Baker's Brace Helps Bag The Points
Colne Valley Under 13s move to within 1 point of the Leaders
The Colne Valley Under 13s hadn't played for around a month and it showed....................particularly in the first half. It felt as if the girls had to start from scratch and get to know one another again.
The atmosphere within the team just didn't feel right as kick-off approached and it was very hard to put a finger on why. Richmond Park are a very well coached side and I really hope that their young coach sticks with it and keeps going as it very impressive to watch his team play on the ground with a real emphasis on pass and move.
Richmond only had 8 players so we did the decent thing and played with 8 players, despite having a squad available of 10 players.
The opening skirmishes showed two evenly matched sides and Colne Valley went in with a 2-1-3-1 formation with Rachel Jimenez in goal, Hannah Jimenez (captain) and Ellie "Cookie" Cook in defence, Beth Crane shielding the back 2 in her defensive midfield role with Mia Baker covering the entire left hand of the pitch with Lyssie D'Ambrosio doing much the same on the right. Caitlin Hearne then played off Emily Hutt who was the lone forward.
Hannah was at her competitive best in the heart of defence and is rapidly learning the benefits of playing the ball out of defence, she is an excellent defender but like so many ball-playing defenders the real art is learning when to be composed on the ball and when to clear your lines. Hannah got caught in possession mid-way through the first half and was ruthlessly punished by the Richmond captain and centre forward 1-0 to Richmond. Colne Valley just couldn't get going, the girls were untypically quiet and not even Cookie with her thumping challenges could galvanise the team. In the car on the way to the game I was busy telling Mia Baker how I believed that - in her third season with the club - she would finally break her duck and score her first goal for the club. No one would deserve this more as Mia's performances on the left on the back 3 have been one of the highlights of this season, she's been tremendous. So it was so warmly received from all the Colne Valley fans and players when Mia broke from the left and calmly chipped into the top right corner 1-1. I hoped we'd reached half time at 1-1 and regroup but, again, Richmond broke forward and a well taken goal put them 2-1 up at half - time. Deservedly so.
We were able to rotate the squad and everyone had a good run-out. Amelie Robertson, the official club captain, came on and in her calm and composed way she seemed to calm everyone down. Emily Hutt,after having a break, came back on the pitch with the bit between her teeth but it was Mia Baker who grabbed an equalizer. Well done Mia. All of a sudden it all began to slot into place and the Under 13s finally began to resemble the team that had enjoyed such a tremendous and high energy start to the season. Lyssie D'Ambrosio ran her socks off - as usual - down the right and was very effective going forward while never forgetting her defensive duties. Caitlin started to get that cultured right foot of her's ion the ball in dangerous positions and has that great ability to take 2 opposition players out of the game with an intelligent pass. We went out all out for a win by sticking 2 up front with Layla Best and Emily Hutt working very well together. Layla played very well with her back to goal and Emily was her all-action best, a handful in the very best sense of the word. Emily. with her bustling, all action style but the U13s 3-2 up and then calmly slotted home the 4th. Beth Crane was then brought on to hold it all together and protect our lead and help the defence which she did to great effect.
So 4-2 to Colne Valley Under 13s. Well done to Rachel for encouraging her team mates and even getting a run out on pitch but with Lyssie and Mia running her close today's Man of the Match goes to Amelie Robertson, she's a great captain and is looking very composed at the back, knowing when to make a tackle, when to step back and always being very committed. Well done Amelie. Hannah too was wonderfully aggressive at the back and didn't let her head drop after her early mistake, a great sign of maturity.
Well done girsl - let's have a great training session on Tuesday and get fully prepared for next Sunday's big cup game.