Today’s game against Hasland was a potentially difficult fixture, as they came into the game on the back of a win against last season’s DGLL champions, and we were missing four players due to injuries and other commitments.
With only 9 players available it meant some of the girls playing in unfavoured or unfamiliar positions - it was especially good to see Tilly playing again after such a long lay off, deputising for the injured Vicky in goal. Skipper Beth dropped in to defence and Jordele, on her league debut, started on the right of midfield.
After a delay for the arrival of the Hasland ‘keeper, we made a slow start to the game and found ourselves on the back foot. We were finding it difficult to establish any real fluency to our play, and although we had our own chances were having to defend stoutly as Hasland put us under pressure. On 6 mins a good move by Hasland found our defence at sixes and sevens and they capitalised to open the scoring.
For the second game in succession we found ourselves a goal down. We slowly started to get in to the game, however, and to assert our own play a little more. By now Jordele and Chelsie had swapped positions and we had created a few openings before Skipper Beth pulled us level on 28 mins.
A few moments later Shannon showed tremendous determination to win three tackles in succession and play Otty in to put us ahead. Another goal from skipper Beth put us 3-1 up – those 3 goals in 5 minutes knocked Hasland out of their stride. There was still time for Beth L to go very close with a good header before half time: 3-1.
The next goal was going to be important and when Chelsie put us 4-1 up within a couple of minutes of the restart, we had the bit between our teeth and were playing with confidence.
The second half was punctuated by a series of lengthy stoppages for injuries to Hasland players which interrupted the flow of play. This was proving very frustrating, not least as treatment was sometimes slow in arriving and each injury appeared to prompt an impromptu team meeting. Overall something close to 15 minutes of injury time was accumulated in the second half.
The girls took out their frustration in the best way possible, scoring 3 goals in the space of as many minutes as Chelsie, Skipper Beth and Chelsie again, sealed a 7-1 win.
We spoke at the end about the need to maintain our discipline and to channel frustration in positive directions, as we did with the three quick goals, rather than to allow ourselves to be influenced by others.
All the girls did well today and played their part in a deserved win. Tilly deserves a special mention for doing well as an emergency ‘keeper’, showing good handling and some excellent distribution when throwing the ball out. After a somewhat unsteady start, the back three gave Tilly good protection and restricted Hasland’s chances - Carly is developing into a solid and reliable defender, Shannon gets a credit for an ‘assist’, and another driving performance from Skipper Beth was capped with a fine hat trick.
The midfield trio worked really hard throughout the game – despite being a doubt before the game after illness BethL looking very composed in the centre, and Tash and Jordele were energetic and committed.
Up front Otty was again excellent and proved a handful for Hasland’s defenders, who had no answer to Chelsie’s pace and forceful running – rewarded with a hat trick.
Well done girls.
...but that goal celebration needs a bit of work ;)
Hasland Aquilas 1 – 7 Pride Park Juniors
Scorers: Chelsie (3) BethJ (3) Otty