Mens 1st XI Match Reports

Shepton Mallet 1s XI 2     West Wilts 1st XI 4

 

In a weekend of derby games Shepton went into this matchup confident of a result against local rivals West Wilts. With James Wolff of Shepton in defence facing his younger twin brother Callum in the Wilts attack this was going to be a fiery encounter. Shepton opened the scoring early on when Wilts were pinned back into their half before conceding a penalty corner. An initial shot was saved by the Wilts keeper before the bouncing rebound fell nicely for Will Shean to guide the ricochet in. This woke Wilts up and the ensuing pressure forced a number of penalty corners the other end of the pitch, the first of which was picked by Luigi Fauceglia in the Shepton goal and cleared ably by Wolff. Shepton battled hard and broke clear a second time when Neil Billing picked up the ball in defence and passed to Lewis Duchezeau who made no mistake when one-on-one with the keeper. As has been the case in the last three out of four matches Shepton were penalised with a penalty flick and Wollf junior stepped up to send Fauceglia the wrong way. A particularly gutting blow seeings as it was on the stroke of half time.

 

With tiring legs the second half was always going to be extremely tough and Wilts capitalised on their numbers going forward. James Fry and Simon Hutchinson were relentless in the middle whilst Andy Butt and Lloyd Manvil did their best to run the channels but it was a moment of magic from Callum Wolff that put Wilts in the lead when he picked the ball up in the middle, ghosted left and right before unleashing an unstoppable revers stick shot to make it 3-2. Cracks appeared in the Shepton defence and it wasn’t long before a run down the Shepton left was crossed for Wilts fourth. The drama didn’t end at this point however and Shepton were reduced to 10 men when James Wolff took out his brother in the D. The resulting penalty corner came to nothing but another breakaway led to another penalty flick for Wilts as the forward was polaxed in the D. Wolff junior stepped up again but Fauceglia guessed correctly this time to parry the shot.

 

Another hard fought match from all players proved that Shepton are capable of competing at this level but at times the inexperience and squad size took its toll. Well played all.

 

Phillips Tyres man of the match: Lewis Duchezeau

DoD: James Wolff - Yellow Card

 

21 February   Shepton Mallet 1      Westbury and UB 4

The first team travelled to Bristol this week with a bare eleven determined to compete and salvage some pride in what has been a difficult season. Once the game started Shepton. Were under immediate pressure with Westbury forcing several penalty corners which were dealt with ably by the Shepton defence of George Edge, Will Shean, Nick Batten and Neil Billing. Westbury played an effective pressing game and Shepton found it difficult to breakout of their half, the pressure eventually paying dividends when a penalty corner squeezed its way inside the far post. The Westbury keeper was rarely tested in the half but had to be quick off his line to intercept a half chance for Lewis Duchezeau when he found some space at the top of the D after an excellent pass from the tireless James Fry. The half ended with the away side being unlucky to go 2 - 0 down when Edge was adjudged to have prevented a goal bound penalty corner shot going in by stopping the ball with his Knee and the resulting penalty flick being converted.

The second half saw Westbury change tactics slightly in employing a long ball strategy aiming to expose the Shepton left. A much more compact midfield of Simon Hutchinson, Lloyd Manvill, Andy Butt and Josh Moore had to work hard to regain possession against a constantly refreshed Westbury who were able to exploit their man advantage with constant reshuffling and substitutions. It was important to focus on build up play and Shepton began to be patient on the ball and eventually managed to half the deficit when a scramble in the D ended with the ball falling to Duchezeau who made no mistake unleashing thunderbolt on the half volley evading the traffic in front of the net. Buoyed by this Shepton pushed for an equaliser with Moore going close from a penalty corner and Manvill scuffing a shot when in an excellent position.

In the final 10 minutes tiredness set in and as did a little indiscipline with some tackles coming in late. Hutchinson saw yellow for a cynical foul and Westbury won yet another penalty corner which was exceptionally well taken with a second phase crash ball being played in at pace and a deflection being sublimely diverted into the top corner. Westbury were obviously pleased with the goal and clearly relieved to have now put the game beyond the reach of a now deflated Mallet. The final nail in the coffin came when Shean saw yellow for a stick tackle and once again Westbury used their advantage with a one on one breakaway chance being well prevented with a diving save by Luigi Fauceglia in the Shepton goal only for the rebound to be picked up and crossed for what looked like a wayward shot to be deflected into the net by the unfortunate Batten. 

In truth the scone line flattered Westbury a little but given the relentlessness of their attacking play deserved the win. Shepton left the pitch with heads held high having fought hard to give the well drilled Westbury side a scare and everyone giving 100%.

