Maidenhead U16A v South Berkshire
By Jacqui Bird
A Good way to start the New Year
maidenhead Girls U16’s A’s 3 South Berks 0
Home Counties League E
Sunday 12 January, 2019 at Braywick
A good way to welcome in the New Year. A convincing win, another clean sheet and a good work-out to blow away the cobwebs after the Christmas break.
This was our first game since mid-November and, at times, it showed. Fitness levels were flagging after the festive fun and powers of concentration and intensity ebbed and flowed.
However, despite not firing on all cylinders, we still dominated the game, enjoyed plenty of possession and camped in South Berks territory for long periods of play.
Critics – and coaches – will say we should have scored more goals…especially from our tally of short corners which ran well into double figures. But, to be fair, their goalie played a blinder and their defenders swarmed all over the D to repel our attacks.
We started brightly and caused problems – predominately down our right flank. A recurring first half theme saw Tori – who had a super game at right back - launch an attack to Emily in midfield who would then feed Frankie down the wing.
Frankie had the beating of her marker and caused mayhem by either cutting in and crossing into the goalmouth or going for goal herself.
In midfield, Holly used the ball intelligently. She spread the play well – often changing the direction of our attacks - to feed Maisie through the middle or Jess on the left.
The first goal came after 14 minutes from a short corner, injected by Holly and converted with a fine strike by Emily.
After that both Maddy and Caroline got themselves into good positions but could not convert their openings.
Despite being on top, it was nearly half time before Maisie to made it 2-0, as she finished off a cross from Tori, who had gone on a marauding run and somehow managed to end up down the left wing.
That second goal came at the perfect time. Our pace and intensity was dropping and South Berks were starting to get back into the game.
Both teams started the second half sluggishly and South Berks pushed to get back in the game and won a penalty corner.
Slowly we got going again and soon piled on the pressure with their keeper forced into making three quick-fire saves in one attack. More moves were coming down the left flank now with Jess and Stella combining well.
But it was not until 10 minutes from time for our final goal to come with Holly finishing off from close range after Emily, Maisie and Maddy had all had efforts blocked and saved.
A patchy performance, perhaps. At times our attacking play was excellent, but we were also a bit rusty and slow in thought…which only makes the result even more impressive.
It was also our third straight win in our Home Counties League group which sets us up perfectly for our final match – a winner-takes-all showdown, away to Woking, in two weeks’ time.