It seems weeks since the girls last kicked a ball on match day, the sun was out, the pitch had passed its inspection so – GAME ON!!
To those who helped set up Thank You. Also thanks to Dan for providing the linesman duties.
It was really nice to see Charlotte taking the time to cheer her team mates on today as well and this speaks volumes for the team bond the girls have. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope you’re back with us soon!!
The last time we played NEL we came out with quite a heavy defeat on a difficult pitch that was hard to play on due to the hill/incline and twist with no Subs . In the team talk, we questioned what we knew about this team, (“they Hoof, can make a long pass and have some really quick players”) So how do we play against them and what can we do to counter this?
The girls had a really good go at NEL today and did themselves proud, going one up in the first half with a cool composed goal from Ellie, I think Gracie set the through ball up for her?? and for most of the first half the All Stars were on top of our opponents looking comfortable on the ball, linking up some beautiful passes and with some real accuracy at times. We came so close to making this two on numerous occasions as well, with some quick thinking and managing to get behind their defenders and just generally not giving up at trying to push /force the ball through.
We closed down the opponents well, looking to try stop their long ball and defended in numbers, but then hitting them well on the counter attack, as they really seemed to push their players forward at us and so the girls played them at their own game; we played some heavy long balls over the top, for the front players to run onto.
Dayna – Showed some real bravery, today, even more than usual. Pouncing on loose balls and coming off her line to make some great clearances, on one of these occasions she found herself having to face a Penalty. She stood big, composed, calm and confident. The opponent’s manager told the girls who was to take it, “as she’ll score”!! The ball was struck well but I’m not sure if it was the mean Sutcliffe’s stare that did it, but luckily for us, it went wide – Phew. Dayna did really well at getting the ball out quickly at times and also managed to notice where the danger was from the attackers , when delivering her goal kicks.
Phoebie – Started well up front, getting into some good positions, and peeling away into the box as our wingers pushed forward and having great awareness of where the danger area was to run into. She went about her defensive duties well when called upon and constantly looked to make the tackle and be involved in play – and all this while carrying an injury which really caused her some discomfort later on.
Ellie, tried to push the ball through, pressing and pressing and not giving up and being rewarded by getting our goal. She brought down some of the heavy long balls brilliantly and impressed with her controlling of these, twisting and turning – which is what we have come to expect from her. She shows great confidence to stand in front of the opponent’s keeper ” to fill the gap” and follow the ball, looking to block it and then convert into an attack when she’s won the ball.
It’s easy to forget that Ella is still in her first season. She is playing with a real confidence and getting stronger with every match and looks comfortable on the ball. She’s always happy to test herself having a go at new skills, shifting the ball between both feet, or having a long shot and shows very similar attributes to Ellie! Always trying to push the ball through and not giving up. She came out with the opponent’s player of the day as well. Well done no 22!
Both Sofia and Clare had their hands full today, with a couple of really quick skillful players running at them. Sofia brought the ball out well and made some crucial tackles, covering the middle well, whilst Clare slowed down play on the opposite wing allowing our midfield to get back and help. She looks really comfortable receiving the ball being played out from Dayna, taking the touch with her back foot and taking the ball down the wing or playing square into the middle.
Clare really impressed today, she made some great decisions when tackling, holding off from making the rash tackle, lining it up, to then just put her foot in. Even whilst her team mates were shouting for her to tackle, she showed a real cool head at times. But best of all was when she came off with her foot hurting, sporting a real nasty blister, a quick patch up with a couple of plasters and “ right – I’m ready to go back on” great commitment Clare..
Penny showed her skills down the left, constantly passing the ball between both feet, and looked shattered by the end of the match. She really hugged the line managing to keep the ball in and then once she sees a clearance, just jumps up a gear and accelerates away. She was unlucky not get a goal today, as some of the space she created to get through on goal was excellent
Gracie and Abi – Our two midfield bosses, who needs a Captain with this vocal pair! They were absolutely beat by the end, forced to play in a back four with Sofia and Clare as they looked unable to move anymore. Abi just looked so headstrong today refusing to give up and just got stuck into everything, with crunching tackles and some long passes over the top, which were great, finding the front player brilliantly and when having to be taken off the pitch (to have a moment to a think and compose herself shall we say!! ) came back on with exactly the right attitude and not letting her head go down and still getting stuck in. Gracie pushed and pushed, trying to get the midfield forward and showing her skills at thread the balls through and looking for goal – and as with Penny, was so unlucky not to get one today. Commitment and drive was on show especially in the second half as the team looked for our second goal and the midfield was back and forth – back and forth, she gave everything and both did an awesome job helping to support our defence.
One thing on show today was how the All Stars worked as a team and gave everything for the cause, they really took the game to NEL and were unlucky not to come out as victors. A couple of quick players for the opponents managed to keep them in the game. All we ask is that the team try their hardest – and this is something that cannot be questioned with these girls.
Have a great Easter guys!! – Phil & Jeremy