10 Players tough it out....
Imagine what would happen if we had 11...!
On a cold Sunday afternoon, ten brave souls started in the Maidenhead dev side against a South Berkshire Side, combining Wokingham and Bracknell hockey clubs. We were able to welcome back Polly Eastick in goal for the first time this season, who was a reassuring presence at the back, but in front of her, there were another nine superstars.
Against all the odds, for the second time this season, with less players than the opposition, the grit and determination shone through. With some appreciated hard work and skill contributions from Divya and Jess who both had to then play in the cup game that followed the team rose to the occasion.
The back five defensive unit of Jess, Tara, Divya, Amy and Lydia looked calm and collected and cleared the ball neatly to the sidelines whenever South Berks threatened to break, with Jess applying some lethal short corner hits into the mix to help apply pressure.Tara H was in the mood to win, breaking up the opposition attacks and flicking the ball between player after player to create go forward ball which the opposition had no real answer to.
Upfront Sophie L worked her socks off in the lone striker role, and showed great skills to keep on being a threat, and continued the hard work of pressing high up the pitch. Once Sophie was joined by Hannah A late in the second half, at the score 0-0, and we were back to 11 players, that pressure paid off, and the forward line scored three great goals. ( 1 x Sophie and 2 x Hannah)
However this weeks stars of the show were the midfield. Emily B in an inside left position had her best game in a Maidenhead shirt for a long time as her confidence soared and she started to go round players on her front and reverse stick which was great to see as she set up the goal scoring opps ( South Berks awarded Emily player of the match , representative of the threat she caused), on the right inside position Hannah Sheik had her hands full with a very capable South Berks player who towered above her, but Hannah ( aka Shakey - when two Hannahs are playing!) is a fighter and harried and closed as we had been working on and gave South Berks no time to think, and in between was Issie P, who won coaches player of the game, as she discovered a new lease of life in the centre midfield attacking role and using her fantastic energy levels worked up and down the pitch and broke time after time to create opportunity.
It was a very, very impressive effort cheered on by coaches and parents alike.
Well don girls, I am thinking we just play with ten players every week - we are getting good at it!