Saturday 4th November
Ladies 4s vs Hertford 3 - 3-0 win
The game started bright and early at home on Saturday, with Broxbourne 4s facing Hertford 3s. The game started of with Hertford advancing into Broxbourne’s half, but they were yet to reach the D with Bryony and Lorraine standing strong at the back. From sixteens, Roisin was often receiving and would distribute out to her fellow midfielders or the centre forward, Jo, with precision and pace. After a few attempts on goal, Jo finally secured a short corner for Broxbourne, where Callia, Ava and herself had a shot, but were unfortunately unsuccessful. When it came to Hertford’s ball, Jane was frequency force to stop any of Hertford’s midfields to make it to the D. This was were the ball was given to Emelia who would use her strong stick skills to drive up the line giving Annie a shot on goal. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes before half-time that Annie made the score 1-0 with a perfect drive into the opposing D by Callia.
Half time came and with a positive talk from Lisa and a few sweets, Broxbourne were ready to go again. Broxbourne looked strong with Meg immediately pressuring Hertford to make mistakes, so that she could drive it into the D. With Sam seen on every inch of the pitch, she was quick to always provide an option, gluing the team together, it was with this that Broxbourne made their way up the pitch, where Annie then scored her second goal, giving Broxbourne a strong lead of 2-0.
Despite the speed of Hertford’s counterattacks, the defence remained composed but Kate’s reflexes were quicker to prevent conceding any goals, much to Hertford’s frustration. As ever, Lisa’s powerful hits broke Hertford’s press into pieces and was received on the left by Ava who ran it up the left hand side passing square to Jen. It was here where Jen drove into space allowing a smooth transfer to the forward line. The ball was given to Roisin’s possession, whose shot was deflected to Jo’s, where after many shots on target throughout the game, she scored a goal greatly celebrated by the whole team. Hertford’s desperation for a goal gave the defence an opportunity to show how strong they were, as all would transfer methodically until the final whistle blew, ensurin a 3-0 win for the Broxbourne 4’s.
Player this week went to Sam for supporting the team all over the pitch. Donkey this week went to Ava for covering Brawny with water before the game has even started.
Ladies 1s vs Dereham 1 - 2-0 win
Match report pending.
Mens 2s vs Cheshunt 1 - 2-1 win
Not our best but three points is three points
The twos won their local derby against Cheshunt 2-1. This was not our best performance of the season so far but a valuable three points pushed us to top of the table following a defeat for St.Albans who had been ahead. A patient start and the majority of possession led to early chances for the boys in blue. Two well worked goals suggested that we were going to hit our stride as we have been doing in other games and dominate the game. To their credit the Cheshunt team made this difficult for us and overall the remainder of the game was a scrappy end to end affair with good opportunities made by both sides and the keepers being kept busy. Joe W made a number of crucial 1 on 1 saves and bolstered the team’s confidence at critical moments. A late push by Cheshunt saw a messy goal reduce the lead to one and a nervous final few minutes were played out to conclude the game. Next week is a top of the table clash with St.Albans requiring a solid performance from the boys.
Ladies 5s vs Stevenage 5 - 2-0 loss
We travelled to Stevenage this week having had a week off (took us that long to dry out!!). We were hoping to have a squad of 13 but, shortly before the match we were down to 12 due to transport issues. This also meant that we were technically down to 1 defender. Milly’s best-laid plans needed a re-jig and a reshuffle of positions - thanks to everyone who changed from their usual position to help out the team.
We started the game a little tentatively and needed a gear change to get into the swing of things. However, once we got going the team played really well together. Having practiced a number of things at training over the last few weeks it was great to see that the ball was moving harder and faster, there was much more focus on where the ball was being passed, the press was looking great and we were using the full width of the pitch. It was also great to see the free hits and 16 yard hit outs were taken much quicker and meant we were able to move the ball up the pitch much faster.
Unfortunately, despite many attempts, we weren’t able to score. This wasn’t through lack of trying by Brox but mainly to do with 3 experienced Stevenage defenders who were not going to let us score if they had anything to do with it! It was great to see some tenacious play from the team to keep battling to score.
Stevenage scored their first goal after 24 minutes from a short corner with a cheeky ball just inside the right post. Not to be disheartened we carried on fighting. We had some lovely play up the field (including a couple of nice transfers which we have also been practicing) but went into half time 1-0 down.
We had a very positive team talk with everyone agreeing that we were all playing really well and to keep up the great work. A couple things to work on were releasing the ball much earlier and to carry on looking to use the width of the pitch.
However, despite some excellent marking, a couple of Stevenage players made a quick break and, with some clever 1-2 play, scored their second 7 minutes into the second half. We carried on attacking but were unable to get the ball across the line and we ended with a 2-0 loss.
