Stroud Ladies 2 Bretforton Ladies 2
West Clubs Women’s Hockey League North Division
BRETFORTON Ladies secured their first point of the season at newly-promoted Stroud on Saturday.
The visitors, seeking to bounce back from their 5-2 loss to Old Bristolians in their opening encounter, made the worst possible start as they fell behind within five minutes.
Quick play along the home team’s right side led to a defensive error in the Bret D and the ball was smashed home from ten yards.
The next ten minutes were really important for Bret as Stroud pushed on for that decisive second goal but the visitors held firm as Jayne Wheeler and Sophie Hamilton cleared their lines on several occasions.
Bretforton started to grow in confidence and moved the ball quickly as Danni Cox and Lisa Workman combined to release Julie Hall on the right and she just failed to get the ball into the D.
A continued spell of pressure from the visitors saw Hannah Dufty link well with Sarah Hall and resulted in Julie Hall being thwarted by the onrushing keeper.
Shortly afterwards Julie Hall again found herself in the centre of the home D with both the ball and the keeper at her feet as the home team struggled to clear the ball, but the danger was eventually cleared.
Bret finally levelled in the 15th minute when another scramble in the Stroud area resulted in the award of a penalty flick and up stepped Sophie Hamilton who calmly slotted the ball home.
The visitors’ spirits were lifted and the pacy Lorna Beddis strode out of defence to cruise past three players before offloading to Dufty, who in turn fed Workman before a quick pass to Sarah Hall who fired just wide.
Another chance from a short corner sailed agonisingly wide of the home goal before the hosts hit back and Wheeler rolled back the years to thwart the danger with some impressive defending.
However, Stroud were awarded a harsh short corner which was dispatched from the back of the D and the hosts would have been further ahead at the break but for a series of great saves by Lily Harrison-Perkins.
Bretforton drew level for a second time shortly into the second half when Sarah Cook and Kim Payne combined well and the latter used her experience to force the short corner.
Up stepped Cox to feed the ball in as the home defence closed down the receiver Sarah Hall and Hamilton slipped the ball back to Cox who scored for the second game running.
Bretforton were well on top in the second period but Cox saw her effort scrambled away before Sarah Hall shot inches wide.
However, Stroud almost snatched victory when their pacy forward found herself in a one-on-one with Bret keeper Harrison-Perkins, who quickly came out to narrow the angle and force the shot past the post.
Harrison-Perkins was voted player of the match for the Pink Ladies, who visit Blockley on Saturday.
Stroud Ladies 2nds 1 Bretforton Ladies 2nds 1
Severn Division Two
A GREAT team performance enabled Bretforton to open their points account at the second time of asking.
From the outset Bret played positive hockey with excellent work on the right side of midfield from Emma Lowe and Rosemary Logan.
Logan made inroads into the home D and Rosie Zubek and Jess Hadley up front were unlucky to see their efforts go without reward.
At the other end in the first half, Bret keeper Linda Bell made some excellent saves whilst defenders Nat Benwell, Lesley MacKinnon and Amy Ball all played their part in keeping Stroud attacks to a minimum.
In the second half Bret had a number of short corners but could not capitalise until the stalemate was broken when a ball into the D from Lowe saw Andrea Cole’s shot blocked before the rebound was converted by Logan.
Stroud drew level in the closing stages when a looping ball into the Bret D beat the outstretched keeper Bell.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on victory, Bret can take lots of positives into Saturday’s visit to Gloucester 4ths.