This was always going to be a difficult fixture. The opposition had published no start time and their captain is almost impossible to get hold of. Eventually we were told 11am in Reading.
The week started badly with only 4 people being definitely available from the previous game. However we eventually got up to 12 (actually 13 but someone could not count). And an injunction from Becky: “Although we do have one sub Deborah will be arriving late, so please please don't drop out unless you're dying!”
Wendy pointed out we needed white shirts and possibly white socks. Becky had the white shirts ready to bring.
Then there was the confusion about the venue. Our website said we were playing Reading but we actually due to play Reading University. Now there are at least 3 postcodes for Reading University Sports Centre so it was a wonder we got there at all.
Deborah arrived just on 11am to find she was the second player on the pitch! Eventually the rest rolled up – people had parked on a variety of car parks around the campus.
Then we discovered that there was only one umpire. Becky said she thought they were providing both umpires. They sent off for another one. Meanwhile their umpire explained that he had umpired our home game (when Becky was not playing) so we should have brought one with us. Ooops…
So we started late but the rain had stopped and the sun shone. Surely this was a good omen? We started well with excellent work from the midfield: Jess, Emily, Rachel, Issy and Gail. The forwards: Mel, Gill, Buffy and Lotty piled on the pressure but could not score. Reading got one goal in the first half which ended 1-0 to them. So at half time we were feeling quite confident.
In the second half we made some changes and things seemed to go well with Buffy scoring one but then they retaliated. The defence of Becky, Wendy, Susan, Deborah and Megan in goal worked hard but could not seem to prevent a couple more goals. We seemed to lose heart at this stage and let another one in to make it 4-1 to them.
Then two minutes before the end Rachel fell and hurt her knee badly. An ambulance was called and she and Becky went off to A&E in Reading. Deborah promised to follow in her car but then she found it would not start. So she was waiting for the AA while Becky was waiting in A&E. However eventually it all got sorted. James, Rachel’s fiancé, arrived and he drove Rachel home (with crutches). Becky drove Rachel’s car back to Oxford with Deborah following.
Could we have a less eventful game next week, please?