Match Report : Jo Price
Result : LOSE 3-5 Ham & West 7s
For the first time this season we had a surplus of players and 14 eventually stepping out on the day. With a 1600 PB this was our first game under floodlights. With Kim moving to CF, Jo P took up the mantle of CB to marshall a skilful but youthful defence with several players taking up unfamiliar roles. The first ten minutes were fairly equal with some good passing from both teams. Southgate had a couple of chances in their attacking D but were not able to capitalise against an experienced H & W defence. The home side counter-attacked well with the visiting defence required to transfer well around the back. However, there were some warning signs of the home side’s attacking prowess when a slick ball through the middle created a two-against-one situation and led to a H & W short corner. This was successfully defended but within minutes the home side were able to carve out an opening and slot the ball away for goal number one.
With Jo limping off with injury there was a quick re-jig from Kathy- kindly managing the sideline, with Kim returning to CB and Clem moving on to the forward line. Elise was called into action several times between the sticks with one dynamic run off her line to prevent a breakthrough goal. There continued to be some skilful play on both sides but with H & W looking a little more dangerous in their attacking D and with 10 seconds to half-time they put away their second goal.
After a constructive and encouraging half-time talk the visitors took to the pitch with renewed determination to get onto the scoreboard. Several surging runs created shooting opportunities and Clem was well-placed to knock in our first goal of the afternoon. The home side responded with some equally strong runs resulting in several PCs . Mon did a great job of running out at number one but unfortunately taking a ball directly on her foot required her to also leave the pitch and take no further part. Some minutes later a melee in our defensive circle led to goal number three. Time for Clem to pop up again and grab her second of the day. This was rapidly followed by goal number 4 from H & W.
Despite being 2 goals adrift again this appeared to galvanise Southgate – Sally, making a searing run from the right-mid, found herself in space and surprised the opposition by slapping a hard ball from the top of the D into the left corner of the goal. 4-3 – game on! At some point – I didn’t see it happen – Sharon’s shoulder clashed with Lynn’s head and she was also forced to leave the pitch. Now down to the bare eleven but still sensing a chance of snatching at least a draw we maintained a high press. However, our opposition dug in, defended well and a counter attack through the middle saw them clinically put away goal number 5 and with only minutes to go, effectively put the game to bed.
Final score 5-3 ! A good competitive game all around with Hampstead showing just a little more experience to pull through for the win.
With a spread of votes this week a big well done to Elise – after a month blighted by injury and Covid – winning our final MVP until January.
With the Xmas break now upon us – just wanted to give a shout out to our captain Kim who has worked tirelessly to ensure that we got 11 players on the pitch every Saturday alongside her duties as joint COS. Also to all our juniors for stepping up to the plate so well and everyone who has played in a variety of different combinations and ensured that despite all the difficulties we are currently sitting 2nd in the the table.