With a few of us running late after an excellent junior girls’ session it was nice to see that the team had warmed up and were raring to go. The team had a strategy which focused on our opposition and some points that I felt were important and we needed to improve on after the Oxton game. The team’s three targets were:
1. Keep possession of the ball in attack and make the correct choices.
2. Win the ball from the draw.
3. Communicate the double team in defence.
It was extremely pleasing to see that straight from the first whistle India Chadwick plucked the ball out of the air before storming down the pitch and scoring. She couldn’t have hoped to get the team and her debut off to a better start. It wasn’t long before our second debutant, Charlotte Alston also scored her first goal for the club.
Jenna Boon was winning the draw every time and India Chadwick was helping the team meet target two continually. This put us in a great position to attack and to create lots of opportunities. Gaby Sims was the next player to score a goal and quite quickly we got ourselves four nil up.
Some rushed and wayward passing gave Leeds the chance to win possession and get back into the game with their first shot on goal from the edge of the fan. In attack we made some silly decisions and seemed to stop throwing the ball around the fan after about two passes which was puzzling considering the aim was to get the ball moving and keep possession. This meant that there were a lot of quick turnovers and Leeds tried to hit us with fast breaks but the defence communicated well and covered the extra players coming down from the midfield. Leeds added another goal and after about 15 minutes the score was looking a little closer at 2-4.
India Chadwick continued to shine. She got a hat-trick but the most memorable goal of the game bar the horrendous shovel shot was the one scored by Jenna Boon in the top corner. She linked up brilliantly with India Chadwick for a quick set of passes. This was an excellent demonstration of what we were trying to achieve, well worked goals rather than just running through loads of people and scoring a scrappy goal.
The first half didn’t end there as there were a few more twists and turns. Gaby Sims and India Chadwick both added another one and there was a textbook crease-roll from Tamsin Stephenson before a super save from the Leeds goalie. If you keep getting into those positions you will be adding your name to the score sheet again very soon.
The last goal of the half is one to be forgotten. I thought I had saved it but I didn’t have a clue where it had gone. According to others it dropped to the floor before trickling over the line! This meant that the half time talk started with an apology and a bit of a laugh before we got down to business. We were winning which was pleasing and a few players had scored some excellent goals but it wasn’t calm and it looked messy. The focus for those in attack remained the same. The defence were having a great game and they had kept Millie quiet by not giving her the opportunity to drive the post.
The midfield had done a lot of running in the first half and we were hoping that the momentum would continue considering we were attacking downhill. It didn’t really work that way and we slowed down a lot. Our debutants added another goal each but the goal of the second half was scored by Ginnie Jones. A good chase from Leeds, left them in an excellent attacking position with a free player in the centre of the fan and another who was in the prime position to drive the post. Ally Stutley and Ginnie Jones communicated how we would organise ourselves brilliantly and I was covering the post when next minute I was having to dive across the goal as the ball bounce off Ginnie Jones and into the back of the net. Hopefully that will be all our own and fluky goals for the season! The final gaol of the game had the funniest reaction but is shows that people are listening and learning. It was Kate Sweeney’s shovel shot followed by an immediate apology!
The final score was 5-11 and we were pleased to get our first win of the season. There were a number of positives but still lots to work on if we want to keep moving up towards the top of the league by the end of the season.
Special mentions go to the following players:
- Charlotte Alston – you had an excellent debut and I know that we are looking forward to playing alongside you many times this season.
- Jenna Boon – you were fantastic in the middle and showed super commitment to drive to Leeds and play a half considering you were on a flight to Spain at 7pm.
- Ginnie Jones – some excellent interceptions and decision making demonstrated when you were faced with two extra players coming towards you.
- Linda Musker – I really appreciate you umpiring the whole game.
Player of the match was awarded to India Chadwick. You are an amazing player who scored a number of fantastic goals and we are glad that you have chosen to join our club.