STAFFORD Ladies HC firsts followed up their opening win of the season with another impressive performance against North Staffs seconds this week.
It proved a memorable weekend for the former as they also progressed in the England Hockey Vase.
Having triumphed against their own second team the previous week, Stafford firsts played their part in an even start against North Staffs, as both sides retained possession well in midfield.
Unfortunately the final pass was not forthcoming, although Stafford were unlucky not to go ahead when Becky Blakey’s strike from a penalty corner was touched past the post by the North Staffs keeper.
The breakthrough came just before half time when Stafford’s Emma Clay’s reverse stick shot slid just inside a post.
Encouraged by the goal, Stafford lifted their game and passes had more urgency, while play was switched well across the pitch.
A break down the right from Karen Maddox-Jones put her in enough space to deliver a telling cross to Clay, whose first time strike made it 2-0.
The second half followed a similar pattern and Maddox-Jones wrapped up the scoring and the points for Stafford with a fine solo effort.
On Sunday, Stafford ladies faced Coventry and North Warwick (CNW ) at home in the first round of the England Vase, running out impressive 5-1 victors.
With some changes in the squad from the previous day it took Stafford a while to settle and CNW took the lead when they were awarded a penalty corner.
But they did not hold the lead for long. Just moments later, Rachel Humpage drew Stafford level after weaving the ball
past three players and slotting home. Carmel Varga soon put Stafford ahead for the first time in the tie.
Eager to extend their lead, Stafford pressed high up the pitch, forcing the Coventry defence to attempt the long ball.
Stafford were rewarded after a superb interception at the top of the circle from Clay, her pass finding young Mary Wolfe who calmly beat the keeper.
After the break, Stafford continued with their attacking play, creating several chances. Once such chance saw Blakey free at the top of the circle and, after controlling the ball, she drew the keeper and slid a pass to Varga who found the empty net.
The scoring was rounded off after a mad scramble in the circle, with several shots blocked, Wolfe forcing the ball home to see Stafford through to the next round.