Ludlow Hockey Club
SCORE Aldridge & Walsall 1 v LUDLOW 2
SCORERS Gavin Hughes, Andy Richards
Ludlow travelled to Aldridge & Walsall for their second game of the weekend in the WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division. On a cold windy afternoon and with a makeshift team, missing four of saturdays side, it was evident from early on why the home side were higher in the league, Walsall had several early chances, only for the ball to be either saved or put wide, it was just before the midway point that Walsall struck lucky, a hopeful ball crashed across the 'D' a forward getting the faintest of touches and the ball ended up in the back of the Ludlow goal. Aldridge & Walsall had a couple of chances from penalty corners, Ludlow's defence too strong and experienced to fall for the tame attempts at goal. Ludlow only really had one chance in the half Andy Richards streaming forwards went straight for the goal with a shot but the Walsall keeper was ready for it. Halftime score Aldridge & Walsall 1 v Ludlow 0.
The second half was basically the same as the first, however Ludlow's rusty forwards, Tom Moseley and Tom Blount, who hadn't played for a few seasons held the ball well and kept the home defence on their toes, but not really getting a menacing shot on target. Walsall kept on hammering away at the Ludlow goal, and had one effort disallowed, but could not extend their lead. With ten minutes to go in the game Ludlow were awarded their first penalty corner, up steeped Ludlows captain and in form drag flicker, Gavin Hughes, who sent the ball rocketing past the keeper, the unbelievable had happened. Two minutes later Ludlow were awarded another penalty corner, change the play and when the first shot came to nothing a second shot fired in by Jake Watts saw a massive deflection by Andy Richards and the ball was in the back of the net again, Ludlow had turned the game on its head in a matter of minutes. Ludlow now defended with everything they had and took the ball deep into the opposition corners, to run the clock down, the plan worked, a relieved and exhausted Ludlow team heard the final whistle go, not a second too soon, final score Aldridge & Walsall 1 v Ludlow 2. Ludlow's man of the match Sam Pratt.
SCORE LUDLOW 1 v Market Drayton 1
SCORER Adam Hayward
Ludlow faced county rivals in this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division clash, the game started well for the visitors, who took an arly grip on the game, and had the best of the early possession, not that Market Drayton didn't pose a threat, with a fast passing game, Ludlow looked the more dominant of the two sides. The pressure increased on Drayton as the umpiring decisions seemed to go against them and Ludlow got the early shots on goal. Drayton's first chance came when their centre forward made a telling run past Ludlow's last defender, only to be met by the keeper at the top of the area who stripped him of the ball. Ludlow carried on with their style of play, and halfway through the first period Ludlow struck, the ball being crashed past the keeper by forward Adam Hayward. Ludlow kept the attacks going and never really gave the home team many chances to shoot at the goal. Half time score Drayton 0 v ludlow 1.
The second half saw Drayton have a bigger part in the tie, making several attacks, and getting their shots in on target, only to be held by a strong Ludlow defence. Drayton should have had a penalty corner at the midway point when their forward was bundled off the ball, the umpire disagreed, but five minutes later, they were given the a penalty corner, a harsh decision, Drayton tried to get the shot away three times, each one being forced further round whilst trying to make the space, the eventual shot sqeezed just inside the back post. Ludlow carried on attacking, and nearly came unstuck when a long ball bounced through the defence, with Draytons forward in hot pursuit, only to be thwarted by an out rushing keeper. Final score Market Drayton 1 v Ludlow 1, a good performance however Ludlow a bit disappointed as having had so many penalty corners but not converting one. Ludlow's man of the match Dave Hughes.
SCORE LUDLOW 5 v West Bromwich 4
SCORERS Andy Richards, Stuart Richards (x2), Graham Hutchinson, Gavin Hughes
Ludlow played the first of two rearranged games in the WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division on saturday, a team devastated by the lack of availability and under new captaincy, everything seemed to conspire against the outfit. Ludlow started the game at a fast pace, trying to show the opposition that it was a full strength team, not one being short handed, the flowing hockey soon showed it was a positive move, when Andy richards wove his way through the opponents defence and slotted the ball past the keeper, five minutes gone and already leading. Ludlow carried on with their dominating performance and had a penalty corner hit the post, another just inches past the post, Ludlow could have been three up in the first ten minutes. West Brom seemed like rabbits in headlights at the attacking flare of the home team, however all good things come to an end, West Brom had a rare counter attack that broke the Ludlow defence and slotted the ball home, this spurred on the visitors who soo made it two, then three. Ludlow were never out of the game, but all the luck was with the visitors, fate was sealed when right on half time West Brom struck again, Halftime score Ludlow 1 v West Brom 4.
