New year and we finally restarted football after what seemed like a really long break.
Garforth were our opponents for the return fixture from our win earlier in the season. Always a close game so we knew it was going to be tough.
Illness reduced our numbers to just 9 so no subs!
What we saw today was a fantastic team performance with some superstar performances.
Erica started in goal. She was as good as ever making some important saves especially the tiptoe around the post.
Our defence altered a little through the half but our three main stalwarts were Lilly, Georgia and Rebecca. Lilly was inspired today. She nullified wave after wave of Garforth attacks. Her pace and persistence were marvellous. Georgia got stuck in and looked to move the ball forward thoughtfully. Rebecca efforts were rewarded with some nice dribbling out of defence. Between them we kept a clean sheet in the first half. Our only minor learning point is that we must keep awareness on the pitch, try not to all get drawn to the ball. Eg. When one of their players progresses down a wing its still the player unmarked one in the middle of the goal that is most likely to score!
Our midfield of Izzy, Bea, Poppy and Evie showed some real steel today. Again they were brilliant at keeping the ball and releasing each other. Izzy ran the show in midfield and was rewarded with our first goal. A goal kick fell to her feet (you adopted a great position on the pitch for the kick off). She controlled it well and moved forward to shoot. The ball looped over the goalkeeper and right in to the top right corner of the goal. 1-0. Nose in front and still going down the slope. Our second goal was another Izzy inspiration. A long winding run and slotted the ball home like a pro. 2-0 with half time approaching.
Second half up the slope. Would we hold on? In particular they had a very strong player (in both senses of the word). Quick mention about the ref- Craig was great today- firm and fair).
Bea volunteered for goalkeeper for 15 minutes with Izzy doing the rest. A thankless task – well done the both of you for all your efforts for the team. Bea second half performance outfield was a continuation of her first half. Battling, tackling seemingly always coming away with the ball. She also made so excellent positive passes to set our attacks going.
Poppy got in on the action. Again seeing her progression as a football player she’s taking her time on the ball and looking for passes or running into space in front of her.
After some pressure we gave a free-kick away on the edge of the box. We have never trained for this so it was not surprising that we were a little at sea. Credit to their number 5 for shooting low into the far corner. 2-1 and with a lot of the ball we were living on the edge. Would we last the game?
Maya’s made sterling efforts even though she was ill. She holds the ball so well and can really trick the opposition. Today she also showed some great vision with a few lovely passes taking out the defenders. Well done.
Evie ran hard all game. She has some lovely touches, using skills to navigate her way around the opposition. Again like others she had some great runs with the ball. She capped it all off with a predatory goal in the last 10 minutes to seal the win for us.
Erica was our striker for the second half. She went about it really well. We needed players to collect the ball and keep it up the pitch to relieve the pressure at the back and give the midfield a rest. I liked your attitude and shooting when you saw the goal is just what we want. Excellent.
Our defence held firm and the final whistle arrived for a great double over Garforth.
You should be really proud of yourselves girls it was a great game to watch!
Thanks again to Craig, thanks to Mike for running the line and thanks to everyone who helped set up today.
Get well soon Elle and Niamh (and coach Claire),