Phillips Tyres Man of the match: Lewis Duchezeau excellent work rate and great goal

DoD: Nick Batten own goal

 

7 February 2015        Shepton Mallet               0   Bristol University A        2

 

This week Shepton faced fellow relegation strugglers Bristol Uni on a cold winters day in Bruton. The opening 10 minutes were ferocious with both teams racing to each ball. The opening chance of the game fell to the Bristol Uni forward who escaped his marker to find himself though on goal fortunately Tom Ward in the pads was quick off the mark to take both ball and player to clear the danger. Shepton responded superbly and made a number of chances of their own with Chris Reina finding his shot well saved and Josh Moore was unlucky to have his drag flick hit the post on a short corner. Shepton thought lady luck started to smile on them when Lewis Duchezeau found himself through on goal only to be wiped out by the chasing defender who subsequently was sin binned for his foul.

 

At half time both teams seemed matched up quite evenly with both having aa similar number of shots and possession so it was going to take a moment of something special or a lapse in concentration or the deadlock to be broken.  Both teams started the half keen to exert themselves on the game and Shepton seemed to win the lion share of chances with a number of short corners wasted and on a number of times the ball flashed across the Bristol goal begging for a final touch. Unfortunately for the hosts it was the lapse in concentration which led to the Bristol opener when the forward left his marker and deflected a rash ball which was initially saved only for the rebound to be slotted home.

 

A goal down Shepton pushed for the equaliser and again more chances fell to them but they couldn’t find  the elusive goal. Duchezeau again found himself through on goal this time to bundled over by the opposition keeper and once again Shepton were unable to convert the short corner. As Shepton hunted for the next goal they left themselves bare at the back which Bristol took full advantage of in the final five minutes with a fast break. Bristol breaking with an extra man played a quick one two and once in the D thundered the ball into the backboards. As the time ticked on Shepton became resigned to another result where they played well but had nothing to show for it.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Nick Batten

 

Next week Shepton are home once again against ISCA in the hunt for some much needed points.

 

Photo Notes: Shepton Mallet Hockey club shirt presentation to the Mens main  sponsor L&F Jones. Chairman Tom Ward (in the pads) presents to Dave Jones of L&F Jones who are the kit sponsor until 2018.

 

31 January 2015     Shepton Mallet 2        Swansea Uni 3

Shepton this weekend made the lengthy trip to highly placed Swansea University with a bare eleven seeking to make amends for a fiery 4-4 encounter with the Welsh side earlier this season. With several second team players making the step up, four divisions in standard nonetheless, none looked out of place and were a credit to the strength in depth of the tiny Somerset side. Shepton set up with a basic formation with a number of players carrying knocks and playing out of their regular positions and so set out to enjoy their hockey with any goals being a bonus.

Swansea were out of the blocks quickly as expected and centre backs Will Shean and Nick Batten had their work cut out making several interventions to prevent the University side making any headway. Swansea probed and a eventually a threaded pass ended with a one-on-one attempt in which keeper Luigi Fauceglia forced the Swansea forward wide and makeshift right back James Fry dealt with the attempted shot with ease. Shepton were a goal to the good soon afterwards when a period of pressing allowed returning forward Chris Reina an acre of space at the top of the D and the whole goal to aim at. The anglo-Italian made no mistake in unleashing one of his signature thunderbolt shots into the roof of the net leaving the Swansea keeper rooted. This buoyed the Mallet with confidence and the central midfield pairing of Lewis Duchezeau and Josh Moore began to find their confidence and gaps in the Swansea back line opened up. This eventually led to a defensive error by Swansea in which a mis-controlled pass led to a cross for Andy Butt to flick a shot over the flailing keeper. Shepton could hardly believe their fortunes and began to settle into a rhythm, controlling the play until yet another Swansea break led to a penalty flick being awarded when Shean was adjudged to have infringed a player in a skirmish in the D. The Swansea forward stepped up to the p-spot and scuffed his shot making the save easy work for Fauceglia.

Shepton knew that Swansea would do all they could to turn the tie on its head in the second half and needed to ensure that they could go the distance with no substitutes. Swansea enjoyed long periods of pressure and so whenever Shepton were able to win the ball back they relied on aiming aerial passes into the corners, one of which almost caught the Swansea keeper unawares with Simon Hutchinson making an epic run to hook the ball at the base-line only for it to roll agonisingly wide of goal. In a rare foray into the Swansea half Reina was then cluttered rendering him unable to contribute as effectively anymore and Shepton were put under extreme pressure. George Edge and James Weelen made several interceptions in their respective roles but eventually a Swansea winger found his way to the base line to cross only for Batten to accidentally deflect the ball into his own net. Shepton were exhausted from their efforts and it wasn’t long before the equaliser was scored with a similar move to the first only for the cross to come from a higher angle. Fauceglia made an initial save but was unable to trap the ball and so the rebound fell invitingly to a Swansea player who took two further attempts to stab the ball home. With the exhaustion firmly settled in this led to a Swansea short corner and a second penalty flick of the day when a goal bound shot deflected up onto a defenders arm. Fauceglia guessed the right way once again and got his stick to the ball but was unable this time to prevent the goal with the ball deflecting onto the post and in.

