Match Reports 2013/14

 

Saturday 23rd November

 

Llanishen & Caerphilly    4 – 4        Ross-on-Wye

                                           (H/T 1-1)

Adam Saunders x 3

Dan Payne

MOTM – Adam Saunders

DOTD – Johnny Rogers

 

This weeks game against Ross-on-Wye is always a heavily contested game, more so currently as both teams are close in the table. Llanishen & Caerphilly’s target was to maintain their unbeaten home record and take as many points for the game. This mentality fell flat on its face within 3mins as Ross-on-Wye took the lead from a well worked attack. The goal seemingly acted like a bell being rang for the opening of the Froch v Groves fight. Out of nowhere Llan & Caer suddenly realised the game had began and they were trailing already. Within minutes of the restart Soffe was pressuring the goalkeeper with a shot. Although the effort was saved it feel kindly to Saunders to tap home and equalise. The remainder of the half was of a pretty poor standard as the game never became fluid. Both teams continually lost possession and both teams made chances on goal but neither would take the lead.

 

The entirety of the second half was again a rather poor show of hockey if it hadn’t been for the goal fest at both ends. Ross-on-Wye took a two goal lead within the first 10mins to seemingly put the game out of reach for the home team. The travelling side were looking comfortable in phases but Llan & Caer were ever dangerous with the speed of Rogers……uh……hang on…….Rogers is……doing a spectacular dying hunchback against the fence holding his hamstring………that’s him done then!!! Luckily the team began to pull together and a well drilled short corner from Saunders gave his team mates something to aim for. Ross-on-Wye were now fully pressed within their own half. A deflected ball in the D from Payne made its way to resident hitman Saunders who smashed home a volley shot to equalise the game and net his hat trick. A shell shocked Ross-on-Wye immediately went on the attack to their credit, even if it was accompanied by complaints and whinges. With 10mins remaining their efforts paid off as the created their 4th goal and put their final nail in the coffin. Unfortunately for them Llan & Caer eat nails, with just minutes remaining on the clock, a driven ball into the Ross-on-Wye area was fortuitously deflected into the net for an own goal. The game finished with both teams sharing the points. Credit goes to Ross-on-Wye as they should have been able to take the win, unfortunately their frustration turned to umpiring decisions rather than their own performance. Llan & Caer on the other hand probably displayed their worst performance so far this season but took a 4 all draw. Is there steel back in their play…….is this the turning of a corner………if so is it the right direction……..who knows…….do we have a Sat Nav……..

 

 

 

Swansea City C   0-6   Llanishen & Caerphilly A

                         (HT 0-3)

Entwisle x2

Roach x2

Scriven

Singh

MOTM Alun Jenkins

DOTD Nathan Scriven

 

After a fine battling performance to claim victory over table topping Cardiff Medics, Llanishen & Caerphilly A faced a potential banana skin in a late pushback away at Swansea City C.  A strong performance and all three points were essential otherwise the previous weeks’ hard work would have been for nothing.  With Stephens again “demoted” to the first team, Entwisle took over as captain for the day and proceeded to set up with a new 3-5-2 formation with a plan to dominate the midfield and keep the pressure at the Swansea end.  With a strong back three of Davies, Henderson, and Sansom, Llanishen & Caerphilly looked to keep the ball moving and allow the wide men of Soffe, Singh, and Griffiths to dominate the sides of the pitch and stretch the Swansea defence.  After a nervy opening 10 minutes where the setting sun posed a few issues for Igoe in goal, a slick passing move down the right allowed Singh to cross to the top of the D for a first time strike from Entwisle who found the bottom corner to open Llanishen & Caerphilly’s account for the afternoon.  The goal seemed to settle the Llanishen & Caerphilly nerves and soon the five-man midfield began to keep constant pressure on the Swansea goal.  Man of the Match Jenkins, broke up play and fed the ball wide allowing “wing-backs” Soffe and Griffiths to get forward to create chances for Roach, Black, and Scriven.  The pressure told as some good moves led to neat finishes for Scriven and Roach to make it 3-0 at the break.

 

The half time talk was of composure on the ball and continuing the work rate to the end of the game.  The positive message went straight to the head of Singh who started and finished a fine move to bag his fifth of the season and Llanishen & Caerphilly’s fourth.  Scriven then rightly earned his DOTD and potential “miss of the season” award, by failing to convert a simple pass off Roach from a mere five foot away from an empty goal.  Scriven very quickly took his seat in the dugout to ponder his miss as the rest of the team pushed on.  More dominance of the midfield allowed Davies the odd run forward to add to the pressure on the Swansea goal, and from a resulting short corner, Entwisle sweetly struck to make it 5-0.  As Swansea tired, and the Llanishen & Caerphilly forwards sniffed more chances, and Igoe became more and more bored in goal, Roach cooly rounded the keeper to make it 6-0.  Chances came and went, but in the end Llanishen & Caerphilly had to settle and be pleased with a good away win.  The performance may not at times have been the prettiest but if clean sheets and goals keep coming, then Llanishen & Caerphilly will certainly be in the mix at the end of the season.

