Telford and Wrekin Hockey Club


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Men's 4s vs North Stafford 4

20 March 2024 | Chris Cousins
Men's 4s vs North Stafford 4

Saturday saw Telford 4s continue their difficult season end with their last four matches against the top four, with all chasing promotion. They entertained 3rd placed North Stafford 4s, with Telford seeking revenge for a close 2-1 defeat when they met earlier in the season. Telford welcomed JJ for his 1st game and Pete from the 5s.

The opposition contained some former 2nd teamers, but Chris said Telford could win given how close the return fixture had been. He wanted the team to use the back four and the width of the pitch.

Telford started well but were hit on the break after 6 minutes when the defence were outpaced, and the opposition striker passed to his unmarked compatriot in the centre of the D to score.

Telford responded well. The defence made good stops, whilst the attack created opportunities and won short corners. Unfortunately, the chances weren’t taken, whilst mishits and poor control meant the shorts weren’t successful as they’d been recently.

0-1 at half-time and Chris stressed the need to keep wide and for the defence to transfer the ball quickly.

Unfortunately, Telford’s hopes were dented at the start of the 2nd half. A poor pass was pounced on and Stafford took the ball to the baseline and into the D, sucking the Telford defence towards goal. This left an unmarked opponent at the top of the D to score when the ball was pulled back to him.

Telford recovered quickly, putting pressure on Stafford, particularly through Telford’s forward line pressing their defenders. 

Telford pulled a goal back after 52 minutes when Paul made a rare aerial into the opposition D. The defender missed it, and Tom was quick enough to collect the pass before it crossed the baseline. Tom then dribbled down the line through two defenders and reversed the ball past the keeper and inside the far post to score. Tom’s 2nd goal of the season for the 4s.

Telford kept control of the game. Good passing opened up the play, combining with good carries from the front three and wide players. The defence held strong, giving no chances. Unfortunately, Telford couldn’t score a 2nd, but came close when JJ hit the bar. The game ended as another 2-1 defeat, which the opposition greeted with a relieved cheer.

Chris was happy with the overall performance, particularly the great 2nd half, which he wanted replicated in the next match.

Sukhtaj was MOTM.

Telford were against tough opposition, particularly a strong, vociferous midfielder. Telford were aggressive with good tackling and pressure on their opponents. The defence held strong, only beaten twice by pacey opponents and good play. Brad made fine saves diving across goal when needed. Telford scored a very good goal, but needed to spread play wide more and get more players in the D to support the lone forward and meet some good crosses into the D.

A lot of Telford pressure, which unluckily wasn’t rewarded with a 2nd goal.

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