Senior Boys Hockey Match Reports (Week 7 - Spring Term '23)

Saturday 25 February vs Merchant Taylors’

1st XI
Merchant Taylors' is always one of the toughest fixtures of the season and this year proved no different. Having taken an early lead through a fierce Tom H strike we sat back and allowed MT's back into the game due to being wasteful in possession. MT's went into a deserved 2-1 lead by half time but the break gave Felsted time to regroup and the boys started the second half on the front foot. The game then swung in a mad minute as the MT's GK made a rash foul leading to a penalty stroke for Felsted. The GK quickly atoned for his error by making a decent save before the resulting restart lead to a swift counter attack where MT's scored an absolute belter! Going from a potential 2-2 score line to being 3-1 down swung the momentum back in MT's favour before another defensive lapse led to MT's fourth goal in what had become a very scrappy game. There was still time for a (rather special) consolation goal for Guy MJ who rode a number of tackles as he ran in from the half way line before slotting a powerful shot by the impressive MT's GK. Moving forward to Saturday's match vs Framingham the boys know they will have to be wiser in possession as well as being more clinical in front of goal.

2nd XI 
The team battled hard despite being let down for numbers. Leo B stretched forward and with the dynamic duo of Flynn P and Victor N managed to squeeze a goal back. Tired legs left holes in the back and unfortunately the goals started to flow but the team stayed positive and still managed to fight hard and enjoy the game. 

Cromwell Club
A delayed pushback prompted a stuttering early performance from the Crombies who found themselves playing a skillful Merchant Taylors’ team.

Having scored the first goal we finally found our confidence and repeatedly countered MT's drives into our goal area. After ten minutes, unable to score because of Sam R (GK) gritty performance and with the backs defending well, MT's determination wilted.
Against the run of play, however, Merchant Taylors’ drew level and we went into halftime a tense one all.
In the opening five minutes of the second half the Crombies scored again from a lovely sequence of one-two interplay through the middle. And, in the D, Sammy C buried the ball in the back of the goal. 2-1 to Crombies! 
Man of the Match: Monty C for leading by example with a resilient and determined performance.

A tough day at the office for the U16As against a very strong Merchant Taylors’ team. A good natured game ended 8-0 to MT’s although the score line could have been a little closer if we’d been more clinical in front of goal, where a number of clear opportunities did present themselves. We did manage to get a few shots on target however but their exceptional goalkeeper pulled off a number of wonder-saves, which sadly kept us scoreless. A good run out for the team though, and lots to work on in preparation for our cup match on Thursday.

Unfortunately due to an accident en route, there was a heavily delayed start for the U15 boys. It was a case of a quick warm up, and straight into the game. 

The first half was some of the best hockey the boys have played this term. Although the shoreline was not reflective of the standard of hockey from our boys, they can be really proud of their effort. Some beautiful attacking play from Felsted saw us enter their D on multiple occasions, however putting the ball into the back of the net was not in our favour. I cannot fault the efforts from our boys. 

Having put much of our energy into the first half, we struggled to keep up with the pace of the second half. Merchant Taylors’ came out in force, trying to finish the game off. However the boys were not going to let them play with ease. They put up a good fight, and there were moments of brilliance in attack which led to a short corner and a goal. However this was not enough to bring back the score line. 

I commend the boys for their hard work in this fixture. With regular players out with injury, some members of the B team stepped up and gave it their all. Particular mentions to Christian J and Daniel S. A very tough fixture, but one to be proud of nevertheless.

Another energetic, high intensity performance from this developing group of players. Having been on the end of a double-figure loss in this fixture last year, it was always going to be a tough match. However, the tenacity of the midfield, particularly Patrick, Pip and Harry, meant that Merchant Taylor’s found it difficult to break down our defence.

Having said that, the majority of possession and territory belonged to the home side and eventually the pressure told, with Merchant Taylor’s scoring two quick goals. To the boys’ credit, they did not crumble, rather there was a renewed effort which resulted in Felsted creating some pressure of their own and forcing a couple of saves from their goalkeeper.

The second half was a more even affair, with Felsted creating a couple of opportunities that were unfortunately not converted into scores, while Merchant Taylor’s managed to score another two goals to make the final score a 4-0 win.
One of the best matches that the boys have played, they arrived at match day ready to play their hearts out, you could feel the passion from the sideline. To see the development and progress come into play on the pitch was amazing and a great portrayal of skill and dedication, not once throughout the whole match did they drop their heads. Well done to the boys and the only way from here is up.