Reading U14P v Maidenhead U14
Chins up everybody!
England Hockey Cup:
Girls Under 14 A’s Midlands League Div 1
Reading 8 Maidenhead 0
Sunday 19 February 2017
By Jim Taylor
Chins up everybody! IF nothing else, at least the coaching team now knows exactly how Arsene Wenger felt in Munich last week.
Sadly, it is fair to say our girls took a bit of a beating against the County’s elite A squad in Reading on Sunday afternoon.
Sometimes you just have to put up your hands and tell it like it is. Physically, they were bigger, faster, fitter and stronger. Technically, they tackled harder, passed more precisely at pace, and finished with power and purpose. They were quite good.
Despite the scoreline – which, to be honest, was actually in double figures, but 8-0 is the maximum under EH rules – we never gave up. Jade should have scored in the last minute when her shot slipped past the post. Then we followed that up with two short corners but couldn’t get our shot on target.
Another positive was that we kept our shape throughout, despite being under constant pressure and on the back foot most of the time.
Also, we learnt that Tori was brave in every tackle and her distribution has improved so much in recent months. Emily also battled down the right flank while Holly and Tilda in midfield both tried to stem the flow with degrees of success.
We warned the girls that Reading would come out all guns blazing from the start and so it proved. They were two up in eight minutes and - despite early raids by Jade and Evie down both flanks - we found it hard to stem the tide.
We wanted our girls to be on the front foot and to push Reading back, but too often we were caught on our heels, which made it difficult to defend and even harder to break out.
This has been the first season Maidenhead has entered the EH Cup. This was our final group game. For the record, we won two games against Gerrards Cross and Wycombe, lost narrowly to Amersham & Chalfont and only suffered heavy defeats to Marlow and Reading.
They say you learn more in defeat than you do in victory. Next Sunday we have two away matches and so two opportunities to put things right. So let’s get back to winning ways.
The A’s are off to Oxford while the Development Squad visit Slough. Squad selections will be coming out in the next 24 hours…please let Jacqui know your availability asap.