Well done to all the players – you really did give 150%. Player of the match went to Sharon for stepping out of her (small) comfort zone into the centre back position and for a great game and hard work. Thanks also to Katie H for stepping into the left back position and Amy for playing top of the diamond which, together with some solid play from Ivy, created our newly formed defensive four.
Mentions also to Amy, Katie H, Amber, Isla and Rachel who also received votes. Donkey this week was a tough one but went to Ivy for being late.
Well done to everyone and looking forward to next weeks’ game when we are back at the badger field.
Ladies 2s vs Stevenage 1 - 2-1 win
A much sunnier afternoon match for Brox this week, and combined with a full team resulted in perfect conditions for a well-earned first win of the season (finally!).
The first half started well with Brox maintaining possession and moving the ball well. After many short corners not managing to find the goal, Brox fought hard against the aggressive opposition who managed to score on the break. Despite this, the score was equalised by half time due to a fantastic goal from Beth following some great 1-2s and passing up the pitch.
Ready for a classic second half come-back and fuelled by Haribo (and a pigs in blankets toastie), the game continued in a similar fashion. However, regardless of the relentless stick tackling, Stevenage was no match for the Brox ladies. With Lydia smashing the ball in from a short corner, the match concluded in a 2-1 win for the team!
Player went to Lydia for some great skill in the middle and for being late due to the wait for her Costa toastie, Izzy was Donkey. Honourable mentions go to the tasty teas, Grace playing after a ball to the head and Millie’s golden glow relative to her pale team mates, as well as manager Olivia eating instead of timekeeping for the subs.
Mens 1s vs Waltham Forest 1 - 4-1 win
After the international break had come to an end, the badgers eagerly awaited their next fixture away at Waltham Forest after a scintillating start to the season. However, on this occasion the location of the match moved from the Olympic park to Walthamstow Academy which changed the dynamics of the fixture. On arrival, the captain Phil Bryans and coach Panners reasserted their positivity and were keen for the badgers to enjoy this game and add another win to the tally for the season.
The game started at a fast pace with both teams looking to threaten each other with different tactics. However, Broxbourne controlled the possession and flow of the game with many chances created in the opening 15 minutes. The deadlock was finally broken when a penalty corner was won and clinically finished by Matt Menear in the top right hand corner of the goal as he added to his goal tally once again. This was soon followed by more dominance from the visitors who converted another penalty corner courtesy of Sam Groves deflection at the back post from another Matt Menear flick. Despite still having control of the game at 2-0, the badgers could have put the game beyond doubt before half time but there were some missed chances across the pitch which meant they had to settle for this at the break.
Moving into the second half, Broxbourne were quick to get into their stride and continued to threaten the Waltham Forest goal. This culminated in a nice intricate move down the right hand side which saw George Blemkin and Stan Mason combine before the forwards converted in the circle through Chris Hopson, making sure the ball made its way in at the back post to make it 3-0. Despite the comfortable score line, Waltham Forest did not make it easy by pressing higher up the pitch and forcing the badgers into some errors. This led to some more turnovers which played into the home side’s style of play. Waltham Forest were able to make this count as an innocuous ball into the circle made its way through to one of the onrushing players at the back post who deflected past Ryan Thomas. The keeper was fuming after relinquishing his clean sheet but this did not deter the visitors. After some frantic exchanges between the two sides, Broxbourne reasserted themselves on the game by maintaining possession and being patient. With a couple of minutes to go, Josh Chapman directed George Blemkin to go to the corner which was seen by the opposition as being a very negative tactic. However, little did they know, Blemkin was able to slide past a defender and get round the baseline to assist Toby House and put the game beyond Waltham Forest at 4-1. This was close to the last action of the game as the badgers were able to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Ultimately a very happy captain and coach were proud of the badgers unity and cohesion which brought about another successful result. Moving ahead to next week, the badgers host Hertford and will be keen to make a mark against their local rivals.
Ladies 3s vs Harpenden 2 - 2-1 loss
The Ladies 3s took a trip to Harpenden this week, hoping to add to their points for their season.
With the later pushback, it was a nervous wait to see if Storm Ciaran would have any impact as the torrential rain and intermittent sunshine was unnerving to say the least.
Upon arrival to the match, Tors and Tara took up position in the changing rooms, soon to be joined by the rest of the team. Unfortunately, Captain Hannah 'injured herself walking' through the streets of Seville and as a result, has been unavailable for the team since her return. As well as not being available to play, it appears that on Saturday, she felt that rugby was her sport as she didn't follow the instructions and ended up in the Saracen's Academy carpark.
Minutes before the team took to the astro the heavens opened but fortunately this cleared and the game was played without a soaking.