 

 

 

16th November 2013
 
Gloucester City A             0 – 3                       Llanishen & Caerphilly
                                           (H/T 0-1)
                                                                                Dylan Pinney x 2
                                                                                Adam Saunders
                                                                                MOTM – Dylan Pinney
                                                                                DOTD – Mike Soffe
 
Rounding off a bout of tough away trips, Llanishen and Caerphilly would make their 5th trip over the bridge in just 8 games. Llan & Caer headed to a showdown with Gloucester who were flying high in 2nd place. Yet again missing several players it fell to two players with the cahoonas to step up. Welcomed into the fold were sprightly veteran Stephens and a debut went to Llan & Caer produced youngster Samuel. The game began with direct instruction from skipper Saunders to harry and harass the opposition. Llan & Caer were evenly contesting the game with Gloucester. On the 10min mark, a long corner from Keatley found Saunders who made space for himself and release a strike at goal. With the ball whistling just wide of the goal, Pinney was on hand to deftly deflect the ball home to open his account for the 1st XI. Strong runs from Samuel would link up well with Saunders, Pinney and Soffe as more pressure was mounted within the Gloucester area. Gloucester would come close to equalising but their only shot hit the post while their short corner efforts were all turned away.
 
The second half saw Gloucester up their pressure on the Llan & Caer defence. Stephens and Redfern squeaked and creaked but did not give, while Nutt and Keatley were attacking and defending in equal measures. Davies and Llewellyn put in a titanic performance as they held the middle of the park throughout the game. Pinney and Samuel would combine well to create a chance on goal only for the keeper to save. Gloucester were become more and more open to counter attacks as they were turned over in the middle of the park. Davies gaining possession in midfield put his trademark crash ball up to Saunders who cheekily deflected over the outrushing keeper to extend the lead. Gloucester again would mount increasingly desperate attacks, even wining a handful of short corners, again all turned aside. The physicality and reach of Soffe was indispensable as he received a well worked long corner from Llewellyn and Nutt. Never a team to sit back and protect a lead, Soffe continued to drive the ball into the D and strike towards the back post, finding Pinney on hand again to sweep the ball into the roof of the net and complete his brace with 10mins remaining. Gloucester would manage to pull a single save from Porter but they would be made to look sterile against a very impressive performance from Llan & Caer. Just remember lads, in the words of Mr Soffe……….”go with what your heart says”………
 
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly A    4 – 2      Cardiff Medics A
                                               (HT 0-1)
Nathan Scriven
Greg Roach
Tim Entwisle x 2
MOTM Jeremy Griffiths
 
Over the last two weeks the team has played with a lack of direction, so stand-in Captain Entwisle made some dramatic changes and promoted veteran Nigel Stephens to the 1st Team. Welcoming an undefeated, top of the league Medics side was never going to be easy after two limp defeats in their last two outings.
 
The team talk was clear, focused and the game started in a very positive manner, defensively very sound and with Entwisle dropping into midfield with Jenkins to hold the middle and spread the ball wide to Singh and Morely, and the defence held together by Davies making a return from long term injury.
 
Against the run of play The Medics came forward, attacking at pace, firing a hopeful ball into the D which deflected off Henderson's stick into the Llan net. Despite this blow the team continued to battle and push forward via Soffe and Singh, and chances were created for Black, Roach, and Scriven.
 
The half-time team talk was lead by Entwisle and Davies, and focused on producing more of the same and having patience with the ball. It obviously paid dividends as Llan & Caer started a bright move which resulted in Scriven sweeping home the equaliser from close range. This stunned the Medics students who had only conceded three goals all season to this point. Shortly after, a move started at the back from Davies led to left back and MOTM Griffiths surging forward and firing a ball in to the D with Roach skilfully deflected past the keeper and high in to the net to give Llan & Caer a 2-1 advantage.
This got Llan & Caerphilly’s tails up and they pushed for the third, with Morley's good running and midfield pressure finally telling with a string of short corners from which Entwisle smashed a third goal with a crisp strike. Llan & Caer put the game beyond doubt when a cross from Roach was swept in to the bottom corner by Entwisle for his second of the match.  
 
The team continued to push Cardiff Medics back, great defensive play, a tigerish midfield and mazy runs down right & left by the front players made for a great game, but late in the game the medics added a scare by pulling a goal back from a messy attack, but it was too late to make a difference.
 
The whole team deserved a man of the match award, roll on next week with Swansea Bay!!!
 
 
Bridgend B          8 – 1          Llanishen & Caerphilly B
                          (HT 3-1)
Simon Cullen
MOTM Jones
 
Llan & Caer ‘B’ were starting the day without a win, and finding goals extremely difficult to come by all of which meant they were rooted to the foot of the table, stuck firmly in the losing habit. With this in mind, the last fixture they needed was a tough away trip to top of the table Bridgend, who have been flying this season, and sweeping opponents away with big scoring victories. There’s an old cliché about the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object – this was kind of like that but the total opposite.
Within the first 3 minutes Bridgend broke up the field and slotted home a nice finish to score for 1-0. This looked to be the signal of the flood gates opening for Bridgend, but Llan & Caer fought back, with Watkins looking lively and creative in midfield and Cullen showing promise in his first start up front.
Within 5 minutes of Bridgend’s goal, Llan and Caer worked the ball out to the left, where A.Love cut inside and fed the ball into the shooting circle to Cullen, who beat the first defender then slotted the ball neatly under the onrushing keeper to score the equaliser. The game was an evenly contested affair for the remainder of the first half, with the main difference being a rather alarming precession of short corners awarded to Bridgend by the home umpires, two of which they converted (out of the approx 378 awarded) to lead 3-1 at the break.
Llan & Caer felt they were still in the game, with Cullen and Pinney looking lively up front and Watkins and J.Love industrious in the midfield. Unfortunately Bridgend turned up their game in the 2nd half, scoring almost immediately to make it 4-1, which caused Llan & Caer heads to drop a touch. The 2nd half was again more short corner practice for Bridgend as they were awarded set piece after set piece, another of which was converted for 5-1. With Bridgend now rampant, the umpire awarded a penalty flick to Bridgend for a baffling reverse stick call that was (at best) a 40/60 call, common sense would say the home side, at 6-1 up, with 5 minutes of game time left, didn’t need the extra help, but they got it, and duly dispatched the flick for 7-1.
The 8th goal was a beautiful strike high into the net by the young Bridgend forward to end the scoring at 8-1. MOTM vote was split at the end and went down to a coin toss between Jones and Watkins, neither of whom particularly wanted the award. It went to Jones because his knees were bleeding more.

