U11 and U9 Girls’ Hockey Report

07 Oct 2014


Witham U11A  4
Spratton Hall  1

In the second match of the season, the girls looked to continue their fine start to the season. On the back of a 4-0 win over S. Anselm’s, the remit was another game of composed hockey with the emphasis on passing and movement into space.

It didn’t take long for the girls to get in command of the game, with Ella Chandler scoring early on. Ella was back on the score sheet again not long after with an excellent finish to a superb counter-attacking move. The girls have been working on the importance of turning defence into attack by direct play and this goal was testament to it.

At half time, Witham led 2-0 and the team talk centred on the need for more pressing, more use of space and crisper distribution of the ball into wide areas.

Spratton came out in the second half with a determination that had been lacking in the first half. Despite a wonderful save from Taggie Paganuzzi in goal, Spratton leapt onto a rebound and clawed a goal back. This raised their spirits further and Witham had to endure some concerted pressure from the Spratton attacking line. This did mean, however, that Spratton attacked in numbers and our girls’ ability to work the ball wide and then forward at speed was always going to cause Spratton difficulty at the back. Indeed with 8 minutes to go, Lottie Sharman’s hard work and great spatial awareness got her on the score sheet. This was soon followed by another wonderful move involving 5 of the Witham team, leading to Harriet Anthony scoring Witham’s fourth and the real clincher.

The final score was 4-1 to Witham.

Witham U11A  3
Bedford Girls’ School  0

In the third of the regular season fixtures, the girls went on the road again – this time to Bedford. Facing a team that will be present at the Rugby School Tournament on Wednesday, this was a great opportunity to check on the opposition.

Witham started brightly, as has been the shape of the season so far. In fact, it barely took two minutes for Ella Chandler to get on the score sheet with some great tenacious tackling and a storming strike to round it off. Witham continued to press the Bedford back line and led wave after wave of attacks. Shots were either well saved or fired wide, but the relentless pressure eventually took its toll on Bedford and Harriet Anthony struck a sweet shot into the goal giving Witham a 2-0 lead at half time.

This time, the team talk was all about the need to communicate more and to look for the pass that is on as opposed to the pass that moves forward.

The second half began in much the same way as it did at Spratton with the girls almost inviting pressure on themselves from the opposition. Taggie had to be alert in goal again to ensure that Bedford was contained and Georgia, Alice and Sophie all tracked players superbly to defend the lead. The half wore on with little pressure from Witham, but another famous counter attack led to Ella Chandler doubling her tally for the afternoon, scoring a stunning strike – great to see that our practice on hitting the ball in Friday’s training session worked wonders! Ella received the woman of the match vote from the rest of the girls – well done and let’s go forward in to Wednesday’s tournament at Rugby with the belief and desire to win!

U11 Storm

Witham U11 Storm  2
Spratton Hall U10A  0

Witham U11/U10 B team played their second match of the season on Wednesday v Spratton U 10A team. The girls started brightly and moved the ball around the pitch positively. Witham spent a great deal of time in the Spratton half and when Jemima Paganuzzi managed to control her feet she scored a goal late in the first third. Spratton played with more conviction as the game progressed but our defence held firm. Isabel Blackman scored a good individual goal in the final third to make the final score two nil to Witham. This was a good all round performance by all the players, well done.

Witham U11 Storm  1
Bedford Girls U11 B  0

The Under 11 team travelled to Bedford on Saturday. The teams were very evenly matched and the ball travelled from end to end with great regularity.  All of the girls played extremely well and kept to their positions much better than in past matches. Isabel Blackman scored the only goal of a very even game. Well done!

Witham U11 Storm  1
Worksop Prep, Ranby U11A  4

The U11B team played a very strong, well drilled Ranby side on Wednesday. Ranby started confidently and it took a while for the Witham team to get into their stride. Ranby scored two goals before a Witham break away attack lead to a goal being scored by Jemima Paganuzzi late in the first half. Ranby pressurised the Witham goal constantly in the second half but excellent defending by Mia Paylor and fantastic goal keeping by Beatrice Cadman kept the score down to two goals. Isabel Blackman worked very hard both in attack and defence and Jemima was effective when she came back to help her defence when needed.

Although the team lost it was an excellent all round performance and showed the importance of the whole team working together in order to keep the opposition score to the minimum.

Witham U11 Storm  1
Bourne Academy Under 12A  0

This match was a very good experience for the Witham girls as the Bourne team were bigger, stronger and at times quicker than our girls. This meant that we needed to use our skill and positioning on the pitch in order to keep possession of the ball and control the game. Witham had the majority of the possession and threatened the Bourne goal constantly but some fantastic goal keeping by the boy in the Bourne goal kept the score goalless at half time. The Witham girls worked tirelessly in the second half and eventually Isabel Blackman scored the only goal of an exciting encounter.

