Match Reports Weekend 7th December

Posted by Victoria Adams on 8 December 2019

Cannock M1s 7 - 4 Worcester

   After injuries, family days out and needing to put your Christmas tree up, Cannock travelled with the bare 11. Without the wonders of present wrapping tape holding Hodgetts hamstring together this may have even been 10! There was an emergency chairs at Xmas feel to the line up, with Skipper Fleet putting together an interesting formation using the 6 forwards and 4 defenders he had available.
   Worcester started the game on the front foot with Cannock, much like the drunk boss on the dance floor of your works Xmas do, struggled to find their rhythm. At 0-0, Chewy pulled off a cracker of a double save. 
   Cannock were restricted to counter attacks and found it difficult to turn any of these into goals for the first 15 minutes. However, after getting to know the Worcester defence on an emotional and physical level very well, Harris fired the opening goal into the back of the net. Cannock then played very well for 10 minutes. Especially Ed Martin, who was partnering Fleet in a Gustavo Poyet Dennis Wise inspired midfield. This combination linked well to release Lewis M down the right, who then thundered a reverse stick shot. This looped over the keeper and made it 2-0. Cannock then scored 3 more goals with Harris getting his second, Fleet scoring a baubling reverse, Dippa netting a compulsory tap in and the ever impressive Martin getting his first.   Worcester got 1 back in reply before half time. 
   Cannock were lifted at half time with the arrival of Tom Spencer to the arena. Hobbling around after a back injury, he came to allow the now broken forward line some rest... if only the skipper had put him on the team sheet. The less said about the second half the better. 
   Cannock scored 2 Worcester scored 3. Hamstrings were pulled. Strops were thrown. Shot were missed. Finished 7-4. Cannock top the league. Merry Christmas


Cannock M2s 4 - 2 Leek

   Cannock travelled to Leek for the last game before Christmas knowing that a win would put them in to second with the current 1st and 2nd place facing off elsewhere. Game day started early thanks to bacon sarnies and coffee courtesy of Bruce Alcock who took his good form on to the pitch bagging a goal early on along with Lewis Asling who was looking nimble after his yoga warm up. As the half went on Cannock continued to dominate and Paul Martin turned 2 in to 3 after a well worked move down the right.
   Half time came and Cannock were high in confidence and still loose thanks to downward facing dog and their confidence paid off early in to the second half when Martin bagged his second before defying logic and slapping a shot over the bar from 3 yards and dodging his hat-trick but earning himself DOTD.
   Then came the injuries- first Alcock who hadn’t been so convinced that lions pose would help and then Wheldon who had been carrying a shoulder niggle before the game. As the match went on Leek began to press and earned themselves a bundle of short corners that they converted in to 2 goals. This lead to a frantic last 10 mins that ultimately resulted in no more goals for either team but could have easily meant more for both teams.
   MOTM was a closely fought contest between to two centre mids Gary Jones and Lee Hames who dominated the middle of the pitch. Both deserving but this is a democracy so Boris gets it. Sorry, Gary. 

Final score 4-2 and Cannock go second...


