We started slowly as we got used to being on the pitch again. Oxford were on the attack quickly. However, nothing fazed Gabby in goal and she saw off all the attacks with confidence. Gill was very secure at the back and kept reminding us to keep our shape, use the space and apply what we had learnt at training (if only I could remember what that was …). Katie Carson also had a great game at the back with some excellent tackles and chasing back.
We had two Cannons on the half line: Charlotte excellently holding us all together as centre half and her sister Katie who had lots of brilliant moves and silky skills. Aimee was also playing on the half line and she looked extremely fit and competent today. Lydia Cox was playing out of position as a half but did a terrific job of tackling and moving the ball up to the forwards.
As time wore on, we got our act together. We upped the pace of the attack and their keeper cleared ball but not strongly enough. Kelly Fogden returned it with a timely reverse stick shot. We were 1 - 0 up! Later in the half we won a short corner. We took our time and slipped it left to Evie who then scored our second goal. We were 2- 0 up.
We had a good discussion at half time with lots of suggestions. In the second half we attacked well, and our defence got a little bored! Liv had a great game as left inner with good skills and positioning. Heui also had an excellent game with good moves into space and the determination to chase back if she lost possession. The other inner was Evie who adjusted well to this position and demonstrated great skills on the ball.
Angie had a lovely game on the forward line. She is so fit and focussed, it is a pleasure to watch her on the ball. Laura on the other wing made excellent use of the space there and connected well with the other players. Clare Strickland, a last-minute recruit, fitted well into the team and worked well to get round their defence. Kelly warned the other forwards that she was going for a strike and they should get ready for the rebound. However, she missed. She missed the keeper, and it went straight into the goal! We were 3 – 0 up and that is how it finished.
There were 6 nominations for Player of the Match: Kelly, Angie, Aimee, Evie, Katie Cannon and Gill. This reflected how well everyone was playing. However, it was Aimee with her superb game who won Player of the Match.
It was so exciting to be playing a match again and lovely to see everyone. Thanks to all who played, especially the sevens who helped us out. A big thank you to Charlie Baggs and Geoff Paver for umpiring. And thanks to Mak Diab for the excellent photos.