LTHC Men’s 1st XI 1 at Stratford Men’s 1st XI 3

MRHA T1 – Midlands Premier

The Men’s 1st XI travelled to Stratford with a much-changed squad with numerous players missing due to COVID.  The game didn’t start well for Town as they conceded with the first minute, 1-0 to the home side. It was just one of those games from an attacking sense where nothing clicked for Town, though they went into half-time still only one goal down.

Town got back into the game in the second half and were pressing for the equalising goal when Stratford doubled their lead, totally against the run of play.  Buckling down to get themselves onto the scoresheet and back into the game, Town made the breakthrough with a goal from Lewis Rafcliff. Halving the home-side’s lead at 2-1, Town pressed on again to get that equalising goal.

As time was expiring Stratford made the three points theirs with a third goal, to make the final score 3-1 to the home side.

LTHC Ladies’ 3rd XI 0 at Ashby Ladies’ 2nd XI 2

LRHA Ladies – Premier Division

Following their win last week Loughborough Town Ladies 3rd XI made the short trip to Coalville to play Ashby 2nd XI.  Given the pouring rain and driving winds it was going to be a difficult game.

Town sporting another new line up welcomed back keeper Kate Horrigan and debutante players Isla Golding, Emily Fitzwater and Fran Bucher to the team, but were missing some key players due to 2nd team call ups and illness.  In a rare occurrence Sam Dalby managed to win the toss and opted for the pushback.

Town started well and were implementing the drills from training; however, Ashby were also organised and for a while the game was end to end, but whereas Ashby were able to challenge the keeper, Town fell short in the final third.  With about eight minutes to half time Ashby broke the deadlock to go 1-0 ahead.

The second half started similarly to the first, with lots of end to end play, and with Golding making her mark in midfield alongside the ever-dependable Izzy Perry.  Unfortunately for Town the goal that they were looking for never came and Ashby managed to double their lead before the final whistle blew.

Town who were due a week’s break have not had the season start that Dalby and team would have liked, picking up four points from six games, but with teams still to play where points could be taken, the first half is not over yet. POTG: Isla Golding

LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 1 vs Oundle Men’s 1st XI 0

MRHA T3 – South East Midlands Premier

In a tightly fought contest, hindered by rain and wind, the Men’s 3rd XI side narrowly triumphed 1-0, to cement their place at the top of the league.

Although the first half was dominated by Town, final passes to the forwards were somewhat limited ensuring the Oundle keeper was not tested enough.

With five minutes remaining of a cagey half, Town were reduced to 10 men after an altercation between Luke Hickling and Oundle’s experienced midfielder resulted in the former receiving a ten-minute yellow card suspension.

It was during this period that the home side dug deep in defence. Captain and player of the match Rory Cook was outstanding in keeping Oundle at bay. Upon Hickling’s return, Loughborough started to play the hockey they are capable of. A quick one-two saw Kyran Patel hit home his first goal for the club with eight minutes remaining.

Loughborough were able to handle the proceeding Oundle attacks to secure a narrow victory which keeps them firmly at the top of the league. POTG: Rory Cook

LTHC Men’s 4th XI 7 vs Melton Men’s 2nd XI 1


Firstly, a massive thanks to Melton for travelling over for this covid restrictions friendly, it’s great to see clubs getting together to keep playing hockey in these difficult times, and also to Tommy Ross for giving up his morning to umpire in the pouring rain.

A strong Town team took to the pitch and right from the start it was clear they meant business. The speed and intensity of their play clearly took Melton by surprise and it wasn’t long before Town opened the scoring through a fine finish from Dec Oldreive.

The question now was could Town capitalise further, had they learnt their lessons from previous weeks? The answer was a resounding yes and Town’s fluid play was rewarded with a steady flow of goals. An intricately worked brace from Arun Mistry, the first a finely struck reverse shot and the second a well-placed finish in the bottom corner.

Another brace from debutant defender Jacob Harris, the first a training ground deflected short corner and the second a straight short corner strike. Then Player of the Match Oldreive finished the half by grabbing his second and Town’s sixth.

The game was clearly won as the second half resumed and although both sides applied themselves well chances were limited and much of the game was played in the middle section of the pitch.

Omar McKenna was lucky not to be yellow carded for a flying slide tackle on a Melton defender.

Melton’s sole consolation goal came from a well worked short corner and it looked very much like the game would finish 6-1. Freddie Pass however had different ideas and as the game entered the final minutes he latched onto a fine pass, beat the defender and smashed the ball into the roof of the net past the advancing keeper.

With league fixtures & hockey in general now on hold until lockdown restrictions can be lifted, Town will want this form to return quickly when the sport can resume. POTG: Dec Oldreive

LTHC U18’s Boys’ 3 vs Kettering U18’s Boy 3 (LTHC win on penalty flicks)

EH Junior Championship – U18 Boys Tier 2

Kettering started the match the quicker of the two teams, and Towns defence were heavily tested in the first few minutes. However, some great defending meant that this pressure did not come to anything. The match then calmed a bit, and Town got into their stride, and started to push forwards more. This effort was rewarded when Charlie converted a penalty corner to put Town ahead. Unfortunately, Kettering then equalised. Town went into the half time break 1-1 knowing that it could have been a very different score line if they had made the most of their opportunities in front of goal.

Shortly into the second half Town once again went ahead, again Charlie scoring from a penalty corner. After some confusion around a disallowed Kettering goal, Kettering made the next one count making the game 2-2. A couple of minutes later the away side went ahead for the first time in the match. However, Neil then scored to bring Town level at 3-3. This is how the game finished, with Town knowing that a win on penalty flicks would take them through to the next round in Tier 2, and a loss would drop them into the Tier 3 competition.

After the first five penalty flicks both sides could still not be separated, perhaps an indication of just how evenly matched both teams were. With Town becoming increasingly tense on the side-line, the game went to sudden death. Charlie stepped up and converted his flick. Kettering then converted theirs. Through to round two of sudden death. Adam scored his, keeper Jaimin then made the crucial save to put Town through to the next round. POTG: Charlie.

Town now go through to the next round of the Tier 2 competition, as and when hockey is allowed back on.

Cover Image © Andy Smith

Categories: Match Reports