Boys’ Football and Hockey Fortnightly Update

06 Mar 2017

Football

U9A

Witham Hall U9A                              9

V

Wellow House U9A                          0

The U9As faced Wellow House in very mild conditions and put in a great performance to come out convincing winners. Wellow kicked off and for the better part of ten minutes kept us at bay with some dogged defending, helped in part by our profligacy in front of goal. At the ten minute mark our constant pressure finally told as we scored our first goal. After some good pressing in the Wellow half the ball broke to our striker who finished neatly at the near post. This seemed to lift a weight off our shoulders and demoralise our opposition. Two more quick-fire goals followed shortly after, the last of which was a beauty, set up by a sumptuous driven cross from out wide on the right which was buried emphatically into the roof of the net at the back post. Just as we pressed for a fourth the half time whistle blew, which threatened to interrupt the momentum we had built up in the first half.

Fortunately in the second half we picked up where we left off, pressing Wellow all over the pitch and reaping the rewards. Every time we went forward we looked like scoring, and we did. Six more goals in the second half was a fair reflection of our dominant performance. Every player worked tirelessly to close the ball down and keep Wellow hemmed in their own half. Once the game was out of sight the boys began to focus on their distribution play, creating some slick passing moves that more often than not resulted in a chance in front of goal and would have done, but for some last gasp defending by Wellow. Overall it was a good win and it gives us a solid foundation which we can build upon in readiness for the next fixture.

Witham Hall U9A                            0                             

V

Leicester Grammar School U9A  4

The boys played reasonably well but ultimately lost 4-0. The story of the game was Leicester had fewer chances but made them count in goals scored. Witham had more possession and chances but simply couldn’t score. The ball ran across the face of the goal twice, Henry and Harry both hit the post and the Leicester goalie was simply outstanding, as he made at least half a dozen further good saves, including a penalty! The Witham marking in defence was not good and ultimately it cost the boys, against a decent footballing side who took full advantage. A disappointing but right result and the unbeaten run is unfortunately over. 

U9B

Witham Hall U9B              2

V

Wellow House U9B          0

This was the first time that I had seen the B’s in full action as a referee this season and I was not disappointed. From the first kick of the match the boys were better organised, focussed on doing their best, and were clearly more up for the game than the opposition. All the boys played in various positions throughout the match and acquitted themselves marvellously. I cannot recall Wellow House having a single shot on target throughout the whole game. Witham opened the scoring with a fierce shot from outside the box from Alfie midway through the first half, which the Wellow goal-keeper found just too hot to handle. More pressure was applied and the boys were unfortunate not to go in at half-time further ahead.

In the second half Freddie had several chances but the ball just didn’t fall for him. Archie was a rock in defence and Johnny was everywhere. Leo set up a couple of chances for the other boys, and was unlucky not to score himself. Will also got a couple of important touches in the middle of the park. Finally, with the boys camped out in the Wellow box and earned themselves a penalty. Johnny smartly slotted home for 2-0. It was an excellent performance from the boys. Thank you to all the supporters on the touch line.

Colts B

Witham Hall Colts B         6

V

Wellow House A               4

This Wednesday (01/03) the Colts B faced Wellow House A at home. In perfect conditions the game got off to a scrappy start, with the Witham players struggling to find the fluency that they had been playing with before the half term break. However as the game progressed the B’s began to play with more confidence and scored the opener with an excellent move down the right wing, with superb inter-play between James and James, and the resulting cross being turned in by Toby. After this the boys were showing the form they had been earlier in the season and soon doubled their lead through Henry. However with Witham pushing hard for a third Wellow scored a very good goal on the break and just before half time James made it 3-1 to Witham.

In the second half Wellow came in to the game more, showing greater tenacity and put more pressure on the Witham boys. As a result they pulled a goal a goal back only for James to restore the two goal lead with a stunning goal from the centre circle. However, Wellow’s efforts were paying off and they managed to bring the game back to 4-4 with only six minutes left. At this point, captain James took control of the game from midfield and began to put the Witham attackers into space, resulting in another goal for James and finally forcing an own goal close to the end. A superbly competitive and entertaining game. Well done lads.

Hockey

Colts

Witham Hall Colts A                                      1

Wisbech Grammar School Colts A             1

The Colts A Hockey boys had a fantastic game against Wisbech, demonstrating just how much they have improved this term. The match was quite even with both teams having plenty of attacking play. Witham had the edge though and a beautifully worked goal fed in by Charlie and finished off by Guy meant Witham went 1-0 up. Wisbech finally found a hole in our defence and slotted the ball into the bottom corner with less than 2 minutes left of the match. Without a doubt our GK, James, was ‘Man of the Match’ with some outstanding saves, lots of talking, and taking players on one-on-one. Well done to all of the boys on a great game of hockey against a team that play hockey 4 times a week every week.

4th VII Hockey

Witham Hall 4th VII          0

Oakham 4th VII                 3

The 4th VII were determined to give a good performance against Oakham on Wednesday. They competed for the ball very well from the start of the match. Oakham’s stick skills were slightly more accurate but this did not prevent Witham from making some effective tackles, particularly from Will and Ben. An unfortunate own goal scored early in the 2nd half by Oakham meant Witham went 1-0 down. This was hard to take given Witham had several chances to score but the final strike was easily saved. Oakham pressed hard and scored two further goals. Witham did not give up and in fact continued to control the ball in midfield. A final short corner to Witham gave them the opportunity to get on the score sheet but the ball narrowly missed the left side of the goal.

