LTHC Men’s 1st XI 0 vs Beeston Men’s 2nd XI 4

MRHA T1 – Midlands Premier

Loughborough Town Men’s 1st XI welcomed Beeston 2nd XI hoping to take advantage of the visitors having not played for two weeks due to COVID.

Town started brighter but missed several very good chances including a penalty stroke and a one on one that fell to a Town non-scoring forward. Beeston proceeded to go down the other end and score from a penalty corner.

Town lost their captain to concussion just before half time where they went in still just the one goal down.

Second half saw some very messy hockey and some ill-discipline by Town’s forwards meaning they rarely played with eleven on the pitch. Three rather soft goals for Beeston led to a flattering score line at the end, but Town certainly didn’t deserve anything out of the game for their second half performance.

Town will look to put that game behind them next week as they travel to Stratford 1st XI, who have yet to pick a point from their three games.

LTHC Ladies’ 3rd XI 2 at Charnwood Sileby Ladies’ 1st XI 1

LRHA Ladies – Premier Division

After a couple of heavy losses Loughborough Town Ladies’ 3rd XI headed down the A6 to face bottom of the table Charnwood Sileby 1st XI, in what would be a must win match for both teams.

Town fielded some new players, Emma Phillips playing up front and Emily Quinn in midfield, whilst Iris Broekhuijzen stepped into goal (in replacement of the normal keeper Kate Horrigan), and the return of Kate Bowyer from injury bolstered the defensive line up.

In what is becoming a habit captain Sam Dalby lost the coin toss giving Charnwood the first-half push back.  Both teams started strongly with end to end pressure but Charnwood edged ahead with strong attempts on goal and many missed opportunities, whilst Broekhuijzen held her own.

Town had a chance to take the lead as Jo Hatley broke one on one with the keeper, only to find her goal celebration short lived.  It was deemed that the ball was struck from outside the D, so no goal.  Not to be perturbed, Town continued to push forward with some fantastic link up play from mid-field up to the forwards, where Dalby managed to secure a flick after a Charnwood defender stopped the ball with a foot on the goal line.  Up stepped Hatley to convert it, and for only the second time this season Town went in to half time in the lead.

A positive team talk from Dalby about more link up plays and early balls, must have had some effect as the second half saw some fantastic play for Town with half backs Abi Archer and Gaby Giggal driving up the line to offer outlet balls.  Charnwood however were not lying down and after winning a penalty corner, were able to level the game, 1-1.

Realising how important the points were this week, Town continued to press hard and as the ball was played in to the D, it was scrambled past the keeper, who had clearly lost sight of it, but Dalby and Hatley had not.  Both went for it, but Hatley got there first to tap it safely into the net, to not only secure her second of the game but the three points for the win.

Next week is a trip to Ashby 2nd XI, where Town will be looking to create a winning streak. POTG: Iris Broekhuijzen

LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 4 vs Leicester Men’s 1st XI 0

MRHA T3 – South East Midlands Premier

Undefeated after three games the Men’s 3rd XI hosted Leicester Men’s 2nd XI looking to build on their promising start to the season. Town fielded a side with a set of new and returning faces, including the addition of the experience of a new player coach.

Town lost one of their squad early as Peter Hayes, unfortunately tweaked his groin. Though this was not before he nearly made his mark on the game from a penalty corner. His shot / pass to the right-hand post wasn’t able to be directed in by a Town player.

With the next penalty corner the new coach took charge at the top of the D. A deceptive and accurately paced ball found Luke Hickling sliding in at the right post for his first goal upon his return to the club. 1-0 Town.

With complete dominance and a number of missed chances, the new coach scored his first goal for his new team. A fantastic reverse strike from POTG Kyran Patel from the top of the D was deflected past a flat-footed keeper.

2-0 up at half time and the team were happy, knowing more goals were to come.

A change to a full press worked a treat. The magic of Toby Quirk, Henry Smith and Callum Green in midfield consistently turned over the away team. Tireless defending from Jack Chiswell, David Ottewell and Rory Cook ensured an easy afternoon for Jaimin Metcalf in goal. However, when called in to action, he was perfect in ensuring a clean sheet.

Two goals became three with a goal of the season contender from Green with a top corner reverse stick strike. A fourth should have been scored though, unfortunately being missed from close range. However, at the death, Hickling’s second and Town’s forth goal game with a lob from the top of the D.

Overall, an excellent performance from the league leaders, who will look to build on this at their next match. POTG Kyran Patel

LTHC Men’s 4th XI 1 at Mansfield Men’s 1st XI 4

MRHA T3 – North East Midlands Premier

The game started with a strong showing from Loughborough Town Men’s 4th XI. Good passing between the midfield allowed Town to assert themselves on Mansfield and several good chances were created. Then a rapid counter attack from Mansfield led to a controversial last-ditch tackle. The defender after wheeling away triumphantly from what he felt was the tackle of the season was sent off by the vehemently disagreeing umpire. A penalty flick was awarded and although keeper Xavi Bryans got close it was converted by Mansfield for the 1-0 lead.

Profiting from the chaos caused by the sending off, Mansfield scored twice more in quick succession. With Mansfield in the ascendancy, a quick pull back and an exocet missile of a strike later left a four-goal mountain for Town to climb in the second half.

Shortly after the resumption of the second half a tussle in the Town D left defender James Anderton carefully removing a Mansfield stick from just above his eye. The game restated with the Town subs and a local spectator administering socially distanced first aid to the bleeding Anderton.

Town once again took the fight to Mansfield with most of the game being played in the Mansfield half, until misfortune struck again. A fine save from Bryans saw his cat-like reflexes go to waste as James Horner, trying desperately to avoid the deflection, ended up firing the ball into the Town net. The defending thus far had all been a little Phil Jones but Town weren’t about to give up and as a wise man once said, “If you’re going to score a conciliation, it might as well be a screamer”. So, with a little under ten minutes left, Town’s relentless attacking finally paid off. A loose ball in the Mansfield D fell to Andy Hargreaves who, rolling back far more years than he’d be prepared to admit, gracefully twisted Prima Donna like and hammered the ball into the roof of the net. Mansfield 5 – 1 Loughborough. POTG: Chris Brealey

LTHC Badgers 2 vs Belper Badgers 7

East Midlands Badgers League

Following on from a tough match last week against Melton, Town once again knew they were in for a tough match versus Belper. Unfortunately, Belper started off the quicker of the two teams, scoring two goals early on in quick succession. However, Town did not let their heads drop, and kept pushing forwards. Despite some great defending, and some cracking saves from keeper Henry, Town went into half time 4-0 down. After half time Town went out and played some really good hockey, using both sides of the pitch effectively, with some tireless running from their midfielders. Some great work down the right-hand side of the pitch led to their first goal, with a cross into the D despatched into the back of the net by Sophie. Lex then scored, but unfortunately by that point Belper had scored a fifth.

Final score was 7-2 to Belper, which perhaps doesn’t reflect how close the match actually was. Player of the match votes were incredibly close, which reflected just how much everyone contributed on the pitch, with Lex being voted player of the match. Let’s hope the weather is slightly better for next week’s match against Ashby.

Cover Image © Andy Smith

Categories: Match Reports