Hotshots 3 | Mightygate 1
Hotshots began the week with 20 players but by the day of the game were reduced to 12. With only 4 over-18s left in the squad replacements were made in the shape of Kim BL and Olive James. MG had shored up their squad with 3 formidable extras in the form of Rhi Hart, Amy ‘Kooky’ Kokkinos & Mim Sherlock making her return to SHC.
The first 15 minutes proved torrid for HS pinned back in their defensive half whilst adjusting to the pace and intensity of the experienced MG attack. Milly BC, Kim BL and juniors Liv R and Lucille L constantly manned the barricades. Vicky Paver, in goalkeeping action in only her second game back after injury, had to make a series of saves, early doors which proved pivotal in keeping HS in the game. However, a slick move down the right eventually opened up the Hotshots defence for Mim S to slot home from the centre. This could have been the opening of the dam with Paver needing to employ all her experience to maintain the score at 1-0.
This appeared to galvanise embattled HS who began to believe that they were still very much in the game and, gaining confidence, started to make inroads into the opposition half ,creating a number of chances adeptly parried by Julie Bragg playing in an atypical position as goalkeeper. Eventually their persistence was rewarded when Caitlin HC playing in the uncustomary CM position, well supported by Helena Weblin, Megan Lam and Dora Clapham in the mid, crashed the ball through the centre into the roof of the net. Game on!
The momentum had now shifted and with Deb James now joining the fray, Hotshots were now in the ascendancy. Ella Duthie, Lottie Rachel, Olive James and Karen Lam were running themselves to a standstill on the forward line with Ella determined to maintain her high scoring record and with 10 minutes to go she picked up a pass from Olive to smash in the ball from the left post.
There were some further exchanges, with Vicky called in to action to make a triple save but HS stood firm to take the win and keep their winning streak alive, much to the delight of their supporters and injured captain Jo Price excitedly shouting them on from the side.
Report by Jo Price