 

 

 

 

 9th November 2013


Llanishen & Caerphilly       3 - 3          Pembroke County
                                   
(H/T 1-2)
Adam Saunders x 3
MOTM - Adam Saunders
DOTD - Dan Payne

Llanishen & Caerphilly would this week welcome the return of skipper Saunders to host Pembroke. Always a well contested game, the home team did have an unbeaten home record to protect. The game began in a blaze as both teams locked horns. Pembroke would take an early lead via an own goal deflected through the keepers legs from Llewellyn. Llan & Caer immediately returned a warning shot as Rogers rounded the keeper but could only find the really skinny post...........he missed the big bit in between the posts!!! A difficult spell in midfield for Llan & Caer saw them go another goal behind as their marking was a stark contrast from the previous week. Running freely into the D, a straight through ball wall cleverly/luckily (I cant decide if he meant it) deflected over the keepers shoulder. Llan & Caer needed to show a strong character to ensure heads didn't drop. Surging runs from Llewellyn and Redfern continued to pay off as Llan & Caer were awarded a penalty corner. A simple crash ball by Saunders was too much for the keeper as the skipper stood up as an example. The defensive partnership of Thompson and D.Davies continued to grow as Pembroke were not allowed near the D for the remainder of the half.

With the game well within reach a small change in position moved Payne to the centre. Unfortunately it was one of those games for Payne as his usual game changing ability fled as he struggled to link up with his team mates. Llan & Caer would go a further goal behind to Pembroke's cheers as slack marking allowed a free strike at goal. Adrenaline now fully pumping, Pembroke were unaware of the freight train that was heading straight for them. Llan & Caer upped their tempo even further and took full advantage of Pembroke taking their foot off the gas. With 15mins remaining Llan & Caer were fully on the front foot and attacking goal. Pembroke possession was picked off while Saunders netted his double assisted by Redfern. Driven balls from J.Davies on the left and the speed of Keatley on the right was beginning to tell on the travelling team. More chances were created on goal as Rogers hit the keepers pads. Finally Saunders would bag his hat trick with the assistance of Redfern to level the score. The game finished with the points being shared and Saunders leading from the front.

 

 

Abergavenny      4 – 3    Llanishen & Caerphilly A

                      (H/T 1-1)

Jas Singh

Alun Jenkins

Greg Roach

MOTM – Pete Henderson

DOTD – Nigel Stephens

 

A strong Llan & Caer side showed for a late start away to Abergavenny with confidence that they could deliver another victory and keep in touch with the teams at the top.The formation was set, the team organised and the plan was to develop an attacking defence....ooops!

In the first 10 minutes the Aber side got the ball up to a free attacker who ran into the D to score the first. Aber had the upper hand during the first half with strong midfield play but Llan came into the game winning a number of short corners from which Alun Jenkins converted following a planned routine. The half ended with Llan & Caer in the ascendency and the teams turned around at 1-1.

The second half was a more open and free flowing game and Aber took the lead again following a strong midfield run which opened the defence and a pass to left wing who stroked the ball home. Llan responded well and created a number of attacks up the right wing which led to a short corner from which the ball was moved again and Jas Singh stroked the ball home. Calamity came to play for the rest of the game as Llan pushed for a winning goal but Aber created opportunities bursting from defence and on one occasion created a short corner from which a shot was deflected off Blacks stick and an own goal scored. Llan levelled again through another short corner routine when another moved routine saw Roach convert and send the game into a frenzy for the last 10 minutes.

Unfortunately it was Aber who won through at the end with another attacking move from which they converted to seal victory which sees them go above Llan & Caer in the league.


 

 

Llanishen & Caerphilly B     2 - 3      Whitchurch F

                                    (H/T 2-3)

Matthew Pinney

Jack Samuel

MoTM - M Pinney

 

This week`s eagerly awaited visitors to Hawthorn were Whitchurch F, victors in the earlier fixture by 6 goals to nil. It seems to be feast or famine with the 3rds as far as players go – last week a bare 12, this week an embarrassing 18!

 

A cunning plan was made to thwart the prolific visiting centre forward, (5 goals and 1 assist in the previous game). The bearded ginger whinger (aka Tom`s best mate), would be marked, probably literally, by the Iceman (Nathan). But wait, super sleuth Dan managed to spot that the bgw was not changed and was actually injured!

 

A plan B was hastily put together and the game started with Whitchurch pressing the home defence from the off.

All 5 goals were scored in a frenetic first half, with Whitchurch scoring their first 2 goals in a somewhat fortuitous manner, to say the least! This looked like being another day when the 3rds were yet again not going to benefit from any lucky bounces, deflections, miss hit shots etc. But wait, detective Dan shot at goal, their keeper saved, the ball was rolling harmlessly out for a long corner, when he dived to stop it going out...........

