Mens 1st’s lost 7-3 to Halifax 1st’s
Slaz 2nds travelled to top of the table Halifax 2’s, for a tough encounter coming away on the end of a 2-5 loss.
Halifax played a direct, attacking hockey and while Slazenger responded, they looked on the backfoot at the beginning of the game. A couple of breakaway counterattacks saw the hosts quickly go 2-0. Slaz redoubled, with a spell of strong pressure, allowing Asad Baig to carve through the defence and squeeze a shot past the keeper; going into the break 2-1 down.
The second half saw Slaz come out of the blocks with renewed vigour. The high press saw Matt Stacey hit the crossbar and several opportunities going agonizingly wide. However, it was the same story of breakaway attack defeating keeper Harry Buttery. Slaz scored a 2nd through Baig and looked to be back in the game with 10 minutes to go. However a further 2 goals sealed the result for Halifax.
Slaz host bottom of the table Wakefield 4th’s for the local derby next week 1:30pm
Slazenger 3s looked to continue the recent good run of form against Chapeltown and gave the new look midfield another run out and it wasn’t long till they were in control of the game. Soon slazengers took the lead when Tim Carr slotted the first goal with a composed finish that gave belief that he had remembered his shooting stick. Shortly after this Scott Carruthers decided to clarify the easiest goal of the season after tapping in the ball from 0.1cm outside the line after good work by the slaz team. For the rest of the half slazenger continued to push but couldn’t add any more goals to go with the dominance. However the start of the second half soon saw that change when two quick short corners were put away by PJ to take his short corner conversion rate up to 0.00023% (rounded up). After this it was clear Chapeltown heads had gone as man of the match Matt Banks continued to cover ground and direct play whilst Josh Dunston looked menacing with every play, eventually ever reliable Alan Perry extended the goal difference before more misery was put on Chapeltown when Dave Gascoine slotted a cool short corner. At this point Chapeltown may as well have gone home because Perry, Carr and Haigh slotted a goal each to leave slazenger with a great boost to the goal difference and another 3 points to the league total.
Slaz 4s continued their promotion push at home against Chapeltown. The first half was very even with chances very limited and it ended 0-0.
The second half was much more open as Slaz continued to push forward. Then midfielder Owen Bland pulled off a great opening goal to put the home side 1-0 up. However, Chapeltown were straight back in from a defensive slip up as the away side equalised. Then the game became end to end but goals from Brian Johnson and Dan Cass gave Slaz the lead as the game finished 3-1.
Man of the match went to Harry Lumb as he controlled the game in midfield. Next week Slaz have another local derby as they welcome Wakefield 7s for their last home game of the season.
The two previous games between these two sides had been closely fought and this one was no different. Both sides had their periods of pressure in the first half, Chesterfield missed a couple of chances and the best Slaz chance went to Tyler Townend who ran onto an Alex Stacey through ball and smashed his first time strike into the keepers chest. Half time 0-0.
Chesterfield took the lead early in the second half from penalty corner, Paul Chilton’s brave attempted block only deflecting it past keeper Adam Garside. But Slaz practise has improved their performance from set pieces, their pressure resulting in repeated long and short corners – Eddie Kendall scoring from one for the second game running and then Tyler Townend’s , repeated persistence to get the ball back towards goal seeing it dribble over the line.
In all of this Slaz had gone down from 13 to 11, Luke Minchella and Will Gascoigne both being unable to continue after taking strikes to the ankle and knee respectively – brave boys!
Final score Chesterfield 1-2 Slazenger
Great performances all round, especially Alex Stacey, Eddie Kendall and (one his first ever game) Simon Kendall – but MoM went to Tyler Townend for his goal, hard work and great positional play, all of this on his birthday!
