Maidenhead U14 girls V Oxford
Maybe not an Oscar winning performance....
Home Counties Girls Under 14 A’s League
Oxford 4 Maidenhead 2
Sunday 26 February 2017
By Jim Taylor
Maybe not an Oscar winning performance, but here was a better team effort from the girls on a day when we didn’t get the breaks.
We suffered from a slip here, an error of judgement there and a few foot faults at just the wrong moment as we went down to another away defeat, this time against a decent Oxford side.
We had to defend strongly in the opening minutes and Anna was called up for a foul after a coming together with their right winger, but slowly we grew into the game.
Most often it was a combination of Tilda – in central midfield - and Tilly – up-front - who got us into their danger areas but, although we pushed on, chances were few and far between.
Then, just when we were getting on top, on 15 minutes, an unfortunate slip by left back Anna, deep in their half, allowed an Oxford breakaway. This left Zara outnumbered in defence and hit on the foot by the ball in our D. They scored from the short corner penalty.
Minutes later Oxford got another short corner after Lucy’s foot was struck by the ball, but this time the ball was cleared off the line.
From here, we got back in the game with good play down both flanks. Evie and Anna played in good balls from the left while Tori launched herself on some marauding runs down the right.
Pressure was building and after 21 minutes we got a penalty corner. Injected by Holly and hit with power by Tilda and we were back to 1-1. It was looking even better shortly afterwards with Annabel making another good attacking run.
But then Oxford launched another breakaway and shot from outside the D. Our goalie Emily T-W let the ball go into the net, only for the umpire to give the goal stating there had been a deflection by an Oxford forward in the area.
We nearly equalised again from another Tilda short-corner thunderbolt which smashed into their ‘keeper’s pads and Emily’s follow-up was also blocked.
Instead we went into half-time 3-1 down from another short corner and we also lost central defender Hattie to a hand injury.
We had already missing several first-team regulars with Jade and Amy on county call-up and forwards Maddy and Jess unavailable.
However, we matched Oxford in the second half with Lucy slotting well into central defence and Tilly continued to make excellent runs both with and without the ball in attack.
In fact – as instructed – the team pressed the opposition much better in the second half and battled to get back into the game showing a lot of heart and effort.
Even though we went 4-1 down to a good goal from open play, the girls kept going and were rewarded with a second short-corner super-strike by Tilda, again injected by Holly.
All in all, it was a good game, but a fair result. We were always a match for Oxford but again – in certain areas – we were not fit enough, or determined enough to dominate them.
Next week the A’s have a training session at Windsor Boys School at 10-11.30am. Our next match is the following week (Sunday March 12) away to Wallingford.
Congratulations to A Team players Lizzie, Tori and Emily T-W who went straight from Oxford to Reading for a late call-up to play with the Berkshire County U14’s against Wiltshire. They all did well alongside Jade and Amy and last season regular Hannah K.
It is great to see so many of our U14 & U13 girls getting County recognition and shows how much talent and potential we have in our year group.