The second half saw Ludlow start the same way as the first half and soon began to boss the ball, West Brom again limited to rare counter attacks, but with both teams unable make the final ball count, it seemed as though stalemate had occurred, with fifteen minutes played, somebody flicked a switch in the Ludlow players, Stuart Richards broke down the left and fired a ferocious shot towards the goal, in the way a flapping defender who turned the ball past his own keeper. Ludlow attacked down the right having stolen the ball from the restart, only to find makeshift and injured forward Graham Hutchinson stood in the 'D' a defender tight on his shoulder, not a problem as he smashed the ball past the keeper. At the restart the same again this time attacking through the middle of the pitch, reward a penalty corner, up stepped Gavin Hughes this time crashing the ball against the cross bar, as the keeper flapped like a penguin trying to fly, seconds later another penalty corner Gavin Hughes flicking the ball over the keepers shoulder. Ludlow again stole the ball from the restart, again attacking the left and another penalty corner, Hughes dummied the flick, playing the ball to Stuart Richards who fired home, the immpossible had been done, from trailing badly to leading in just twelve minutes. Ludlow held out for the last five minutes and tookall three points. Final score Ludlow 5 v West Brom 4.
Ludlow played host to Stafford in this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division match, the game started on a positive note for Ludlow with a strong passing game, all was going well until a Ludlow stick inside their own 'D' was mistaken for a foot, the resulting penalty corner being deflected by a defender over a diving keeper saw the visitors take the lead. Ludlow, who were missing some regular starting players had rearranged the team to cover the absentees, looked like a team in an unusual formation and struggled to cope with a set of fast forwards, and after twenty minutes found themselves conceeding another goal. Ludlow still had the belief that all was not lost and kept going to the halftime whistle. Halftime score Ludlow 0 v Stafford 2.
The second half carried on the same way, Stafford extending the lead early in the half, but Ludlow looking the more dangerous, with all the luck goi ng to the visitors and decisions being missed Ludlow fell behind even further, it now seemed that every attack Stafford had resulted in a goal. Ludlow ended the match very disappointed with their own performance and the general atmosphere of the day, with a blank week coming up, Ludlow have the chance to rest and recover, ready to come back revitalised. Full time score Ludlow 0 v Stafford 6.
Ludlow travelled to Sikh Union (Coventry) for this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midla Premiere division clash, Ludlow knew this was going to be a stern test of their ability, and began the match in fine form taking the game to the home team, despite this it was Sikh Union that had the first meaningful attack, a threatening ball across the 'D' had nobody to meet it at the back post, warned and aware Ludlow attacked as the best form of defence, with only five minutes gone the visitors first attack resulted in a penalty corner. Up stepped in form drag flicker Gavin Hughes, converting the set play, making the home defence by standers as the ball rocketed past a flapping keeper, the dream start appeared to be happening. Minutes later Ludlow's next attack again resulted in a penalty corner again Hughes' drag flick was goal bound but miraculously deflected off the line by a surprised defender, the third attack and the same outcome, this time a mix up saw the ball passed off the pitch, but with only ten minutes gone Ludlow were dominating the game. Sikh Union, always a threat were awarded a penalty corner after fifteen minutes, and converted past the Ludlow defence, a well taken goal. When the home team were awarded a free hit just outside the Ludlow area, the visitors slow to set up saw the ball taken quickly and fired the home team into the lead, minutes later another penalty corner and another goal, this time wrong footing the keeper. Ludlow were not to be outdone and when the visitors earned another penalty corner Hughes' drag flick was stopped by a defenders knee, the resulting penalty stroke was taken by Gavin Hughes and sent past a helpless keeper. With only five minutes to the break Sikh Union awarded another penalty corner, this time the Ludlow keeper blocking the shot, only for theme team captain to react first and fire the ball high into the visitors net. Halftime score Sikh Union 4 v Ludlow 2.
