Honours Even in Entertaining Friendly
Girls extend their unbeaten run
7th October friendly away at Royston
Harvesters fielded a very strong squad for a windy but dry friendly (a long way) away at Royston. With a starting 9 of Gwen, Daisy, Florence, Maisie, Millie, Izzy, Meeka, Alecia and Jess, Harvesters had the best of the opening exchanges with Jess forcing two good saves from the Royston keeper. The first 15 minutes also sees 3 Harvesters corners and a shot just wide from Millie. With 19 minutes on the clock, despite our dominance, the Royston No. 10 breaks through to score a fine goal from close range. Harvesters, however, are not a side who let their heads drop under such circumstances and immediately from the restart Alecia lays on a great pass to Jess who buries it in the back of the net. 1:1, game on !
As well as crisp passing Harvesters are also winning most of the tackles and Millie makes tackle of the match to break up play and allow us to make some substitutions. Sai and Charlotte come on for Millie and Meeka and the fresh legs help us to control the play for a sustained spell with 2 corners, a shot on target from Jess and a classy free kick from Charlotte which is only denied by a spectacular save from the Royston keeper. Harvesters are definitely in the ascendancy as the ref blows for half time.
Harvesters take to the field for the second half with the same 9 who started the first half and again the whole team is playing well. Gwen’s distribution is accurate and varied and very little is getting past Florence and Daisy. With 10 minutes of the half played Meeka picks up the ball just outside the box. She turns and shoots only to be denied by another excellent save from the Royston keeper. Meeka is now pulling the strings in the final third as Harvesters pile on the pressure. Meeka also whips in a couple of fierce corners and Izzy fires one just over the bar. But the pressure eventually tells and with her back to goal just outside the box Maisie receives the ball and in one fluid move turns and volleys an unstoppable shot into the back of the net ! With the goal timed at 10:56 Harvesters are 2:1 up and looking good for the win and bring on Sai and Charlotte to replace Jess and Alecia for the restart.
There is no let up from Harvesters and on the stroke of 11am Meeka meets a ball on the volley which crashes into the crossbar but flies off to safety. A minute later and Meeka again just misses with her effort going wide of the left post. Maisie gets in on the act with an effort just wide of the other post.
With only a couple of minutes left to play the Harvesters defence let their guard down for the first time in the match and Royston manage to slip through and get a second. Royston are hyped up by the equaliser and in the dying seconds they are through on goal 1 on one with our keeper. The final kick of the match looks certain to deliver Royston the unlikeliest of wins but Gwen produces a spectacular save under immense pressure and the final whistle blows with honours even at 2:2.
A terrific all round performance by Harvesters; there won’t be many days we play as well as that without picking up all 3 points !