This was always going to be a tough game after having a long break over the summer to give our members the time to play other sports or just chill. But the league organisers didn’t help us ease in slowly as they decided that it would be best for Liverpool to start off the season with a bang against the European Champions!
Turn out at training over the last two weeks has been awesome and with people turning up on time we had a relaxed but effective warm up to prepare us for our first game of the season. I was really pleased that everyone had done their homework and set themselves targets for the game. I do think that some of us need to have a different perspective on the type of targets that will help us as a team and individuals. It is awesome to score loads of goals and be the top scorer but is really isn’t as important as helping the attacking unit. Something to think about!
The first half flew by without us having much impact. We let Oxton’s attack get into some perfect positions for scoring many excellent goals. The ONE magical moment for us was when Bridget Mason achieved her target for the game and got us off the mark with our first and only goal of the half.
We used the whole 10 minutes to ensure that we recovered and learnt from our mistakes. It was important to ensure that we came out with the performance we knew we could deliver in the second half. Gaby Sims and Katie Bishop gave their opinions on what we needed to change in attack and defence before I set the team a number of targets.
The target for the midfielders was to win that first ball. Charlotte Clulow put the ball in a great positions for us on every draw but we were a little bit slow to respond. This was something that we need to continue working on throughout the season so we can master it!
The target for the attackers was to get the ball moving effectively, give each other space by cutting through the fan and most importantly not to do the most ridiculous shovel shots! In defence we were aiming to slow their attackers down and stop giving them so many opportunities.
Well it worked and the team performance in the second half was much better. Oxton have many excellent players and they still managed to score a number of well worked goals but they only got 6 compared to the 11 in the first half. The other positives were that we started to work together in attack and both Charlotte Clulow and Katie Bishop scored two excellent goals each. There was another goal but not sure that she will want to be named as it was one of those embarrassing shovel shots!
Other memorable moments in the game were:
· Bridget Mason using her speed to glide past a number of Oxton defenders.
· Lauren Berridge’s well timed tackle just on the edge of the fan.
· Kate Sweeney’s calm pick up in the fan and pass back to me in goal.
· A number of players including Alex McCaldon, Katie Bishop and Bethan Keenan who were quick of the mark for that short clear than ensured that we kept possession but got the ball moving up the pitch and gave ourselves the fast break opportunity.
· Ally Stutley’s slides when it was 2 on 1 on a number of occasions. You are an amazing defender who gives me so much confidence and protects me wonderfully. Thanks!
For the first game of the season I was extremely impressed with the second half performance. I was oblivious to the score throughout as my brain was concentrating on other things so it wasn’t until I got home and spoke to my dad that I realised how well that we had done in the second half. We lost it by one goal! I had my own little celebration. If you were in the same position go celebrate now!
I get the feeling that some of you thought I was crackers believing that we could win but 6-5 in the second half is the proof. A few more training sessions and games and we will be on it!
Special mentions go to the following players:
· Charlotte Clulow – a great performance all over the pitch and very close to winning the MVP award. I couldn’t have asked for more you gave us the best possible opportunity in the middle and your memorable moment in defence was when Em K went to drive but soon realised that you were not going to let her through!
· Bridget Mason –
· Linda Musker – achieving her goal by leaving the pitch uninjured!
· Ashley Bruen, Ginnie Jones, Rozi Blackburn and Tamsin Stephenson along with the many future Liverpool lacrosse players – your support is greatly appreciated and shows that we are an amazing team!
Player of the match was awarded to Katie Bishop for a fabulous performance. She worked her socks off and was that pleasing midfielder who knew the importance of their job as a defender but also helped support the attackers in the team. The positions she found herself in the fan and the accurate passing from others enabled her to score two wonderful goals.
Half time score: 11-1
Katie Bishop -2
Fleur – 1
Bridget – 1