A heroic performance and undeserved loss given the calibre of the opposition. Shepton were organised, belligerent and did themselves and the club proud with such a gritty performance. Next week they face fellow strugglers Bristol University at the Bruton arena.

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Whole team, great performance

DoD: James Fry (45 minutes late), George Edge (not knowing we were off to Swansea or where it was), Luigi Fauceglia (for expletive tantrum after the third goal went in)

 

24 January 2015      Shepton Mallet 3        Exeter University 3

Exeter have been a bit of a bogey team for Shepton in recent years and this is a contest that is always hotly contested. Shepton started poorly by conceding a penalty corner in the first 45 seconds in which parried shot was bundled over the line. This pacey start by the Devon side ended in a second goal being scored, again from a penalty corner, this time the forward nudging his stick in front of James Wolff and Luigi Fauceglia’s pads to deflect a second shot home. Rattled by this appaling start Shepton re-grouped and began to play the hockey that they are capable of. Shepton had set out to attack and were eventually awarded when Matt Herbert made a challenge on an Exeter winger, threaded a pass to Lewis Duchezeau who motored down the wing and crossed for Si Lord to tap in. The wind in their sails Shepton quickly drew level when a shot from Lord was rebounded for Josh Moore to coolly flick the ball over the stranded keeper. Shepton sought another and some good pressure led to a short corner in which the ball fell to Will Shean who hit the stantion with the goal gaping.

Shepton started the second half as they ended the first and soon took the lead when James Wolff intercepted a wayward pass on a 16 yard hit out. He laid the ball straight into Lords path who slotted the ball top right of the goal with an on rushing keeper. There was some controversy late on when a free hit was adjudged to have been taken from the wrong position and an Exeter shot was left to enter the goal. The goal didn’t stand and after much deliberation a free hit was awarded with the unfortunate outcome that ended in a cross being re-directed through a crowd of players for a diving effort to be converted and bring the scores level once again.

Shepton will feel this two points dropped given the series of chances missed in the second half but can be pleased to finally gather a point from a team who have been a bit of a thorn in their side. 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Lewis Duchezeau

DoD: Will Shean open goal miss

 

18 January     Shepton Mallet  1   City of Bath  5

 

After a tough match Saturday against high flying Gloucester City Shepton faced table topping City of Bath. They were keen to build on their previously encouraging performance however a threadbare squad of 11 were available for selection and the Mallet welcomed back Jamie Phillips for the first time this season.

Shepton fought well for the first 20 minutes managing to surpress the Bath attack however the deadlock was broken after Bath's JK drove into the D and slapped the ball towards goal. Nick Batten managed to beat his man to the ball but a wicked deflection beat the unsuspecting Ward in goal. Shepton bounced back within 5 minutes with a fantastic piece of outfield play working the ball down the left. Duchezeau charged into the D, beat a few City defenders and picked out Fry after an unusually athletic run and dive at back post to divert the into the back of the net.

At half time Shepton were pleased with the passages of play, especially with the fine saves from Ward between the posts making some excellent saves from drag flicks.

Shepton were slow getting out of the blocks in the second half and Bath were pushing for another win to continue their current form and run. They eventually managed to find an unmarked player on p spot who slotted under the on rushing Ward. Shepton were again unfortunate to concede another goal after a miss controlled ball at the top of the D allowed the Bath forward to provide a clinical strike. Still upbeat Shepton were trying to get back into the game and after Bath were reduced to 10 men Shepton tried building up play from deep but to no avail. Another stroke of luck fell to Bath as Joe Corp tracked his marker from the half way like only to divert the ball past Ward in the goal. The last goal came from a p stroke as Ward rushed out of goal and was slightly unlucky with the decision with Shean behind to cover the open net. Phil White put the pads on for the flick with Ward being on the touchline and although guessing the correct way it was converted. Final result Shepton 1-5 Bath

Philips Tyres Man of the Match - Ward for saving numerous short corners.
DOD - Ward for a few errors and miss kicks

 

6 Dec       Shepton Mallet 1st XI        3     Robinsons 2nd XI     2

To say that this week has been somewhat turbulent period in the clubs recent history would be an understatement. Some tweaks to the formation and personnel were made to attempt to end the midway point of the season on a high. In a rare weekend that saw all three Shepton teams able to field strong sides with substitutes there was an air of expectation and every player wanted to perform to their full potential.

