Exciting start to boys’ hockey season!

22 Jan 2015

1st XI:

Worksop Prep 2

Witham Hall 3 (Will Davison, Joe Fox & Alex Anthony)

Witham were raring to go in the first fixture of the 2015 calendar. This was to be the first match most of the boys have played on grass and so the challenge increased without the game getting underway. The boys started brightly against a side who were obviously used to grass hockey. Witham dominated possession but struggled on numerous occasions to find a clinical finish. It took a barrage of short corners before Will Davison finally smashed home from close range to give the lead and the ascendancy. Witham continued to press and two goals followed from Alex Anthony and Joe Fox after good build up play by Will Chandler and Orlando Thain. The defence stood firm with Will Moore and Harry Thompson in particular working hard. In the second half, Witham stepped off the pressure and let Worksop surge forward. Two goals in the late stages set up a tense final few minutes but a great save from Jamie Garvin ensured a deserved victory for the boys accompanied by a very impressive first half display. Well done boys!

Spratton Hall 0

Witham Hall 0

Normally, a scoreless draw is reminiscent of a dull match, void of any chances and excitement. This fixture however was not one of these occasions. From the first whistle, both teams were out to attack and end to end hockey ensued with Witham showing some mature counter attacks after solid defence from Will Moore and George Davies. In the first half, Spratton enjoyed the most of the possession but created very little in the way of goal scoring opportunities. James Tattersall was a menace in the opposition D and sent a storming shot just wide. In the second half, Witham piled forward and passed the ball swiftly around the pitch. Toby Hanson went close twice causing good saves from the keeper and Orlando Thain tore the defence apart after fine balls from Alex Anthony, sliding the ball agonizingly wide with just minutes to go. With just seconds left, Spratton forced two short corners but fine saves from Jamie Garvin and strong running from Leo Cox kept the score goalless – a fair result for both teams. A great performance from the boys, continuing their impressive start to the season. Thank you to all the parents for their support and to Spratton for hosting.

2nd XI:

Witham Hall 10

Worksop College Prep  0

The 2nd XI were in magnificent form and played some superb hockey against Worksop College Prep. In the first half, Oliver Simmonds got Witham off to a fine start with a brace of goals that he should be very proud of. Oliver was ably supported by Archie Smith-Maxwell who not only scored a brace but provided excellent service to our centre forwards, running down the wing at pace and using the slip pass well. At half time the boys found themselves 4-0 to the good but knew that there were still certain aspects of their game that needed to improve. In the second half the boys started to move the ball at pace earlier down the wide channels, this allowed them to get in behind the Worksop defence and score some impressive team goals. The imperious Oscar Fowler pulled the strings all afternoon in an advanced central attacking role, opening up the Worksop defence with some well weighted balls. This enabled Max Shippey, Noah Cooper and Toby Coulson to tuck the ball in from close range. With a couple of minutes remaining in the game, Oscar Fowler scored a well-earned goal and Frankie Atkinson came away with a brace with a couple of really strong runs through the middle of the pitch into the Worksop area. The final score was 10-0 to Witham. What was so pleasing to see was the camaraderie between all the Witham boys and the way they conducted themselves on the field of play. Well done indeed!  

Witham Hall 0

Spratton Hall 5

On Saturday the 2nd XI hockey team played Spratton Hall. As anticipated, this was an incredibly tough match against a very well organised side. In the first half the boys struggled to contain wave after wave of Spratton Hall attack finding themselves 3-0 down at half time. It was really important that the boys learnt from their mistakes in the first half where there was a distinct lack of man to man marking. This enabled the Spratton Hall boys to find pockets of space in behind the Witham defence and score some excellent team goals. What was really pleasing to see was the way in which the Witham team applied themselves in the second half. We were more disciplined in defence, holding our shape well and tracking our opposite numbers carefully. When in possession of the ball, the boys started to exploit the space out wide using Archie Smith-Maxwell and Hans Mehta to good effect. This gave Witham a couple of super chances but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get the ball in the back of the net. The final score was 5-0 to Spratton and although the boys will be disappointed with the score line, I was most impressed with the way in which they applied themselves in the second half. We now look forward to visiting St John’s on Wednesday.

3rd XI:

Witham Hall   2

Worksop Prep, Ranby House  0

Witham Hall  0

Spratton Hall  0

The 3rd XI have made a positive start to the season, working hard to achieve a 2-0 win at Ranby in their opening game, and then drawing 0-0 with Spratton Hall in their first home game.

Despite taking a while to create both space and chances at Ranby, the Witham side retained their shape and organisation to good effect, and took the lead from a superbly hit shot from just inside the ‘D’ from centre back Freddie Arlott. Encouraged by this the side gained increasing confidence and Rory Rodell, following in on a well struck short corner, scored the decisive second goal.

Ranby contributed strongly to a very enjoyable opening game, with Joey Robinson and his defenders having to work hard to keep their first clean sheet of the season.

Against Spratton, the pace of the game stepped up, and, as one expected after a tight first half, chances for both sides resulted as the game went on and tiredness crept in. Either side might have snatched victory as the ball moved swiftly from end to end; Alex Edwards came closest for Witham, and at the other end Joey Robinson pulled off two good saves to keep Witham in the game. Whilst eventually, a draw was a very fair result, the physical demands of astroturf hockey had been made very clear and hard work in meeting them will be important in the season ahead.