3rd XI 21/10/17 v WATS

Stafford 0 – 2 WATS

In Stafford’s first home game of the season, they took on Wolverhampton / Tettenhall third team.

The match got underway with Stafford on the back foot after an early goal from the opposition breaking just short of the halfway line, leaving the Stafford defence short of players to cover. The opposition played some confident 1-2’s past the defence to score from the top of the circle. From this point forward in the first half Stafford to control of the game, holding the play keeping playing in their attacking 23. Stafford were pushing hard and forced a number of short and long corners of which all pushed wide of the goal or saved and well cleared by the oppositions GK. This is how the scored remained until halftime.

The second half got underway in the same fashion that the first half had ended. The quality of play by all was displayed through some faultless passing down the wings and again into the attacking circle. The Stafford team were passing the ball around the edge of the circle to get off some good shots that were all falling short of the goal. Stafford continued to control the play until the opposition made a strong attack in the final two minutes of the game, forcing the ball around the defence to a player right in front of the goal that swept the ball away to make the score 2-0 at the final whistle.

The scoreline was not reflective of a solid performance by the whole Stafford team. Mel Varga was awarded man of the match.

3rd XI 07/10/17 v Bloxwich

Bloxwich 5 – 0 Stafford

Stafford ladies 3s took on Bloxwich away, in what was a hard fought battle to get some points on the board.

Straight from the start of the match Stafford found themselves under heavy attack from Bloxwich, with the play remaining in the Stafford defensive half. A number of attacks found Stafford 1-0 down in the first few minutes of the match. Stafford attempted to break through the Bloxwich defence with a couple of attacks making it into the Bloxwich circle, but all were unfortunately well cleared by the Bloxwich defence.

Stafford continued to battle hard keeping up a high output in an attempt to push hard and take control of the play, however Stafford found themselves 3-0 down at half time.

The second half started much the same as the first half ended, with Bloxwich attacking heavily. Within a few minutes Stafford settled, making some lovely linking play up the wings and into the Bloxwich circle. The Stafford forwards making shots on goal that were all saved by the Bloxwich Keeper.

Play continued to be hard going for Stafford as Bloxwich score 2 further goals taking the score to 5-0.

The Stafford team fought hard all the way to the final whistle narrowly missing the Bloxwich goal just before the final whistle.

The score may have been in Bloxwich’s favour, however 5-0 was not reflective of the tremendous team effort from all of the Stafford team. Jess Twigg was voted player of the Match by the opposition, Ali Nagata and Evie Williams receiving the Stafford vote.

3rd XI 23/09/17 v Streetly

Streetly 3 – 1 Stafford

Saturday’s match saw Stafford Ladies 3rd team take on Streetly in their first league match of the season.

The match started well with Stafford taking control of the play, holding the majority of possession and challenging the Streetly defence. Streetly made attempts to fight back with them breaking into their attacking half a handful of times in the first 5 minutes, but each attempt was thwarted by the Strong Stafford midfield and defence. Stafford had the opportunity to take the lead making a few confident attacks, breaking into the circle and getting shots off at the goal, unfortunately all were unsuccessful due to the quality Streetly GK.

The play remained pretty even with end to end play throughout the remainder of the first half with Streetly managing to make a strong break through midfield and into the Stafford circle. The Streetly attack managed to lift the ball over Mel Varga’s stick and make a strong shot on goal, with Hilary Glaister clearing the ball to the edge of the circle. Streetly picked the ball up and managed to take the ball around Jess Sheppard to score the first goal of the match  to take us to half time.

After regrouping at half time Stafford came back out well composed staying strong and playing some quality one two’s down both wings to pressure the Streetly defence. This forced two penalty corners in quick succession to each other, both being well defended by Streetly.  Stafford found themselves down to 10 players after captain Kate Bartels suffered a stick to the eye placing Stafford under a lot of pressure in defence.

Around 10 minutes from the end of the match with Stafford back up to 11, Streetly made a fast break down the pitch and into the circle to make a directly strike on goal, which was saved by Glaister once again, unfortunately Streetly managed to collect the ball quickly and make another strong strike that could not be stopped by any of the defence. This was repeated by Streetly within two minutes of the Stafford push back taking the score to 3-0 to Streetly.

Stafford strengthened in the last few minutes with Evie Williams in midfield and Issy Varga upfront making some lovely linking play to bypass the Streetly defence and allow Issy to make a lovely sweeping movement to an incoming ball to score just before the final whistle.

The game was end to end and the 3-1 loss not reflective of the strong performance by all Stafford players. Issy Varga gaining player of the match.

3rd XI 18/03/17 v Leek

Leek 1 – 4  Stafford

Following on from last week’s good form, Stafford started well and were soon putting the Leek defence under pressure. Despite this, and the winning of a number of short corners, Stafford found it difficult to break the deadlock early on. Perseverance was rewarded and a couple of good one and two touch passes saw them go into half time two goals ahead. The first was scored by Amy Bailey and the second by Samantha Bevington.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first and saw Stafford move further ahead when Megan Hill was perfectly placed to sweep in a loose ball. Leek then countered with a number of attacks and the Stafford defence were caught out and Leek managed to get a goal. Stafford rallied and finished the game with a fourth goal, this time scored by Julie Hart.

This was a great team performance. In midfield Julie Hart and Rose Whewall in particular were excellent. The forwards moved well to confound the Leek defence and in defence the experience of Maggie Nevill, Christine Weetman and Elizabeth Williams ensured that Leek did not get too many chances. The player of the match was Rose Whewall, but any of a number of players could have achieved this accolade.

3rd XI 11/03/17 v WATS

Stafford 4 – 1 WATS

The captain’s pep-talk seemed to do the trick as Stafford started very brightly.

Good attacking flowing moves amongst the players soon saw Stafford going in front. A quick move saw Evie Williams score a lovely goal from the right.

The opposition did have a few attacks and it was from a penalty corner that they equalised.

Stafford continued to press forward and soon scored from their own penalty corner. Christine Weetman finding the goal this time. Stafford went further ahead when a shot by Carmel Varga was helped over the line by a defender.

In the second half Stafford had to endure some pressure from the WATS attack but goalkeeper Ellie Barnett made some fantastic saves.

Stafford continued to play more attacking hockey and Amy Bailey picked up the ball in her own half, and ran into the circle after riding a number of tackles. Her shot was saved by the goalkeeper but Williams was there to score from the rebound.

Williams was unlucky a short while later not to get her hat-trick but another good attack by Stafford was thwarted by the WATS defence.

This was a great team performance and Stafford hope that this current form will carry over to their next game in a weeks time.

Player of the match was Amy Bailey, but a number of players could easily have won it too.