ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET FOR THE FIRSTS
The game opened with both teams having equal attacking opportunities, however soon enough Leicester found their stride and began to dominate possession.
Leicester’s efforts were rewarded with a goal when Katie Long carried the ball along the side line and fired it into the D, Flora England got a touch for a deflection which was saved by the Sutton keeper but the clearance fell nicely for Rachel Mack to run onto and fire into the backboard. Leicester continue to dominate possession but Sutton managed to hold them to a narrow 1-0 lead up to half time.
In the second half Leicester got off to a flying start with another goal. Again Katie Long fired a ball into the D, this time finding Olive Richmond who dived in to deflect the ball past the keeper. Sutton continued to play well in the second half but Leicester kept them at bay to secure a 2-0 win.
TWOS OUTPLAYED BY BEESTON
Leicester 2s were outclassed by a strong Beeston 2s side.
The home side knew it was going to be a difficult task when former Beeston 1st team captain Sophie Robinson who has recently re-joined the Welsh senior international programme arrived to lead the attack. A flurry of goals in the opening 15 minutes effectively ended the game before it had begun.
The open goal came from a miss communication when Leicester stopped for a free hit which hadn’t been given which gave the Beeston full back as much time as she wanted to pick a long pass through to the circle where it was neatly finished off.
More goals followed with a combination of close circle play and electric counter attacks.
Leicester were managing to outlet well but returned possession to Beeston too easily once they beat the forward and midfield lines. Problems of their own making. Leicester went in 0 – 5 down at the break.
Thing improved in the second half and the goals stopped flowing. However, Jenna slid out to make a brave save which forced the Beeston forward into a rash decision and hit the ball from point blank which caught Jenna between her pads. Leicester conceded three more goals which Jenna couldn’t do much about.
It was not Leicester’s finest performance but credit where it’s due, Beeston were a cut above and probably the best attacking side in the league.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Leicester 3s faced Leicester University in the first of a double header weekend. Leicester found themselves missing a number of senior players, not to the mention Coach Paul off for some family time in Amsterdam but still plenty of depth and strength in the side to go in with confidence.
The game started positively for Leicester as they worked the ball forward early to test the Goal keeper. Maisie drew first blood to take Leicester ahead and settle the side. A couple of short corners went begging with the Uni defence coming out hard to smother the ball. Emma connected well with a reverse hit from the top of the D which was nicked in front of the GK's pads by Maisie to put the ball into the top corner and ensure the 2-0 lead.
Leicester continued to play really positive passing hockey, dealing with any Uni counter attacks well to not really cause any problems for Cas in goal going into half time.
A positive talk at half time to continue the passing game and try to counter the slow dry pitch.
No idea what order the goals came in the second half: a Karen drag flick was deflected from the first runner and volleyed in on the left post by Emma whose shock at scoring such a a goal was brilliant! India's immense work-rate paid off up front with two goals scrapped out on the goal line. Lauren stole a goal from Karen and Karen paid her back in kind stealing a goal straight back.
Uni stretched the game and caused issues in the second half breaking into the D a number of times in open play and winning a number of short corners in a row. The Defensive unit of Anna K, Emily, Katie, Cas, Jess and Elsbeth held strong to keep Uni at bay and ensure a clean sheet. Special mention to Anna C and Maisie for a couple of clattering tackles on one Uni player to result in Maisie having an enforced two minute sit down.
Final score 7-0.
Leicester will be delighted with a good team performance. Leicester awarded the Uni Keeper MOTM for keeping the scoreline in single figures and Uni awarded opposition MOTM to Elsbeth.
Thanks to Wyn and Gaynor for covering coaching duties and Ben Umpiring.
Squad: Cas Evans (GK), Anna Chapman, Anna Kendall, Elsbeth Woodgate, Emily Kendall, Emma Sleeman, India Norwood, Jess Duffy, Karen Dixon, Katie Evans-Puttick, Lauren Clough and Maisie Robinson.
FOURTHS FIGHT HARD
The 4s went to Loughborough University to take on a strong Lougborough Town team.
