Results – 7th October
Lots of exciting matches were played last Saturday…
Mixed A lost 2-3 at home to Rangers
Goals: Noal Burton (2)
“Saturday 7th October saw the Mixed A team’s first home match of the season against last year’s mid-table Division 2 team Rangers. With more new recruits this week, players playing out of position and an education on what to expect last weekend, we went out focussed but a little on the back foot. However, the team were on point, falling easily into position and their new roles – guiding and intercepting at the back, creating chances through the midfield and generally reading the game very well. One break in the first half revealed the opposition’s main play as they broke through the centre, played a quick one-two pass between the forwards, drawing the defence and punting the ball over the goalie as he came out to meet them. Having seen this in action the team reacted perfectly to close them down throughout the rest of the game.
After a positive half time reflection with the belief that this was still our game to be had, the second half was a hockey dream to behold. With movement off the ball, plenty of passing between in- and out-field players as we made our way up the pitch and tracked back to cover off any breaks in attacking play. An unfortunate scramble on the line saw a deflection off GK Jake Wilson’s pads get knocked just clear of his knee as he went to ground. 2-0 to Rangers.
Undeterred, and as determined as ever, it wasn’t long before Noel Burton – normally Striker but playing Midfield this match – made a charge through the centre, into the D and put a straight shot past the oppositions unsuspecting Keeper. As the game went on it was a short corner shot, again from Noel Burton, that brought us our second glorious goal. After such good form and hard work on pitch, the delight from equalising was palpable on pitch, felt by the whole team; it felt like a win! But… it wasn’t to be. The opposition got a last minute break, dodged our last line of defence, drew the keeper to the edge of the D and took a shot that first found the post but was picked up and found its way into the goal. The match ended a 2-3 loss for the home side but was an absolutely fantastic game, the best hockey ever played by the side. Playing the best clearly brings out the best in us! Indicative of the games to come I’d say!”
Men’s 1 won 3-1 at home to Oundle
Goals: Ryan Harrison, Nick Hall and Tom Whitehouse
Player of the Match was Nick Hall
“It was opening day of the season on Saturday for the Men’s 1st team. With a host of changes from last seasons squad the men knew they were up against it with Oundle coming to town. However the team dug deep to record a 3-1 win . Goals from 1st team debutants Ryan Harrison and Nick Hall. Veteran Tom Whitehouse sealed the win late on.”
Men’s 2 lost 0-6 at home to Nottingham Players
Women’s 1 drew 2-2 away to Newark 1
Goals: Charlotte Butler and Ellie Hand
Player of the Match was Lauren Hand
“Newly promoted Newark ladies had made a great start to their campaign in the Midlands Feeder East league. Having played 2 and won both 4-0 they may have been expecting Market Harborough Women’s 1s to also be easy pickings. Harborough arrived slightly diminished in numbers but not in spirit. It was the away team who looked to push forward and created a flurry of first half chances. Frustratingly each one of them just wouldn’t go between the posts. Ellie Hand and Charlotte Butler spent the majority of the first half building an understanding and working on their connections but couldn’t convert any of the chances that they were creating. Susan Henderson was terrorising the flanks and making life difficult for the Newark midfield. Exasperatingly Newark managed to get into the Harborough defensive D once throughout the entire first half and went into the break 1-0 up.
They doubled their lead 30 seconds into the second half with a well worked break down the left side of the pitch. Charlotte Butler did not take kindly to this and pulled one back for the visitors within a minute of the restart. Deb Mason made a fabulous tackle at the heart of the defence and threaded the ball through to captain Lauren Hand. She passed a well angled ball through to Butler who used her tenacity to force her way into the D and purposefully despatch the ball beyond the flailing keeper.
