It was a miserable day, cold and wet. However, we had a full squad of 16 enthusiastic players including 3 new girls, Emily, Carys and Kanari making their debut with the 8’s.
The game was fast from the start. As soon as the whistle was blown, Thame attacked hard. Trin made some fantastic saves with Sal, Deborah and Gill taking it in turns to defend and support her at the back. Deborah’s flexibility to get down low and her ability to stop the ball and the players in their tracks is second to none! As we got into our stride and upped our pace, we made some excellent space at the front and had more attacks on goal. The forwards, inners and mid field were fantastic, passing the ball between them then up and around the D. A great goal was set up by Katie and deflected in by Emily. A few minutes later, the ball was in the D again and Angie scored. 2-0! Our elation was short lived when Thame scored minutes after. The ball came fast down the pitch and then across the D where Thame hit it hard in, past Sal and Trin.
We had a good team talk with input from Susan (who was in charge of time and rotation of players), Deborah and Trin. We were encouraged to focus more on our formation - making sure that players were in the right place, not too far forward, too far back or in front of players they should be behind. Also, we were told to concentrate on our outletting of the ball ensuring that we were keeping our triangles to move the ball into space and then driving up the wing. Another area of focus identified was to make sure we were marking our players tightly especially in the D.
The second half was a much better game for us even though we scored no further goals. We had a much better formation and made much more space to pass the ball in. Katie worked hard in mid field with both Hannah’s, Carys, Kanari and Charlotte playing and defending well. Angie, Claire, Liv, Heui, Kiki and Emily were all in good positions making some lovely passes between them with some further attempts on goal. Thame also stepped up in the second half and threatened us however their only goal in the second half was disallowed (the ball was not stopped outside the circle in a short corner). Again, Trin made some beautiful saves and was great with her instructions on who to mark in the D.
It was a great game with a great result. There were 4 nominations for Player of the Match: Katie, Emily, Angie and Trin. Katie just pipped Emily, for her fantastic play. Thank you to Charlie Baggs and Jacqui Barlow for umpiring and Susan for her team management and Evelyn Hargraves for the excellent photos! Also, to Deborah for organising another great game!