From the start Leicester’s defence were put under pressure with Loughborough demonstrating why they have scored 49 goals and sit 2nd in the league. Leicester 4s however defended well to ensure clear cut chances were limited and when they did break through Cas in goal ensured that the deadlock was not broken. Half way through the first half Loughborough eventually found a way through, a cross, a diving save, a neat follow up resulted in the deadlock broken 1-0 to Loughborough. Leicester responded well and some fine passing through the midfield, tireless running from the forwards saw Leicester nearly equalise, with Elena Bensi shooting just passed the far post. Leicester continued to frustrate Loughborough and also create a few chances themselves. The first half finished 1-0.
The second half was much of the same, Loughborough applying pressure through some very well organised and free flowing hockey and within 10 minutes the team found themselves a further 2 goals down. Again Leicester refused to be beaten and continued to work hard, playing some super hockey at times whilst working hard together to hinder Loughborough’s flow.
A massive thank you to Mrs Bensi, Chiara and Elena for changing their plans so they could join the team and to David for coaching the team and ensuring they remained upbeat and focussed throughout.
Man of the match was Cas Evans, not because of anything to do with her play (although I did like the deflection off her wrist over the cross bar- shame the whistle had gone!) but for getting the white shirts washed and dried ready for the 3s to use in the afternoon and then washed again ready for the Sunday rearranged fixture with Leicester 3s!
GUTSY DISPLAY IN DEFEAT
The 5th team, depleted by half-term absences, put up a brave display against a strong Loughborough Town 3rds before going down 5-0. Whilst that looks like a bit of a drubbing there were many positives to take from the game. Aleena Moti, in goal, made several good saves and was beaten either by great finishes or bad luck. Emily Smith, making her club debut, made some very good runs and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Another positive was that our four players well into their sixties survived a game where we had no substitutes!
Loughborough took the lead after about fifteen minutes. Coach Nash was guilty of thinking of what to do with a ball she hadn’t yet fielded, was robbed and a quick transfer saw the ball in our circle and flashed into goal. Their second came from a defensive mistrap and another sharp finish. We kept our heads up and good work from Lydia Cross and Jennifer Pollock saw us create good possession but not much circle penetration. We did, however, win a couple of penalty corners and from one their keeper made a great save to keep out Nash’s strike. Loughborough countered well and won a penalty corner of their own. The ball was switched back to the injector, half saved by Aleena but just bobbled past Rosemary Jacques on the line.
Our half time team talk was upbeat and for most of the second half we kept Town at bay. Their younger legs began to stretch our older ones in defence and they added a fourth when the ball deflected off a defender and ran to a player on the line for a tap in. We pushed hard for a consolation goal, winning a few penalty corners but their defence stood firm. With us pressing they again countered and forced the ball home for their fifth, despite a despairing effort from Alex Peet.
5-0 doesn’t flatter Town but we definitely deserved a goal. At the end both teams had enjoyed a competitive encounter with Aleena being selected by Town as our Player of the Match. As ever, Lydia worked tirelessly, Alex competed for everything, Emma York looked assured at right defence and mum Joy foraged energetically up front. Our senior player, Jane Cottrell, continues to roll back the years, calmly reading the game and distributing effectively. Hazel McSweeney, fresh from a nasty bug, gave her all too.
Well done team!
Team: Aleena, Emma, Hazel, Rosemary, Jane, Jennifer, Gaynor, Alex, Lydia (C), Joy, Emily.
WHAT A HOCKEY GAME SHOULD BE
Beeston travelled to Leicester City having not lost a single game and only conceding three goals so far, proving themselves deserved league leaders. Leicester however nipping on their heels were keen to cause a big upset.
Beeston looked set to score in the opening exchanges but City came out on top and returned the favour with Ethan throwing an aerial from the 16 picked up by James and the goal narrowly missed.
Coming in from the right hand side James made his second opportunity count wellying the ball into the net from the narrow angle- 4 minutes in 1-0, a brilliant start. City continued to apply the pressure playing excellent passing hockey and creating opportunities from open play. Short corners also went begging building the pressure and frustration.
20 minutes in Beeston fought back to 1:1 from a short corner after an initial great save from Jason in goal.
James answered a minute later with an almost identical goal to his first, 2-1.
