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Under 16 Girls - Match centre

Maidenhead Hockey Club
Ashford
Sun 9 Dec 10:30 - Friendly Full time

Maidenhead Girls U16’s Dev Squad 1 Ashford 1 Sunday December 2018 at Braywick

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Just when you feared it was never going to come, Maidenhead grabbed a last-minute equaliser thanks to a crisp Maddie Todd finish in a packed D.

Just when you feared it was never going to come, Maidenhead grabbed a last-minute equaliser thanks to a crisp Maddie Todd finish in a packed D.
Maidenhead had been piling on the pressure in a final few minutes but, in a pattern repeated throughout the game, too many clear-cut chances had come and gone.
It looked as if a solid, well-organised Ashford team – who played throughout with only 10 players – had done enough to win the game.
But, showing great determination to keep going to the very end, our girls got their reward in what was an improved performance in parts.
Both teams started sluggishly, perhaps due to the blustery Braywick conditions, and good runs were often spoilt by poor passes.
Thea was looking particularly strong in midfield and one of her many first-half breaks ended up with us winning a penalty corner which Caroline shot wide.
At the other end Maddy Rippon – enjoying a successful first start in defence – conceded a foot fault to give Ashford a penalty corner but then redeemed herself with a great charge and block.
One minute later, Thea broke again to set up Amy with a one-on-one with the Ashford keeper which she couldn’t convert.
Maidenhead got stronger as the first half wore on and found reward from using the flanks and stretching the Ashford defence.
First down the left, Stella fed the ball to Thea who set up Amy for a hit which went wide. Then Nuala – who worked tirelessly in midfield – freed Caroline down the right and her cross from the dead-ball line was missed by at least three of our attackers.
We should have scored while on top because, in the second half, Ashford grew in confidence, started winning more midfield battles and scored six minutes after the break.
Keira had kept goal efficiently in the first half, but now Elinor had much more to do between the sticks. She had already kicked clear and saved before an Ashford attack down the middle left her over-exposed.
For a spell Ashford were down to just nine players, after one girl was forced off due to injury, but bizarrely it was then they played their best hockey as we wilted.
Elinor kept us in the game with more blocks and saves and when she looked beaten, there was Maddy with an acrobatic goal-line clearance.
Slowly, we got back into the game and began to crank up the pressure for the equaliser. First Nuala from the right flashed a shot past the far post. Then Jenna missed a tap-in on the post almost identical to the one she had taken so smoothly in the last game. And then, with the last gasp, Maddie scored.
The biggest plus point was a much pacier, more solid defence – well marshalled by Amber – with Caitlin and Maddy rarely putting a foot wrong.
The midfield blew hot and cold. Thea shone in the first half but, after getting a whack on her ankle before the break, couldn’t dominate the game again. Combinations of Caroline, Sophie, Stella and Evie all made good contributions but also lost concentration when Ashford were at their best.
And up-front Amy and Jenna worked hard to create the openings but had little luck on the finishing front and had to thank Maddie – a former goalkeeper – to show them how to finish.
This was the Development Squad’s second draw this season from five starts. It was also their last match this year with just our festive fun training session next Sunday before the Christmas break.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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