A gritty display
By Simon Standing
grinding out the win
A poor pitch and small goals awaited us for this match which was a suprise. Last season due to the boggyness at this ground we ended up playing on the full size one with large goals. This was quiet the opposite as it felt at times we were playing on a 7 aside mini pitch which didn't really suit our style of play with pacey players trying to run in behind the defense.
Hichin started brightly and almost caught us out at the beginning with Ella taking a turn in goal and making a fine save, we defended the subsequent corner very well.
The hosts had around 10 minutes where they grew in confidence at the start and made some bright runs beyond our midfield, however we started to pin them back with our front three of Faye, Alysia and Brooke playing high up and pressing their defense and we gained control of the game around 16 minutes in when Madison's shot from the edge of the box put us in front. It was then all us and we continued to pepper their goal with further shots from Madison, Alysia, Brooke and Erin K all taking turns and in truth with the proper size goal should of seen us go into the break with a lead of 5 or 6 rather than just the one.
Half time 1-0
It was very much the same in the second half and it was clear that the oppositions game plan was to get all players behind the ball and try to catch us on the counter attack which made life very hard to get in and break their defensive line and lead to us increasingly having to shot from distance. However every time they did break Meg was there to take command with Ava/Brooke and Georgie to clear matters up and start off the attack once more.
It was a very nervy and frustrating game to say the least due to battling all 8 players behind the ball trying to park the metophoric bus in front of their goal and a fine effort saw Alysia hit the post midway through the half from distance, really well hit show and so unlucky as again proper size goals and she would of scored and added to her tally of the season. Further efforts from Erin K, Faye, Ella and Katie seeing them just go wide as well.
The introduction of fresh legs with our sub helped half way through as on the heavy pitch full of divots, pot holes and tufts of overgrown grass this had worn our front three out and therefore helped us and a brilliant pass out from Brooke to Madison who set Erin Stuart-Obrien on her way with a strong run and finish into the corner to relieve the pressure to make it 2-0 with 15 minutes of the game to go. Further efforts at goal were had by Lucy and Madison as we continued to pen our hosts in their own half and keep the pressure on until the end.
Our players of the match were - Meg for a super defensive display mopping up every counter attack which came her way and Erin Stuart O'Brien for her hard work and getting the timely second goal to relieve the pressure when required with a fine finish and her first for the season.
A mention to both goal keepers Ella and Maisy for stepping up once again for your team and for keeping a clean sheet in both halves.
A frustrating game to watch from the side lines due to the pitch and conditions but a very rewarding one for the girls in the end and the sign of a good team is to still get the win despite things not totally going our way. The win also marks a milestone for the season in the fact that we have now won more games this season than in the whole of last season at the half way point. Fine rewards for hard work, a team togetherness and willingness from the girls which shows the progression we continue to make so very well done to all.