The second half had a slightly different script, the home team sent an aerial ball over the top of the Ludlow defence, saw two Sikh forwards against only one defender and the ball in the back of the net, five minutes played and not what Ludlow wanted. Another five minutes passed and the home team broke the visiting defence slotting the ball past an out rushing keeper, With the score now 6 v 2 many teams would have gone to damage limitation, thats not the Ludlow way and with the pressure stepped up Ludlow were awarded a penalty corner, just to mix things up the visitors changed their set play and up stepped Matt Blount, moving the ball past a defender followed by a crashing ball past a sprawled keeper. Ludlow now went full throtle and again a penalty corner saw Gavin Hughes convert the set play, making the keeper look like a statue. Ludlow sent players high up the pitch, only being outdone by a highly experienced team breaking down play, and cunningly wasting time, all the signs of a team knowing they are under threat. The final score Sikh Union 6 v Ludlow 4, according to the umpires, "a quality advert for midlands hockey and possibly the best game they had been involved with for years"
SCORE LUDLOW 0 v Solihull Blossomfield 1
Ludlow played host to Solihull Blossomfield in tyhis weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division, in a game that over the past few seasons has not been remembered for hockey, but more for it's discipline, both teams lined up for a hard and competetive tie. The first half was a very even event with both teams having to make the most of the few chances that arose, Ludlow's more from set plays and penalty corners, whilst Solihull had a few chances from open play, the nearest the visitors came was a quiccounter attack, bringing the Ludlow keeper into his only save of the half. Ludlow had the ball saved off the line twice and numerous shots blocked on the way to goal, as halftime drew close both teams knew they had survived a difficult encounter and were relieved to be going in to the break having not conceeded, Halftime Ludlow 0 v Solihull Blossomfield 0.
The second half was an extension of the first, both teams driving hard for a goal but also not wanting to let the opposition gain the advantage, Solihull made the Ludlow defence work a lot harder in this spell of the game, but an experienced group of players held strong, sometimes slightly fortunately. Ludlow continued to look for the opening, unable to find the cracks, but never giving up hope, Solihull managed to get a number of penalty corners, but Ludlow's defence kept clearing up and breaking down the visitors set plays.It was with only eight minutes eft that Solihull struck, a momentary lapse of concentration allowed Solihull's forward line to quickly break the Ludlow defencive line and squeeze the ball home on the second attempt as the keeper saved the first shot. Ludlow now went all out to get the equaliser, reduced to nine players many would have given up but not Ludlow, and when restored back to eleven it was attack, attack, attack, Ludlow however couldn't get through. The game ended with Ludlow losing, final score Ludlow 0 v Solihull Blossomfield 1, a harsh result for Ludlow, a draw would have been a fair result, Ludlow next face divisional leaders Sikh Union of Coventry next week, another hard match looks inevitable.
Redditch 2 v LUDLOW 3
SCORER Jake Watts (x2), Adam Hayward
Ludlow travelled to promoted Redditch for this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division fixture, the game started with the home team applying the pressure to Ludlow, with quick closing and chasing the Ludlow players with the ball, Redditch's pressure payed off with a number of early penalty corners awarded. Ludlow though had their fair share of the possession and looked threatening whenever they broke into the opposition area, it was with fifteen minutes remaining in the first half when Ludlow finally broke the deadlock, the ball being put into the net by Ludlow forward Jake Watts. The home team weren't affected by the Ludlow goal and continued to apply pressure where ever the ball was on the pitch, but the visitors managed to hold on to the lead to the break. Halftime score Redditch 0 v Ludlow 1.
The second half was a continuation of the first with possession being split evenly between both teams, Ludlow however always looked the more threatening, this wasn't the outcome when an aerial ball broke the Ludlow defence and the Redditch forward smashed the ball into the Ludlow net with twenty minutes left, Ludlow were stirred by this and only minutes later Ludlow regained the lead, an unrehearsed penalty corner being finished by Jake Watts again, his second of the day. Possession now went to and fro with neither side getting a real chance of adding to the score. With less than ten minutes left Redditch scored again from a harshly awarded penalty corner, it was now game on and again Ludlow responded with another impromptu penalty corner routine, this time the ball being fired home by Adam Hayward, freshly back from injury. The last five minutes saw Redditch trying to get another equaliser, awarded a penalty corner as the final whistle went, the game hung in the balance, but a determind Ludlow defence managed to keep the ball out and the match ended, final score Redditch 2 v Ludlow 3, this result sending Ludlow to second in division turned out to be a satisfying win.
