So much happened before the match started that its tempting not cover the game in great detail, though fear not, I will because it was a classic piece of tactical management from across the team.
But before all that we arrived to find we couldn’t access the ground (well those of the team that were early couldn’t), those who played a tactical late card found it had been resolved by then. Emma was super excited, remembering this was the school that also had a farm, whilst we all felt she was confusing locations, there are in fact 4 sheep at the school, Jill rightly questioning whether this constituted a farm. Meanwhile the team had been set some homework, studying the short corner plans. In one household, this caused utter confusion, where their initials also matched some of the positions (left and right) and they couldn’t understand how they could play so many positions. As a team that likes a challenge Macca shared the news that in her household, 32 smarties is the most anyone can cram in to their mouth at any time. Results awaited on any improvement on that.
As the season progresses, we’re evolving our game with Jill leading a thoroughly professional S&C warmup ensuring we started with great energy. Despite Gore Court having the better of the opening 5 minutes where we struggled to counter their strong back 4 out letting, we won a PC in the 8th minute. Amazingly (for us) we converted the first corner, Jill’s shot being well saved but ballooning up for Kat to volley home from close range. We dominated for the next 20 minutes, Isla’s cross-country match having been cancelled due to the rain, something she was genuinely upset about, to the bafflement of the rest of us. However, the end of the half bought a change of momentum, Gore Court winning a raft of PCs with Ruby at her best to pull out stops for the initial shot and the rebound, Liz diving across the goal to push one away and maintain a 1-0 lead at half time.
Time for another tactical intervention from Ready who was very clear on the changes required, and we executed these well in the second half. Some lovely interplay from the back 4 in to Isla created a free hit, where Liz twisted to find Kat in the D, who took an age to shoot – saying she wanted to locate the goal first – fair point given she converted and remains top goal scorer. Later in the game we won another PC, which was stopped on the line by a defender’s foot and the first stroke of the season. Nominated taker G passing up the opportunity, allowing Liz to score her first in some time (it’s been a while, but no need to pencil any more in for the rest of this, or next season I’d imagine).
Time remained for Kat to bottle her hattrick opportunity and for us to take a green card for not retreating. Grace tried to keep the ball in the corner to run down the time but as an attacking team she was sucked in to passing out of the corner for a last chance at goal. A strong performance against a solid team where the first goal was crucial to establish a pattern, and creative play kept the opportunities coming, plus that short corner practice does actually work.
Next week: Top of the table clash v Old Williamsonians