Unflattering Scoreline Belies Harvesters' Slick Football
By jamie nelson
By Jamie Fleming
Unflattering scoreline belies Harvesters’ slick football
It was a stunning day in Ware, the mercury topping 16˚C when the whistle blew.
The first exchanges were even and the football was free-flowing and mesmeric from the start. It was fast and furious, but with controlled passing and deft touches all around the park; lovely to watch. The Meninas team are a class act, very well drilled, never panicking and playing out from the back confidently every time Harvesters surge forward.
It’s end to end stuff, but 10 minutes gone and the ball falls to Millie about eight yards out in a packed penalty area. She puts her foot through the ball powerfully; the shot taking a slight deflection off a defender, just enough for the goalkeeper to fumble and the ball to dribble over the line. One-nil to Harvesters.
But Meninas are strong and surge immediately forward, looking for the equaliser. Their No.8 is a menace, walking through tackles, taking her time, finding the perfectly weighted pass to cause problems at the back.
Alecia, Mabel and Sophie are epic in defence, running hard and keeping the attackers wide. They ran their hearts out all morning. Then two quick wonder goals from Meninas. With a little space outside the penalty area, their No.10 hits a dipping ball into the top right corner. Nothing anyone could do but admire. Then just minutes later they carve in from the right and drill it past Gwen, who could only watch.
Half time comes and goes. Harvesters never give up, even when a few more neat goals go against them. The wingers are excellent, Jess, Maisie and Florence charging down and countering with fast breaks. There was only particular move, on the far side, that left the parents breathless. Mabel hits it down the line to Florence who runs with the ball, little lay off to Jess, who glances it first time to Charlotte who hits it back to Florence who
continued her run. She pushes it to Millie, who runs into the box, but the goalkeeper comes out quickly, and just does enough to cut the angle, with the shot sailing just wide of the far post. Incredible football, Premiership quality, well applauded by the parents of both teams.
5-1 down with 10 to go is an undeserving scoreline. I can’t tell you how well the Harvesters girls were playing, really incredible throughout, against a recognisably strong side. They get another well-deserved goal when Charlotte, who was strong and confident in mid-field throughout the day, plays the ball forward to Sai. Sai takes a few steps, rounds a defender and lets fly from distance. The ball swirls dangerously, and the goalie doesn’t get behind it properly, hitting her arm and in. Lovely individual goal.
The final score is 6-2 but it was a cracking game to watch, and the scoreline doesn’t reflect the girls’ energy, skill and enthusiasm. They were fabulous all game, with Gwen particularly doing a sterling job in goal against a side with strength and power.
The girls came off exhausted – they had given their all on a baking hot day. They should hold their heads up proud for a solid and skilful performance.
The girls seemed confident and up for the game. They never stopped running, closing down players quickly and never really kicking aimlessly. The passing was some of the best we’ve seen all season, slick and well-weighted. Millie up front was quick and pressurised the opposition defence well. Florence was excellent throughout, her strength and tenacity giving us more time to get into areas of space. Sai, Maisie and Charlotte ran tirelessly back and forward, matching the skills of the opposition. Jess consistently held the ball up well, pulling in attackers just long enough to pass it on leaving an overlap. The defence, including Gwen, were excellent against constant pressure. The key player for Meninas was their No.8, who was the difference between the teams. She was strong and skiful, and if she hadn’t been playing then I could see Harvesters winning. All in all though, there were way more positives than negatives, despite an unflattering scoreline.
Report written by Jamie Fleming
Date: 30th March 2019
Team: Gwen, Sophie, Mabel, Alecia, Charlotte, Jess, Florence, Maisie, Millie and Sai
Opposition: Meninas, Ware
Goal (Harvesters) 1-0 (Millie)
Goal (Meninas) 1-1
Goal (Meninas) 1-2
Goal (Meninas) 1-3
Goal (Meninas) 1-4
Goal (Meninas) 1-5
Goal (Meninas) 2-5 (Sai)
Goal (Meninas) 2-6