Match Reports 10/03/18
Ladies 1st Team
5-3 Win against Trojans
Goal Scorers: Sadie Lapper (2), Mimi Newsome, Emily Dove, Natahsa Roberts
Following a number of cancelled games, due to frozen pitches and the Beast of the East, Banbury Ladies haven’t played a game in a month and training has been limited. The form from Banbury has been mixed so far this season but the last few games were mostly draws which is encouraging. Trojans also hadn’t played in a while so they too were in a similar position.
Trojans started well and put on some early pressure, but Banbury resisted well, with Sadie Lapper playing in more midfield position, giving the team some more height. This allowed Natasha Roberts who had a initial great run up the left, which unfortunately came to nothing, with Trojans coming back into the Banbury D, having a shot on goal where unfortunately Ali Sturla, a strong and highly reliable defender, took a hit to the hand and had to come off.
The team quickly readjusted their defence and Banbury managed to get the ball back into Trojans D where they won a short corner, unfortunately loosing the ball as a result of a Banbury foot.
The first half continued with some lovely passing from Banbury allowing them to grow in confidence. But unfortunately the first goal went to Trojans after a confident break. Sophie Hills and Emily Dove then had some very nice play getting the ball to the D to win a short corner which Banbury were unable to convert. This then allowed Trojans to score another break away goal. Banbury 2-0 down, heads beginning to drop. Trojans at this point were growing in confidence but Banbury didn’t give in, getting the ball back into the D, winning short corner, which Sadie Lapper converted into a goal with a strong strike.
The game continued with resolute defending from Banbury, and just before the half time whistle, with a confident run from Vicoria Commbes, Banbury got the ball into the D once again, with Mimi Newsome picking up a loose ball and finding a goal meaning Banbury could go into half time with growing confidence and belief. 2-2!
Allowing a team to come back from a 2-nil deficit just before halftime is never great for confidence, but Trojans hadn’t read this script and came out determined. Banbury were in confident form by now and were quickly pressing with a confident run by Roberts into the opposition D, which came to nothing.
Fortunately Becca Edwards (Captain) came in with some powerful tackles on a number of occasions saving Banbury from further pressure in their end. This gave good pressure onto the Trojan goal with Emily Dove scoring a well worked goal – 3-2 Banbury take the lead for the first time in the game. These Banbury ladies continued to press very hard and Trojans were beginning to get rattled, giving away a short corner but without success.
Trojans managed to get one back making it 3-3. The game was getting tight. However the strong tackling from Sadie Lapper, Alice Offord and Sophie Hills all making key interventions to save Banbury from further goals from Trojans and with some excellent mid field play from Vicky Warlow and Jenny Marsh allowing Natasha Roberts to score another making it 4-3. Trojans’ pressure continued but Emma Henriksen the Banbury goal keeper made an excellent save.
Back in the Trojan half after another lovely display of confident passing from the Banbury mid field gave Sadie Lapper an opportunity to score an excellent lofted aerial in the Trojan goal. 5-3.
The game finished with an opposition short corner saved and the final whistle blew.
An amazing display of hockey from Banbury easily their best performance this season, giving this young team considerably more confidence after some early season disappointing games that showed promise. This result has been on the cards for ages and it was so pleasing to see a team who can now get results from highly ranked teams. Not many games left this season but a greatly improved performance is exciting to watch.
Ladies 2nd Team
3-0 Win against South Berkshire
Ladies 3rd Team
2-0 Loss against Wycombe
Ladies 4th Team
2- Win against Henley
Ladies 5th Team
3-0 Loss against Wycombe
Men’s 1st Team
3-2 Loss Against Blackheath and Eltham
Goal Scorers: Kieran Symons (2)
At midday on Saturday Banbury were sitting pretty in the South Premier League 2 promotion race 6 points clear of third placed Guildford with 4 games to play and about to face opposition they had trounced 7 – 0 in the first half of the season, but it all looked very different by the middle of the afternoon.
