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Under 16 Girls - Match centre

Maidenhead Hockey Club
Wycombe Hockey Club
Sun 10 Feb 13:30 - Cup Full time

Maidenhead Girls Under 16’s A’s 1 Wycombe 1

WHEN the Heavens opened for a horrendous hail-storm, which stopped play for almost five minutes, you got the feeling it wasn’t going to be our day.

WHEN the Heavens opened for a horrendous hail-storm, which stopped play for almost five minutes, you got the feeling it wasn’t going to be our day.
Soaked to the skin - with 12 minutes left after the weather break - our girls continued to battle bravely to secure the winner our play deserved.
But they could not break down Wycombe’s resolute deep-lying defence. Even when we did beat the ‘keeper in the final five minutes, a defender was there to clear off the line. Playing to their strengths, the visitors effectively “parked the bus” in front of goal and regularly had 10 defenders in their D.
This was a strange game when it came to the statistics – both first-half goals were deflected own goals from penalty corners. Wycombe scored early, we equalised mid-way through the half.
All other stats would show how we dominated possession; had total territorial advantage and a massive lead in the number of penalty corners won and shots at goal.
If it had been a boxing match we would have won on points. But, tellingly, despite getting Wycombe up against the ropes, we couldn’t land a knock-out blow.
From the start we were on top playing fast attacking hockey. Penalty corners saw shots from Emily and Tilly blocked or fly wide. Then Wycombe scored from their first attack.
After that we got back on the attack with Tilly on fire with some fabulous darting runs and Frankie raiding down the right.
We played most of our best hockey in the opening half. Emily was creative in central midfield and Tori and Amelia not only destroyed all Wycombe’s attempts to break-out but also drove forward with menace.
There were times for both full backs - Holly on the left and Anna down the right - to shine coming forward but, no matter how much we created, we could not find a way through a sea of legs and sticks in front of the Wycombe net.
At the break the coaches call was for the girls to keep patient and move the ball around and to quicken their speed of thought to find the gaps. Maddy, up front, created a chance by pressing the Wycombe defenders into a mistake but Emily’s shot was blocked.
More penalty corner chances came and went but our set-piece play was closed down well by their defenders and our shots generally lacked power or accuracy.
Tori caused some chaos with some well-executed aerials into the middle, but our play was getting ragged and it was no surprise when Wycombe launched a few dangerous counter attacks which Katie in the heart of defence needed to clear up.
After the hail-storm it was Wycombe who actually looked stronger as they believed they could steal a winner. But they were more than happy with the draw.
The single point from the draw takes us to the top of our England Hockey Cup group and maintains the A team’s unbeaten run this season.
On Tuesday night the girls are back in EH Cup action again. We are away to local rivals Reading with a 6.30pm push-back and perhaps our toughest game of the season so far. We will need to take our chances.

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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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