W4 take tough draw with bare 11 at Old Merchant Taylors

Match Report by Sue Cameron

Storm Babete ( I mean really ? Who names these things?) meant we left a wet and windy North London at 10am with base layers on and changes of clothes for after the game.  We arrived at Merchant Taylor’s school in what could be described as “light drizzle” and before pushback the base layers were coming off and by half time the umpire was changing into shorts !

Our team of 11, (no subs due to illness) were delighted to have Maz back after her holiday and against a physically strong OMT side her strength and skill was much needed.

Shout outs this week to Lena, who played despite having a poorly baby and to Daisy, fresh off a plane from a week long school sports trip – normally one of our solid defenders who was asked to play the whole game in midfield and worked tirelessly.

Within the first five minutes a short corner was awarded to OMT – Maz was having none of it and dealt with it swiftly. Following that Southgate had both the majority of possession and chances and so it wasn’t surprising when 20 mins in, what is becoming a trademark sprint from the half way line by Millie led to a perfectly timed pass to Michelle who was in the right place at the right time and cleanly popped it in the back of the net.

We conceded three more SCs in the last 5 mins of the half but again our defence was solid with outright saves from Jasmine – unbelievable pressure from Lena, and fearless clearances from Maz and Rhi.

The second half led to a rebasing by the OMT ladies and clearer man marking of our danger players, they also started to take full advantage of their three subs with quick rotations and so our chances were more limited and our legs were getting tired. We conceded following our own attempt at a short corner and some confusion as to whether it was allowed to literally knock a few players over on your way to goal….

Both sides had chances but the defence by both teams was excellent and literally a last minute blinder of a save from Rhi ensured we walked away with a point.

With most of the possession and a number of opportunities in the first half (including lovely runs down the line from both Genevieve and Caroline) it felt like we should have won this one –  but to come away with a draw against a tough side was a result in itself and the whole team should be proud of their efforts.

Final Result 1-1

This team are starting to work together well and are gaining greater understanding of each other’s play.  This was evident both in the goal scored and the passing and control at the back giving the midfielders a few extra seconds to catch their breath when needed. The communication is increasing and with three wins and two draws to date this could be a very good season indeed.

MVP – Maz ( closely followed by Rhi and Lucy 😊).