This week we have match reports from the M1, M3 and L3. 

LTHC Men’s 1st XI 2 vs Harborne 1st XI 4

England Hockey League Conference Midlands

Loughborough Town Men’s 1st XI hosted top of the table Harborne, with a vastly improved performance from the season opener back in late September. Harborne eventually came away 4-2 winners, remaining unbeaten this season.

©Hitesh Patel

Town arguably deserved to take an early lead after successfully pressing the Harborne backline on several occasions but struggled to convert some clear-cut chances. Against the run of play, the league top scorer converted an early penalty corner, giving Harborne the lead. However, Loughborough bounced back to make it 2-1, with a chip over the keeper from Lewis Radcliffe and a neat deflection from John Harrison.

The second half consisted of the accumulation of green cards for Town, as Harborne brought pressure creating some cheap errors, resulting in penalty corners for the away side, which one of them was utilised to bring the scores level. Harborne’s continued pressure resulted in the game’s second chip over the keeper, giving the away side a 3-2 lead, before they extended it further with their third penalty corner goal of the game.

Loughborough arguably deserved to get a result from the game, as they head to Barford Tigers next weekend to face second in the table.

More photo’s from the game can be found in the 2021 / 2022 Season Gallery.

LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 2 vs Melton 1st XI 2

Midlands Men’s Division 5 East

After a disappointing result last weekend Loughborough Town Men’s 3rd XI looked to get back to winning ways when they travelled away to play Melton 1st XI.

Both sides started well though Melton had the edge in possession though Town defended well limiting the home side to any real opportunities. The deadlock was broken by the away side when a well worked move resulted in Nathan Holifield scoring his seventh of the season for Town. The 1-0 lead wasn’t held long when Melton levelled the score line. Not to be disheartened Town upped their game, passing the ball around well creating opportunities. One of these moves resulted in a penalty corner. A well worked passing routine resulted in Tom Haworth-Edwards scoring his fifth of the season for the 2-1 lead. Melton did have a chance to level the scores just before the half-time whistle through a penalty corner, though this was saved well by Guy Heywood.

Going into half-time Town were confident they could extend their lead if they just kept passing the ball around and maintaining possession. As the second half progressed the excellent hockey which Town had played in the latter part of the first half disappeared. This resulted in Melton pressurising Town’s defence constantly throughout the second half, with again Heywood making some good saves. Eventually the pressure took its toll when Melton equalised, as one of their forwards got free at the far post. Whilst Heywood made a great first save diving to his right, the rebound was lifted over him into the goal. Score line 2-2, which was the final score, which was a fair result based on Town’s play in the second half.

Town’s next games are away Wednesday night against league leaders Repton, before returning home on Saturday against Derby.

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

Midlands Women’s Division 4 Nene / Charnwood

Loughborough Town Ladies’ 3rd XI hosted Earls Barton who were just below them in the table and were looking to get the better of them after losing 2-0 in the away fixture earlier in the season.

Town started the match with high intensity and full of energy, in the middle there was some

great moments of passing play, especially from Fran Bucher and Emily Hopkins. The home side created a couple of opportunities to score but they were well defended by the Earls Barton, though Town continued to put pressure on the away side. Towards the end of the first half the ball worked its way up from the back, starting with Abigail Archer then up to Bucher, who passed to Hana Rasheed in the D. Rasheed’s chip shot then found the back of the net to open the scoring. Very shortly afterwards Town kept the intensity and focus up and caught the Earls Barton by surprise with Bucher firing a shot across the face of the goal for Sam Dalby to deflect it in, doubling Town’s lead. After the goal Earls Barton set up and attacked hard though a fantastic save from Kate Horrigan, who deflect a high ball with her stick wide, kept the away side off the scoresheet. So, at half time the score was 2-0 to Town.

At the beginning of second half, it was clear that Earls Barton were hungry for a goal which resulted in Town having to defend a lot more. The away side started to take hold of the game and ball possession leading to more goal scoring opportunities. This pressure finally took its toll when Earls Barton scored from a penalty corner, to make the score 2-1. Town still not as composed as the first half did get a chance to extend their lead, though two penalty corners couldn’t be capitalised on. Goalkeeper Horrigan made another fine save with her glove to give Town the win just before the final whistle blew.

The win moves Town into seventh place in the table, whilst next week they take on local rivals and league leaders Loughborough Carillon 1st XI.

Categories: Match Reports