Match Reports 20/01/18
Ladies 1st Team
3-3 Draw against Woking
Goal Scorers: Charli Price and Natasha Roberts (2)
Banbury Ladies 1st XI ventured to Woking on a soggy Saturday to continue their improved match performance. Having attained a draw last week against Havant, they were out to prove they could play a solid game of hockey they knew they were capable of. Woking made their presence known from the start, but quickly slotting a goal past the Banbury defence, unfortunately off a foot, not making it a pretty goal, but gaining the lead nonetheless. Banbury quickly responded and with a quick ball down the right hand side, Mimi Newsome managed to get on the end of a pass and win a short corner. A powerful straight strike from Charli Price was lucky to slip through the legs of the Woking keeper. Banbury showed a more determined effort and continued to put Woking under pressure. Experienced players within the Banbury side were able to take the Woking defence by surprise, quickly taking a free hit outside the D and with some snappy passing between Ali Sturla and Natasha Roberts, enabled Roberts to slot the ball into the goal. Woking were frustrated by this and quickly sought an opportunity, responding with some fluid passing and making easy work into their D to bring it 2-2 before half time.
Woking had given Banbury something to think about over half time and they came out determined to rectify the situation. The second half was very much end to end, with opportunities had by both teams. Sophie Hills of Banbury continued to drive down the wings and force Woking to make decisions about their formation and how to prevent balls through their press. Natasha Roberts showed her determined nature once again, battling through multiple Woking defenders and their trailing sticks, enabling Banbury to take the lead. Despite the continued battle, unfortunately Woking once again broke the Banbury defence by finding a loose player in the D. The game took on a frantic nature for the remaining moments of the game, very much cat and mouse, with nail biting opportunities to the end. Banbury finished with a short corner and a decision which did not go in their favour. A super improved effort by all and although another draw, Banbury must take this as a positive for their double header next weekend.
Ladies 2nd Team
4-0 Loss against Henley
Ladies 3rd Team
3-2 loss against Amersham and Chalfont 3s
Goal Scorers: Alice Heathcote, Charlotte Micallef
Banbury were very slow to start this match and with Amersham coming out strong we soon found ourselves two goals down after 15 minutes. The score remained unchanged at half time with Amersham by far still deserving the lead. However after a positive team talk at half time Banbury found their shape and started to work for each other. Yasmin Revill passed a lovely ball to Alice Heathcote who found herself unmarked on the near post and slotted the ball round the keeper. Amersham unfortunately got one back but thanks to Charlotte Micallef great skills throughout the game she deservedly got the second goal and also player of the match. A much improved performance in the second half which Banbury will now need to carry into the forthcoming matches.
Ladies 4th Team
4-0 Loss against South Berkshire
Ladies 5th Team
0-0 Draw against South Bucks
The weather caused alot of excitement, having watched the Men’s 1’s finish on an ever whitening pitch and switching the match ball to orange due to the snow, it was a cold and chilly day to play a game that points were needed from.
South Bucks had gained points from alot of the high flying teams in the league and Banbury knew it was likely to go to the wire, and with some very strong physical players to contend with, it would be a test for the younger players (and newer older ones!)
It did indeed prove an end to end battle with Amanda Perkin, Sian Glaze and Frances Claydon called to make numerous important tackles, while Mandy Handforth had an excellent game in goal.Further up the pitch Milly Whitton , Natalie Kyte and and Kellie Bradfield used their speed and tenacity to cause the opposition major problems, the size difference giving the young Banbury players no cause for concern.
Holly Brummell in the centre was again excellent and intercepted the centre attacks, often being under pressure from 2 or 3 players at once, and she was able to come out on top and distribute the ball to the the rest of the team to continue their attacks.
Sophie Fickling was on fire, and ably assisted by Lauren Smith, Vicky Shackleton and Cally Burgess, the right side of the field was weaving their magic to open up opportunities and resulting short corners.
These were working much better this week and several were saved by the excellent gk and her defence, others missing by inches.
Half time saw the teams at deadlock, and stressing the need for continued work rate and marking, Banbury went back out to continue Harrying their tiring opposition.
We still had to dig deep and cover back as the big hitting S.Bucks players broke very fast, but with the experienced defenders holding their nerve and Megan Broome and Molly Clarke marking and dispossessing any attacker thinking they were easy prey, all attacks were thwarted.
Banbury had several penetrating attacks getting into the D and came close in the second half on numerous occasions, the best being an attack which Lauren Smith put into the bottom corner of the goal and Banbury were jubilant, but on review, the umpires agreed it had come off a Banbury leg prior to the shot (quite right, came off Captain Carol, sorry girls).
We never gave up and probably deserved to win, so a bit more attacking practice and the points will be ours, however just a draw this week, and M-O-M goes to Molly Clarke, outstanding again, (and out sized by about 3 fold by her attackers!)
Men’s 1st Team
4-1 Win against London Academicals
Goal Scorers: Joe Allen, Richard Foreman, Josh Nunneley, Kieran Symons
The winning run continued for Banbury with their sixth win in succession and a 4 – 1 victory over close League rivals London Academicals to secure second position and open up a gap between them and the chasing pack of teams.
Banbury got off to a strong start putting together promising attacks and looking solid in defence until mid-fielder Steve O’Connor sustained a sharp blow to the hand which put him out of action for the remainder of the first half. But Banbury were able to fill the gap with Matt Bull moving up from Defence and Josh Nunneley making a welcome return, indeed it was Nunneley who scored the opener after 20 minutes slamming home his parried penalty corner drag flick with a reverse stick shot.
With their formation disrupted, the home side lost some of their rhythm and the visitors levelled with Dave Kockerling finishing a penalty corner to level the scores at the break and only a series of saves from home keeper Fergus Dunleavy keeping them in the game.
With O’Connor bandaged up, his return to centre half settled the side to win a penalty corner duly put away by Aussie Kieran Symons to restore the home lead only 2 minutes after the restart. With confidence restored Banbury rediscovered their attacking style when a scything move down the right found George Brooker whose pass into the D allowed Joe Allan to double the lead.
The Banbury defence was rocked by Academicals as they poured forward and it was only outstanding performances from defenders Nunneley, Harry Camp and Louis Harris that kept the lead. With the game coming to a close in a surprise snow storm veteran Richard Foreman’s hard work on the left was rewarded as he rounded off the 3 goal lead.
Manager Steve Brooker could barely conceal his delight “We have come through a very tough test against determined opposition today to consolidate our improving position with trips to close rivals over the next 3 weeks which may well determine our future in the League.”
Men’s 2nd Team
2-0 Loss against Newbury and Thatcham
Banbury 2’s travelled away to Newbury on Saturday to play against the only team to beat them in the season so far.
A goal either side of half time secured the second loss of the season, one a neat finish after a significant level of pressure and the second after a spectacular double save from Scott Reynolds. Next week they are at home, hoping to get back into winning ways.
Men’s 3rd Team
5-3 Win against Henley
Goal Scorers: Dave Clarke (3), Phil Beesley, John Townsend
4-0 Loss Against Marlow