Sunday 16th November saw the Golden Eagles meeting at BRN under grey skies for the 2nd away game of the season. For the 2nd year running our away opposition was Eastcote, albeit on a different ‘home’ Eastcote pitch. The journey down the M40 was uneventful, thanks to some SatNav post code navigation and the Eagles assembled in the smart Brunel University changing rooms. Caroline welcomed first time Eagle fledglings Jenni, Fiona and Karen into the team and with Deborah kindly stepping into the goal-keeping role we headed out onto the pitch. After a quick ‘warm-up’ we were all set to see if we could do better than the 1-1 draw from last season.
The first half saw some good distribution of the ball by Fiona to both left and right and with good supporting play opportunities to get that early goal fell to Sarah, Rebecca and Karen. Each time they were denied by some resolute Eastcote defending play. The midfield of Emma, Nadine, Jane and Fiona were closing down quickly on any balls coming out from Eastcote clearances leaving Caroline, Phil and Jenni little to do, and Deborah even less, than admire the excellent eagles attacking play. It was only a matter of time before this Eagles pressure secured a first short corner of the game and with a top of the D strike from Rebecca goal-ward bound the Eagles went a goal up. Eastcote rallied and a quick free hit from the side line met with Jane’s foot causing her to limp off – thank goodness, unlike last year, we had sub “I’ll play anywhere” Wendy to replace her! Eastcote then secured their own short corner and with “I’m going to lie down across the goal” Deborah making the initial save, the ball was cleared out with no goal scored! More Eagles pressure was then applied by all but against the run of play one of Eastcote’s long balls got past Phil’s stick to an Eastcote forward who swiftly moved it into the D and past Deborah for the equaliser. 1-1 at half time.
The 2nd half started with Eastcote ‘pushing’ the ball between the Eagles defence of Caroline and Phil. With no cries of "mine" or "yours", the game restarted with a 16 hit out! Despite this early blip in concentration, the Eagles fought hard and managed to keep Eastcote out of the D for much of the second half. Up the pitch there was some good connecting play between Wendy, Nadine and Rebecca on the right and Emma, Karen and Sarah on the left supported when needed by Jane “recovered from her injury”, Fiona, Caroline and Jenni. It was from this team play that Sarah claimed the Eagles 2nd goal as her strike failed to be cleared off the line by the Eastcote defender’s stick to hit the back board. Going a goal down again saw Eastcote re-organise themselves and apply more pressure of their own. Deborah kept the Eagles defence organised and despite a couple more short corners being awarded, Eastcote couldn’t get the ball into the goal. The Eagles final chance came when “I wasn’t quite in the D” Emma’s strike hit the back board but with the ‘own-goal’ rule no longer applying the score remained 2-1 to the Eagles. Then with time running out, Eastcote’s press pounced on a 16 hit-out and quickly moved the ball across and into the D and through Deborah for the 2nd equalising goal. Final Score 2-2! So despite more goals than last year the same end ‘drawn’ result – let’s hope that next season we’ll draw them as a home game and get a winning result!
Thanks also to Charlie Baggs for umpiring
Team: Caroline Baggs, Phil Williams, Deborah Evelyn, Wendy Rawlings, Nadine Hunter, Jane Chilvers, Emma Forrester, Fiona Young, Jenni Howard, Rebecca Black, Karen Easterbrook, Sarah Dawson