Under 12 girls vs Caversham Black Swans
Another muddy victory for the girls
As is fitting for remembrance weekend we decided to have a minutes silence before the game. The girls from both teams embraced the minutes silence at the start of the game with respect.
The first few seconds of the match seemed scrappy to me, but it didn't take long for our girls to start working as a team to sus out the opposition. Daisy was in goal first and we chose the muddier, downhill goal to start in. Beau was on top form for the third week in a row (I class that as a hatrick!) bringing the ball down the left wing for an early first shot at goal.
It was clear that we were feeling confident and strong, buoyed on by the fact that the Caversham girls seemed hesitant to attack the ball. Evie had some good early contact with the ball, showing great persistence on the right wing to out skill two players and feed the ball on. Charlotte was also having a good game from the start, showing great quality judgment in when to run with the ball and when to pass.
It was inevitable that with the teamwork and skill we were showing a goal would materialise and with the support of her teammates Sophie received the ball and was able to bring it forward and time her shot to outwit the keeper for our first goal, well done Sophie! At this point Bo and Cloe joined the fun, Bo at the back for Rhianna and Chloe on the right to give Evie a break.
The Caversham girls motivated themselves to come back stronger after the goal, which meant that our defence had to work hard and Daisy had several touches in goal. Daisy's kicks were long and strong, often reaching Beau who was really active, bringing the ball forwards repeatedly and working really well with Sophie, who had another great head to head with the keeper and took a shot that went just wide.
Chances then came from Poppy, pushing through the middle and also from Holly who intercepted the goal kick, although her approach was well defended by Caversham. The scuffle in the area lead to a corner and Holly was well positioned to take not one, but two shots, the first rebounding off the post and the second neatly passing the keeper to the teams delight!
Now we were on a roll and after a long run and a great shot from the left into the keepers hands, Beau hit the ball again, but lifted it beautifully (if not on purpose!) in an arc straight over the keepers head and into the goal. Great persistence Beau, nobody saw that one coming!
Now we were 3-0 up and again Caversham had a burst of energy, finding a gap for a player to run straight through our defence leaving no option for Daisy to come out and face her one on one. It was a brave move and paid off this time, but when the same thing happened again Daisy deflected the ball once, but was unable to get her hands to it from the ground allowing Caversham to score their first goal.
The defenders began to talk to each other, as Caversham approached again. Rhianna was really alert to the space left by her teammates and fell in infront of the goal to cover. Despite a bit of a wake up, we conceded one more Caversham goal before we recovered our composure. The girls started talking really positively and we saw some great running with the ball from Evie who made a lovely cross into the area (despite saying she couldn't do this!)
Before long we had our fourth goal, which we will give to Poppy even though it was a result of a rebound off a poor defender who dared get in the way of one of Poppy's crosses!
Just before half time the defence played hard, Bo taking a crunching tackle and staying on her feet to keep the ball, moving it into space to keep possession.
At half time we talked about the defenders covering for each other and the support that the wingers can provide. The girls felt that the end of the second half was messy and they were determined to regain their focus and win this game convincingly.
With Sophie in goal now and Daisy on the wing, we started the second half strong, Daisy taking the first shot at goal with a little chip that was defended for a corner. Holly was wide awake and really determined, making an awesome run that terrified the opposition, she fought hard to keep the ball ending in a dramatic fall that twisted her ankle.
Our next goal came following some frantic goal mouth action, Chloe and Beau and Evie all made contact with the ball, but Daisy finally knocked it in when an opening came up! This was closely followed by a well deserved Poppy goal after she received the ball from a goal kick.
After all this action at the front we were obviously weary, Ruby then came into her own covering well at the back and preventing Caversham from getting through with the ball. Sophie had a couple of touches at this stage and made a great kick from her hands to relieve the pressure. Charlotte continued to cover well at the back using her skill to keep the ball and her timing to execute a switch, which is not easy from the back.
We had several more opportunities next with Beau continuing to work extremely hard, making wise choices and crossing accurately. Evie worked really hard at this stage, listening to her team mates and busting through the defence. Chloe also read the ball well and spotted some space to run into and wait for support.
Our seventh and final goal came from Poppy, who's constant determination kept the team focussed on good football until the end, thanks Poppy!
The game was nearly over now, but not without a last ditch attempt that was well read and intercepted by Sophie at close range.
I was so impressed by the overall standard of our performance today and took the unusual move of asking the girls to help me choose the player of the match. The girls very astutely mentioned the players that I had recognised as performing really well today, but there was a clear consensus that Evie was the player who had pushed her own limits today and worked so hard for the team, amazing and impressing her team mates (and me), so well done Evie and great work everybody, it was such a great game that hopefully parents forgot they were freezing and wet!!