat trick from Mark Taylor saw the blues go into half time 3-0 up and looking on course for a comfortable win. But a shaky final 20 minutes saw Hertford stage a comeback, making for a tense final few minutes, but it was too little too late as Stortford held on for the win, taking all three points and pole position in the title race.

Ladies 3’s v Saffron Walden 2’s – East Div 3 South West
3-2 win (away)

A superb game for the ladies 3xi beating a strong Saffron Walden side 3-2. There was some beautiful passing which eventually paid off with player of the match Issy Hatfield putting a lovely through ball for Vicky Cox to slot home. The 2nd goal in the half came from another lovely through ball this time from Lydia Seleska for Jemma Pettit to take first time and hit home. The visitors came out strong in the 2nd half but Bishop’s Stortford struck home from an incredibly well worked short corner. Lizzie Motson pushed out to Katy Motson who drew the defender and then calmly slipped the ball right to Jemma Pettit who slipped it left to Charlotte Smith for the shot. Issy Hatfield got straight in on the right post and popped it home. In the dying minutes Saffron Walden managed to put away 2 short corners but the defence of Freya Sweeney, Thea Came, Issy Good and keeper Alex Back managed to clear it and in the dying seconds Bishop’s Stortford almost struck home again but it was not to be. An excellent 3 points in the bag.

Men’s 3’s v Cheshunt 1’s – East Div 3SW
3 – 4 Loss (away)

Stortford started strongly and dominated the opening passage of the game, with Cheshunt unable to get out of their own half. This led to a flurry of short corners; however, the closest Stortford came was from a drag flick from Nash which hit the post and then was cleared off the line. Stortford got the breakthrough 20 minutes into the first half with good skill from Tomlin down the right who got a shot away, and Jak Bareham pounced on the rebound and slotted it in the corner to make it 1-0. A rare counter attack from Cheshunt resulted in an equalising goal. Stortford continued with the pressure and Luke Farmer grabbed a goal to make it 2-1 before half time. 

The second half started very similar to the first, with Stortford winning numerous short corners however unable to convert these. Cheshunt started to apply their own pressure, winning a short corner which they converted to make 2-2. A break shortly after saw their forward brought down by Martyn, earning them a penalty stroke which made the score 3-2. A fourth followed shortly after. Stortford continued to apply the pressure, winning more short corners and finally made one count, with Pettitt finding Farmer at the back post for a deflection. Final score, 4-3 loss. 

Ladies Archdeaconesses (4’s) v Cheshunt 1’s – East Div 3SW
0 – 1 Loss (away)

With a much depleted team due to sickness and unavailability, Stortford put in a great match performance and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point as Cheshunt snatched the game late with a short corner.

Men’s 4’s v Hertford 3’s – East Div 4SW
0 – 2 Loss (Away)

As twightlight was beckoning, the mighty fours, albeit a make-shift version of fours, journeyed to awind swept Hertford for the graveyard slot. Our last clash with Hertford 3s resulted in defeat. We could not be slain by such heartless opposition again! We battled hard; fought with true courage! The true Blue way! They had us against the wall, we battled harder! When they out ran us, our sticks went in harder! But alas fate was not on our side and we left with a 2-0 defeat from a short corner flick and an unfortunate own goal. We deserved more! But this is sport. There are no favours. We battled like true warriors! A unit, a system, a band of brothers! Upon the final whistle, only one emotion serfaces: pride. 

Ladies 5’s v Bedford 6’s – East Division 5 South West
2 – 1 (win) Home

A very tough game for Stortford, leaving it late to snatch all 3 points with a winning goal from Zoë Bovaird in the final minutes, making the final score 2-1. Bedford took the early but a quick equaliser from Emma Cox brought the teams back level. Stortford’s midfield showing great speed and skill to keep the possession and dominate the second half with numerous chances to secure the game. Bedford soaked up a lot of pressure and looked like earning themselves a draw, but Stortfords desire to win, coupled with teamwork saw the late breakthrough.The win means the team are still undefeated in 2022.

Men’s 5’s v Southgate – East Division 6SW
1 – 2 loss (away)

The men’s 5s travelled away from home this week to face a resurgent Southgate side. Stortford were dominant from the start and with only a few minutes gone Nigel Taylor scored a cracking goal putting us 1-0 up. Despite lots of possession and circle penetrations Stortford just couldn’t get a second goal and the score was 1-0 at halftime. 

After the break Stortford continued to press and play attacking hockey however Southgate came out fighting looking what seemed a completely different team from the first half! They were relentless with their press and made the most of their few chances scoring 2 break away goals… the game finished 2-1 to Southgate. Certainly a game of missed opportunities and as the opposition said at full-time “you guys could of been 5-0 up at half-time!”. Special mention to Luke Beer who was awarded MoM in his first appearance for the men’s 5s! 

Acolytes (6’s) v Havering 4’s– East Div 6 South East
1-0 Win (away)

In what was one of the hardest matches that the Stortford have played so far this season, they were made to work hard for their narrow win, keeping them top of the table. Stortford enjoyed most if the possession in the first half, battling not only the Havering defence but also the strong winds .However despite all the possession and a succession of short corner, the Havering defence stayed strong, keeping the ball out. They were quick on the counter attack and had several breaks but neither team could capitalise and the teams went into half-time goalless

After half time Stortford went all out for the victory knowing that they had to  win the  game to keep their position on the table. Acolytes started hard from the whistle. After numerous whistle  blows and the game being stopped and started the game began to flow and Stortford got their chance of  getting the ball in the dee on numerous occasions  and  luck started to go their way.  A quick 16 yard hit out from Stortford defence saw them move the ball quickly down the pitch with a lovely passing move,  Mel Cassel Dummet finishing it off with a goal.  Stortford were forced to defend as Havering looked for the equaliser, seeing off a number of short corners and ending the game 1-0 winners

Goal scorer:-  Mel Cassel Dummet:-  1

Player of the match goes to Alana Baldwin for a fantastic defensive performance.

Ladies 7’s v Broxbourne 5’s – East Div 7 South West
3 – 2 Win (Home

An important top of the table clash for the Ladies 7s this week against Broxbourne Ladies 5s resulted in a 3-2 win for Stortford.  Broxbourne came out very strong in the 1st half and went into a 2 goal lead against a lack lustre Stortford side.  However, Stortford came back very strong in the second half with Caz Greenall scoring, a minute into the half.  Stortford were constantly attacking from this point on with Alison Chadwick getting the equaliser in the 55th minute and Caz Greenall scoring the winning goal 5 minutes before the end of the game.  

This was a closely fought game against our strongest opposition, with Stortford finishing as the dominant team and retaining their position at the top of the league, a great performance all round.  

There were equal votes for player of the match for Caz Greenall, Alison Chadwick for their fantastic attacking and Mary Sanders who did a great job in midfield.`

And finally…

A big thank you to all those who gave up their time to umpire games this weekend and support the club. None of these games are possible without them.

Categories: Club News