Ladies 5s loose the battle
Ladies 5s battled but to no avail as they loose again.
This week the result definitely did not reflect the match! 1-3 does not show how we battled, and certainly in the first half had most of the possession.
We started with our now traditional Shake Hands Ceremony, this time we sort of looked like we knew what we were doing. From the start we showed Bicester that we meant business this week. Within a couple of minutes we had our first short corner after some strong play from our forwards. No goal and it soon headed back into our defensive half. This was picked up the midfielders and sent on to Sophie. She ran it all the way to the D, through a defenders legs and behind the goalie to score a great goal. Unfortunately she also sustained an injury to her hand and spent most of the match with me on the sideline. She will be staying with me on the sidelines as it turns out her finger is broken!
Bicester replied with a big push and resulted in a couple of short corners. Lydia got a great clear on the first one but the second somehow managed to find a way through our defensive line. We took this in our stride and once again used our outfielders to take it all the way to the D. Erica got stuck in trying to find the net for her first goal, but just missed out. The ball bounced back to our half for another short, beautifully cleared once again by the back line. Jess picked up the ball and after a great tackle and she travelled at high speed into the attacking half. Catrin then drove the ball into the D to have a go at goal but we were once again thwarted! Bicester put the press on just before half time and once again got two shorts in quick succession. The first was brilliantly kicked away but Immie (who had a great match) but the second somehow managed to find a way through our defense to score.
Ruth gave us some good pointers at half time, it was basically more of the same, ie make the most of our opportunities.
We took this to heart into the second half but Bicester were determind to upset the equilibrium and within the first minute scored to 3. Our defenders now seemed more determined not to let anything by them. The goal seemed to ignite Hattie who tackled, passed and drove the ball up the line time and time again. Jess and Pippa worked incredibly hard in the middle to keep the ball out of our half.
The game began to resemble ping pong with it bouncing back and forth from end to end. It would start with a push to our half from Bicester to then be calmly cleared by Hayley or Lydia, working tirelessly at the back, and returned to the attacking half. This would then be picked up by Tori or Sam with some great runs and long passes up towards TJ and Emily. There were several attempts in the D by TJ, Catrin and a couple of attacking short corners with great push ins from Emily and cracking shots by Hayley. We all seemed to really want to score, just lacked finishing power, something we will be working on.
Bicester wanted one more goal and were prepared to fight us and the umpire to get it. But Helen was her usual steadfast self and her and Immie were determind not to let anything past them. Brilliant play from all our defenders, they showed their experience with short corners again this week as we had several but they kept their calm and turned it to our advantage time and time again.
Towards the end we began to loose formation and get a bit ragged but there was time for one more attempt and a short corner but ultimately we were to be denied another goal.
This week our team was a joy to watch (even if I had to do it from the sideline) and as one supporter said, we were not the same team that played the week before, we were sooooo much better. There were some great long passes, switches round the back and a much better consistency of passes. A great team effort.
Man of the Match this week goes to Lydia for her high work rate, great tackles and clearing the ball up the wings, Thank-you to Pippa for Captaining the team, great job.