Shepton started the match at lightning pace and were a goal to the good within minutes when Jack Patterson aggressively slapped a pass into the circle for Simon Hutchinson to deflect a shot and ricochet off of the keeper to Josh Moore who broke his season duck with a skilfully taken goal which went through the keepers legs. The pace was relentless and winger James Fry and Lewis Duchezeau ran riot down the flanks supported by Simon Lord in the middle. Minutes later Shepton forced a penalty corner with Patterson slinging the ball to the back post for Phil White to expertly deflect the ball past the floundering keeper. Robinsons were shell shocked and aimed to hit back straight away, enforcing a high press and patiently waiting for Shepton to make a mistake and gain possession. They attacked in numbers and eventually found their first goal through a penalty corner of their own with a Shepton defender unfortunate to have the shot deflect into the net. This spurred Robinsons on and James Wolff and Nick Batten had plenty to do at the back, Wolff in particular popped up with some outstanding tackles. It was only a matter of time that this onslaught led to an equaliser and some slack marking meant that Robinsons player was able to get a well-placed and equally thunderous shot home.

Shepton made it to half time optimistic that they had another gear and knew that they needed to cut out some silly mistakes that they had made. They set out to create as many chances as possible and the work-rate needed to increase. Chris Reina played a pivotal role in the middle with some driving runs from deep and Shepton were unlucky not to increase their lead when both Lord and Duchezeau were denied by the opposing keeper. The game became very open and both sides created opportunities; Luigi Fauceglia in the Shepton goal had to be alert to clear a threaded through ball whilst Will Shean made an excellent interception to deny another shot at goal. The final ten minutes were nervy but it was Shepton who finally made an opportunity count with Fry breaking free of his marker to pull back a pass for Lord to unleash a bullet that was again well saved however it was Simon Hutchinson who followed up with a threaded pass to the far post for Duchezeau to squeeze the ball over the line for the winner.

An excellent team effort today, players should be proud to have taken the opportunity to close the gap to the teams around them and look to build on the performance for the second half of the season starting next week with the minor challenge that will be table topping City of Bath.

Phillips Tyres Man of the match James Fry

DoD: Nick Batten for breaking his car

P.S sorry to the photographer whose lens was 'attacked' by a wayward pass

22 Nov   Shepton Mallet           2      Bristol UWE     6

 

This Week Shepton returned to their new home location of Bruton School for Girls having been edged out last week by local rivals West Wilts. The hosts went into the game knowing that they have the ability to win games in this division however they have just been on the wrong end of results to many times and faced a spirited young university side in UWE.

 

Having lost Jack Patterson to down under Shepton welcomed Mat Herbert in the defence and he quickly fitted in. The opening 20 minutes saw Shepton confidently and patiently soaking up the visitors pressure with Herbert, Joe Corp, Nick Batten and James Wolff mopping up the UWE attacks. On the odd time UWE broke through Tom Ward in the Shepton goal was more than equal to the task pulling out a top drawer top corner save on one occasion. It was on the counter that Shepton’s goals came from both from Simon Lord the first when Fry found an unmarked lord who slipped the ball past the rushing keeper. The second just minutes later was a superb quick counter with 5 passes finding the ball to Phil White who draw across two defenders  and slipped the ball to Lord who hammered the ball in the backboard. Shepton should have made it 3-0 in the dying minutes of the half but Josh Moore after beating two players and the keeper drove his shot wide. As the half ticked down UWE got their opening goal just before the whistle when they dispossessed the midfield and drove into the D with a well struck shot into the corner.

 

The second half saw UWE come flying out the traps and immediately putting Shepton under pressure with the hosts seeing their front 3 drawn into defending. It wasn’t log until UWE deservedly drew level when the forward picked up a loose ball in the D and hammered the ball through a crowd of players and into the goal. UWE took the lead almost straight away when once again Shepton had the ball snatched off of them in the middle and drove to the D and unleashed a flick which Ward will be disappointed to concede. The visitors then inside their 5 minute goal rout drew two clear from a well flicked short corner.  Shepton worked back into the game winning a small number of short corners and getting a handful of shots away but by now they couldn’t find their first half form and instead UWE pulled further away scoring two more once again haven won the midfield battle.

 

Philips Tyres Man of the Match: Lewis Duchezeau

 

Shepton will be disappointed with their second half performance and now look forward to their trip to Cardiff Uni next week in the search of their first win.