3rd VII

Witham Hall 3rd VII                         1

Stamford School 3rd VII                 4        

The 3rd VII did themselves proud against a physical and skilful Stamford School side on Saturday. In a tightly fought contest both sides had good opportunities in front of goal in the 1st half but a lack of composure meant that at half time things were still level at 0-0. In the second half the game was far more open and both teams lost their defensive shape with Stamford scoring a couple of impressive team goals. Chasing the game, the 3rd VII never gave up and their attitude was exemplary throughout. Pleasingly as proceedings came to a close Witham managed to score a superb goal, moving the ball down the wide channels and getting in behind the Stamford defence. Well done to all those who played, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

2nd VII/XI

Witham Hall 2nd VII                          1

St John’s Cambridge 2nd VII          1

The 2nd VII did themselves proud on Wednesday afternoon against a talented St John’s Cambridge side. In the first half both sides had good opportunities in front of goal to take the lead but neither could find the back of the net. Towards the end of the first half, Witham’s defending became a little ragged and they found themselves retreating too much rather than closing down the space in front of them. St John’s managed to exploit this and scored a well worked goal as the clock hit 20 minutes. 1-0 down at half time, the boys knew they had to keep persisting with a high press and man to man marking to stop their opponents moving the ball seamlessly around the astro. Breaking up the game well in the second half, the 2nd VII created a couple of brilliant opportunities and with 30 seconds left on the clock they managed to score a late equaliser which was thoroughly deserved. A performance that was all about heart, hunger and desire. Well done to all the boys, a superb result!

Witham Hall 2nd VII                        0

Stamford School 2nd VII                4        

Although the 2nd VII lost this game 4-0, they put in their best performance to date against a skilful Stamford School side. In the first half, the 2nd VII dominated possession and had six fantastic opportunities to score. Pleasingly, every shot was on target but the Stamford goalie held firm and put in some impressive saves to keep things at 0-0 at half time. In the second half the boys knew that they had to follow up the first shot more for the rebound in order to work Stamford’s goalie harder and get that all elusive first goal. Unfortunately, four minutes of madness and a lack of focus led to three goals in quick succession and the 2nd VII looked completely shell shocked. Chasing the game for much of the second half, the boys never let their heads drop and continued to press for goals but Stamford held firm and with a fourth late goal won 4-0. They were a credit to Witham and should now be looking for positive results against Oakham and Wisbech Grammar School next week.

Witham Hall 2nd XI                          1

Oakham School 2nd XI                    3        

The 2nd XI played against a very technically able Oakham School side on Wednesday and struggled to get out of their own half in the opening exchanges. A lack of composure on the ball led to wave after wave of Oakham attacks and they were worthy leaders at half time. With the score at 1-0, the game was finely balanced but the 2nd’s knew that if they were going to get anything out of the match they would need to get their sticks on the floor and win more 50/50 tackles high up the pitch. Pleasingly, this happened a lot more and the boys started to create a couple of good opportunities on the counter attack. Pushing high up the pitch for an equaliser unfortunately allowed Oakham to score a couple of superb team goals which took the game away from the 2nd’s. However, the boys didn’t give up, never let their heads drop and managed to score a wonderful late goal with Finn lifting the ball over the Oakham goalie into the corner.

Witham Hall 2nd XI                                          1

Wisbech Grammar School U12A                  1                   

The 2nd XI put in a sterling performance on Saturday against a talented Wisbech Grammar School U12A side. Discipline was the key for the boys where they held their shape well throughout and looked to play counter attacking hockey. 15 minutes into the first half and the 2nd XI got the golden opportunity that they were looking for and through excellent composure and Ben’s ferocious strike, they found themselves 1-0 to the good at half time. The second half saw wave after wave of WGS attacks thwarted by some strong tackles, in particular, the back four of Eddie, Chris, Ludo and Finn. However, WGS eventually made their possession count to level things late on. As the full time whistle went, the boys could certainly not have given any more to the Witham cause and can be very proud of themselves.

1st VII/XI

Witham Hall 1st VII           0

Stamford School 1st VII   1

The boys had already faced Stamford in the IN2 County Cup where they were ruthlessly swept aside in a 4-0 loss so they knew what to expect. From the first whistle, Witham looked like a different side, soaking up the pressure and playing direct, counter attacking hockey. Witham had the earlier chances but unfortunately couldn’t find the decisive touch. In the second half, Stamford pressed hard and the Witham team stared to tire. With just two minutes left on the clock, confusion at the back left a Stamford player free who pushed the ball neatly into the corner – a heart breaking goal to concede after such a fantastic effort and performance. The boys will learn a massive amount from this and we look to push on into some eleven a-side hockey in the coming weeks.

Witham Hall 1st XI                                         2

Wisbech Grammar School 1st XI                0

The boys knew they would be up against another strong side in Wisbech GS who play hockey from Year 4. Witham immediately dominated the early proceedings, scoring quickly through a decisive finish from captain Olly. Witham then started to lose their composure and the opposition soon piled the pressure on, winning consecutive short corners through silly defensive mistakes. Shortly before half time, Witham doubled their lead after persistent pressure on the Wisbech goal. The second half turned out to be a fairly scrappy affair with glimpses of magic from Joe down the right. The final score remained 2-0 and despite the win, the boys know they need to look after the ball a little better to gain greater success in their coming matches. Another very welcome and deserved win however!