The L4s travelled up to Cressex this week to defend their hard-fought top of the league spot, needing to maintain a high goal difference, so Captain Catherine’s command was to score at least 6 goals by half time, a tall order you might think.
Hawks looked a little rusty and creaky after the Christmas break, but after about 10 minutes woke up and started to move the ball around, with some neat interplay between inners and forwards. At 11 minutes Mel sent a great wide ball out to the left D, which found Nicky but she was unable to make the right connection to score, however moments later recently un-retired player Fi won the ball back in the same spot, and demonstrated her nifty stick work to get past a few defenders to put in a good cross. Sandra and Emily had a battle with the goalie in the goal-mouth before Fi slotted the ball in at the post.
A minute later Hawks were unlucky not to score again through some excellent play by Emily on the t-spot, and from another passage of attacking play Sandra’s strike from the top of the D was denied by an excellent back heel save from Wycombe’s busy goalie. The next few minutes are short of detail as everything happened so fast the note-keeper couldn’t keep up, however by the end of the first 16 minutes of the game Fi had added two more scores. 3-0!
Only 2 minutes later Nicky picked up an interesting pass into the D from Catherine and smashed that into the backboards, then Fi scored her 4th, Jacs converted a penalty corner with pinpoint precision and as the subs tried to update L4s supporters across the globe through Whatsapp with the 6-0 scoreline, Catherine shouted “No, no! It’s 7-0, Sophie D has just scored!”
Sandra then decided it was time for her to score, with shots on goal from every (impossible) angle, finally hitting home after a superb 1-2 with Sophie D. An excellent solo effort by Emily, beating two defenders and the goalie, brought the half time score to 9-0.
If we had expected Wycombe to give up and hang their heads at this point we couldn’t have been more wrong. The defence were even more determined to keep us out of the goal (and did so for the next 22 minutes) and the young, quick forwards kept Jacs, Becky, Jane and Katherine very busy at the back. Fortunately this didn’t tire them out too much and they made some excellent switching moves which helped launch more attacks and spread the Wycombe defence.
Eventually a clear ball was passed into the D from Catherine, Sophie D managed to execute a first-ever reverse stick strike which Fi popped into the goal from the left post. Two minutes later after some great linking through the midfield between Nicky and Gabs, Sophie D fired a pass to Sandra whose shot from the edge of the D rocketed in off the near post.
This was followed up by more goal-mouth action from Fi to score her 6th goal and Emily Black with another great drive into the D which she converted with aplomb. In the final minute, some excellent linking from Katherine, Sophie T and Catherine resulted in a pass to Gabs in good space, and she fired the ball home from the right hand side of the D for the Dream Team’s goal number 14.
The votes for Player of the Match were split, with Gabs taking several votes and both Sophie D and Nicky tied for first place. Captain Catherine felt under no pressure at all to make the casting vote and make Nicky POM, with no thoughts of anyone’s Fantasy Hockey team whatsoever. Points aplenty this week for the Dream Team!