He succeeded, stopping the ball perfectly for sniffer Jack to power the ball into the empty net! Could our luck be changing at last?

 

Pinney the younger showed his brother how to finish with our really well taken second goal, dribbling across the D, leaving defenders and keeper in his wake, before smashing the ball in from a very narrow angle. Unfortunately, Whichurch scored a very good third goal, giving skipper Jones no chance.

 

Missed in midfield was our usual author Cullen. (Had to mention him otherwise he won`t write next week`s report)!

 

Half time came with Llan & Caer still very much in the game and the rallying call was that the game was very much there to be won.

We battled hard to contain the opposition after the break, and to push for the equaliser that just would not come.

The game ended with Whitchurch just about deserving the 3 points.

 

Another encouraging performance from the team – that elusive point/s will come soon!

 

Saturday 2nd November

 

 


Gloucester City B      1 - 1     Llanishen & Caerphilly
                              (H/T 1-1)
Marc Redfern
MOTM - Nigel Stephens
DOTD - Chris Keatley

Once again it was for the 1st XI to head across a wet and windy border with a bare 11 for what was expected to be a challenging battle against Cheltenham. This challenge again began long before the weekend with Porter struggling to get players available to travel, but pulled through with some old (Stephens) and new faces stepping up. Despite partying till only a few hours before the meet time and some remaining make-up from Halloween antics a committed Keatley arrived on time too........and managed to win the DOTD title before the day had begun!

Setting up at the start of the match it looked tough, they were a young, fit and well organised side. The decision was made to play age old half press with the rock solid foundation of our back four it made good sense. This confused and frustrated the opposition who struggled to break through, Llan & Caer held fast with the occasional breaks down the wings with Keatley and Nutt working the right side. This resulted in a few great opportunities, a well worked play between Rogers and Redfern got the ball through to Pinney who narrowly missed the right post. A few minutes later a great counter attack through the mid-field left Redfern in a position to bury the ball in the net punching the air triumphantly! With confidence at a high, the half press came under heavy pressure and in the closing seconds of the first half a lucky volleyed cross was deflected in from head height to beat Porter and draw level. 

The second half was going to be intense, Cheltenham knew our tactics and were going to come back fighting. A number of short corners were conceded but the Llan & Caer defence fought hard, Redfern continually breaking dow the stike and Stephens clearing the post well. Llewellyn and Soffe doing some great man to man marking and the second half continued with a disciplined formation, (apart from a few optimistic attempts from Nutt wanting to go for a run), proved too strong and frustrating for the home side. Cheltenham's little hope was lost when a goal was disallowed as the eagle eyed umpire saw it was struck outside the D. The match ended as a draw which was met by cheers from the travelling side after a well fought match and much deserved point.

 


 

Llanishen & Caerphilly B      0 - 3      Carew

                                       (H/T 0-2)

MOTM  -  Simon Cullen

 

This weekend’s visitors to Hawthorn to face Llanishen and Caerphilly ‘B’ team, were the weary travellers of far flung exotic Carew, a reverse of the first fixture of the season where Llan and Caer were comprehensively beaten 7-0 in a battling display of 9 men against about 15. This time, the numbers were even and Llan and Caer felt they owed a measure of revenge for that bad loss.

 

The game started brightly, with both teams looking to attack. Carew’s tactic was easy to spot from the pull-back, they’d pass the ball out to the wide right, and crash it into the D from there.  Llan and Caer tried to play the high energy passing game that so nearly earned them the first points of the season against Whitchurch the week before.  The opening half was back and forth, with Llan and Caer probably shading the play and creating the better chances. Unfortunately, as the old cliché goes, winning is a habit and would seem the reverse is also true as Llan and Caer seem to be beset with terrible luck, and firmly stuck in the losing habit.

Despite a very solid game from the defence with no clear chances for Carew, the curse of the ‘b’ team struck again, as a ball hit harmlessly into the d, and drifting well wide of goal, clipped a defenders foot and rolled through the helpless keepers legs to make it 1-0 to Carew and another own goal. 5 minutes later, another nothing ball into the d glanced off an unsighted defenders stick, and looped up and over the stranded keeper to make the score 2-0 Carew going into halftime.

 

The 2nd half was a high energy and quality performance from Llanishen and Caerphilly, with the central midfield pairing of Love and (MOTM) Cullen working very hard to break up Carew play and start attack after attack, but the chances just wouldn’t go in. As Llan and Caer pushed forward trying to get back into the game, they were left over exposed at the back and a nice pass from the Carew right wing was tipped in excellently by the youngster up front to make the score 3-0. Llanishen and Caerphilly never let their heads drop, and worked until the last whistle to try to create something, Love hit the post from a short corner, but that was scant reward for the near endless 2nd half pressure.

 

The ‘B’ team are on a bad run at the moment, but the performances are there. The team work and team spirit are there, unfortunately the team still can’t buy a goal at the moment despite the often excellent performances on show.

