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Under 16 Girls - Match centre

Maidenhead Hockey Club
South Berkshire
Sun 3 Mar 10:30 - Friendly Full time

Maidenhead Girls U16 Dev Squad 4 South Berks 0

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A great home game win for the team

Home Counties League
Maidenhead Girls U16 Dev Squad 4 South Berks 0

Finally, a first win of the season for the Dev Squad girls! They deserve all the praise after a convincing performance and some fine play all over the pitch.
A first ever goal from Amber, who moved up from central defence to take the strike from the penalty corner, set the tone for a solid first half display.

The goal came nice and early and was the desired end-product following four successive short corners, all injected with pace by Thea.
The first had been won after a powerful run from Caroline in midfield, deep into the South Berks D. Pressure mounted as the visitors failed to clear and kept on giving away more fouls. Amber’s final strike rocketed past their ‘keeper.

Maidenhead doubled their lead midway through the half with Anji – showing plenty of skill – darting down the left and crossing for Amy to sweep home from close range.

This was a strong Dev Squad team – with nearly two thirds of the girls having had some A team experience this season – but they had to battle against fairly physical opposition.

The good news was we came out on top in almost all departments. Kiera in goal did not have a lot to do, but always saved and cleared well when required.

The defence – with Amber in the middle bursting with confidence following her goal – was always in control. Her reading of their attacks and fine interceptions stopped South Berks from building pressure. And little got past Lizzie and Simran down the flanks.

Thea was strong in a holding midfield role and with Stella alongside her – who repeatedly got down so low to block the ball and then started our attacks again - they kept us on the front foot.

The team had a last-minute boost when Katie stepped in to replace Nuala as an extra defender on the bench. Her experience always helped, but the rest were doing pretty well by themselves.

In central midfield Caroline was the major driving force with combinations of Ellie and Sophie or Evie and Annabel providing excellent support going forward.

Up-front, Amy and Jenna, in turn, worked hard alongside Anji. But, after being the provider for Amy for the second goal, Anji took centre stage herself with two goals after the break.

The first came eight minutes after the re-start after Stella made another good interception midway into the South Berks half and followed it up with a crisp, quick, pass forward to Anji, in space, outside the D. She drove forward to strike the ball past the advancing keeper.
If that goal dented any hopes of a South Berks revival, her second – about 10 minutes from time – killed them stone dead. Again Stella and Evie had a hand in the assist and, again, Anji finished well.

There could even have been the icing on the cake of a fifth goal from a final minute penalty corner. The shot hit the back board of the goal…but the ball was rightly adjudged to not have come out of the D!

Nevertheless, this was a massive confidence-boosting win for the Dev Squad and will hopefully set the girls up well for their final three away games in the coming weeks.

The next game for the Development Squad is on Sunday 17th March away in Watford.

Well done Girls - Jim Taylor and Helen Todd on behalf of the U16's coaching team

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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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