1st XI 28/10/17 v Bournville

Stafford 5 – 0 Bournville

This week Stafford ladies played Bournville at home.

Stafford had a solid start. Katie Gallagher started one of Stafford’s first attack. Gallagher picked up the ball from centre on the field before playing in forward into space for Emma Clay. Clay calming entered into circle and scored the first goal of the game.

Helen Paling’s quick thinking proved success for the second goal. Paling released a quick ball from the Stafford defence onto Stacey Fenton’s stick who cleared the defence and took the ball around the keeper and hit the ball home.

Stafford maintained their pace. Pressure from Amy Mitchell gave Emily Trotter an opportunity for a quick ball down the wing playing the ball into the circle. Alex Hemmings took the shot but narrowly missed.

Bournville didn’t sit back and an attack led to them being awarded a penalty corner. The Bournville strike was saved and cleared by Stafford keeper Alanah Spilsbury.

Stafford turned the Bournville attack into a Stafford break. Clay picked the ball up from halfway, passing the defence into the circle before striking the ball past the keeper.
The first half ended 3-0

Stafford started the second half with just as much determination at the first. Great work between Mitchell and Trotter caused Bournville problems down the wing. Trotter used her pace to beat the defence crossing the ball into the circle to Fenton whos shot was saved. Stafford didn’t give in. Mitchell laid off the rebound to Mallaband who shot was just wide.

Emily Trotter intercepted a Bournville defensive free hit before driving the ball forward across the goal mouth. Hemmings dive on the back post just missed the ball.

The game more end to end now gave Bournville an opportunity at goal however, Spilsbury kept a clean sheet making multiple saves.

Stafford was quick to respond and made a break. Clay and Mitchell linked up on the wing who played into Hemmings whos shot found the back of the goal.

With minutes to play, Mallaband played the ball into Clay in the circle who took a reverse stick shot, completing her hattrick and ending the game 5-0.

1st XI 21/10/17 v North Staffs

North Staffs 1 – 0 Stafford

Stafford ladies played away against North Staffs this week.

It was an end to end game from the start. Both sides having to absorb pressure from the attacks.

A number of opportunities came from both sides however the keepers kept the score level. North Staffs hadn’t won a game this season so their determination was hard to control. A slow Stafford opened up an opportunity for North Staffs who pounced on the opportunity to score the first goal of the game. The first half finished 1-0.

The second half was much and same and Stafford had a number of opportunities from penalty corners.The North Staffs keeper kept them in the game making save after save. The Stafford side didn’t give up and Emily Trotter narrowly missed in the final minutes of the game. The game ended 1-0. A disappointing result for Stafford.

1st XI 07/10/17 v Warwick

Stafford 3 – 2 Warwick

Stafford faced Warwick this weekend and right from the start of the game Warwick showed Stafford exactly what they would have to face this season in the Midlands league.

Stafford had to absorb a lot of pressure from a very good Warwick team but Stafford held strong at the back and were able to break down opportunity after opportunity created by the away side.

Stafford didn’t take it sitting down either and fought back. Several breaks down the wings created great opportunities for Stafford to take the lead however the Warwick keeper pulled off some fine saves to keep them in the game. The first half finished 0-0.

After an end to end first half both teams picked up the pace. Warwick quickly changed the game with the first goal of the match catching Stafford on break. A second soon followed. A miss communication between the defence and the GK let a tame shot through on the back post to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Stafford kept their heads up and continued to apply pressure moving forward. Tori Hamplett and Katie Gallagher worked the ball out to the wing before crossing to Stacey Fenton in the circle. Her first shot was saved however Fenton was quick on the rebound hitting the ball past the Warwick keeper.

Stafford’s confidence grew after the goal and it wasn’t long before Emma Clay pounced on an opportunity to score the equaliser.

With 10 minutes left to play and the game still running end to end Stafford took advantage of their pace on the break. The speed of the forwards created space in the circle for the shot, Alex Hemming on the back post slapped the ball home for a 3-2 lead.

The final moments saw Warwick increase the pressure on the Stafford defence as they searched for a late equaliser. Alanah Spilsbury the Stafford keeper made one of the last touches of the game clearing the ball off the side line.

Stafford’s determination saw them secure a fantastic win, and a brilliant come back against a sporting side

1st XI 01/10/17 v Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 0 – 9 Stafford

In their second midlands league fixture of the season, Stafford put 9 goals past Shrewsbury on Sunday.

After postponing the fixture until the Sunday as players attended the funeral of much loved club member Berni Bendall on the Saturday, Stafford were inspired, wanting to grab their first league win of the season in her memory.