Cannock M3s 6 - 4 Stafford

   Whoever scheduled the matches in the league couldnt possibly have devised a more exciting finish for the run up to Christmas, with Cannock playing the teams in 4th, 3rd and 1st in 8 days. Having won both games in last week's double header, Cannock, now in 2nd place, welcomed league leaders Stafford to EDA for a top of the table shootout, needing 3 points to leapfrog into first place.
   Stafford understandably brought a very strong side but only had a bare 11 against a full strength Cannock 16.  From the off, it was clear that this would be the most competitive game of the season so far and the home side started in an uncharacteristically nervous fashion, unaccustomed to being under such continual pressure. Despite creating a few chances of their own, Cannock were unlucky to concede the first short corner of the game when the keeper saved a shot, only to get the ball trapped in his equipment. A well worked routine saw the ball returned to the injector who found a gap to give Stafford the lead. The game continued to ebb and flow to the end of the half until Cannock were awarded a short corner of their own. The whistle went for half time and everyone moved up to keep the ball in play. A slick routine found Derek Pronce, who promptly equalised. 1-1  the score at half time. 
   Cannock resolved to stay calm and trust in their abilities, knowing that goals would surely come. It was less than a minute before that happened. Unfortunately it came from.another Stafford short corner when a shot was deflected in by a player right in front of the keeper. Cannock's response was to drive upfield, force a short corner of their own and equalise again through a second Derek Prince strike.
   Cannock started to exert their influence and finally took the lead for the first time through Chris Darnley. Even so, despite now being in the ascendancy, Cannock found themselves pegged back when a speculative long range Stafford shot was deflected off a defender's foot past the hapless keeper. Before long,  Stafford regained the lead when a Stafford player controlled a pass with both feet before finally remembering he could use his stick as well. Unfortunately neither umpire saw it, so the goal stood.
   4-3 down against the league leaders with 15 to go would have been too much for most teams. But Cannock definitely are not most teams. It took  a while, but Jack Rolfe finally got Cannock back in the game to make it 4-4. A second from Darnley put Cannock ahead at a crucial point and eventually an uncharacteristic delicate touch from Jonny Machin  gave a 2 goal cushion that killed off the tiring Stafford side. The rest of the game was by no means comfortable and Stafford were always a threat, but solid Cannock play ensured a scoreline of 6-4 at the final whistle, taking Cannock to the top of the table at the midseason break.

   It's a testament to the nature of the game that in a game where Cannock scored 6 goals, Man of the Match went to the ever-dependable Karl Owen, playing despite have attended his works Christmas event the previous evening and celebrated in his typically no-holds barred style.

   Cannock can look forward to an exciting second half of the season, knowing everyone will be gunning for them. Until then, a chance for the team to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they always do!


Cannock L1s 0 - 2 Timperley 

   Cannock ladies 1s hosted Timperley for their final game before Christmas. Cannock has the lions share of the opportunities but some great saves by the keeper meant Cannock failed to find the back of the net. Timperley converted two penalty corners in the opening half and that was enough to win them the game


Cannock L2s 1 - 1 Towcester 


Cannock L3s 1 - 0 Stafford L2s 

   Cannock did not have the best start with Stafford attacking hard. After some time Cannock started to regain the possession and attack Stafford. With some great teamwork and individual play cannock managed to keep composure and it eventually paid off with Lucy Black slotting the ball away. 
   After a few words at half time cannock knew they had to step up there game but so did Stafford. The game continued with both teams having chances, thankfully Cannock Goal keeper Penny making some great saves keeping Stafford at bay. This was pretty much how the game went. Not the best performance but with Cannock taking the 3 points they remain top of the table for Christmas!! Player of the match was awarded to Anya Rogers and Penny Rushton.


Cannock L4s 1 - 0 Tamworth L4s 

   Cannock Ladies 4s hosted Tamworth 4s at Aldersley Stadium for the last match of 2019. After a tough couple of games the home team were keen to end the year on a high note.
   Cannock started the game strongly, keeping the ball in the opposition half and winning a series of short corners. Strong work in midfield by Emma Thomas and Rachel Hughes prevented the visitors turning their 16s to advantage, and when Tamworth made a break for the Cannock D goalkeeper Amy Hale made a fantastic sliding save in what was otherwise a quiet game for her. Cannock continued to pile on the pressure, and a fantastic ball from Emma Thomas towards the opposition D resulted in some tight passing and Rachel Hughes scoring an emphatic goal. Shortly before half time Cannock sustained an injury and played the rest of the match with only ten players.
   The visitors started the second half purposefully but soon became frustrated as Cannock continued to close down their play. Cannock pushed for another goal, but efforts from Mia Wheeler, Tracey Carey, Abby Rhodes, Mandy McColl and Rachel Hughes all ended wide of the mark. Towards the end of the match Tamworth won a short corner against the run of play and the shot on goal was saved by Amy Hale: her only touch of the second half being an impressive header to deny the opposition an equaliser.

Opposition POM: Mia Wheeler

Team POM: Emma Thomas

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