Slaz ladies 3s traveled to Chesterfield to face 4th placed Dronfield hopeful of at least a point to keep them in the running to stay in Div 4. With only a bare 11 and 4 not feeling 100% it was going to be a tough game, but the visitors went out with a positive, can win attitude following their victory the previous week. It was envisaged that today’s fixture would need to be played more defensively so a slight change to the starting formation saw Slaz with 4 at the back with the view of keeping the Dronfield attack out. However the home side had a very experienced major game player in the centre who the Slaz midfield struggled to deter and once she penetrated the the Slaz D she used her skill and experience to win penalty corner after penalty corner for her team. As ever, the Slaz defence were regimented in their routine, with Emily Saxton and joint player of the match Emma Eley running and making some heavy duty tackles, Eley taking a lifted ball hard to her bicep in the process, Emily Entwisle and captain Ritchey with strong clearances and keeper Lizzie Tunstall making some excellent saves, meaning Dronfield were unable to convert any of the 9 corners awarded in the first half. When Slaz were on the attack they looked impressive moving the ball well. Justine Birkett worked hard in the midfield making some well timed tackles and passes out wide to Lauren Fealy (left) and Gaby Giggal (right) and to the forwards Caro Schofield and Natasha Wiper, who all made some excellent runs and got in to some good open spaces. Unfortunately the work rate and effort did not pay off for Slaz in the first half and chances on goal were unfulfilled. There also appeared to be some confusion for Slaz with the 4-4-2 formation and Dronfield made the most of the space down the flanks when they won the ball back, pulling the Slaz midfield wide, leaving the Dronfield key player free and able to put further pressure on the visitors. But Slaz again displayed brilliant defensive work which included Tunstall taking a knock to the head after a ball was hit high towards goal and deflected off Ritchey’s stick into the helmet of the keeper, over the cross bar and in fact over the fence and out of the pitch enclosure. Dronfield kept trying but to no avail and Slaz were very happy to keep the half time score at 0 – 0.
A half time change of tactic saw Slaz revert to 3 at the back pushing Entwisle to DCM, Birkett to a slightly higher centre mid position and ACM Lucy Howarth doing a sterling job of marking the Dronfield play maker completely out of the game. With their main player constantly marked Dronfield had no outlet and Slaz were intercepting passes and winning balls left right and centre and were able to play a more attacking game putting a lot more pressure on the Dronfield defence than in the first half. Eventually Slaz were awarded the first of their four penalty corners of the game after forward Wiper placed the the ball smartly on a Dronfield foot. Captain Ritchey stepped up and a hard hit to the right narrowly missed Wiper’s stick to go out of play. The second a left slip and a first time strike by Schofield also went wide of the right post. The 3rd was another well struck ball from Ritchey this time going just left of the post and the fourth a strike from Schofield saved by the keeper. Slaz were the stronger of the two sides in the second half and despite all the possession and chances they began to think they would never score, that is until some well worked attacking hockey lead to a scuffle in front of the Dronfield goal and Slaz were finally 1 – 0 up thanks to joint player of the match Schofield making certain. With renewed confidence Slaz continued to defend well any chances Dronfield had including a couple more penalty corners, but with ten minutes left the game could still go wither way. The home side were now becoming frustrated and were hitting and hoping sending balls high and wide that no one could get on the end of. Slaz remained calm and used the opportunities given by Dronfield to their advantage and were rewarded with a few minutes remaining when in open play Schofield received a beautiful pass from the left, dribbled the ball in to the D beating the defender and tonking the ball passed the keeper. The sound of the ball hitting the backboard was music to the visitors’ ears, knowing that they had sealed their victory and with it another 3 well deserved and much needed points.
The ladies 4th team faced Doncaster 4th team at home this weekend. The sun came out and layers came off and despite Slazengers being down to 10 players at times, their progress through the season was very apparent.
Unfortunately, Doncaster scored two goals in quick succession within the first 10 minutes and there could have easily been a third shortly after if it wasn’t for keeper – Lideya Booths excellent save of a lifted ball with her hand. The Slazenger ladies tightened their defence and held off any further goals until Doncaster did score their third shortly before halftime.
The Slazenger ladies fought hard throughout the second half and were unlucky for a shot on goal by Julie Bailey not to make it over the line. However, Doncaster managed one further goal the end result being Slazengers losing 4-0.