Newark ladies 1s v Derby Ladies 1s
Ladies 1s travelled to Derby for the first league game of the season. Changes in personnel and injuries over the summer meant that the team had a completely new look, with only 5 of last season’s 1st team in the squad and several players stepping up. It had been a difficult week for availability so Newark travelled with a bare 11, however spirits were high and they were determined to go out and work on the skills from training and develop as a team.
The game started at a fast pace, with some strong attacking play from Derby requiring skilful defending from Megan Cocker and Anna Hall to keep them out. Derby won a number of penalty corners however, they were unable to convert following strong defence from Cocker and Rachael Vickers and good saves from Georgina Barratt in goal.
Newark settled into the game and put together some excellent passing hockey, moving the ball swiftly down the pitch and having a number of attacking opportunities. Battling play from Susan Tate, Katherine Hawkins and Trisha Trafford in midfield saw the 50/50 balls go in Newark’s favour and some excellent ball distribution from Hayley Chappell saw the play spread and Derby struggling to match the pace and skill of the Newark wingers.
Derby could not cope with Rosie Staniforth on the right wing as time and time again she skipped past several players to take the ball into Derby’s danger zone. Battling play in the D by Shanade Bradley and Sophie Chambers saw Newark put on the pressure and a shot from Rosie was converted by Trisha Trafford to see Newark take the lead and enter half time 1-0 up.
Derby came out hard in the second half but Newark defended with all that they had. Newark soaked up a lot of pressure but found it difficult to break up the pitch with Derby playing high and cutting out the ball whenever Newark tried to break. Continued pressure from Derby saw them win a string of short corners, but again they were unable to convert.
Newark continued to battle hard but a cross into the D from Derby took a deflection and spun off Georgina Barratt’s pads to see Derby level the game. Derby went for the jugular with only minutes left of the game but there was no way through the solid Newark defence, and a break by Shanade Bradley with a great ball through to Sophie Chambers saw Chambers win a short corner with 2 minutes left on the clock.
Newark were well disciplined in their approach, with the ball slipped left to Bradley who attacked with a reverse stick strike on goal. Bradley’s strike was saved but only as far as Chambers who was waiting to put the ball home.
Derby attempted to make a last effort on goal, but there was no time left on the clock and the final whistle blew seconds after the re-start. Newark took the victory 2-1.
Overall an excellent team performance from a new squad of players.
Player’s player: Rosie Staniforth
Ladies 2's V West Bridgford 1s
It was a frantic start to the season with Newark having only 6 players on Wednesday. After a brief introduction from the new players, the Newark side headed out for a warm-up, 5 minutes in, the heavens opened!
In the first 5 minutes, Newark worked well and after a few brilliant passes up the pitch, Bea put away the first goal into the back of the net. West Bridgford shook themselves off and after keeping them at bay for most the half they slipped the ball around Newark Goalkeeper Lilly to equalise. After a few bad tackles from the Newark defence, West Bridgford won an unfortunate penalty corner which they converted to the score to 2-1 at half time.
Newark gathered their thoughts at half time with motivation from new coach Laura and went back out feeling determined. Both teams were battling to keep the ball out of the danger zones, but short corners became frequent in the Newark defence and the well drilled West Bridgford side managed to gain a third goal after the other slipping it around the frustrated Newark defenders. In response, the Newark attackers worked well to move the ball back into the WB defensive half with Sasha, Zara and Mags working the ball up to Ann who was goal hanging who skilfully flicked the ball into the goal.
WB fought back winning a number of penalty corners, final score was 7-2 to WB.
Ladies 3’s v Players 1’s
Newark Ladies 3’s hosted Players 1’s at Magnus for the first league match of the season. With Players finishing 1 place below Newark last season (on a goal difference of 1!), it was expected to be an even match. With numerous players throughout the club unavailable, the Newark team had a bare 11 and welcomed support from players stepping up from the 4’s to help.
Play started swiftly and Players took an early opportunity to score whilst Newark settled in to the team’s play. Newark got their heads up and with some changes from coach Tim, started to work well in the middle. The ball was passed up through the middle and Ann Crockett-McLean found herself passing the defenders to take on the keeper 1:1. Ever composed, she neatly slotted the ball home to even up the score.
Some end-to-end play ensued, with everyone getting their share of play as Players tried to get the ball up through each channel. Rachel Copson was solid in centre back, calmly clearing the ball and directing the defence. Players persevered and took the lead once more before half time. A green card for Rachel just before the half time whistle didn’t put Newark off and they managed to keep Players at bay whilst down to 10 players.
Tim had words of encouragement at half time and Newark started the second half with determination despite the tired legs. Another super Crockett-McLean goal evened the score as Newark’s midfield fought to win every 50/50 ball.
Players used their experience to work the ball around the screen despite some excellent tackles from Polly and found a loose player in the D to score their 3rd of the match. Newark didn’t allow them to keep the lead for long and a beautiful passage of play through the middle between Ann and Kate meant Kate also got on the score board.