U11 Thunder:

Witham U11 Thunder  2
Spratton Hall U11B  0

After a long journey the girls got straight off the bus and got stuck into their match straight away. Chloe Howard and Lulie Pumphrey worked especially well together throughout the whole game, moving up the field together and getting the ball into the D. Sienna McAlpine was excellent on the right wing, stopping the ball from getting to Spratton’s forwards and feeding it to Chloe, allowing her to score the first goal of the match. Cecily Hopkins, our sub, came on in defence and was great at positioning herself to back up Sophia Hallam in goal. Zara Williams helped with quick turnovers by clearing it from the opposition’s goal and up the pitch, allowing Chloe to score another goal for Witham. The first half ended with a score of 2-0 to Witham.

The second half was a lot better in terms of skill from the Witham girls, but Spratton improved on their defence, and we didn’t manage to score anymore goals. Isabelle Golland helped out in defence this half clearing the ball as soon as it came into the D. Spratton had a few shots at goal but Sophia did excellently and saved each one. Kate Harris also worked well in defence for Witham, with some brilliant tackling; she won the ball every time. Well done girls!

Witham U11 Thunder  1
Wellow U10A  4

It was quite a nice autumnal afternoon when the Witham U11’s went to Wellow. Zara Williams captained the team and along with Lulie Pumphrey and Katie Wraith fiercely fought to pass the ball up the pitch. Sienna McAlpine scored the first goal of the match, but it was sadly disallowed as she was just outside the D. In the Witham defence, Cecily Hopkins and  Hera Chatterton helped goalkeeper Esther Reed to keep the Wellow attack out. This worked tremendously well until the final quarter, when Wellow scored 4 goals. In the final minutes, Cecily sneaked up the pitch and tapped a pass from Katie Wraith into the goal near the post. The final score was 4-1 to Wellow.

U11 Lightening’s

Witham U11 Lightening’s   0
Spratton Hall U11C   5

The first match of the season for the U11 Lightening’s was a bit of a baptism of fire! It was a scrappy start with both teams guilty of chasing the ball in groups, but it was Spratton who eventually took a grip on the game and put together a few passes, ending with a fine finish to open the scoring. Despite the best efforts from Witham goalkeeper Sophia Hallam, it wasn’t long before Spratton had their second goal. There were a few glimmers of hope from Witham as Hera Chatterton, Cecily Hopkins and Sienna De Gale linked up to create a couple of chances, but the Spratton defence stood strong. After half time, things went from bad to worse for Witham as 3 more goals were conceded. Kitty East, Arabella Nolan and Isabelle Golland did their best to stop the Spratton attack, but despite their efforts the final score was 5-0 to Spratton. A lot of lessons to learn from this match, but hopefully it will be onwards and upwards now for the U11 Lightening’s!

Witham U11 Lightening’s/U9 Cubs   1
Wellow U10/9s  3

The game started brightly with both sides having plenty of possession of the ball. Both teams tackled well and it was hard for either team to get the ball up towards the goal area. Issy Golland was instrumental in keeping the ball away, with her excellent tackling as was Sienna de Gale. However, it was Wellow who opened the scoring with a fine shot. Isabella Beattie and Emma Garvin worked hard out wide to try and provide the Witham attack with options. Gigi Granger worked tirelessly in the centre of midfield, tackling back and trying to dribble the ball into space. Despite Witham’s best efforts, it was Wellow who continued to dominate in attack and they scored a second goal not long after the first. Despite being 2-0 down, the Witham girls didn’t give up and as a result Emma Garvin slotted home the ball, to make the score 2-1. Maddie Bryars and Eleanor Tickler tried to provide options upfront and worked hard to tackle and pass the ball. But it was to be Wellow’s day - they went on to score a third goal making the final score 3-1. This was a good effort by the Witham team, despite the score line.

U9 Beavers:

Witham U9 Beavers  3
Spratton Hall U10B  0

The girls were very nervous for this their first match in the prep school and for some their first ever inter school match. However, Bella Fox led the way with a storming first goal and then the team settled and put their nerves behind them. There was fantastic work all game from Charlotte Bingham both in the mid-field and in defence and all agreed that she certainly finished the game as our ‘player of the match’. Rose Brassey made some good moves down her wing using her speed to good effect; Josie Turner was calm in defence and made some good clearances especially in the second quarter; Sophie Marshall got better and better as the game progressed and her positioning improved so much that in the last five minutes she tucked two goals into the back of the Spratton goal and Poppy Wraith was a tower of strength all game in mid-field and defensively too. Matilda Craven and Isabella Beattie made a positive start to their hockey careers at Witham. Thanks to Esther Reed who joined the team as goal keeper and kept a clean sheet. Well done – a good start.