Match Reports Saturday 13th January 2018. Report No.15

Posted by Victoria Adams on 15 January 2018

Cannock L3s 3 – 1 Uttoxeter

   Cannock Ladies 3rd team travelled away to Uttoxeter Ladies 1st team with a team of 11. The match started out showing that Uttoxeter were strong down the middle of the pitch and had some quick players who were challenging the Cannock defence. This was proven when Cannock went 1-0 down with some poor defensive decisions leading to a dribble of a goal.
   However our attacking spirit was not dampened and determined not to lose we were able to convert two of our own goals before half time(Vicky Wilkes & Bev).
   After half time we reorganized ourselves in defence which helped maintain the lead and had several great chances on goal. Uttoxeter battled back and the Cannock keeper Tiegan Cooke made several good saves to keep Cannock in the game. Finally an excellent strike from Jude Hutchins on a short corner (saved on the line by a Uttoxeter defender) was slotted into the back of the net by Victoria Dennison. Overall a hard fought three points away on a cold day. POM - Tiegan


Cannock L4s 8 – 1 Uttoxeter

   After a run of bad results Cannock 4s knew they had to get a result today against bottom of the league Uttoxeter. Cannock started quickly and their first goal came from a superb cross by Man of the Match Hannah Inglis to Jemma Bowen who flicked the ball past the keeper. Cannock continued to press and capitalise on their great start with a further 3 goals coming in the first half, top D strike from Natalie Garfield, a rebound shot from Hannah Inglis and a goal line scuffle by Jemma Bowen.
   Half time team talk consisted of keeping concentration and score more goals. Cannock started the 2nd half as they finished the first with another Top D strike by Natalie Garfield that Hannah Inglis tapped in on the goal line to ensure the goal. Next goal came from Jemma Bowen capitalising on a goal keeping error.
   Unfortunately, Cannock started to lose concentration which saw Uttoxeter against the run of play score a consolation goal. After a few stern words from the Captain Cannock went on to score their final two goals through Amelia James and Jemma Bowen leaving the final score line 8-1.
   Whilst conceding a goal was disappointing this give Cannock 4s a great platform to progress from for the rest of the season. MoM Hannah Inglis DoD Hannah Inglis.


Cannock L5s – 0 – 2 Abbotsholme

Cannock Ladies 5’s played against Abbotsholme, the team at the top of their league today and had a loss of 2-0 but was a considerable improvement from the last game against Abbotsholme. As a team they fought extremely hard and worked so well together, the dynamics of the teams play was smooth and flowed, ensuring we were all playing a part in the game to the best of our ability. Cannock’s player of the match went to Alison Dowding and the teams player went to Dora Adams. A well deserved game for the everyone who played, despite the score it was a great game!


Cannock M4s 0 – 5 Olton

   Cannock 4ths travelled to Olton in Solihull to play the league leaders. Several Sat Navs confused the younger drivers and Raff led out a bare eleven, not that used to playing together as a team, in fresh but still winter conditions.
   Early tenacity from Bruce Alcock upfront and Phil Hubert in defence set the tone for an end to end first half, with a deft one-two from Karl and Evan’s air-dribble perhaps the highlights. Cotters and Jack battled in midfield to create breaks for Raff and Jack himself with two short-corner opportunities. Olton had shots saved and go wide, panicked when 6-3 up in our D, but a period of late sustained pressure saw them pinch the lead just before the whistle. Cannock left the field slightly dejected, but Olton’s Captain was overheard exclaiming “these guys are good”.
   Having no subs (compared to Olton’s 5) resulted in a tired resumption from Cannock and a sloppy goal. Matt and Joe steadied the ship for a while with clearances and a solid save, but the pressure soon saw the home side reach 3-0, before a short-corner conversion to secure their fourth.
   Cannock regrouped to revert to the end to end game that was so thrilling to watch in the first half, with a superb shot from Paul bringing the first of many second-half short-corners. A boost of speed and skill from Evan brought another short, but Cannock’s confidence of scoring was dwindling. Exertions then perhaps led to 2v2 at the back and Olton snatched a fifth with ease.
   A move that began with a defensive steal from Phil led to Liam and Bruce creating an opportunity ahead of more dribbling from the Captain – Cotters having to defend the Olton doubters – “he’s being doing that for 30 years!” Cotters took this fire into a series of shorts himself, but still no conversions. This pressure continued, with several chances for Cannock and many more shorts.
   Olton’s squad size was evident in the final five minutes, but Cannock still fought end to end – the whistle blowing with Bruce in possession IN THE D. Perhaps that sums up the game, given the (8?) short corners we had. A result on paper that belies an even game.


Cannock M5s 2 – 5 Bridgnorth 4s

   Cannock Men's 5th team travelled to top of the table Bridgnorth 4ths, who were defending their 100% record and their average of over 6 goals a game. With a late pushback of 4.30, making it feel like starting a night shift, Cannock's scratch side knew they'd be up against it.
   However, the visitors started well and after ten minutes forced a series of short corners, one of which was converted by Lee "Swampy" Marsh at the far post for the lead.
   Almost immediately, Bridgnorth struck back when a wide ball was controlled by a Bridgnorth player's feet, who continued his run and crossed to a lone attacker at the top of the D, given space after everyone else expected the free hit to be awarded. The advancing Cannock keeper was unable to prevent a good finish under his body.
   A few minutes on, Bridgnorth worked the ball down the right again and quickly switched the ball to the other side of the D to an unmarked player who took advantage with a neat finish.
   Cannock got back into the game, creating more goalscoring opportunities of their own.  A well worked penalty corner was worked back to the injector Harry Michael, who forced the ball in to restore parity.
   The game ebbed and flowed woth both sides playing fast attacking hockey. A Bridgnorth shot was blocked by Cannock's keeper but flew into the air and was brilliantly controlled and put away by the striker, without even hitting the ground.
   With the half time score at 3-2, both sides knew a potential upset was in store. Cannock resolved to keep play the same hockey to try and take the points.
   The second half was played at the same pace and intensity as the first, with numerous opportunities at both ends being snuffed out by the respective keepers. Despite engineering numerous penalty corners, Cannock were unable to find the net.
   With 5 minutes to go, Cannock decided to go for broke, pushing defenders up in an attempt to get something from the game. Inevitably, this left the visitors stretched at the back. On one Bridgnorth attack, Scott Olsson made an absolutely brilliant tackle, but was adjudged not to have played the ball, so a penalty corner was awarded. The shot was kept out by the postman's foot and unfortunately the resultant penalty stroke was converted. Still not giving up hope, Cannock pushed men forward, but a Bridgnorth breakout left the keeper exposed and the home side scored again with seconds to go.
   A frustrating game in which Cannock were equal to their opponents but came away with nothing. However, some comfort can be gained from knowing they were beaten by a team who played hockey of the highest quality and will undoubtedly seal promotion at the end of the season. Cannock can also be cheered, knowing that when they have a full strength side, playing hockey like this should bring good results their way.

Man of the Match: Scott Olsson for his industrious work rate and skill in both attack and defence.

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