 

 

 

 

Saturday 26th October
 
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly          7 – 2             Neath
                                              (H/T 3-2)
Johnny Rogers x 3
Adam Saunders x 2
Dan Payne
Jamie Nutt
MOTM – Johnny Rogers
DOTD – Dan Payne
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly seem to be suffering from an extreme bout of travel sickness thus far. It was therefore a breath of fresh air to play competitively at Hawthorn for only the second time. Sitting bottom of the table Llan & Caer hosted mid table Neath in what is always a physical confrontation. Llan & Caer welcomed several players back into the fold while missing influential midfielder Duggan. The game began at a high tempo and didn’t let up until the final whistle. Llan & Caer edged the first phase of play and took the lead accordingly. The game then swung back to Neath as they not only equalised, but took the lead through two similarly worked short corners. A suddenly beleaguered home team were brought back from the brink by Saunders. Not willing to concede at such an early stage, some great teamwork and play yet again saw the roles reversed as Llan & Caer added two more goals to their tally before half time to settle nerves.
 
The second half took on an air of intensity as Neath fought desperately to even the score line. Llan & Caer were comfortable holding phases of possession and broke through the Neath defence yet again to deliver a scathing blow to Neath’s hopes of an equaliser. Yet again however Neath would not go down without a fight, forcing a great save from Porter and winning several short corners. It was not to be their day however as Llan & Caer would score a further three goals including a brace for Saunders and a hat-trick for Rogers. Lets hope that the travel sickness stays away for next weeks trip to Cheltenham.
 
 
 Llanishen & Caerphilly A      0 – 2      Gwent A
                                               (H/T 0-1)
MOTM Alun Jenkins
DOTD 3 minute Jasminder Singh
 
1pm start in Cwmbran Stadium (that’s in Cwmbran Jas).
Warm up at 12.30….Llan and Caerphilly do the professional thing and start the warm up, whilst stretching, the nine man squad start questioning numbers. Two missed calls on the captain’s phone let us know that Jas uses his phone whilst driving and that he knew he was only three minutes away and that PC Plod had slept late after a night in the valleys on the beat (the 3rd missing player was Griffiths, this tardiness is always expected).
Llan and Caer knew it would be a hard game as this is the first time they have seen the opposition warm up! Push back was drawing close and a nervous Stephens, knowing we were a man down, had to buy time and sent Igoe up as captain all the way from goal!
The first 30 was spent with Gwent dominating, Llan and Caer finding it hard to even break the half way line. Short corners and shots were blocked by what seemed to be a solid fit unit. A committed Entwisle chasing back to block and intercept passes successfully - must be all those half marathons he’s doing.
The Llan mid field (all three of them) seemed to be constantly looking toward the gates for one of the late comers to turn up (bearing in mind Jas Singh was 3 minutes away an hour ago). PC Black finally showed up, got kitted up and was on! Followed a little later by Singh.
However Llan failed to play like 11 men and kept playing as if they only had 10 with no legs leading to Gwent’s 1st goal (through the keeper’s legs… Note to team Tape his legs shut).

Half time “Negative Nigel” delivered an inspirational team talk “we are all useless, shall we go home and just call it 5-0, who still wants to play?” (Nigel Stephens 2013)
The second half started with Llan pushing for that equaliser but Gwent also still pressing to try and put the game out of lLan’s reach. Pressure on the left back (5 yard stomp Collins) lead to him dribbling the ball over the side line which, unfortunately for Llan, Collins didn’t see or agree with! So he decided to discuss this contentious issue in a very polite manner with the umpire, resulting in a yellow card. (The ball was clearly out! Backed up by Jenkins and Stephens poor show Collins, poor show!)
Back to 10 men, Gwent score a 2nd goal resulting in the top spot switching to the opposition.
Harsh but true words - Gwent A the better team on the day. Llan and Caer A - shocking . You have a week off to reflect on this performance use it wisely.
Note to the Skipper please change the meet time for those who are late to one hour earlier this should safely see them turn up on time.
 
 
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly B           2 – 4           Whitchurch G
                                           (H/T 2-1)
M Pinney
J Samuel
MOTM - J Samuel
 
The arrival of Whitchurch’s ‘G’ side to Hawthorn meant that the “1st round” of fixtures had all been played for Llanishen and Caerphily’s ‘B’ team. Every other team in the league had now been faced, and, as yet, not a single point had been earned.
I’ve written time and again about how unlucky the 3rd team have been at times this season, this all seemed to be turning with a 1st half of stunning quality and endeavour from Llan & Caer finally starting to bear fruit. Some quick movement and beautiful short passing patterns pushed Llan & Caer forward time and again. If the chance wasn’t on, the ball was recycled back into midfield to retain possession. The experienced Whitchurch side must have wondered what had hit them as wave after wave of Llan & Caer attacks laid siege to their goal.
Eventually, halfway through the first half, the deserved breakthrough after some excellent work from vice-captain J.Love fed the ball across midfield to J.Samuel who slotted home for 1-0.
From the re-start, Llan & Caer harried and chased to get the ball back, and started more slick passing attacking play. Scriven broke through midfield and carried the ball past 3 defenders, young star M.Pinney took up a perfect position in the D and called for the pass, which he duly received right on his stick from Scriven and finished with aplomb to make it 2-0 approaching half time.
Whitchurch pulled one back just before the half, but Llan & Caer were well deserved of a 2-1 lead, and may feel the gap should have been wider.
Unfortunately the intensity levels dropped as the 2nd half started, and Whitchurch raised their game, equalising, and getting a go ahead goal within 5 minutes of the re-start. A 4th Whitchurch goal came from a free hit driven into the area which glanced the foot of stand-in centre half Cullen and deflected in for 4-2. Llan and Caer heads dropped and frustration bred petulance which led to two green cards issued to Llan & Caer players. The goal for the next game should be to maintain the intensity of the first half performance for the whole game. 
 
