Weekend Report No. 24

Posted by Nobody on 12 March 2017

As the season draws to a tense conclusion the 3rd and 5th Team tasted victory but the 2nd and 4th Team slipped up again after disappointing performances.

Cannock 1st Team vs Deeside Ramblers

Another important game for Cannock 1st team, away at Deeside. The warm up looked promising with everyone focused on taking away three points for the third week in a row. That focus and determination was taken into the first ten minutes, where Callum Swinnerton-Ions touched a ball past the keeper from close range. Deeside deflected a short corner past the Cannock defence minutes from half time to equalise. As the smoke rolled in over the pitch, Deeside bagged another two goals in quick succession. After multiple questionable decisions, Cannock were left 4-1 down and with Callum Stacey off for 10 minutes on a yellow card. During the ten minute period, Deeside struggled to get the ball past James Fair and into the Cannock net. Eventually after a relentless battering, Cannock conceded another. 5-1. Five minutes to go and Cannock decided to play with some fight, Nav Degun and Callum Mackenzie finding the corners with reverse stick shots, but the whistle came to early, denying Cannock of their potential great comeback.

Next weekend Cannock welcome Doncaster to Chase Park for a game under the floodlights at 6pm on Saturday ebening. A win for Cannock will confirm their safety and mean Leek and Oxton play out for a play-off place.

MOM - Duncan Gladwin

DOD - Callum Stacey

Cannock 2nd Team vs Olton & West Warwick 2s

Not the best of weekends ro Cannock 2nd Team especially after a successful trip Keswick last weekend. The Cannock boys took the lead with a goal from Lewsi Round but then lost shape and composure to concede three goals without reply. Cannock finally replied with a dominant 10 minutes before half time which saw the hosts camp out on the visitors 25 with no resolve to their defence. A moment of inspiration came when the keeper left his goal and Luke Davis was left with an open goal of which he missed. 3-1 at half time didn't help the young 2nd Team's spirits and the game became disjointed and lapses in defending led to an over all 7-3 loss despite further goals from Richard Parker and another Round strike. If Cannock wish to win their upcoming Plate Semi-Final they will need to show more fight and desire than showed this weekend.

MoM - Duncan Gladwin
DOD - Luke Davis

Cannock 3rd Team vs Beeston 3s

Cannock Men's 3rd Team travelled to rivals Beeston with the bare XI players to continue their mission for a 4th place finish. A tough task made even harder without any subs. Cannock drew first blood with Ed Martin just missing the post from a Callum Warren cross. The game began with Beeston dominating possession and playing the better hockey as their young team moved around the visitors press with ease, to add to Cannock's woes they had seemingly left their first touch back in Cannock. As a result keeper Ollie Balcombe had to be on hand on more than one occasion.

Despite their dominance Cannock remained extremely dangerous on the counter with Martin, Warren and George Collins all looking dangerous in the final third. Half way through the first half Collins was taken down aggressively by the Beeston keeper, a certain flick was awarded as a short corner which the switch to Martin missed. Man of the Match Tom Spencer lead his defence well as Cannock grew into the game. With ten minutes of the half left Danny Swinnerton fed Warren who ran into the D fired home his 10th goal of the season. Half Time 1-0 to Cannock.

This goal damaged the young home sides confidence and to game changed. Cannock defended more confidently and Beeston passes began to stray. The shirtless James Hudson proving a force at the back to be reckoned with. Early in the second half another short corner for Cannock saw midfielder Alex Hill find the corner with quite possibly the best drag flick seen at this level. The ball bounced five times before nestling into the bottom corner. 2-0 Cannock. With Beeston heads buzzing Cannock broke again, Hill fed Martin down the left who beat his man, found Swinnerton who again gave Warren the ball who in turn found the back board. 3-0 Cannock. Beeeton scored a late consolation but the game ended 3-1 to Cannock.

A great result and a good performance, Cannock will need maximum points from their remaining four games to stand a chance of taking 4th place but with lower league opponents they are hopefully they can complete an unlikely high finish after a tough start to the season.

MOM - Tom Spencer

DOD - James Hudson, arriving with the wrong coloured shirt

Cannock 3rd Team vs West Bridgford 3s (Sunday - Re-arranged League Game)

Cannock 3s welcomed West Bridgford to Chase Park for the first of two double header weekends in March as they aim for 4th place. After doing a lot of defending yesterday this afternoon Cannock were dominant throughout but the visitors proved stubborn opponents. Rory Woods opening the scoring with a quick fire brace and George Collins beat finish from a short corner meant Cannock lead 3-0 at half time. Second half Cannock wanted more goals and got their reward. Ed Martin scored a hatrick and Callum Warren scored a neat reverse stick strike to give Cannock a 7-1 win. Next week Cannock host Harborne then travel to Rugby as they close in on 4th place Beeston.

MOM - Ed Martin (Hat-rick hero)

DOD - Alex Hill (green card and missed open goal)

Cannock 4th Team vs Beeston 4s

Cannock 4th Team's fight for survival in the Midlands Central Premier League took a blow this saturday after they were well beaten by a strong Beeston team who are still fighting the league title. Cannock lost 6-0 despite a great performance from Tony Blower who is remarkaby still in his debut season with the club. With Lichfield and West Bridgford drawing, Cannock, who have earned more points this half of the season, are now four points from safety with games left to play. Next week a trip to already relegated Sutton Coldfield gives Cannock a great chance to take everything down to the final game when the Mighty Nockers welcome rivals Lichfield to Chase Park to end their very difficult season.

DOD - Nathan Lofthouse

MOM - Tony Blower, severak great saves despite the score line.

