The 2016/17 season got underway for several of AEHC’s teams this weekend. Virtually all teams had a ‘new look’ with several former u14 boys and girls stepping up to play their first ever Mens and Ladies games and the Club having the depth to field a Ladies 7th XI for the first time.
Newly promoted into North Division 1, the Ladies 1st XI’s season doesn’t start for a couple of weeks but they were in action in two pre-season friendlies, drawing against Didsbury Northern on Saturday and beating visitors Shrewsbury Ladies 5-1 on Sunday.
The Ladies 2nd XI drew 2-2 against Lymm 2s in their first league match, despite having the majority of the match play.
Lymm started strongly, scoring twice in the 10th and 22nd minutes as a result of two breakaways against the run of play. A flick for Edge, finished brilliantly by Emily Fell at 32 mins followed by a goal created by Nicola Hall and tapped in by Caitlin Polley meant the match entered the second half 2-2.
The score remained unchanged in the second half – all in all a good result for a team comprising several players new to this level.
A very young ladies 3's team travelled to Oxton for their curtain raiser of the season. The hosts did not waste any time in getting on the score sheet from a very early short corner and Edge initially found it heavy going against an older and much more experienced squad.
However, they started to move the ball around with more confidence in the second half and made the opposition work hard. A good positive attack midway through the second half earned a goal when the fast paced Lois McTiffin put Bethany Woodhead’s rebounded shot past the Oxton keeper to level the score.
Next week will be a very interesting one and a true local derby as the 2s take on the 3s in Cheshire League division 1!
The Ladies 5th XI had a tough and feisty first fixture against Winnington and went down 1-2.
The 6s looked slightly apprehensive against Oxton 3s at The Edge. Edge were without a goalie so Emma Cockayne gallantly went in nets. Oxton quickly scored twice but Jane Ashworth brought it back to 2-1 at the end of the first half. The second half was just as frenetic with Oxton scoring two more before Liz Callaghan brought it back to 4-2. Edge face Brooklands away next week.
The newly-formed Ladies 7th XI had their first game together away at Whitchurch 2s. Despite losing 6-1, Edge’s very young team played some excellent hockey against a much more experienced side and showed some real potential for the rest of the season.
League action for the Mens teams doesn’t start until next week but the 2s, minus a number of regular players, took on Knutsford’s 1st XI on a difficult sandy pitch. Despite dominating possession, Edge trailed Knutsford for most of the game due to more clinical finishing by their opponents. However the game finished 3-3 with goals from Rick Burr, who enjoyed a strong debut, a penalty flick from captain Julian Scarsbrook and the equaliser courtesy of a Matt Hardy deflection from a Chris Hardy pass.
The 5s and 6s, both comprising players making their first Senior appearances, also had friendly matches. The 5s won 4-3 at home to Brooklands, special mentions going to Oliver Andrews and
Charlie Benton who both had excellent games. The 6s had their first run out against a Brooklands 6th team who had a number of their 4s doubling up on matches. Moving up from the u14 to men's was always going to be a challenge but a fantastic 7-6 loss, demonstrated that Edge are both capable and able to compete at this level.