Under 12 girls vs Thatcham Town Blue
1st round of the cup and a local fiesta of football
As the temperature dropped and the rain began to spit, the nine fearsome Tornadoes stepped up to do all they could to get through to the next round of the CUP!
We talked before the match about the need to play clever, passing football today. We also observed that the opposition are great at passing the ball and using space on the pitch so we went out determined to mark well and steal the ball quickly. This was a massive challenge because the Town girls were equally determined!
Thatcham Town won the kick off and made progress into our half, but were swiftly seen off by the defence, Bo charging into a tough tackle and coming out the stronger player. We maintained possession despite some great marking from the opposition, Poppy and Daisy worked together through the middle, both taking early shots at goal that were deflected by the defence. Ruby (centre back) worked well with Poppy in centre mid, both calmly retrieving the ball and despatching it to their teammates. Poppy ran hard to ensure that she was always an option in the middle of the pitch and available to support the switch from one side to the other.
Our first corner was well hit and the players communicated well, Daisy got to the ball, but was unable to shoot into the net kicking it high for a goal kick. Chloe (left wing) and Charlotte (left back) worked together to retrieve the ball and bring it back to our attacking half, Charlotte reading the game incredibly well and using skill and speed to persistently deter any attack. The play switched to the right and Evie bought the ball forward with great strength before being overwhelmed by the town defence.
Sophie was fairly safe in the goal, but always alert when needed. She communicated well with the defence and delivered the ball back into play with strength and precision. After a kick from Sophie's hands Abi made a run up the right, taking on two players and crossing at the right time to Daisy who took a split second to adjust her positioning and shoot. The shot rebounded off the goalkeeper allowing Daisy a second attempt that skimmed the keepers head and hit the back of the net!
The girls were excited and finished the first half with a flurry of attacks, Poppy setting Daisy up to take another strike at the keeper. Both Chloe and Abi were sending good balls through to the forwards, Chloe taking her time to make the right pass and Abi releasing the ball quickly to ensure the pass was possible. Great improvement Abi and Chloe!
After half time the girls returned to the pitch with energy to spare despite their earlier efforts. They were all very level headed and able to keep their focus despite the cold and excitement at the thought of a win. Daisy took over from Sophie in goal and Sophie was raring to have some action at the front. Sophie had a shot at goal early on after a long cross from Abi. Soph was under a lot of pressure, but still attempted a one touch shot, which unfortunately span wide of the goal.
We put a lot of pressure on the town defence in this half, leading to a couple of scuffles and near misses in the goal area. We also had to contend with a couple of breakaway runs from the keen Thatcham town strikers, determined to equalise. Thankfully today our defence were absolutely on the ball, covering each other well and recovering well from lost tackles and mistakes. Charlotte showed spectacular speed and supreme determination when players broke through, thwarting their attempts time after time.
There was only one moment when I really thought Town might score an equaliser as Daisy came out to meet the approaching attacker, she slid on the ground, releasing the ball, but leaving the goal open, but Ruby was close by and cleared the ball with the help of Bo and saved us all from getting frost bite!
At this point my hands were too frozen to write, so I stood back to enjoy the game, thinking to myself how nice it would be to go home and warm up whilst watching the highlights of the game........
Anyway, the scoreline is not an accurate reflection of the strength and possession we maintained throughout the game. The girls exhibited great insight and skill today, Chloe and Charlotte both played some of their best football today, despite feeling under the weather Chloe got stronger throughout the game until she was contributing some great through balls from the left wing. Charlotte was like a rocket for the full hour of play, the opposition coaches were amazed by her and no doubt the players could not believe that she was always there to thwart them! For this amazing improvement in confidence and self assurance that has allowed her skill to shine through Charlotte was 100% player of the match today.
Great result, excellent game!
Thanks to Grant and Dave for running the line.