Belper 4s vs Staveley 2s – April 2nd 2016

Holly and I arrive on time, as usual, with the rest of the team arriving in dribs and drabs at the delightful Belper Meadows hockey pitch, on a soggy spring morning. You’d think with Belper only having a team of 9 players, this would give us an advantage.

However, with at least half of the team sorely hungover from Scalder’s birthday bash the previous evening, we were certainly not the stronger team on the pitch, despite having a full team and a sub unable to play due to a bad hangover.

Play started with 2 women down, but cries from Jen could be heard so we knew she was on her way.

Surprisingly, we were awesome with good, strong passes around the pitch. With play taken from one end of the pitch to the attacking half, Rachel stormed up the pitch to score our first goal. With more great play and determination, we found ourselves with a few short corners, one with a successful pass to Jo at the top of the D, where she hit the ball so hard it nearly cracked. With a cracking goal came an air punch from Jo. BOOM 2-0. Half time was called.

Although they were 2-0 down, Belper came out with a positive attitude and a fighting spirit, which caught us on the hop a few times but our hero, Charlie Calderbank, made some fantastic saves. Unfortunately, this forced the defence to pull together, sometimes even tripping over one another and despite digging deep, Belper took advantage and slipped it into the back of the net.

Like the cavalry, Belper fought on. The goal must have provided them with some encouragement. The second half saw good play from both sides, Jo launched over poor Yso resulting in bruising all round.

The final whistle blew, 2-1 to Staveley. Had we have played the second half like the first half, the score would have very different.

The most important lesson learnt today was that the chips provided by Belper were by far the best ever and we thank you for that.

Please enjoy a lovely picture of me and Holly. (Jo)

Staveley 2s v Findern, 12 March 2016

With the sun on our backs and a spring in our step we stepped out to face Findern, formidably placed one spot above us in the League Table.

A positive start saw Staveley defending forcefully, pressing high but struggling to make the most of our extra woman on pitch. In fact, at times, it felt like that extra person was a curse with movement and passing looking a bit sluggish in the early stages.

It was a good, physical game with more than a few knocks and scrapes, with Gina getting a painful knock to her nose and an early ball to the foot saw poor Catherine limping off the pitch. Thankfully, we had subs and our fresh legs kept us on top, with Rachel finally converting with a fantastic flick into the Findern net. 1-0!!

Unfortunately we took our eye off the ball straight from the pushback with Findern running the ball down to our defensive ‘D’. With a nutmeg through Fran’s legs and a shot towards goal, poor Holly’s clearance went in the wrong direction and straight into the back of the Staveley net. 1-1!!

After a very long first half, we trudged off for our team talk. Recognising that whilst there were moments of real strength we just weren’t playing aggressively enough and needed to play our game, instead of Findern’s, we knew we had to step it up.

Fired up, we ran back on the pitch ready to score, win, run and all the other good stuff that happens in hockey matches. The difference told almost immediately with a great run down from our own half from Gina, who pulled it all the way round the back of their defence and hit the ball across the front of the goal for Sarah to smash home. 2-1.
Keeping the pressure on, Staveley pressed all the way inside Findern’s half, with some great runs from the back from Holly. On the occasions Findern broke through, Yso and Jo put in some great tackles with Hannah performing some fabulous saves when needed.

 

In no time, Rachel had secured her hat-trick with two more fantastic finishes and we had a win in our sights. Findern however weren’t giving up and popped in one more on the break.

But we were to see one more knock, with poor Nuala twisting her ankle quite badly: get better soon Nuala!!

Final score, 4-2 to Staveley, with a hat-trick from Rachel and a goal from Sarah C.

Special mention to Player of the Match, Annie, who put in a top-notch performance today, with great hassling, passing and movement on the right. Well done on 2nd spot in the table Staveley!!

Staveley 2nds vs Matlock 4ths – 15th November

After a wetter than wet match last Saturday, we were hopeful for a drier pushback this week; no chance.

After a sharp warm up and the usual banter, StavStaveley 2nds, 15th November 2014eley headed out for what was promising to be a tasty fixture against local rivals Matlock.

Staveley were on the offensive straight away, with some great moves and passing out on the wing, Jen and Catherine powered through the Matlock defense time and again. Some quick switching by Sam back over to the left meant there was no letup for Matlock’s back four. They were definitely shaken by the new look Staveley 2nd team.

Despite this, and against the run of play, Matlock broke through and somehow scored, leaving us all a bit baffled and pretty p155ed off!

No fear though, a fantastic cross from Catherine led to a volleyed wonder goal from Niamh. Cracking stick work and £5 in the back pocket for Ms. Hardwick.

1-1 less than 15 minutes in.

From that point on, it’s safe to say Staveley dominated the play, raining attack after attack down on Matlock. Despite the numerous short corners and quick strikes on goal, Staveley went off at half time, yet to take the lead.

After some great talk from Captain Kara and returnee Maggie, plus some jelly babies from Jo, Staveley got back onside knowing the game was theirs for the taking.

Staveley continued to dominate, giving very little away to a flustered Matlock, but just couldn’t convert in the D.

Among many chances. Fran missed a sitter and Kara had a great strike that slid just past the post whilst Matlock threw defenders into the circle to keep us from scoring.

After warnings from umpires, players falling on each other and an exhilarating and frustrating 70 minutes of hockey, we had to settle for a draw. But it was an all round fantastic performance for Staveley 2nds and a great sign of things to come. Well done everyone, we should all be really proud.

Special mention to our defenders who were pretty much impenetrable today and who led the charge on almost every attacking stint. Well done peeps.

1-1 the final score. This week’s Man of the Match; Sam Dean.

Staveley 2nds vs Amber Valley 2s

Our heroes got off to a sluggish start and a lack of  confidence that certainly showed; despite some great saves from goalkeeper extraordinaire, Hannah Matchett, AV were up by 3 pretty quick.

In what I can only describe as the longest 35 minutes of my life, Amber Valley capitalised on some confusing calls and put a few more goals away in quick succession. We grumbled and our heads dropped as we trooped off at half time. 6-0, I think.

After a positive team talk and some metaphorical slate wiping, Staveley came out roaring, only to concede again within 30 seconds. Cue more slate wiping and the real Staveley 2nds finally showed up. We started to stretch AV’s players out, with some full-on defending from Holly, Grace and Izzy and good passing and movement all the way up the pitch.

A spell of consecutive short corners followed and we were unlucky not to put any goals in the net. Caught on the break, AV scored again, but not before even more heroics from La Matchett.

Despite injuries for Sarah Calderbank, Catherine Hill and in the last seconds, Kelly Thring, Staveley troubled the Amber Valley girls in the second half and whilst the final scoreline of 10-0 suggests a thrashing, we battled hard.

Well done everyone, especially uber-keeper Hannah Matchett who scooped this week’s Man of the Match, voted for by the opposition no less. Thoroughly deserved.

Onwards and upwards people!!

New coach needed for next season!

Unfortunately, Fletch can’t return to coach us next season after all so we need a new coach, again!

We’re advertising online through Facebook and Twitter, but if you can help by spreading the word too, that would be great.

The position is paid; fee to be agreed depending on experience and any enquiries can go to StaveleyHockey@gmail.com.

Thanks everyone!