 
 
 Sunday 13th October 
 
Penarth Vets       3 – 2        Llanishen & Caerphilly Vets
                         (H/T 1 – 2)
                                              Sheds x 2
 
Whilst Llan dominated an unco-ordinated Penarth team for long periods of the game it was fate that doomed the mighty reds to a loss that has not been experienced before.
The strength of Llan did not lie in the three under-aged players, nor the fact that the mighty umpiring qualities of Robin Mahapatra were not available but in the attacking qualities of the forward line which was so cruelly curtailed by the deviousness of the Penarth team.
 
With the duo of Sheds and Burns shining so brightly in the first half many opportunities came ….and went before Sheds converted two goals to give Llan a 2-1 half time lead. However, Burns was caught in a 1990s move on the stroke of half time which saw him limp off with a vicious hamstring tear. Whilst still leading into the first 10 minutes of the second half Sheds took a smash to the face from a ball flicking off an incompetent players stick and ended up hospitalised …..again…..how many times for the unfortunate marathon man?
 
And so it was that Penarth converted two goals in the second half to take the spoils of war and take the first leg of the tie. The celebrated Reverend James helped the team through the post-match analysis and the second leg will be played in warmer climes (probably April) when Llan will benefit from the support of St. Fagin’s in Taffs Well.
 
Whilst the support of Bleach and Beament was missed the team were encouraged by the Vets youth policy which included Entwisle, Singh and Thomson.
 
 
 
Saturday 19th October
 
Westbury & UB B             3 – 1              Llanishen & Caerphilly
                                        (H/T 0-0)                    
Adam Saunders
MOTM – Paul Duggan
DOTD – Mike Soffe
 
Following a disappointing result last week, Llanishen & Caerphilly were hoping to give their season a kick start and get there first victory of the season. We turned up to Westbury ready to attack the game apart from Soffe who turned up with a hangover because he made the silly mistake of hitting the clubs on a Friday night!! The weather was decent and after a motivational team talk from Porter we were ready to play.
Minutes into the first half the weather took a drastic change and went downhill, this describes how Soffe started off the game as he attempted to play the ball round the back but instead got mixed up and passed the ball to the opposition but some great defence from Porter kept the ball out the goal.
The first half was quite equal, both teams utilising their wingers and creating some great attacks down both sides of the pitch. With the pace of Pinney and J. Davies creating some great opportunities after linking up well with Saunders, Rogers, Llewellyn and Duggan we were unlucky to put anything away. We did come close near the end of the first half with Rogers claiming he touched the ball to be then ruled out by the umpire. This summed up our first half really, very unlucky!!!
With the second half delayed due to Westbury needing to kit another keeper, this gave us some extra time to get our head in the game. Unfortunately, we went 1-0 to a lucky goal. With Soffe still not fully there, we tried to attack more down the right using Keatley, J. Davies, Saunders and Rogers to good effect. Llan & Caer then pulled one back through Saunders after he clattered into the keeper and gave him a hug at the same time.
We were unfortunate not to have taken the lead with Rogers narrowly missing some chances. Westbury then took the lead and followed it up with another goal a few minutes from time. All in all Llan & Caer put up a good fight and probably deserved at least a point from the game. The return fixture at Hawthorn should be interesting.              
 
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly  A        2 - 0        Neath  A
                                                  (H/T 1-0)
Greg Roach
Jas Singh
MOTM – Anthony Soffe
DOTD – Jas Singh
 
The seconds fourth game of the season was a home fixture against Neath. Beginning in heavy rain, the game was very even in the early exchanges until Llan & Caer started to control the game more and more with Neath’s best chances coming from counter attacks. The increase in possession for Llan & Caer saw them take the lead midway through the first half with a good close range finish from Roach. After good build up play from Entwisle on the left.  Then shortly after Neath nearly bagged a goal of their own only for them to see the shot hit a defenders leg on the line which resulted in a wasted short corner. The only other clear chance in the first half was for Singh who had the ball a few yards out from goal and then flicked it into the keepers head.
After half time thankfully the weather improved. At the start of the 2nd half Llan & Caer went straight on the front foot and got the ball in the opposition D and after a short period of scruffy play the ball fell to Singh who slotted the ball into the goal and made the score 2 – 0 to Llan & Caer. The rest of the game belonged to Llan & Caer with strong play down the right from Soffe, Singh, and Stephens, and solid defensive work from Sansom and Griffiths, and despite opportunities to add to the score line Llan & Caer couldn’t convert. This meant that the game would finish 2 – 0 so Llan & Caer are at the top of the table.                   
 
 
 
Gwent B              1 – 0         Llanishen & Caerphilly B
                                              MOTM Julian Love
 