SCORE LUDLOW 3 v Bromsgrove 3
SCORERS Gavin Hughes (x2), Andy Richards
Ludlow faced Bromsgrove in this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere Division tie, dlow were expecting a difficult game as they faced familiar foes. It only took a few minutes before this was confirmed when the visitors first attack resulted in a penalty corner, although the home team defended it well, Ludlow took the lead after nearly ten minutes with an unstoppable drag flick to the keepers left by Gavin Hughes. Unfortunately the lead didn't last long as Bromsgrove opened the home defence followed by a reverse flick bouncing into the goal off the far post, the game then went into a state of fast flowing hockey from both teams, but neither being able to get an advantage, with ten minutes left in the first half Bromsgrove struck from a penalty corner,the first shot being saved but the follow-up was too much, Ludlow fought hard and in the dying minutes pulled the scoreline back as Andy Richards steered Ryan Fellows' shot past a lunging defender, halftime score udlow 2 v Bromsgrove 2.
The second half was again a battle of attritian with both teams being reduced in number temporarily for foul play, halfway through the second spell Bromsgrove scored again, a rare attack being turned in by a diving forward squeezing the ball in again. Ludlow now turned up the pressure as a determind side went all out for the equaliser, at times being camped inside the opposition twenty three meter area, the pressure proved too much for the visitors, eventually a penalty corner awarded again up stepped Gavin Hughes with an even better drag flick than his first, this time leaving the keeper a spectator as the ball flew past him, this time to his right. Ludlow finished the game as a much stronger unit, having the visitors making panic tackles and being exposed all over the pitch, the final scoreline Ludlow 3 v Bromsgrove 3, Ludlow feeling slightly hard done by for their effort, but a good result knowing the opposition so well.
SCORE Shrewsbury 3 v Ludlow 4
SCORERS Vijay Chumber x2, Gavin Hughes, Ryan Fellows
Ludlow travelled to Shrewsbury for this weeks WARWICK PRINTING West Midland Premiere division match, Ludlow started the game slowly, and soon found themselves under pressure from an experienced Shrewsbury attack. Although Shrewsbury were the stronger team they found it hard to break through Ludlow's determind defence, with both teams not prepared to sit back it was inevitable that there would be goals in this match, it took Shrewsbury fifteen minutes to get on the scoreboard, making the most of a second shot from a penalty corner. The game went to and fro with both sides getting chances, but with less than ten minutes left in the first half Shrewsbury struck again, as the Ludlow defence stepped forward the home team poppup to force the ball into the Ludlow net, minutes later Shrewsbury struck again, making it 3 v 0 at halftime.
Ludlow began the second half in a much stronger frame of mind, and within minutes forced a penalty corner, this resulted in Ludlow's captain Vijay Chumber scoring past a diving Shrewsbury keeper. Shrewsbury took the restart and immediately Ludlow stole the ball back, with a fast counter attack Ludlow were awarded a penalty corner, after many retakes a penalty stroke was awarded and Ludlow vice aptain Gavin Hughes stepped up to put an unstoppable flick away. Five minutes later Vijay Chumber slotted home again from another penalty corner, a great comeback had been achieved, with both teams attacking but not getting a meaningful shot away it seemed a draw was on the cards until Ludlow new signing Ryan Fellows took the ball off a Shrewsbury stick on his own 25 M line and sprinted three quarters of the pitch, as the Shrewsbury keeper closed the player down the Ludlow attacker lifted the ball past him and into the net, any extraordinary finish to a brilliant game.
Final score Shrewsbury 3 v Ludlow 4.
SCORE Belper 3 v Ludlow 2
SCORERS Gavin Hughes, Ryan Fellows
Ludlow made the long journey to Belper in this years England Hockey competition, on a warm day Ludlow found themselves under early pressure, and after fifteen minutes had gone behind to a well worked penalty corner, leaving the defence helpless to stop the ball going into the goal, ten minutes later Ludlow's defence were opened up again this time resulting in a penalty stroke.. Belper spent a lot of their time sitting back deep in their own half and only trying to play on the counter attack. Halftime score Belper 2 v Ludlow 0.
The second half saw Ludlow try to get a hold on the game, always looking dangerous but being unable to get through the eleven man defence of Belper. Ludlow finally broke through on the ten minute mark, with a drag flick to the back post, Belper remained patient and were again awarded a penalty stroke, Ludlow again pushed to get back into the game and their efforts were paid off with seven mimnutes left, now Ludlow went looking for the equaliser, still having to defend, forced penalty corner after penalty corner, until final time was called, the last action of the game being Belper clearing the ball off the goal line, to save their scoreline.
Final score Belper 3 v Ludlow 2.
