Ash travelled to Holcombe on the wettest day of the year for the Kent Plate Final. They knew this would be a tough final, Holcombe are three leagues above Ash.
After a positive warm-up, Ash were raring to go. Holcombe started quickly and strongly as expected, and had soon won a short corner. This was executed professionally with a rocket of a drag flick straight in to the back on the Ash net.
The visitors were not dejected and got straight back into the game. The back four, Kathy Morrison
, Katy Ovenell
, Karen Cronin
and Lizzie Craig
worked incredible hard the whole game, marking tightly and running down every loose ball. However, a breakaway from one of the Holcombe midfielders led to an impressive individual goal.
Again Ash did not let their heads drop and began to work the ball round in order to attack the Holcombe D. The Ash midfield of Jenny Ellis
, Anna Hall and Captain Rachael Bennett
battled hard to feed the forward line who made a number of good runs. Soon after, Ash won a short corner. Anna Hall pushed the ball out accurately to Lizzie Craig
, who struck the ball looking for Hannah Smedley
on the far post - it was just a bit too far behind Hannah unfortunately. Ash kept going and won a second corner, with the ball coming out to Rachael Bennett
this time, who slipped it to Chloe Bush
– Chloe slapped the ball toward the far post, but Ash were unable to pounce quickly enough.
At the other end, Keeper Lisa Cawsey
was making countless fine saves and no doubt kept Ash in the game at times.
Ash continued to attack and Louise Bradford
came close with a quick strike from the top of the D, which just went wide.
At half time the score remained 2-0 to Holcombe.
Ash started the second half slowly and failed to pick up the Holcombe attacking threats. This lead to a dark seven minutes with numerous open play and short corners attacks against Burnt Ash culminating in four goals.
Ash knew that it was almost impossible to comeback from such a tally, however they continued to work hard and won a short corner at the other end, which unfortunately was not converted.
and Laura O’Donoghue came into the back four along with Keeper Catriona Osborne-Moar
and carried on the high tempo play of the defence. Catriona made some nice saves. Rosie Smedley
came into the midfield and Kat Anker
came into the forward line, both made some good moves; but ultimately Holcombe were too strong and another two goals into the back of the Ash net.
Considering Ash fielded a mixed team against a side who are 35 places (and three leagues) above them with home advantage, they played incredibly well and can be proud of their performance.