This week we have match reports from the M1, M3, M4, L3, L4 and our U12 Tournament.

LTHC Men’s 1st XI 3 vs Cambridge University 3

England Hockey League Conference Midlands

Loughborough Town 1s fresh from a win on the road at St Albans lined up against Cambridge University at home looking to start a winning streak.

Town conceded the first goal to the visitors from a well worked penalty corner after ten minutes. Cambridge scored again from another penalty corner on twenty-seven minutes, to double their lead. Town however got back into the game with two goals both from Ryan Day just before the halftime break to bring the score level.

A tight second half ensured. Town took the lead in the game when David Henderson winning the ball back in midfield, passed to Adam Carter who slotted away a tidy reverse stick finish to put the home side up 3-2.

Cambridge still looking for their first league points of the season were rewarded with a penalty corner with minutes to go, after a period of sustained pressure. Unfortunately, Town couldn’t stop the resulting penalty corner from being scored, as the visitors levelled the scores at 3-3, denying Town another three points. Next up for Town is an away game against 4th placed Lichfield next Saturday.

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

Midlands Men’s Division 5 East

After successive away defeats Town hosted Melton 1s looking for their first points of the season. The new look side were looking to build on all the positives from their previous games.

After winning the coin toss Town started with the ball, though were immediately put under pressure when a wayward pass from Captain Mark Dalby, after receiving the centre pass, gave Melton the ball. Some strong defending from Rory Cook, David Ottewell and Oli Jones kept the scoresheet clean.

As the home side struggled for any kind of sustained possession, Melton continued to keep the pressure on resulting in some fine saves from goal keeper Guy Heywood, who rightly earned his player of the match performance.

Against the run of play Town should have taken the lead, as a well worked breakaway put Nathan Holifield through one on one with the Melton keeper. Trying to slot the ball between the keepers legs his shot was saved well.

Another good attack from Melton resulted in a short corner though a diving save from Heywood kept the score at 0-0 going into halftime. Whilst not out of the game, Town were lucky not to be down a goal or two and solid team defending was keeping Melton at bay.

As they say it’s a game of two halves, and in the second Town were vastly improved. They now matched Melton’s intensity and started to get good possession of the ball leading to scoring opportunities. Matt Younger having a fine game started to assert some influence, as Town started to play a lot more in Melton’s half.

The better chances on the whole fell to Melton though they couldn’t get the ball into the net. And as this tight game played out it was probably going to be one goal which would win it. With five minutes to go Town scored that only goal of the game. A fine move down the left-hand side saw Tom Haworth-Edwards cross the ball towards the penalty spot, where it seemed to be lifted by a defenders stick, to a waiting Alex Ricoux who volleyed the ball high into the goal. 

Melton continued to press hard though Town saw out the remaining minutes to take the three points and their first win of the season. An enjoyable close game of hockey from both sides and on reflection a draw would have been a fair result.

As the league now takes a weekend off, Town will next play away at Derby and will be looking to build on this solid performance to move away from the bottom of the table.

LTHC Ladies’ 3rd XI 0 vs Earls Barton 1st XI 2

Midlands Women’s Division 4 Nene / Charnwood

After a very early 07:50 meet, the Ladies’ 3s travelled down to play Earls Barton. The team of 13, a majority of which were new players to the club, knew that they needed to gel quickly to get a result.

The first half saw Town win three penalty corners, maintain possession well resulting in various opportunities in the D but did not convert to the first goal. As halftime approached Earls Barton broke the deadlock with the ball trickling over the line, meaning that unfortunately Town went into break a goal down.

After a positive halftime talk, Town came back strong, with the majority of the possession, including some really good pressing and quick passing. Various scoring opportunities were generated but failed to result in any goals. As Town pressed to get back into the game Earls Barton doubled their lead..

Town stayed positive until the end, and nearly got onto the scoresheet when Tara Vincent went in on goal, though after a collision with a defender and goalkeeper the umpires saw fit that there was no foul.

It was a well-played match and the 2-0 loss was not representative of the quality of play by Town. A special thanks to Iris Broekhuijzen making her season debut in goal, it was really appreciated by the whole team.

LTHC Men’s 4th XI 0 vs Berkswell & Balsall Common 2nd XI 3

Midlands Men’s Division 6 South East

With just three players returning from last week’s squad and five players making their club debut, Town’s Men’s 4’s first challenge was to try and remember their teammates names. Despite this unfamiliarity Town started brightly and pressed the home side back deep into their half. Town’s decision making was good although their implementation was a little less successful, with missed passes and scuffed shots combining time and again to prevent them from opening the scoring.

Town continued to press and their endeavour resulted in the award of a string of penalty corners, but they were unable to convert. It was the hosts who opened the scoring totally against the run of play when a miss-controlled ball found its way into Town’s goal.

The second half saw Town continue their domination of the hosts who started to become increasingly more physical in their approach to stopping Town, though the penalty corners given weren’t converted. However, Town continued to press, with Jack Brierley hitting the bar and efforts from Oli Jephcott, Oly Wyatt & Luke Buck somehow being kept out.

There was a certain feeling of inevitability when Berkswell scored their second and then their third goals, but Town continued to the very end, forcing more last ditch defending.

There were plenty of positives to take from the game and it really is just time together on the pitch that this team needs.

LTHC Ladies’ 4th XI 0 vs Leicester Westleigh 1st XI 1

Midlands Women’s Division 5a Nene / Charnwood

The Ladies 4s fielded a fantastic 15 players in their first run out this season against the newly-formed Leicester Westleigh Ladies 1s team at home. With the ladies having not played alongside each other before, the game started a little chaotically but soon settled into what looked like a game with a well-established team.

Westleigh started strongly, pushing high up the pitch from the whistle. Town caused issues in the circle for them though and keeper Broekhuijzen managed to see off a few of their early opportunities. Westleigh continued their offence and took advantage of some scrappy Town feet in the D, earning themselves a penalty corner which Parsons and Thompson of Town soon dismissed.

Some fab link-up play in midfield from Worth and Hardy, making their senior debuts, gave Town a flurry of chances which Town unfortunately weren’t quite able to capitalise on. After what seemed like a very long first-half, Westleigh managed to clinch a goal in the two minutes running up to the half-time whistle.

Going into the second half, Town created more space and Shah, Bromwich and Greenwood gave Westleigh’s keeper some work to do with Rashaad going one on one with the keeper twice within minutes. Again, the keeper came out stronger and Town weren’t able to capitalise.

The game ended 0-1 to Westleigh. However, with such a positive start to the Ladies 4s team campaign, Town will continue their momentum into their game versus Melton on the 30th of October.

LTHC U12 Girls’ Tournament

Loughborough Town Girls’ U12s team played in their first tournament in over a year on Sunday. After coming second in the Leicestershire County Tournament as U10s back in 2020 before a disrupted year and little hockey, hopes were high.

First up the girls played Beeston; they settled in really nicely, playing some fluid passing hockey and their efforts were soon rewarded with a goal. Town continued to dominate and went into the second half 3-0 up. Again, the girls continued to pass well and create space for each other and were rewarded with another two goals.
Final score: Win 5-0.

After a short turnaround Town then played Leicester City. Both sides started well, with some good attacking intent and defending from both teams meaning that the score line stayed 0-0 until after half time, where Town managed to score the winning goal.
Final score: Win 1-0.

Categories: Match Reports