Harborough collected a burst of cards in the second half but didn’t let this become a barrier to the ultimate goal – an equaliser. This came courtesy of a calamitous goalkeeping error upon which Butler pounced, passed into Lauren Hand who saw her twin Ellie Hand in a much better position to score. The pass was worthy of the finish that the twins carved out between them and Harborough found themselves back on level terms. With only nine players on the pitch in the dying minutes of the match Harborough were very nervous when Newark were awarded a penalty corner in the fading seconds. Deb Mason and Ady Kendall were on hand to clear the ball away and settle the match with a well earned point for the away side. Player of the match went to captain Lauren Hand for her industry in midfield.”
Women’s 2 won 4-3 at home to Ashby Ladies 3
Goals: Caroline Dow (3) and Sarah Hornbuckle
Caroline Dow was Player of the Match
“Harborough Women’s 2s took on Ashby 3s on the home astro and immediately applied pressure from all areas of the pitch. In the first fleeting minutes Harborough pushed forward and with a short corner blocked by an Ashby defender Harborough were awarded a penalty flick that was deftly put away by Caroline Dow. Ashby rallied and a flooded Harborough D saw a goal scramble for Ashby to equalise. Harborough kept their heads and worked hard from the immense defence, through midfield, onto forward Sarah Hornbuckle who reverse-sticked it into Ashby’s goal to take the lead. The curious incident of the goal that never happened, happened next…
With renewed vigour Harborough began the second half with some great play as the 2s went forth with numerous attacks winning many short corners, from where Caroline Dow dispatched two more goals swiftly into the back of the net. The whole team kept up the pace and throughout the match the defence was on fine form. Ashby managed to get another two back, but Harborough were able to keep a firm hold on their lead with great interplay between the entire team.”
Women’s 3 lost 0-7 away to @Ashby_HC Ladies 2
Joint Players of the Match, Ruth Lewis and Charis Simpkin
“The Women’s 3s travelled to Dixie Grammar School to meet Ashby Ladies 2s, fresh from the league above. Without our new-usual keeper, Ruth Lewis took her second ever (1st in a league match) turn in goal – and what a turn it was! Alongside some fantastic play from the rest of the team, her spectacular saves kept the score to 0-1 at half-time.
Ashby came out far more aggressively in the second half, attacking in waves and applying pressure to win numerous short corners. Charis Simpkin played the game of her life, running over and over again and frustrating a number of attempts on goal. However, fitness and experience showed and by the end of the game, despite an incredible effort from all, we were down 0-7. Player of the Match was deservedly shared between Ruth and Charis.”
Badgers won 4-2 at home to Welford
Goals: Thomas Ainsworth (2), Thomas Parry and Owen Arthur
“Our first game of the season, and what a start! A win against Welford (who we have never beaten before). This was a great result for us as we worked so hard as a team. Goals came from Thomas Parry, Thomas Ainsworth and Owen Arthur.
In the first 10 minutes we went 2 nil up, but Welford soon re-grouped and by half time it was 2-2. We came back out with our original formation and managed to get 2 more goals in the last ten minutes. Well played all, especially Jake our new goaly who had a great game!”
And yesterday we had some action from two of our junior teams…
U8s and U10s tournament hosted by Welford HC
“Ten u10s and four u8s took to the pitch on a sunny autumnal morning for the latest junior tournament, held at Lutterworth and hosted by Welford HC.
The u8s, with shorter and fewer games (but no subs!) smashed all-comers – special thanks to Zoe Marlow for working with them – and were, by all accounts, fantastic.
The day started more slowly for the u10s who didn’t play for the 1st two games. Once they got underway, of the four games, the children all played three games each, the last three coming in very quick succession. Winning their first against the home team, they passed the ball well and tried to use the space. The next three games, all against very well-drilled Northampton Saints sides, had what would officially be considered less positive outcomes. However, Harborough learnt quickly and, working as a team, they improved on their results against the same sides in the previous tournament – so, actually, very positive outcomes.
These youngsters are so skilled, fit and enthusiastic that it’s a joy to watch them develop and grow. Thanks to the children for their hard work, to the parents and families for their support and to Hazel O’Connell for being my co-manager for the day.”