A 3rd away trip in four games was on the cards this past weekend as Llanishen and Caerphilly 3rd team rolled into Newport, to face Gwent ‘B’ team at the  grandiosely name Rougemont School. If you’d never been to Rougement School you may expect the game to take place on a pitch hand rolled by proletariat virgins and fawning footmen. Instead it’s like a cross between a beach, an obstacle course and the Sea Of Tranqulity.
After spending 20 minutes of the warm-up time pulling back string curtains, moving about 14 different sets of goals and disposing of carcasses, the team talks were given and the game got under way. Llan & Caer were expecting a healthy squad of 15 players to turn up, but several no-shows and star player Pinney (the Elder) being deservedly called into the 1st team, left the team to the bare bones of 11 players yet again.
The game was played at a high tempo and in an excellent spirit. The Llan & Caer midfield of Cullen, Love and Scriven showed great endeavour and energy and covered every inch of the pitch chasing down ball and opposition. MOTM Love was a rock at covering the defence and let nothing past all game, while still managing to drive the team forward and hit constant dangerous balls into the Gwent D.  Llan & Caer played their best hockey of the season so far, but still couldn’t find the goal to give them the breakthrough. A young forward pairing of Pinney the younger and Jones chased and ran for everything, but found it hard work against an experienced and physical Gwent defence.
Gwent eventually broke away and found the back of the net halfway through the first half with a well taken goal through the legs of unfortunate skipper Jones in net. Although Llan & Caer controlled the second half and created all the chances, they couldn’t get a clean strike at net, and despite crashing several promising balls into the D, the forwards just couldn’t get a stick on the ball to deflect goal wards. The midfield kept the high work rate all game, but a lack of substitutes didn’t help energy levels.
Another frustrating goalless weekend where Llan & Caer will feel like they deserved more from the game, but just can’t buy a goal at the moment. If the work rate and level of play stays as high every week then results will turn and the goals will start to come.
With a home game next Saturday against Whitchurch ‘G’ team, Llan & Caer should take confidence from the performance, if not the result, of this game and expect to take all the points in what is, after all, only the 2nd home game of the season so far.
 
 
 
 
5th October 2013
 
Penarth A       0 - 7     Llanishen & Caerphilly A
                    (H/T 0-1)
                                     Greg Roach x3
                                     Alun Jenkins x2
                                     Tim Entwisle x2
                                     MOTM Pete Henderson
 
The second game of the season took the 2nds to Barry to play an experienced Penarth. With the return of Sansom and A. Soffe, Llan felt confident to achieve the first win of the season.
Llanishen & Caerphilly started with full momentum, attacking from the off with lots of movement from the right side of the field. Singh and Soffe working tirelessly, creating linked passes from the defence to the opposition D. One of these plays paid off, a quick pass in from Singh lead to Roach scoring the first goal of the match. Penarth started to apply the pressure, pushed Llan & Caer back into their own half. Some excellent defending and support from midfield stopped all the Penarth attacks short. Even with Collins’ ‘5 Yard Strop’ Penarth couldn’t put the ball in the net.
 
After half time, Llan & Caer came out in full force with Entwisle and Stephens directing play across the field. Penarth couldn’t find a way through and rarely entered the Llan & Caer  D. The goals just came from clever plays, leading to Roach scoring another 2, Entwisle scoring 2, and Jenkins scoring the final 2. Ultimately Llan & Caer dominated the 2nd half and fully deserved the win.
 
 
Whitchurch F               6 – 0                Llanishen & Caerphilly B
                                                            MOTM – Euan Thompson
 
Llanishen and Caerphilly approached the 2nd game of the season in positive and buoyant mood. This week, for an away fixture against a Whitchurch ‘F’ team, Llan & Caer had 14 players eager to right the wrongs of the previous week’s anomaly.
Unfortunately the first 45 minutes were spent stood on the pavement waiting for the caretaker to open the gates and let us all in. Finally the gates were thrown open and we gathered on the pitch, a pitch so strewn with sand and detritus that it took 15 minutes of digging to work out it was actually Astroturf.
The pre-game optimism soon started to drain away as the game wore on and chance after chance for Llan & Caer was left unconverted due to a mixture of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping by the Whitchurch goalie. As soon as Whitchurch moved the ball to the Llan & Caer end, their forward had one shot and scored. All game this proved to be the difference between the two teams, Llan & Caer could fashion chance after chance without scoring, but the sheer quality of strike from the Whitchurch forward (who ended the game with 5 goals and one assist and currently has 9 goals in two games) would make the difference and every shot  he took was pretty much unstoppable.
In a similar vain to last weeks away effort some frustration crept into Llan & Caer’s game, and the whole game was summed up at the end as the Whitchurch goalie pulled off a miraculous save from a deflected shot after concerted Llan & Caer pressure. From the resulting long corner Llan & Caer lost the ball and Whitchurch moved the ball up field and fed the in-form forward who fired home his 5th goal of the day.
 
Llanishen and Caerphilly now face the other of last season’s relegated teams in Bridgend, in the first home game of the season, and have to keep their heads up and believe that this game is very winnable. 
 
 
 
 
29th September 2013
   
Lansdown                    4 – 3                Llanishen & Caerphilly
                                  (H/T 1-3)
                                                            Adam Saunders X2
                                                            Johnny Rodgers
MOTM - Dylan Pinney
DOTD – Adam Saunders
 
Llanishen and Caerphilly were looking for a strong start to the season with many players making themselves available for preseason we felt we could take control of a league which has always been ours to win. After a long week of hunting around and an expensive phone bill there only seemed to be 8 first team players available. So inevitably we had to call on the younger members of the club to come and do a job. Well done to Dylan Pinney, Mike Soffe and Anthony Soffe for making themselves available. Not that you had much choice. The day started like any other meet at Village hotel all kitted up ready to go, or so we thought… Making our way down the M4 towards Newport and it suddenly dawned upon me that I had forgotten my Astros! Quickly improvising I swerved off the M4 towards Newport to pick up some new shoes from Sports Direct. Oh yes I realised at this point I would be DOTD and writing the match report, needless to say I was hoping for a miracle. Back to the game.
 
