Brom Becks 1 - 2 Burnt Ash
Burnt Ash secure the three points as well as guaranteeing 2nd place in the League.
Burnt Ash travelled to Brom Becks for their penultimate match of the 2011/2012 season, knowing that only a win would keep them in the hunt for the top spot.
Ash started slowly and the defence were immediately put under pressure. Brom Becks' strategy of leaving two high strikers stretched the visitors requiring good communication and a high work-rate from Lizzie Craig, Kathy Morrison and Katy Ovenell.
After the shaky start, the visitors began to find their rhythm and put together some well-worked attacking moves and began to dominate possession. Lida Cunningham distributed the ball well from the centre with Jenny Ellis and Rachael Bennett linking up nicely with their strikers on the left and right respectively. However Ash were constantly disappointed by the standard of Umpiring, and found themselves missing out on a number of decisions and therefore faced an uphill battle.
Short Corners were won at both ends. Kathy Morrision consistantly provided a fast accurate push out to the top of the D. However Ash were kept out by some impressive goalkeeping. At the other end Burnt Ash Keeper Lisa Cawsey also made some fine saves and every loose ball was cleared away quickly and strongly by the Ash defence.
Some really well-struck 16s from Loo Brackpool and great leading runs from strikers Chloe Bush, Hannah Smedley, Karen Cronin and Louise Bradford allowed Ash to counter attack. The forwards were also key in containing one of Brom Becks' key players at the back. Ash were finally rewarded with a goal when Hannah Smedley battled hard to force the ball into the back of the Brom Becks' goal.
Ash went into the second half knowing that a one goal lead wasn't enough - and the home side soon equalised with power strike into the Ash goal. 1-1.
To the team's credit, and in the face of a plethora of questionable umpiring decisions, their heads didn't drop. Ash came close to retaking the lead with more short corners won and some lovely strikes from Lizzie Craig, Rachael Bennett and Lida Cunningham. Both Hannah Smedley and Louise Bradford battled strongly in the D and Karen Cronin pushed hard, linking up with Chloe Bush, who laid off some lovely balls to her fellow strikers. The winni ng goal did finally come with Jenny Ellis and Hannah Smedley involved in a goalmouth battle with the BromBecks defence. Hannah refused to give up and a lovely flick over the keeper sealed it.
Ash kept the upper hand for the rest of the match and kept possession to keep the score at 2-1 to the visitors.
A difficult game, but Ash dealt with the heat and umpiring well in order to come away with the win.