U14 girls away to Wargrave Leopards
U14 girls head to Wargrave for the first league game of 2019
Hi all, apologies, I didn’t write notes today, but I enjoyed watching the first game back with my hands warm in my pockets!
Wargrave have been struggling to put out a full team, as they only have 11 players in total, but this did not prevent them from playing hard and fast and making us work from the start.
We agreed to play 9v9, which is a physical challenge, especially for the first week back after a few weeks break, but we love a challenge don’t we?!
With plenty of subs, our girls had opportunity to run and play hard then have a rest. Evie was first in goal and it was clear that she hadn’t just been resting over the break. She was pretty busy first half and remained focussed throughout, making saves and great goal kicks!
Our defenders on rotation were Bo, Ruby, Rhianna, Holly and Charlotte.
Midfielders on rotation were Beau, Poppy, Abi, Grace and Chloe
Forwards on rotation were Daisy, Joana and Sophie.
Whilst we had some near misses in the first half, including a shot off the post from Abi, the win seemed to be just out of reach. The Wargrave goal keeper was on form and some of our longer shots on goal were wasted as she picked them up easily!
Wargrave also had the drive to get to each ball first, catching us by surprise on several occasions and meaning we had to recover desperately several times!
This was a tricky half for the midfield, particularly Poppy, who had responsibility for the entire centre, whilst feeling obliged to get back and support the defence who were also spread more thinly over a large area than they are used to! Nice work Poppy!
When we broke for half time, the girls decided that their communication was not on form and this was letting them down. Evie has some positive advice for her team based on her view of the game from the back and Others agreed that tidier short passes and less through balls should be our aim.
We resumed play with Rhianna in goal and went out straight away to prove that there is such thing as a game of two halves! Yes the Wargrave girls would have been tiring at this stage, but this should not take away from our awesome second half performance!
Within 10 minutes we had 2 goals past the new Wargrave keeper. Poppy and Sophie managing to finish one each after working so hard to create possibilities all match.
Spirits were high and communication was spot on, Grace and Chloe impressed me with their tracking of the ball and fighting hard in their tackles. Sophie, Daisy And Joana all had to come a long way back at times in order to ensure that we could keep possession and work the ball back up the pitch, but seemed not to tire! They realised second half that goals needed to come from within the area and really pushed to make close range shooting opportunities.
The defence were really impressive in the second half, coming forward to provide options in the attack and at times, making it look like Rhianna would have no work to do, yet when she did have to work, she pulled it out of the bag like a pro, saving the ball with calm confidence.
Every defender showed persistence and a little bit of that Ruby magic at times in the second half, Holly and Evie took on some crunching tackles and showed excellent (and improved) pace and determination when having to recover and protect the goal! Bo played on bravely after a tough tackle and saved the team from danger repeatedly, whilst Charlottes quiet composure and stealthy approach amazed the watching subs who were in awe of her skill. Ruby as always pushed forward in the centre to keep the ball out of our half, always placing her passes with precision.... I thought she might even have a shot at goal at one point!
We scored two more goals before the end, Daisy taking on multiple players and combining with Sophie to bring the ball up for both Abi and Beau to finish beautifully. Well deserved goals for the girls who have both run tirelessly and worked collaboratively with their teammates all match to create great opportunities. It was great to see Abi’s head up making the most of her footwork to keep possession and it was equally awesome to see Beau making composed decisions and playing for possession, which really paid off!
Thanks to all the girls for an excellent start to the year!