15 Nov          West Wilts                          3            Shepton Mallet                       1

 

Shepton this week travelled to face this year’s derby game against Warminster based West Wilts. Both teams were promoted into the league this year and had had different fortunes in finding their feet with Wilts sitting mid table and Shepton still in search of their first win.

 

The game started at a high tempo with both teams battling for possession. Centre back James Wolff faced a unique battle against his twin who was up front for Wilts. J Wolff was winning the early battles with Wilts struggling to get any shots away. From a number of Wilts attacks Shepton enjoyed some fast paced breaks and Simon Lord brought a fine save from the Wilts keeper in the opening ten minutes.

 

This seemed to wake Wilts up who started to make more constructed attacks and won a number of short corners which Tom Ward in the Shepton sticks was more than equal too.  Shepton suddenly found themselves on the wrong end of too many attacks, but the midfield trio of Chris Reina, Simon Hutchinson and Phil White worked tiredly to get back into the game.  The midfield efforts were soon rewarded when Simon Lord picked up a fine pass and was  soon fouled which he took quickly and dribbled into the D and beat the keeper at the near post.

 

This shook Wilts who threw more players into the attack unleashing a number of shots. And it wasn’t long until the end of the half when Wilts drew level from a deflected crash ball which was well finished at the back post. 

 

Half time saw both teams fairly equal but it was the hosts who came out stronger who enjoyed possession within the Shepton half. Midway through Wilts’ resolve  seemed to dip and Shepton started to generate further attacks with Josh Moore, Lewis Duchezue and James Fry enjoying plenty of space.  However it was as Shepton started to swing the game their way that Wilts finally scored a short corner.

 

With a good ten minutes left Shepton worked hard for the win with the visitors attacks not quite creating the shots required. As Shepton threw everything at the game Wilts grabbed their third with 30 seconds to go when the Wilts Wolff jumped onto a lose ball and hammered it into the top corner.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: James Wolff

 

Next week sees Shepton host Bristol UWE at the new home of Bruton School for Girls.

8 November 2014:     Shepton Mallet                      0            Westbury & UB                      2

 

An eventful week in the life of Shepton Mallet Hockey Club saw all games being moved to Bruton. The club would like to thank Sunny Hill School for the use of their pitch this weekend. Having played well in the previous week in glorious Devonshire weather this week was the complete opposite as the game started in a downpour.

 

From the start both sides struggled to move the ball around with as the pitch drained following the heavy rain. Shepton enjoyed the lion share of possession but at the back of the pitch which Westbury were keen to chase. Their opening visit to the D saw a mass collision of payers which Tom ward in the Shepton goal picked up a split lip for this part! As the half wore on the Shepton forwards started to make a number of visits to the D although the shots from Simon Lord and Josh Moore weren’t quite finding the goal.

 

Half time saw both teams going into the break very even. Shepton made a bold move of tweaking the formation in an effort to find a breakthrough. However Westbury themselves came out of the traps just as eager to find the opening goal. Shepton spent large proportion of the half on the back foot as Westbury gradually clawed ahead starting to win a number of short corners and creating a number of close chances which went narrowly wide or were well saved. 

 

With 20 minutes to go the game was stopped as the Westbury forward took a tumble and seriously injured his knee. This mid half break saw both teams regroup and it was a fiery restart. Shepton started to dive much more into tackles and both teams were frustrated by the lack of clean cut chances. 

 

With 10 minutes to go Westbury won yet another short corner which was driven onto the near post for a deflected goal. This saw the wind taken out of Shepton’s sales and were pegged back further when Will Shean saw yellow for a poor challenge. With less than 5 minutes to go Westbury doubled their lead from yet another deflected short corner which by then the visitors had honed. 

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Tom ward

 

Shepton will be bitterly disappointed to once again come out in second place in yet another closely fought encounter. Saturday sees bottom of the table travel to Warminster to play West Wilts which for this season is the derby game.

1 November          ISCA A                          4       Shepton Mallet                       3

 

The Somerset side travelled to neighbouring Devon with a bare 11, wanting to bounce back after their heavy defeat to Bristol University last week. 

 

The home side started much the stronger and were looking to stretch Shepton. The hosts got a number of early shots in that were easily defended. As the half wore on ISCA won their first short corner which was well flicked between keeper and post man. This looked to invigorate the hosts who from the start attacked Shepton once again. Will Shean dispossessed the over eager forward though and countered at pace before crossing to Simon Lord who beat the home keeper with a reverse stick strike. Shepton could have gone ahead when they won a short corner of their own and the subsequent drag flick appeared to hit the defenders chest.

