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

LTHC Men’s 1st XI

England Hockey League Conference Midlands

LTHC Men’s 1st XI 1 vs St Albans 1st XI 0

On a very blustery Saturday, Town were eventually able to take on St Albans, in a tie eagerly anticipated for two weeks. St Albans slightly edged the opening encounters but it was Town who won a penalty stroke on the counter. Unfortunately, this was not capitalised upon as the keeper prevented the ball from crossing the line, although it may not have been powerful enough to reach the backboard had he not.

Chances were at a premium and cagey affair continued for the majority of the game. Town won their second penalty stroke of the game in the closing minutes and this was finished with much greater conviction into the top left corner. Town held on to their 1-0 lead to take and the three points.

LTHC Men’s 1st XI 0 vs Lichfield 1st XI 0

Following on from the hard fort win on against St Albans, Town had to face up again a day later against Lichfield. Having lost 3-1 in the first half of the season, it was always going to be a tough game.

The first half saw good chances for Town with no end product. However, Lichfield didn’t look like scoring at any point due to some brilliant team defence and general game management. Half time, 0-0, and spirits were high.

The second half was a bit more of a struggle. The third quarter again had some good chances for Town with a couple of penalty corners, however, their legs started to go towards the end of the third. The final quarter was a grind with some brilliant last ditch defending from Nick Morris and Jim Sheppard to secure a 0-0 draw.

A game Town could have won had they not had a game the previous day, and potentially took advantage of the chances they did have. A good game and excellent point that puts Town in a strong position with just four games to go.

After a four point weekend Town travel south to play Bedford next Saturday, who are one position below them in the table, with Town currently in sixth place.

LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 4 vs Nuneaton 1st XI 1

Midlands Men’s Division 5 East

Loughborough Town 3rd XI were back at home this week as they played Nuneaton 1st XI. Both teams were eyeing the three points; Town to edge them closer to league safety and Nuneaton looking to keep their hopes alive of avoiding relegation.

Town won the coin toss and elected to have the ball to start the first half. This proved to be pivotal as from Town’s first attack, some great passing led to Nathan Holifield scoring his team-leading tenth of the season in the first minute. Holifield doubled Town’s lead five minutes later, with another well-worked move. Holifield made a welcome return to the side this week after missing last week’s game, giving Town that extra pace up front, which caused Nuneaton problems.

As Town continued to put their stamp on the game, they went 3-0 up from a penalty corner within fifteen minutes. After the initial and first rebound shots were saved, Tom Haworth-Edwards pounced on the second rebound to put it into the goal.

A great start for Town and they were cruising, however as the game progressed Town stopped playing their passing game allowing Nuneaton back into the game. The away side started getting better possession and created scoring chances. After some lapse marking in the D one of these chances was put away by Nuneaton. Halftime 3-1 to Town.

The second half was pretty much a back-and-forth affair with each side having opportunities though nothing came from this. As the game looked to end without any further scoring, Town put the game definitely out of reach with about ten minutes to go as Leon Foster-Pollard scored his first of the season. 

A much needed 4-1 win for Town which leaves them in a good position to remain in this league next season. Next week will be an even tougher game for Town as they are away at second placed Leicester 1st XI.

LTHC Ladies’ 3rd XI 3 vs Market Harborough 2nd XI 2

Midlands Women’s Division 4 Nene / Charnwood

Loughborough Town 3rd XI travelled to bottom of the table side Market Harborough 2nd XI looking to build on last week’s win.

The first half was dominated by Town covering the home sides hit outs with a strong press intercepting the ball confidently. As Town went into half time it was 2-0 to the away side. The first goal scored by Charlotte Steele, who under immense pressure calmly pushed the ball straight past the keeper into the right-hand corner of the goal. Following this Emily Quinn came back with a similar technique of drawing the keeper off her line, to push it in and secure Town’s second goal. Throughout the first half Towns defence held strong with support Alex O’Connor in goal shouting from the back. 

Following a team talk from Sam Dalby at half-time, Town were back and raring to go. The second half started with a run of penalty corners for Town. One of these Hannah Knowles and Hana Rasheed converted between them, with a clean and simple one two at the top of the D before Rasheed pushed it in to make it 3-0 to Town. After securing a comfortable lead the tempo seemed to die down a bit.  Market Harborough took advantage of this allowing them to break free and attack strongly. This resulted in them scoring two goals in the last ten minutes. Ending the game 3-2 to Town.

Next weekend sixth place Town face second place Long Buckby 1st XI at home, looking to reverse the away fixture’s result which they lost 3-1, and keep their winning streak alive.

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

Categories: Match Reports