Match Report by Bethan Hodges
After a soaking session on Wednesday filled with relentless rain and hockey, our Southgate Women’s 1s felt a sense of déjà vu looking ahead at an upcoming battle against Barnes.
The girls channelled the energy built in the warm-up and the walk-out into the first 10 minutes of the game, taking it by storm, demonstrating some silky skills and slick 1-2s. Barnes rose to the occasion and utilised their aerial threat from the back to make moves against the Southgate defence but Louisa Bray between the posts was an impenetrable force keeping the score at 0:0 for the first quarter.
With a tied first 17.5 minutes, both teams had ‘fire in their belly’ to get off the mark. It was an even affair for the majority of quarter two but with Southgate conceding a short corner and a hungry Barnes setting up, a low drag flick gave them the upper hand taking the score to 1:0. Southgate found themselves with a short corner and two opportunities in the final countdown of the first half but a brick-wall PCD from Barnes saw out this quarter with their lead.
A tireless third quarter saw attacking chances for both Barnes and Southgate but both goalkeepers were fulfilling their defensive duties – keeping their respective teams in the game. Southgate were pressing hard and their work was rewarded with Lorna Cruickshank winning the ball in the final quarter. After a quick free-hit and a ball bobbled into the D, Barnes found themselves in deep defence as the Southgate forwards pounced attempting to sneak the ball underneath a sliding goalkeeper. Barnes maintained their one-goal lead moving into the fourth, and final, quarter.
The final quarter’s curtain opened as the sun shone through the clouds, both teams had no intention of giving in – the fight was still on. Within the first 2 minutes, Barnes had a vital opportunity after being awarded a penalty stroke. Taken with confidence, a low and hard flick punished Southgate to give them a 2:0 lead. But this wasn’t the end. The Southgate captain, and our MOM, Ellie Robinson, continuously looked to go forward throughout the entirety of the game. It was with 5 minutes to go where Ellie R carried the ball from her own half-way line into the oppositions quarter where she found her teammate, Helen C who fired the ball across the D to meet the stick of a diving Lorna C, deflecting the ball into the back of the goal.
A late card was shown to a Barnes player and Southgate had to give one last push to tie the game. A relentless 5 minutes came to an unfortunate end as the inevitable final-whistle sounded with the game ending 2:1 to Barnes. An immense effort from the girls proved lots of positives to take away for their next fixture after a rest in the form of a slip-weekend.