4th Team 2016-17

Cannock 5th Team vs Shrewsbury 4s

The #properhockeyplayers made the early morning trip to Shrewsbury with big plans for the day ahead, commencing with a carb loading session at the snack van near Telford where Gary and Luke Stacey were collected. However, there was the serious business of a hockey match to win and a minimalist team talk put everyone in the right frame of mind. Although several places below them in the league, Shrewsbury had a big and surprisingly talented squad compared the side beaten 7-3 in December.

5s warm up

Cannock found themselves on the back foot from the start, with repeated strong runs from a couple of particularly good players. Eventually, a Shrewsbury forward latched on to a hopeful through ball from 35 yards out with only the advancing keeper to beat. Before the inevitable collision at the edge of the D, he dinked the ball over The sliding keeper' s feet, placing it for a superbly taken goal. The quality of the goal was instantly voided by his ridiculously over the top goal celebration.

The home side continued to press, forcing a series of good saves from Captain Rufus Horn in the Cannock goal. Eventually, Horn launched an uncharacteristic rant against his players, which had the umpire laughing, until 20 seconds later, Jonny Machin fired home following a great team  move, to level the scores. Shrewsbury wanted to play the ball through the middle, so Cannock frustrated them by using the width of the pitch, a tactic which led to Paul Martin grabbing the lead from well hit shot on the reverse.

Cannock had to withstand an onslaught from the home team in the form of a series of penalty corners and a green card for Lee "Swampy" Marsh, for a push that was completely acceptable in the context of the game. The defence stood firm and it remained 2-1 at half time. The second half began at a tremendous pace and Shrewsbury again used their long ball tactic. Eventually, they found a loose forward who had until then spent the game attempting to act as a 3rd umpire and generally whinging all game. He found himself confronted by Horn near the top of the D who blocked his attempted push to the side, before putting him face first into the turf in a challenge that any keeper would have been proud of. However, he whinged about players having a "duty of care" and spectator told the umpire he should give a short and the umpire awarded one, despite protests. Inevitably, the short found it's way into the goal via the runner, keeper and postman, for an undeserved equaliser.

Cannock decided that enough was enough and despite an umpire who seemed able to point in only one direction, survived more shorts and regained control of the game. Amazingly, they were awarded a short corner - The only one they'd have in the game. Knowing they had to make it count, Robbo switched the ball to Jonny Machin who rifled it in  to give Cannock the lead again. Sensing the kill, Cannock pushed forward, forcing at times some spectacular defence, until Jonny Machin finished well for his hat trick.

Shrewsbury offered some token resistance but by this time, knew the game was over as a contest and were reduced to cheapshots and cynical fouls. Once of these took the form of a stick/shoulder/kick combo on Evan Alcock, that would have been more appropriate in a game of Mortal Combat. He was obviously unaware of Evan's reputation as Cannock's answer to Connor McGregor but soon realised when he saw the whites of Evan's eyes that he's made a gross error of judgement. When he was reluctantly given a green card, the reief in his face was plain for all to see.

Cannock closed out the game and it was a happy group of #properhockeyplayers who headed in to Shrewsbury to upset the locals and get Swampy the sack from Chiquito's. A superb team performance in which everyone stood up and was counted. A measure of this was that the two main contenders for Man of the Match where a defender, Cameron Horn and a forward, Jonny Machin. Jonny earned the accolade for his excellent hat trick performance. Swampy earned DoD for his green card, but it should really have had it for her inability to read the number on his shirt correctly.

MOM - Jonny Machin

DOD - Lee "Swampy" Marsh

Nockers 5s

Cannock 6th Team vs Tamworth Fathoms

Opponents couldn't raise a side - walkover to Cannock

Cannock Badgers vs Buxton Badgers

Cannock Badgers entertained Buxton Badgers this week in what could have been a grudge match, but following some splendid work between the two clubs prior to the match, became a fantastic advert for Badgers hockey both on and off the pitch. Cannock fielded a large squad and a decision was made at the start of the game to play quarters of 17.5 mins to facilitate the rotation of players and to increase the time for coaching feedback.

Both teams started positively playing good passing hockey and creating a number of opportunities. Following the early exchanges, Cannock started to press Buxton back into their half, forcing a number of short corners and some good saves from the Buxton keeper. The score at the end of the first quarter remained 0-0. The second quarter started following a short break with both teams still playing good passing and moving hockey. Buxton won a number of consecutive short corners and Cannock's failure to clear the ball resulted in the first goal of the game for Buxton. At half time Buxton were 1-0 to the good. Cannock improved their intensity at the start of the second half with the vast majority of the play in the Buxton half. An early short corner for Buxton at the start of the second half though saw Buxton increase their lead to 2-0.

This was almost their last attack on the Cannock goal with Cannock looking for a way back into the game. Cannock forced short corner after short corner and found the Buxton keeper in sublime form. At the end of the third quarter Buxton enjoyed a 2-0 lead. The fourth quarter was all Cannock, using the full width of the pitch and their full range of passing the Cannock youngsters looked for a way through the Buxton defence, but to no avail. Following a bombardment of 15 short corners throughout the match, about another 10 to 12 shots on goal and a few goal mouth clearances, Cannock finished the match without a goal and Buxton had won 2-0. However, this was still one of the best Cannock Badgers performances of the season.

Both sides can be proud of the way they played, with some extremely high quality of hockey, with the usual determination and commitment that you would expect from both sides. The hotdogs and doughnuts at the end of the match were well deserved.

Why Cannock Hockey Club

Why Cannock? We've a history of competing in and winning National competitions across all junior and senior hockey. We're also a great club with numerous sides playing every weekend for players of all ability and commitment! Why now? We are one of only a few clubs nationally who have both Men's and Ladies 1st Teams playing NATIONAL LEAGUE Hockey!

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