Hard Fought Point Keeps the Valley in the Hunt!
Heroics from the Jimenez Sisters!
The Colne Valley Under 13s found themselves at home to Metropolitan Police Under 13s today - a team that play a back 4 in a nine aside league! Over the course of the season the team has clearly benefited from the power and athleticism that Sophie Nash and Emily Hutt bring to the party, it's more than that though, the pair of them also take huge responsibility upon their shoulders and never give less than 100%. Neither were available today but that's completely fine and understandable, Emily is a champion BMX rider and we hope she won her tournament and Soph was away skiing and we dearly wish she had a fab time.
Against a side that could still - mathematically - win the league it was important that the Valley started fresh and with good intent. Met Police always have the full contingent of players and have some talented players in their ranks. So this was never going to be an easy fixture. As per usual we started with a 3-4-1 formation. Rachel was in goal and the back three were Mia "Jolly" Baker on the left, Amelie "The Amster" Robertson on the right with Hannah marshalling them inbetween. On the left of midfield we had Lys, on the right Millie with Bethie "Boo" Crane in the defensive midfield role with Caitlin supporting Layla up front.
In the first half The Orange Army, despite much effort, struggled to created any chances of note, Caitlin kept trying to play the intelligent pass but it just didn't happen for us. Met Police have some solid players and some talented players and it was a very evenly matched contest, although, it has to said, Met Police boast a player that could easily play a few standards above and she opened the scoring with a fantasitc finish from way outside the box that Rachel had no chance with..................she then broke through, still in the first half, and ended up with a one on one with Rachel and she was very much the favourie to score until Rachel pulled off a wonder save, with her feet to keep it one -nil.
At this stage a tactical decision was made and Hannah - who has been incredible there all season -moved from centre half to centrer forward. it was hoped that her natural aggression would unsettle the Met Police back 4.
Before half time Lyssie was so unluvky with a thumping header from a wonderful Caitlin corner that the Met Police keeper did very well to paw away.
So it was 1-0 at half time and the Orange Army#s chances of winning the league had taken a knock.
In the second half it was very much one way traffic...........Hannah lead the line magnificently and more tactical changes took place so the midfield four were: Millie,Mia,Lyssie and Caitlin all four of these are pacey and full of commitment to the team. you could tell that Met Police were worried.Lys was everywhere and never, even suggested, giving up.................Mia "Jolly" Baker is a warrior, always has been and always will be and her effort levels are extraoridnary. Cailtin was superb on the ball, Millie got stuck in and kept going. The back 3, wonderfully bossed by the Captain Amelie Robertson became water-tight and all three of Amelie, Bethie Boo and Cookie put in last gasp tackles and blocks they were a joy to behold.
It was still 1-0 to Met Police however....................until.....................with only a few minutes to go, the Orange Army's quite superb centre half, who has been quite brilliant all season, Hannah Jimenez, leading the line upfront off Caitlin, drove forward and finished beyond the met Police keeper. !-1. No more that the Orange Army deserved. It was clear just how much the goal meant to the team, not just because we'd equalised but because of who had scored it - Millie went bananas - nice one Millie!
In the dying seconds the Met Police top player still had the chance with a direct free kick that was "in" from the second it left her foot............until Rachel pulled off another wonder save. The quite brilliant defence of Mia (Cookie had gone off with a bleeding nose), Bethie Boo and The Amster held firm...............Lys and Caitlin held firm in midfield, Layla and Millie held their spots on the channels and Hannah was a legend up front.
Did the Valley deserve to win? I think so but a draw is just fine. We're still top of the table and the girls gave everything, we were missing two vital players in our squad but we were the better team against fellow championship contenders, Well done girls.
For her non-stop effort, for her tackle after tackle and for being so unlucky with her superb header the man of the match for this week goes to Lys although a number of players ran her close.
Well done to the Orange Army!