It’s always an interesting challenge when you’re asked to write the match report after only your second game for a team, but luckily I’ve never been one to let the truth stand in the way of poetic license. Also, it’s probably a lot less embarrassing to forget people’s names now than halfway through the season…
Anyway, on to the game, where Hawks 4s came up against a strong Oxford 3s side on the hottest day of the year so far (probably). Unfortunately, we went a goal down quite early to a short corner after the initial shot was saved on the post but then not sufficiently cleared and annoyingly squirmed its way back along the back line and into the goal.
Oxford dominated the first half, but we had some nice play, particularly on the left and linking up with Kim further forward. We were, however, 0-3 down by half-time. Sue and Becky were strong throughout the game but perhaps needed the rest of us to chip in a bit more with the marking at times. We did have the occasional foray into the other half of the pitch but didn’t seem to want to spend too much time there (perhaps it looked even sunnier than our end?). Karen had a couple of good chances – forcing the Oxford keeper into a double save from medium range and also firing a cracking shot from the top of the D which went just the wrong side of the far post.
The second half saw an improvement – better team play and linking up, with Catherine on the right setting things going and Becky, Abi and Alice all getting involved well. We won two or three short corners, and finally started to get the forward line more into the game. The highlight came when Annie did a lovely drive to the baseline on the right of the goal and then pulled the ball back for Karen to slot home. Oxford also scored again to make it 1-4. Linda was kept busy throughout and made a lot of saves, including a particularly impressive stop of a lifted shot from very close range, but Oxford were good at attacking in numbers and finding their way to goal.
Goal of the game was scored by one of the Oxford girls late on: a beautiful striker’s finish from short range. Fortunately for us, a football striker – as she (unintentionally) kicked it in. It wasn’t given (and she was very honest about the lack of stick involved) but Oxford scored a legitimate goal almost immediately afterwards.
Lots to improve on but also some nice performances across the board (and apologies for not name-checking everyone who did good things!) and lots of potential to build on.