The game itself was frustrating. Broxbourne lacked the cohesion they had displayed in previous games and with ¼ of the defenders feeling rather ropey after getting in at 6am, it was challenging. Harpenden took the lead early on and Broxbourne despite some good play, were unable to capitalise on their opportunities. With some unfortunate decisions going against Broxbourne and some physicality that at times frustrated them, but they were able to find an equaliser through a rocket shot from Rosie. Another goal for Harpenden after a controversial call gave the opposition the lead at half time.
The second half saw tempers boil and again Broxbourne were on the wrong side of the decisions. Despite some lovely play up the pitch and a number of short corners, Broxbourne were unable to find the equaliser. In the dying minutes of the game, Broxbourne had a shot at goal, which took a deflection off the foot that the ball was given against them, resulting in the game, ending in a 2-1 loss.
Despite the disappointment, the team were all able to award the player and donkey of the match.
Player of the match went to Kirsty for some wonderful runs in the mid.
Donkey of the match went to Lauren, well for so much but mainly the hangover.
Mens 3s vs St Albans 5 - 2-2 draw
The Men’s 3s travelled to St Albans for a nice late afternoon game. Everyone arrived on time for the 4:30pm start. Broxbourne had a bright opening to the game, seeing plenty of the ball and missing a couple of big chances. This was all cancelled out when Simon came rushing out of his goal to prevent a long corner, however his kick only made it as far as the onrushing St Albans forward. 1-0.
Into the second half and a quick start from St Albans meant Broxbourne were 2-0 down and wondering how they had got into this position. The away side managed to mount a fightback, as Geezer scored with a shot that almost broke the backboard. The blues continued to push and with the last action of the game, won a short corner. The shot that followed was stopped on the line by a St Albans foot… a penalty flick to come. Phil stepped up after a long hunt for the ball that had mysteriously vanished.
After some mind games, Phil’s flick found the top corner. 2-2. Well done Phil.
A nice late start again next week for the 3s, with Karaoke to follow.
Sunday 5th November
Ladies O45s vs St Albans O45s - 8-0 loss
After a hockey filled Saturday, the O45 ladies team travelled to St Albans for their first match this season.
With the team being a mixture of players from Broxbourne and Welwyn Garden City hockey clubs, it looked to be a great display of camaraderie and most importantly, enjoyment playing the game that we all love.
With Baz at the helm as Captain, upon arrival to Oaklands College, the team were in good spirits and excited, if not nervous to take the pitch- it is important to note that St Albans are currently O45 champions!!!!
Kitted out in their full Badger Blue (including Annie in her vintage tracksuit) the team were left at the mercy of stand-in manager Tors, supported by timekeeper, Lauren and groupie Ella. The management team were well prepared with Lauren, bringing her pre-purchased burger from Burger King, Tors practising her Pep Guardiola poses and Ella ensuring the sweet stocks were topped up.
Before the start of the match donkey was already secured by Annie, who in her attempt to remove her tracksuit trousers toppled over and ended up sprawled on the side of the pitch. This was witnessed by both St Albans and Broxbourne and resulted in a lot of laughter.
The talent on display from the opposition was clear from the start, however, Broxbourne took the approach of 'playing for the plate' which made the game target more manageable.
From the off, St Albans were clinical in their play. Some phenomenal balls through from the defence allowed St Albans to dominate and immediately put Broxbourne under pressure. It didn't take long for the first goal but this did not discourage Broxbourne and although in the lead St Albans may not have banked on the agility and talent of our goalkeeper Kim, who at points looked like she was part of an epic kung fu movie and prevented some incredible strikes crossing the line.
The expected dominance of St Albans did not deter Broxbourne and at moments in the game, there were some lovely well worked balls through the mid to provide opportunities for the attackers.
The second half came and with it the aim for the team changed. The team aim was to keep the score to below double figures.
Although the game may not have been as enjoyable for those on the pitch, it is important to note that the game was lovely to watch for spectators due to the great play and some lovely saves on the line from both keeper and defence.
The team await their next fixture for the plate on the 26th of November.
Coming up next weekend...
Saturday 11th November
10am - Ladies 5s vs Bedford 7
11.30am Ladies 2s vs Bedford 3
1pm - Mens 1s vs Hertford 1
2.30pm - Ladies 3s vs Shefford & Sandy 2
4pm - Mens 3s vs Rickmansworth 2
10am - Ladies 4s vs Stevenage 4
12.15pm - Mens 2s vs St Albans 4
1pm - Ladies 1s vs City of Peterborough 1
3.30pm - Mens 4s vs Letchworth 6
Followed by badger karaoke in the bar from 7pm. We look forward to seeing (and hearing) lots of you!
Sunday 12th November
1pm - Mens O40s vs Bishop's Stortford
2.25pm - Ladies O35s vs Southgate