As above we were short on 1st team players and also short on defenders, our mighty leader Paul Duggan suggested all out attack. Why not! Lansdown pressed well on a very sandy pitch and dominated the firs 20 minutes with Llan & Caer unable to get out of their defence let alone their own half. Lansdown scored early on with a short corner flicking over the stick of Saunders. Still trying to press up Lansdown scored yet another goal easily gifted to them by Redfern straight to the Lansdown attacker to break through and score. 2-0 down after 25 minutes and something had to change. Llan & Caer broke down the left through M. Soffe and Rodgers to force a short corner. Swiftly distributed by Davies to the top of the D where Saunders powered Llan & Caer’s first goal into the backboard. We thought we had a window of hope until Lansdown scored again before the first half ended 3-1.
 
The second half started after an inspiring team talk from Duggan and Porter with Llan & Caer pressing Lansdown high up the pitch with some great play down the left by Pinney. Lansdown were caught out while complaining to the referee, so Davies saw a chance to smash the ball through to Rodgers sitting at the back post sulking, suddenly able to perk up and slotted the ball into the back of the net. With the score at 3-2 Llan & Caer continued to press the game for a draw. Lansdown broke away after much pressure from the away team and scored a well executed goal. Our ever reliable keeper Porter made many saves but the shot was too accurate to parry away. The score now 4-2 Llan and Caer had nothing to lose so kept the pressure up and with what seemed like something out of the training ground Llan and Caer bounced the ball around the Lansdown team culminating in a neat lay off from Rodgers to Saunders running through on goal with a touch to control then a smash into the bottom corner past an oblivious Lansdown keeper. Unfortunately this was not enough to keep Llan & Caer in the game and it ended 4-3 to Lansdown. Well done to everyone who showed up and to the youngsters who stepped up. Next a home game for Llan & Caer against Stroud where we hope there will be a stronger presence of first team players to defend our home record.
 
 
Llanishen & Caerphilly A    3 - 3     Cardiff & Met F 
                                  (H/T 2-1)    
Alun Jenkins x 2
Jas Singh
MOTM - Alun Jenkins
DOTD - Owain Collins

The first league game of the season came in the form of a home encounter against Cardiff & Cardiff Met . A drizzly afternoon met a Llan & Caer team that looked very different to  that of last season. A depleted first team meant that regulars such as Llewellyn, the Soffe brothers and Sansom where taken to boost the side in what was a week of frantic squad changes.

This however, did not mean that Llan & Caer were conceding before push back and came into the game with confidence after a solid season last year. Ronnie Singh was provided with his league debut, whilst Jenkins looked to cement his place in the 2nd XI following a great debut season with the 3rd XI. The 2nd XI also had the support of defensive stalwart Bruce 'the Iron Curtain' Thompson.

The game started slowly. Llan & Caer however, began to take the initiative and switched on after 5 minutes.  The boys began to assert their dominance by moving the ball around well and exploiting the large gaps behind the
Cardiff back 4. The continued probing attacks finally paid of when a great passing move led to the opening goal of the season. A pass from Entwisle was distributed first time by Roach to Jenkins who had made a great run down the left. This was picked up with ease by Jenkins who having drove to the back line sent a pass back to Roach. Roach picked out J Singh was a simple pass, bypassing the keeper who was rushing out from his line. Singh finished off the great move with a simple finish.

Stephens' began to really apply pressure to the Cardiff midfield. This paid off when a fine tackle allowed Singh to pick up the loose ball and charge forward. Roach again found space behind the Cardiff defence and received the ball from Singh on the right. Roach drove against the Cardiff defence and used his blistering speed to get around the back. With a pin-point accuracy pass, Roach bypassed the 2 remaining defenders and sent the ball towards Jenkins who calmly finished from 5 yards.

With Stephens enforcing from the middle, the strike duo of Roach and Jenkins now began to fence in Cardiff from their own 16s. This led to several counter attacks from Llan & Caer and missed passes allowing the home team to regain possession.

With the pendulum apparently swaying back in Llan & Caer's favour, a Cardiff attack was allowed to slip through the defence and Cardiff scored, bringing the game back within the reach of the blues. Another telling chance was spurned as Roach took a shot with a diving reverse stick effort. Again, the young man from the Welsh heartland saw his effort go agonisingly past the wrong side of the far post to finish the first half.

Llan & Caer continued the 2nd half with driving attacks down the wings that led to more chances. A melee in the Cardiff D following a short corner, led to a spilt ball landing nicely for Jenkins to convert with a composed flicked effort for the home side to take a 3-1 lead.

Soon after a scrappy tussle in Llan & Caer’s D led to a Cardiff shot corner. Despair as the sound of the crash of the backboard signified that for a second time,
Cardiff were back in the game.Despite Llan & Caer's further efforts, a miss hit shot somehow trickled across the goal line. The game was back on even terms for the first time since the 10th minute.

More chances came for the home side, but no goals. The game frustratingly finished 3-3, disappointed faces on Llan & Caer but a promising start to the season. Now the cobwebs have been blown away its time to look to Saturday and hopefully the 1st win of the season against Penarth A.
 
 
 
Carew              7 – 0                Llanishen & Caerphilly B
  
Glory be to the revolution of Karma’s great cosmic wheel as once again Hockey season peeked it’s wistful head around the curtains and announced itself to the Llanishen & Caerphilly 3rd team.
 
The 9 players of Llan & Caer wended their weary way to Carew, only to find that not only did Carew manage to scrape together a team, they’d managed to scrape together a team of 15 players by combining their 1st and 2nd squads into one.