Stafford started strong and maintained their enthusiasm and pace throughout the game.

The majority of play was in the Shrewsbury defending half with Stafford looking a very strong side on the attack. After a few missed chances, the opening goal came when Sarah Thompson took a side-line ball, moving forward on the left before finding Stacey Fenton in the circle. Without hesitation Fenton touched the ball past the keeper.

A mistake by the Shrewsbury defence nearly led to the second when Stafford were quick to take back possession of the ball, Fenton and Tori Hamplett found themselves behind the defence, two on one with the keeper. A bad tackle from the keeper on Fenton saw a penalty stroke awarded. Charlotte May stepped up to the plate however her attempt was saved.

Undeterred, Stafford kept up the pressure. Katie Gallagher found herself in space in the centre midfield and drove forward before sliding a lovely ball into the back post where Sian Gwyther saw the ball in.

Another duo who made light of the Shrewsbury defence were Emma Clay and Alex Hemming, working well together moving forward, Clay passed to Hemming in space in the circle. Hemming’s strike was on target but Clay ensured it was going in, lifting the ball into the net.

Stafford was awarded their first penalty corner of the game, a strike from Clay was narrowly saved.

Fenton once again found herself one on one with the keeper however the amazing strike that found the back of the goal was disallowed, however her determination was not hindered.

Gwyther and Hamplett used their pace down the left hand side to find a defensive foot in the circle winning Stafford another penalty corner. Shrewsbury cleared the initial strike not allowing Stafford the chance for another shot.

As half time approached Emily Mallaband stopped play in its tracks and used her pace moving into the circle. A bad tackle gave Stafford a third opportunity at a penalty corner. Mallaband took the shot and fired it in the bottom corner however it was disallowed due to not coming outside the circle.

First Half finished 3-0

Stafford started the second half as they had played the first, with determination and amazing team play. An early goal came when Fenton and Mallaband combined, Fenton getting the final touch past the keeper for her second goal of the game.

Fenton quickly made her hat trick, picking up the ball in the circle she calmly took the ball around the keeper while narrowly avoiding a defender. 5-0.

May took the next strike at a penalty corner, the keeper made the save however Stafford continued to worry Shrewsbury after Fenton chased down the ball. Gwyther just missed the ball on the back post.

Player of the match Hamplett was able to use her skills moving forward, taking the ball around a number of the opposition. Unfortunately, her shot was blocked with a foot and another penalty corner awarded, Stafford unable to convert.

K Gallagher in the middle of the field fed the ball out to Hemming on the wing, a quick pass to Fenton gave her space to take a quick shot, the shot was initially saved however Gwyther slotted the ball home on the back post to make it 6-0.

Lydia Gallagher, Helen Paling and Hannah Bleakley were put to the test when Shrewsbury won themselves a penalty corner. The defence remained cool as Alanah Spilsbury the Stafford keeper made the save, clearing the ball out of the circle.

Another great opportunity came when L. Gallagher released the ball down the wing to Gwyther who linked up with Fenton. Fenton still hungry for goal got a reverse shot off however the ball hit the far post before going out.

Throughout the game Stafford were moving the ball around really well, utilising the space they were being given. After some well worked play the ball found Gwyther in the circle who lifted the ball into the net past the keeper making her hat trick.

Stafford although ahead didn’t slow on pace, Clay scored her second the game with an excellent reverse hit.

Mallaband got the ninth and final goal of the game. Her reverse hit from the far side of the circle slotted into the far corner of the goal. A fantastic game for Stafford hopefully the amazing team work and sheer determination will be replicated in all matches moving forward.

1st XI 23/09/17 v Telford & Wrekin

Stafford 0 – 4 Telford & Wrekin

Newly promoted into the Midlands league, Stafford 1sts went into their first league match of the new season against Telford & Wrekin in a confident mood.

Stafford started the game needing to absorb a lot of pressure. The defence held strong for long periods but after a sustained spell of play in the Stafford defensive third, a Telford forward managed to work a yard of free space in the circle to slide a shot through the Stafford GK.

An injury to a Stafford defender meant some re-adjustment at the back and Telford were able to take advantage with a penalty corner strike to go 2-0 up.

As half time approached Stafford started to get into the game. A break down the left from Sarah Thompson created an excellent opportunity when her cross was inches away from the stick of the diving Alex Hemming on the far post.

A much more settled Stafford side started the second half. They dominated play and created chances but the final touch was missing.

Against the run of play Telford managed to extend their lead which gave them the impetus to finish the match strongly and grab a forth before the final whistle.

A disappointing result but an encouraging display from Stafford especially in the second half.