Time To Learn When Things Don’t Go To Plan!
After two disappointing results against Brooklands last season we hoped to turn things around this year. We started the game with a clear plan which fell to pieces very quickly when a yellow card meant that we were one player down. Brooklands capitalised on this well and moved the ball efficiently around the fan until they were in a great position to take the shot. It wasn’t long until we were 4 nil down.
A quick time out was taken to slightly change the plan and try to stop the same player being free all the time. We went back on the pitch ready to get ourselves back into the game and immediately gained possession from the draw. This gave us a brilliant opportunity and India Chaddwick once again scored an excellent goal to put us on the score sheet.
For the majority of the first half our defence was having to pick up an extra Brooklands’ players who had made the break from midfield. This obviously left them in difficult positions and Brooklands were very good at passing the ball off to the free player who was able to slot in another goal. Luckily for us a few moments of magic from Katie Bishop pulled us a little bit closer as she scored two goals in quick succession.
Half time couldn’t come soon enough and even though a number of player were working hard to get free for the clear it was important just to hold the ball so we didn’t give Brooklands the opportunity to score one more! The half time score was 3-10 and we were glad that Ally Stutley was still standing. A number of players shared their ideas but the main points gathered were that we needed to go back to basics. Marking our players rather than letting them drift off and stop passing the ball so close to the goal circle that the goalie is able to intercept the ball.
In the second half Brooklands continued to dominate the draw, which immediately put us on the back foot. Ally Stutley and Ginnie Jones are tactical geniuses, they decided rather than continually being picked off we needed to change something up and try to slow down the extra players from midfield until we could get back into position. As a defensive unit we dropped back to the 15. We couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome with two quick turnovers. One lead to Alex McCaldon gaining a free position and finishing it off in style to score her first goal of the season. Unfortunately we were playing a team who work well together and use their brains’ when playing. They continued to move the ball quickly which left us with one too many slides to make and another few goals down.
The highlight for us in the second half was Jenna Boon’s hat-trick. Two were outstanding goals from free positons which shows that practise does pay off. If we keep working on our ball movement, cuts and decision making in training then we are going to keep improving and a winning a few more games. Challenge for the week, find some time to wall ball. Ashley Bruen and Linda Musker will be promoting the sport whilst practising together at Liverpool University during their lunch break!
One of the many storms we had to ride out during this game was when Ally Stutley received a yellow card. The defence continued to work hard and tried to hold out but once again Brooklands found the space. Our final celebrations were when to Gaby Sims scored another goal to add to her growing tally.
The final score finished 8-17 with a much better second half performance and a 5-7 scoreline. If we started playing from the first whistle it might have been a different game! What we have to take away from this game is that we had some magical moments from a number of players but if we keep playing as individuals then we are unlikely to achieve what we are all aiming for. Brooklands have really improved over the years and have become a force to be reckoned with as they have learnt to make the right choices and play for the team rather than their own score tally.
Special mentions go to Ally Stutley and Ginnie Jones for the excellent tactical decisions that you made in defence.
Player of the match was awarded to Katharine Hughes.