Blackheath and Eltham made their long journey up from south London worthwhile going home with all 3 points after a closely fought game that ended 2 – 3.
Banbury had a good first half making use of a full playing squad of 16 for the first time this season but were never at their fluid best with over ambitious passes being intercepted to give the visitors breaks. But those breaks by the visitors never came to anything and it was George Brooker’s crashed pass into the D that found a foot to gain the penalty corner slotted home by Aussie Kieran Symons after 20 minutes and give the home side the lead. Ten minutes later found centre back Josh Nunneley charging into the Blackheath D only to be brought down with the award of another corner to give Symons his second and a two goal lead at the half time break.
Blackheath were a team transformed in the second half and completely disrupted the Banbury game with League top scorer Chris Harden netting a hat trick of open play goals in a disastrous 12 minute spell that the home side may come to rue at the end of the season.
With 10 minutes remaining Banbury replaced centre back Harry Camp with an extra forward and with the increased pressure the home side finally began to look more dangerous winning a series of short corners and it was only stunning saves from the Blackheath keeper that kept Symons at bay and preserved the visitors lead.
With minutes to go Banbury were awarded a penalty following a deliberate foul to thwart yet another attack but the normally reliable Nunneley fired wide and the chance passed to leave the home side as losers.
Manager Steve Brooker said “We are extremely disappointed at having squandered half of our hard earned 6 point cushion with Guildford winning and a visit to League leaders next week we have made our run toward promotion more difficult than it needs to be. We have put in a below par performance allowing Blackheath back into a game that we should have seen out from the half time lead. It is still in our own hands but we will have to do better if we are to deserve the promotion we have been fighting for”.
Men’s 2nd Team
5-0 Loss Against Marlow
A depleted Banbury team travelled away to Marlow. Knowing it would be a hard task against a youthful and well-drilled opposition Banbury went into halftime only one goal down, after a scrappy goal following an exceptional save from keeper Scott Reynolds. Unfortunately, for Banbury, they were unable to claw themselves back into the game with Marlow switching through the gears in the second half to walk off the pitch with a comfortable 5-0 victory. New weekend Banbury face a double header weekend against Reading and Witney who sit 1st and 2nd respectively in the table in what will prove to be a really tough challenge as Banbury look to secure the points they need to prevent relegation.
Men’s 3rd Team
3-1 Win against Slough
Goal Scorers: Ben Britto, Jamie Marsh, Harvey Sivell
One of this seasons youngest Piranhas sides travelled down to play a Slough side sitting third in the table. Slough started the stronger with their strong lively midfield making in roads and creating a few half chances in the Piranhas D. Good keeping by Henry and strong defence by Zach , Oscar, Finlay, Ethan and Felix kept the scores level to midway through the 1st half. After the Piranhas had weathered the storm and the strong Slough midfield started to blow themselves out, the Piranhas started moving the ball quickly round the pitch with pass and move hockey. The 1st goal for Banbury came quickly after, with a lovely move through Jamal & Harvey finding Ben Britto who cracked in a lovely shot from right D beating the Slough keeper.
Some great switches of attack from left to right created more chances and young Jamie Marsh bagged the second 10 mins before half time. Slough now at full strength did come back into the game with a string of penalty corners just before half time, but the Banbury defence held firm.
The Piranhas stepped up their defensive discipline and solid play in the middle of the pitch by Noel Britto and Matt Allman turned defence into attack with great support by midfield of Ed Lewis, Man of the match Harvey Sivell, Ben Britto , Jacob, and Ben Revill. The Piranhas almost should have gone three up after a sublime move finalised with Jamie Marsh completely skinning the Slough defender driving into right D and slipping to Jacob on left post who unluckily slapped wide. This was rectified a few mins later with Harvey beating the keeper at the left post. Slough got a consolation goal 5 mins from time, but the Piranhas shut up shop and closed out the game winning 3 -1.