05.03.13 - GOOD WINS FOR 1S:
The Ladies 1st Team earned their first win in 2013 on Saturday against second in the table Sevenoaks. As ever they started well, from the whistle Lauren Penny ran through several Sevenoaks players and almost created a chance for herself. Old Loughts then pressed hard in the front line which left the Sevenoaks defenders with one option and that was to hit and hope. Many of these ambitious balls were picked by Aimee Gosling and Katie Richards but Sevenoaks did find themselves with a few successful outlets. These were soon stopped by the Loughts defence or when needed keeper Becky Waters stepped up to make a save. No goals in the first half meant both teams would push on for the points in the second and it was Sevenoaks who capitalised with a well worked penalty corner. In the 48th minute Loughts broke quickly and found Lauren Penny in the 'D', Penny under pressure from the charging keeper moved the ball and at full reach on the reverse smashed it into the away teams goal. 1-1 with over 20 minutes to play you could see the Loughts girls were now playing with the belief. Chances from England under 16 player Alice Wills and her forward partner Heidi Baber were narrowly missed. In the dying minutes Loughts won another penalty corner,
having not hit the target on their previous efforts it was a big call to stick with the straight strike. Penny hit the target which was denied and the follow up shot hit the post player on the line. A penalty stoke was awarded and sure enough the South African International stepped up to riffle the ball top left. Loughts won the game 2-1 and climbed 1 place in the table. They must now take this momentum forward and build on the belief they now have in themselves and what they are doing.
The Mens 1s match against Cambridge City on Sunday was a must win game for the Chigwell side in their quest to stay in the England Hockey Mens Conference East Hockey League. With Cambridge City one place below neither side could afford a slip up and the pattern of play throughout the first half reflected this in that both sides were tentative and the majority of hockey was played in the middle of the pitch. Opportunities to both sides were rare with Old Loughts, on balance, having the more shots on goal. However none were converted and the half time score was 0-0. The pattern of play continued into the second half but with more urgency coming from the Old Loughts team, so much so that they dominated the half. They were thwarted on many an occasion by an outstanding demonstration of goalkeeping by the Cambridge City keeper, so that it looked more than likely that the game would fizzle out with the honours shared. Oliver Didham, the Loughts number 10 was having none of it however and with three minutes of normal time remaining, grabbed the bull by the horns and having got himself into position placed a shot out of the reach of the keeper. As if to show this was not a “one off” he repeated the act one minute later so that Old Loughts went 2-0 up and looked comfortable. However this only seemed to inspire Cambridge City and right on the end of normal time they managed to pull one back so the final score was 2-1 to Old Loughts. The must win game had been won. Next week the team travel to Wimbledon who top the division, so a difficult match is anticipated and it is hoped that many supporters will be there to cheer the team on.