 

Half time with the scores level Shepton were very much in the game against a team who seemed intent on trying to beat their man.  It was the hosts who scored next though from another short corner this time hitting the back board between the other post man and keeper. Shepton though hit back when a superb James Fry run once again drew a number of defenders allowing the space for him to bounce a pass off of Lewis Duchezeau to Lord who lobbed the rushing keeper. 

With a spring in their step Shepton looked to take the lead and won a number of short corers which weren’t quite finding the goal. It was on a breakdown of one of these that ISCA attacked and won a long corner which they quickly drove into the D and crossed to back post for an easy tap in.  The hosts quickly took a 4-2 lead when they scored once again from the short corner with a well driven slap into the backboard. 

 

Shepton though were not about to roll over and continued to mount attacks of their own and cut the deficit when Chris Reina found Duchezeau who flicked the ball to Simon Hutchinson to lob the quickly grounding keeper once again.  As the game wore on Shepton threw everything at getting the equaliser but it wasn’t to be. 

 

Phillips Tyres man of the match: Lewis Duchezeau

 

A quarter of the way into the season Shepton will be pleased with their performances but disappointed with not being able to take more points out of the 6 games.  Next week sees Shepton return to Shepton Mallet Sports Centre at 1130hrs for just the third time looking to make home advantage count against Westbury UB.

25 Oct:           Bristol University 2nd XI                 8            Shepton Mallet                                 1

 

Shepton travelled to bottom of the league Bristol University hopeful of securing their first win of the season. The team welcomed Brett Orrell up front and Neil Billing into right back to ensure Shepton travelled with a full squad.

 

The opening minute saw Shepton start the far brighter and Simon Lord nearly found himself on the scoresheet with his first strike that went narrowly wide. This kicked started the students who enjoyed the next 10 minutes peppering the Shepton the goal. Centre backs James Wolff and Nick Batten held firm and Tom Ward in the Shepton goal made a number of saves to deny the hosts. Shepton though soon played themselves back into the game and soon made a number of chances of their own. However the uni side were very quick on the counter attack and their opening two goals came in almost identical fashion. As the Shepton attack was disposed the Bristol centre back chucked a 50 yard aerial ball into the Shepton half which the home forward was first too and squared the ball for an easy back post tap in. Minutes later Uni doubled their lead in the same fashion except this time Ward stopped the initial shot. The follow up strike though hit the defenders thigh on its way to goal and Birstol dispatched the subsequent penalty flick.

 

Shepton though weren’t about to roll over and Lord immediately halved the lead when he scored the next short corner. As the half ticked on Shepton should have ended the half at least level when Lord hit the post and then so did debutant forward Josh Moore.

The second half started with Bristol pressing high and this time Shepton looking to break on the counter. However Shepton couldn’t make their entries into the D count and it was Bristol who got the next important goal when some slack marking lead to the back post again being pounced on and hammered home by the attacking forward. Bristol got their fourth almost immediately when once again Bristol worked the ball quickly in the D for a tap in. Bristol turned up the pressure and won a number of short corners which the Shepton stopper had to be on top form to stop. This looked to be a turning point and Shepton started to make some attacks of their own, however it wasn’t to be and with 20 minutes to go Moore saw yellow for a poor challenge.

 

Shepton held firm though and five minutes later were hopeful of creating more attacks but Moore saw his second yellow as soon as he came on for a tangle with a Bristol player. Back down to ten players Bristol pressed high and made their numbers count grabbing another goal taking the tally to 5. Things then went from bad to worse as Shepton lost Lord to a yellow card for a poor challenge and Shepton spent the last 7 minutes down to 9 players on the pitch. Once again Bristol made their numbers count and bombarded the Shepton defence and the hosts grabbed 3 more goals making for a scoreline that didn’t quite reflect how even the majority of the game was but did give Shepton what they deserve for poor discipline.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: James Fry

 

Saturday sees Sehpton travel to Exeter to play mid table ISCA hoping to secure their first win.

18 Oct 2014             Shepton Mallet      4       Swansea University        4

 

Shepton Mallet finally secured their first point in the Championship, although will be disappointed they didn’t snatch all three from their Welsh counterpoints having lead 4-2 at one point.

 

From the first whistle Shepton oozed confidence knowing that they needed to hunt for goals and early chances narrowly went wide or well saved. Against the run of play though Swansea pressed the Shepton defence well and pinched the ball off of left back Joe Corp, before the forward was allowed to ghost inside the ‘D’ and unleashed an awkward bobbling shot that evaded centre back James Wolff and keeper Tom Ward.

 

The hosts soon drew level though when Chris Reina burst from midfield and crossed the ball to Lewis Duchezeau who deflected the ball past the lunging university keeper. However the score wasn’t level for long as Swansea scored almost an identical goal at the other end. Two one down Shepton picked themselves up once again with Ducheazue deflecting in a Simon Lord won short corner. Back level and with a minute of the half remaining though Shepton grabed the lead and Duchezeau completed his hatrick picking up a rebound from Simon Hutchinson’s initial shot.