SCORE Ludlow 4 v Market Drayton 1
SCORERS Adam Hayward x3, Ryan Fellows
Ludlow started this seasons WARWICK PRINTING West Midlands Premiere division league campaign as hosts to county rivals Market Drayton, the visitors took an early lead when they converted a penalty corner in only the third minute of the game, Ludlow had made a poor opening to the match and seemed to be stirred into action, responding with a goal of their own minutes later. The rest of the half was a fairly even affair, both teams having plenty of shots, but not being able to add to the scoreline. Halftime score Ludlow 1 v Market Drayton 1.
The second half started as tyhe first had finished, but was soon to change when cards started to be produced. Ludlow stayed disciplined and at ten minutes gone took the lead for the first time, Luno started to dominate and forced Drayton back into their own half, at twenty minutes gone, Ludlow struck again. The pressure was now piled on by the home team and shortly before the final whistle all paid off with Ludlow scoring again, all the Ludlow goals were scored by their new signings, Adam Hayward scoring three and Ryan Fellows getting the fourth. Full time score Ludlow 4 v Market Drayton 1.
Next week Ludlow travel to county rivals Shrewsbury, hoping to continue their form.
SQUAD Vijay Chumber, Dave Hughes, Gavin Hughes, Stuart Richards, Graham Hutchinson, Brenden Pratt, Jake Watts, Sam Pratt, Ryan Felllows, Andrew Richards, Ieuan Hutchinson, Adam Lee
SCORE Ludlow 7 v Hereford 1
SCORERs Stuart Richards, Graham Hutchinson, Sam Pratt (x2), Vijay Chumber and Adam Lee
Ludlow played hosts to local rivals Hereford in this weeeks 'friendly' match, in what is normally a close encounter, saw the home team take a strong and positive attacking style of play from the start oof the game, and although Hereford always had a threat, managed to nulify any chances that Hereford could muster, an impressively strong demonstration of how to defend limited Herefords threat to only two 'on target' shots in the first half, both times the Ludlow keeper staying strong. Ludlow dominated the half, at the twenty five minute mark, all the home teams dominance paid off with Ludlow taking the lead. The strong performance continued and it was on the stroke of half time that Ludlow extended the lead, when a enalty corner saved by the keeper fell to a Ludlow player who instinctively drove the ball into the net. Half time score Ludlow 2 v Hereford 0.
The second half was a slightly more even affair, with Hereford making a contest of it, however Ludlow's defence remained strong and gave the visitors very few chances to threaten the Ludlow goal. with half of the second period gone Ludlow struck again, and within minutes made it four. With quarter of the match remaining Hereford made an attacking break, making the most of a five on three attack, getting a goal back, although Ludlow's defence nearly scrammbled away the chance. This stirred Ludlow on and quickly became seven, with attack after attack being converted. Ludlow's biggest problem was knowing when to stop attacking and just control possession.
The final score Ludlow 7 v Hereford 1, a dominating performance with real promise for the coming season, next week Ludlow face a Stourport team in a final test before returning to league hockey
SQUAD Vijay Chumber, Dave Hughes, Gavin Hughes, Brenden Pratt, Graham Hutchinson, Sam Pratt, Jake Watts, Ryan Fellows, Adam Lee, Andy Richards, Ieuan Hutchinson.
SCORE Droitwich 1 v Ludlow 7
SCORER Andy Richards 3, Adam Lee 2, Graham Hutchinson, Ieuan Hutchinson.
Cards Brenden Pratt ( Green), Gavin Hughes (Yellow) technical.
Ludlow travelled to local rivals Droitwich for this pre season friendly, and started in a positive manner, getting a feel for the opposition strengths. After five minutes, during which time Droitwich demonstrated an inability to pose any serious threat Ludlow started attacking. With only ten minutes gone Ludlow took the advantage with their first real attack of the game, this was followed by a display of predatory hockey, Ludlow added another three goals in ten minutes, showing no compasion to Droitwich, Ludlow carried on with the barrage of attacks, and never gave the home team the chance to get out of their own half, Droitwich would have been relieved when the halftime whistle went and the score only 4 v 0, this could have been 14 v 0.
The second half started with Ludlow easing off the pace, it took Ludlow just over ten minutes to add to the score. Ludlow persisted on their attacking play and with numerous shots either being saved or just missing the target. It was Droitwich who got the next goal, when a harshly awarded penalty corner was finished at the second attempt, this being the first of only two shots on target by Droitwich, in fact only two shot in total. Ludlow were spurred on by this and struck twice in quick succession towards the end of the match. Ludlow in this mode of play will be a match for most teams in the area, and things are looking promising for this season. The final score was Droitwich 1 v Ludlow 7.