Match Day Six
A first game against Harpenden Jaguars
It is rare that we don't celebrate an early goal but Amelie's soft shot was fumbled in by the keeper, presenting us with a third minute lead. Annoyingly, it seemed to work against us as shots were flying in from 20-25 yards and failing to hit the target. Our decision making was poor, and we seemed to choose the wrong option a lot of the time, allowing opportunities to go to waste. Amber was involved early on, trying to cross in for Amelie and Elle, but the defence remained firm. A ball played forward saw Elle outbattle the defender and run through to the goal before sliding a shot into the corner. A good cross from Emily was headed wide by Amber, and we remained strong at the back, not allowing the Jaguars a chance to get back into the game.
The half time talk was to improve our decision making, and to get their heads up to aid this.
Harpenden chose to play a high line at the back in the second half, which I thought was dangerous, and within two minutes Nancy beat three players, burst into the box and finished with a firm strike. Within 60 seconds a through ball from Sydney found Amber and her good first touch allowed her to run into the box and hit a good shot into the far corner for 4-0. The game was won, and we relaxed, allowing the good football to flow. Nancy now believed she was better than her opposing player, and proved it by getting down the wing beating her again, before delivering a cross that Amber tapped in happily. Amelie added to the tally with a jabbed finish to another crossed ball that the keeper almost stopped, but didn't !
Faye got our best strike of the day, smashing in from 25 yards just after the keeper had denied Amber her hat-trick, saving a fierce shot heading for the top corner - Faye's drive was well placed and not for stopping. Sydney then decided she needed a goal, and had three efforts where she rushed her shot, narrowly missing each opportunity. I dropped her back into midfield, telling her to run through the defence and take an extra touch or two as the keeper was staying on her line. Syd picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and went between two defenders, taking the extra touches and sliding the ball in comfortably proving on occasions the Manager can get it right.
On a par with Faye, Harpenden were rewarded for carrying on and still playing, and a superb right foot strike flew into the top corner, giving Josie no chance. Three minutes later another good pass to Amber had her beat the defence again with speed, and an even better finish into the far corner gave her the hat-trick she was desperate to get. With two minutes left, a corner from Elle was cleared back to her, and her pass found Derin in the box - she flicked a back heel and tucked it into the corner with her second touch.
The first half was very average but the second half saw us flow really well and put a team to the sword for the first time in the league.
A satisfying day's work.