 

The second half started with Shepton once again on the front foot and ten minutes into the half the hosts found themselves 4-2 up when Simon Hutchinson showed superb commitment sliding on his nose to tap in Reina’s cross.

 

From this platform though Shepton seemed to go to pieces. Shepton having a comfortable lead started to panic with players diving into challenges and losing the ball all to easily. Nick Batten was the first of three players to see yellow for not retreating 5 yards after conceding a foul. A player down Swansea picked up the initiative and after a number of shots finally halved the lead when Swansea made their numbers count and a spare forward pushed the ball into the Shepton goal on the back post.

 

Back up to 11 players though Shepton went straight back down to ten when a substitution error lead to Shepton having 12 players on the pitch and Hutchinson saw yellow for the team error. The hosts survived this period only to go back down to ten players again when the recently well-disciplined saw yellow for also not retreating 5 yards following a foul. The students having been a man up for the majority of the half finally got their reward when a broken down short corner lead to a scuffed shot finding its way to the unmarked injector who calmly slotted the ball home.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Lewis Duchezeau

 

Shepton will be pleased to finally have a point on the board but will be disappointed to have dropped a further two. Next week Shepton Mallet travel to early strugglers Bristol University hoping to bring back the full 3 points. 

11 Oct 2014           Exeter University C              1   Shepton Mallet                      0

 

Following a good performance last week but no points on the board Shepton Mallet travelled to Devon keen to get some reward. Exeter University though have been somewhat of a bogey team for Shepton in recent years and the visitors knew they wouldn’t be able to take anything for granted.

 

Shepton started very much the stronger with several attacks penetrating the D and their efforts were soon rewarded with a short corner that was sent narrowly wide. The visitors looked much the stronger in all departments and were easily working the ball up the pitch. It was perhaps this sense of security that was their undoing when Jack Paterson was disposed in the middle of the pitch. The subsequent ball through to the unmarked forward was fortuitously knocked past the rushing Tom Ward into the Shepton goal.

 

The game suddenly looked more even with both teams now fiercely battling for possession. Exeter spurred on by their goal won a short series of penalty corners which were well defended by the quick Will Shean or forced to fire shots straight down the middle of the goal for Ward to easily clear.

Once again Shepton though built up some momentum of their own with attacks being launched by Nick Batten and Joe Corp at the back. Shepton themselves won a couple more short corners which were well saved by the Exeter keeper.

 

The second half saw Shepton fly out the traps and within seconds were denied by the Exeter keeper and then Phil White saw his rebound shot fly over the hosts bar. In fact this seemed to be the story of the half with Shepton having a number of chances to draw level. As the half ticked on though Shepton pushed for the goal with chances either going wide or being well saved. Centre back James Wolff role changed from being defensive to launching attacks with his pin point passing and midfielders Chris Reina and Simon Hutchinson found themselves regularly joining the attacks. However it wasn’t to be an as the final whistle went Shepton slumped to their third successive defeat.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Nick Batten.

 

Shepton although disappointed to lose are showing positive signs of being comfortable in this league. Next week Shepton will be looking to turn things round and welcome their coach Tim Clarke back to the sideline in the hope they can secure their first points home to Swansea University. Any local support would be most welcome, 1130 start at Shepton Mallet Sports Centre.

 

Anyone interested in playing hockey should visit www.smhc.gb.com or call Tom on 07585904654.

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4 October   Shepton Mallet                    1        Gloucester City                   2

 

Saturday saw Shepton Mallet’s home debut against a high performing Gloucester City side. Following last week’s disappointing result but good performance the host were keen to get some points for their efforts.

 

The opening 15 minutes saw Shepton enjoying the lion share of possession and as last week made a number of half chances. However a momentary lapse in concentration saw Jack Patterson sin binned for a poor challenge. Suddenly being a man up Gloucester worked their way back into the game a fine outstretched save by Tom Ward between the Shepton sticks and a swift ball clear from Joe Corp ensured the score stayed even.

 

With five minutes of the half left Gloucester City won a number of short corners, the last of which lead to a goal scramble and well flicked ball over the diving Ward lead to the visitors taking the lead. Shepton though within a minute of conceding won a short corner of their own. However an unfortunate bounce lead to the corner breaking down and as Shepton  despaired over a missed opportunity Gloucester had broke away…massively outnumbered the ball was quickly negotiated through the hosts rushing defence and slotted into the Shepton goal.

