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Under 16 Girls - Match centre

Ealing U16 Dolphins
Maidenhead Hockey Club
Sun 27 Nov 10:15 - League Full time

Early start game curse finally broken...

With a win away from home.

Usually a 10am push back in Ealing, means the girls are a little slow getting into the game, but for once we had the opposite.

Losing a player before the game to illness, meant we had no subs, but the girls fitness thankfully played out.

We started the game brightly and Ella and Lucy combined on many an occasion to carve out space and opportunity, and a few canny through balls after good pressing of the opposition , resulted in the ball breaking to Emily B, ( playing in a new forward position) , and she drove into the D- and slotted calmly past the keeper to make it 1-0. Our defence in the first ten minutes stayed strong, Jess D making some good tackles on the reverse and Tash Parker having a great game ( throughout the 70 minutes) at right back broke up most of the Ealing momentum in the first period of the game. Sophie Boycott had a fantastic game as she returns to fitness in a holding midfield role breaking up play and her efforts, resulted in another opportunity for Ella and Lucy to stretch their legs down the left and the ball broke free again to Emily, who in an almost carbon copy maneuver grabbed her second of the game.

At this stage, the team switched off and managed to lose focus and shape, Ealing were allowed too much time on the ball and fashioned a few shooting opportunities, which Phoebe saved very well, but on the final effort a rebound fell to one of the many unmarked Ealing forwards who slotted in to leave it 2-1 at half-time.

Half time we talked about using Tara in midfield more as a pivot and to use the width where we were having success, and remember the basics of moving the ball around at pace and pressing. I am not sure the message fully got across ( I was umpiring so maybe the team missed me shouting at them ... ) as the second half went much the same way as the end of the first half. We were too laidback as a group on the whole, but when we did distribute the ball, Deia doing this particularly well, we created the space on the wings again and Emily , who worked hard all game to press back as a forward, took the opportunity to grab her hat-trick after a fine through ball from Tara. A similar move opened up the Ealing defence again and after the ball broke loose in their D, Ella Duke produced a stunning finish on the half volley to put us 4-1 up. That then saw us adopt the, "we have this in the bag" attitude, and despite some good defensive work by Amy,Tash and Macie ( who got stuck in and demonstrated a will to win which was great), we let Ealing get away with far too much space and on occasions completely unmarked, meaning Ealing were able to grab a deserved second goal. The game finishing with Ealing on the ascendancy if anything, but in a 4-2 win to Maidenhead.

Positives- Emily, Ella, Tash and Sophie B all had great games, and applied the will to win principles and listened and implemented what was asked of them. Overall as a team the first ten minutes were great, some nice short corner strikes form Jess and a lovely reverse stick attempt by Lucy T, combined with focus and energy.

Negatives - switching off, maybe it was the early morning. We need to make sure we concentrate on the full game, especially against more experienced opposition. Please all have a think about what we talk about in training and try to implement across a full game. It will honestly help , and we can put together 9 - 10 goals in a game if we do it. You all have the ability.

Coaches player of the game: Emily B
Ealings Player of the game nomination : Lucy T

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