Maidenhead 3 - 0 Oxford
By Maidenhead Hockey Club
Stunning win by the U18 Girls!
What a match! After our 6-0 defeat to Oxford at the beginning of the season everyone was a bit nervous to meet them again. Despite the rain everyone was in good spirits and we pushed from the start. This came as a bit of a surprise to Oxford and we found ourselves in the D. This however was quickly cleared and headed up to our defensive 23rd. Here they were introduced to our sterling back line, Bethan, Jade and Miriam with Becky A in goal. And this was the format for most of the first half, up one end and then the other. There were some great link ups with Katie and Teona, and good runs by Annie and interceptions by Lizzy. Athena proved a real stalwart in centre half sending the ball high or wide time and time again. We were really beginning to frustrate Oxford and this seemed to energise us. We used the wings, kept our shape, made simple passes, used our skills to pass players and seemed to anticipate where our players were. There were a couple of short corners for each side, we couldn't find the back of the net and Oxford met our formidable goalie. So at half time we were nil nil and all to play for.
Oxford came out in the second half far more aggressive and looking for a win. But we kept our cool and played impressive, composed hockey. Whilst Oxford were stropping off the pitch or wingeing about the umpiring we were running up to the D, passing out to the wings and looking dangerous in the D. Our finishing power was somewhat lacking until we got a short corner which we executed beautifully and Athena hammered it home. Maids continued to push and push. When the ball did get in our defensive 23rd everyone dropped back and our defenders worked hard to clear it. Becky made some brilliant saves and we denied Oxford every time. It was a clear from one of these that got us our second goal. A great run up by Teona then on to Annie, Teona ran for the right of goal just in side the D and hit it across the goal. It was going in but Sophie L tapped it in just to make sure. Again we had our share of short corners, one after another in some cases. Katie made sure that we changed these up and that they ran smoothly and our last goal came in the dying minutes off a short from a cracking shot from Katie herself.
It was a brilliant match to watch, well if your were a Maidenhead supporter anyway, and it was so nice to see everyone coming off smiling. A great work rate, great team spirit and great game. Man of the match was quite a close call but went to Becky A for her great saves.