Yateley 2 Southampton 0
The team were focused on 'happy hockey' for their game against Southampton and it clearly suited them with passes flowing aplenty, crackingly confident tackles and real conviction in attack. Gem looked keen to re-play previous match successes with a driving run from the half way to strike, but wasn't able to convert on this occasion. Although evenly matched, the home team's confidence grew as they narrowly held the balance of possession and control of the midfield. A quick release of the ball up the right to Janette was the break-point Yateley needed - she drove to the baseline, into the D and crossed for KJ to slot home - much to the delight of the sideline supporters.
Yateley remained tight in defence, with great marking and fantastic tackling by Lizzie Messenger, leaving few options for the Southampton team to pass forward when they had possession.
The last five mins of the first half saw more persistent attack from Southampton, resulting in penalty corners, which has tended to be Yateley's nemesis this season. But confidence was boosted again with a fantastic save from keeper, Nicki Smith, to keep Yateley ahead at the break.
The second half saw more entertaining hockey from both sides, again with Yateley keeping the slight upper hand on possession. Jen CG seemed to have a magnet on the end of her stick with many perfectly timed tackles in key positions to thwart the Southampton attack and creating the attack with fantastic passing through to the forwards. A break from Southampton looked like a score was on the cards, but Lizzie M was able to dart back and steal the ball with another brilliant tackle to clear from the danger area.
There were chances right in front of the goal for Lozzer & Caty Salter, but good keeping left the score at 1-0 ........until KJ was able to crack in her second from a keeper deflection which had left the line unprotected.The supporters whooped with delight and were joined by a joyous team as the final whistle blew for a 2-0 victory.
Burgers and Beer all round after the match & (well, for those eligible!) were well deserved, but no 'shots at the bar' were witnessed. A great team performance and sterling individual effort meant it was close for Player of the Match, with Lizzie M taking the honours. Loz was grand winner of DoD, following delightful campaigning by Gem!
Updated 17:36 - 18 Mar 2018 by Philippa Messenger