Beeston came really close again with a cricket style shot missing the crossbar by centimetres but hit home shortly after from an unmarked player on the back post to take the score 2-2. A mazy run from Karl ended in him coming off winded by the Beeston GK but not before James hammered the rebound at close range to go 3-2 up.
The half was closed out with Beeston awarded two short corners in a row they failed to score.
Leicester started well in the second half but began to show some cracks with a loss of structure and drop in communication. Captains needed a talking to as things became increasingly feisty and Beeston were shown a green card not long after. Beeston took advantage and scored from a short corner to make it 3-3. Leicester began to reclaim a hold on the game spurred on by the leveled scores. The midfield unit worked well to move the ball fast and hard to the forwards to create opportunities but a number of them slipped passed the posts. The Beeston keeper continued to show why he's had mostly clean sheets this season keeping the Leicester forwards at bay. Leicester's best opportunities came from quick counter attacks but the Beeston backline showed discipline and challenged the usually rampant forwards. An uncharacteristic blunder at the back saw Beeston take the lead again 4-3. Dan was shown a green card on his debut for an indisputable clumsy tackle. The backline worked hard to quash lots of open play opportunities for Beeston and Jason had a lot more play than usual showing his worth with some brilliant saves off pads, gloves and stick.
Despite opportunities from open play and a number of short corners Leicester were unable to come back into the game and it ended 4-3.
A fantastic team performance overall, obvious disappointment to not at least come away with a draw but will be pleased to double Beeston's goals against count! What a game to watch and play, City showed why they deserve to be promoted come the end of the season.
A huge thanks to the spectators who created a great atmosphere! Next week Leicester City play away to bottom of the table Ashby 4s 14:30 pushback
Squad: Jason Clothier (GK), Conor Baird, Daryl Boyce, Dan Fathers, David Hill, David Magill, Devan Williams, Dom Findlay, Ethan Hill, Henry Young, James Sordillo, Jamie Sinclair, Karl Taitt, Mark Baggott, Nic White, Stuart Anderson
IT'S A CLUB AFFAIR
This Sunday saw Leicester 3s take on 4s in their rearranged fixture.
This is always a difficult fixture for both teams as they take on friends and team mates in a competitive league fixtures. The many supporters were not disappointed as the game set off at a high tempo with both teams working hard on and off the ball to enable a good passing game. Leicester 3s dominated possession in the first half but found Aleena Moti in excellent form and it took Annie Sibson reacting quickly to another great save to ensure the deadlock was broken. Leicester 4s solid defending and creativity in midfield and attack nearly resulted in the equaliser when Tara Bahra received a pass in her attacking half and drove towards the goal but could not quite beat the oncoming goal keeper. First half finished 1-0.
The second half started as the first half had ended with 3s maintaining good possession and 4s working hard in defence and making good use of their possession when given the opportunity. Both teams played great hockey, moving well off the ball to enable a good passing game to develop. Half way through the second half Emma Sleeman doubled the lead and Elise completed the scoring with a third from a penalty corner. Final score Leicester 4s 0 - Leicester 3s 3.
A super game, played in a fair yet competitive nature. The number of talented young players involved is a real credit to the club and an optimistic future. Having said that the talent, positivity and experience of the more senior members plays a vital role in their development and the quality of the game.
Thanks to David and Paul for coaching us, Chris for taking the photos and Sophia for once again being our lucky mascot.
No rearranged game for Leicester City as Barton 4s were unable to field a team so Leicester gain another three points and a 3-0 win
Leicester A vs Ashby 3-1 (win)
Leicester A vs Market Harborough 2-0 (win)
Leicester A vs Leicester Bs 0-0 (Draw)
Leicester A’s Team played attacking hockey from the start, piling the pressure on each team they came up against.
A solid pairing in defence of Shonali and Mishka meant oppositions found it hard to get many chances on goal. Some good interchanges from defence to midfield and transferring the ball around the back to change the angle of attack, as well as running into space with the ball. Numerous penetrating runs from Claudia and Grace, through oppositions defence and more attacking chances being taken on by the forwards. The defensive pair were dominant, stepping up with confidence and reading the game which allowed for many interceptions. Amelia the goalkeeper did well, commanding her area and making some great decisions to close the player down or intercept the ball. Well done ladies!