 

Two nil down at half time due to Shepton’s lack of urgency in defence lead to some harsh words being shared. The hosts came out fired up knowing the next goal would be crucial. However Gloucester came out just as determined and the opening 15 minutes saw Shepton under pressure. Will Shean did a fantastic job at ensuring the opposition forward was nothing more than a spectator and James Wolff, Joe Corp and Jack Patterson worked tirelessly to minimise the number of Gloucester shots. It wasn’t long though until the visitors won a short corner which lead to a loose ball being hammered towards the top corner and should have saw Gloucester stretch their lead had it not been for a save of a lifetime from the diving Tom Ward. Ward was called into action almost immediately again when the subsequent long corner saw the opposition forward drive into the D past the defenders only to be cleanly tackled and dumped by the Mallet keeper.

 

The game soon turned and the rest of the half saw Shepton dominate and with 10 minutes to go Simon Lord pounced on a lose pass to smash the ball home. With the Stade de Mallet at fever pitch Shepton pushed for an equaliser and although a number of half chances fell to the front line it wasn’t to be.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Tom Ward

 

Shepton are quickly learning that they must minimise mistakes and after a generally fine performance will feel disappointed to not take some reward out of the game. Next week sees Shepton Mallet travel to Exeter University keen to get some points on the board.

 

Anyone interested in playing hockey should visit www.smhc.gb.com or email social@smhc.gb.com. 

27 September                     City of Bath   4            Shepton Mallet    0

 

The recent years have been kind to Shepton Mallet Mens 1st XI, seeing them promoted four years on the bounce! However the 4th tier of English hockey looks to be not so easily conquered.

 

The opening two minutes saw Shepton forward Phil White having to be rested following a blow to the leg. Shepton though soon found their rhythm and the opening 15 minutes looked to be fairly even with both teams making a few half chances. Midway through the second half the first goal came, when the City of Bath forward broke free of his marker and picked up a lose ball in the D a few yards in front of the goal for an easy finish.

 

Shepton though quickly picked themselves up and were unlucky not to equalise following a number of short corners either going just wide or being well saved. As the half wore on, the battle in midfield became more ferocious with both teams determined to get the upper hand. Just though as Shepton were looking to push for goal they were further pegged back when Simon Hutchinson had to leave the pitch with a split lip. It was the hosts though who had the last say of the half when a deflected drag flick at a short corner found its way into the top corner.

The second half saw both teams knowing the next goal would be crucial. As ever both sides battled for possession and lack of spare legs for Shepton started to show. Simon Lord and Lewis Ducheazue up front for Shepton made their presence known both watching chances go narrowly wide. It was the hosts though who were next to score and it was from another short corner when another deflected effort this time found its way to a forward on the back post to tap in.

 

As the half wore on both teams started continued to battle for the ball and City of Bath’s long aerials and searching balls were easily mopped up by Will Shean and James Wolff. However a good break in the final couple of minutes by City of Bath saw the initial shot well saved by Tom Ward but the subsequent clearance bounced of a defender back to the forward for a tap in.

 

Shepton Mallet’s first game in the championship was without doubt against a side who will be challenging for the title. So although the Malletains didn’t get on the score sheet they did play well as a team and will look forward to greater rewards for such efforts in future matches.

 

Phillips Tyres Man of the Match: Nick Batten

 

Saturday sees Shepton host their first ever Championship game home to Gloucester City, 1130hrs start at Shepton Mallet Sports Centre. It would be great to see as many people to support Shepton Mallet Mens 1st XI who are currently one of the highest ranked sports teams in the South West.

 

For more information on playing hockey please visit www.smhc.gb.com or call Tom on 07585 904 654.

13 September 2014            Shepton Mallet 4  Yeovil & Sherborne 1

 

Unofficial report:

A young and up and coming Y&S team provided a good pre-season test for the bare eleven that could make it.  Both teams setlled quickly into the game with some good passing moves, although lacked the quality in the final third to break down their opponents.  This was until a solo run and reverse stick finish by Wolff made it look all too easy.  Y&S bounced back and equalised ten mintes later when an attacker was put clean through and slotted past the on-rushing keeper Ward.  Shepton could, and probably should have taken a half-time lead but Lord's shot from 8 yards crashed back off the cross bar.

 

The second half was far more even than the scoreline suggests but Shepton gave Yeovil a lesson in finishing.  Brooker, Duchezeau and Lord all found the net with well-taken strikes.  Yeovil had many chances themselves and forced numerous short-corners but either failed to make the right final pass or were denied by Ward and his solid defence.  Sheen gave the team some practice holding out with ten men for the last 7 minutes when a clumsy chalenge resulted in a yellow card.

 

But overall a good workout but stiffer challenges to come.

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