Homework Needed for Girls in Summer Break !
By jamie nelson
By David Nightingale
Another evening fixture to fit in the final matches in the busy season calendar. Our girls arrive in drips and drabs some having been competing at an athletic meeting contrasting with the Watford team sitting top of the table who were all at the ground on time carrying out their pre-match training drills.
Our girls switch to the away blue kit to avoid a clash of yellow. Opposition set up in the technical area with their replacements looking orderly on their subs bench in contrast to our girls with a rare full squad of 4 subs sat on each other’s laps laughing and joking.
After the formalities of registration cards and the Hornets pre-match chant the match kicks off on a nice pitch, perfect for a passing game. Hornets straight on the attack, 1 on 1 with Gwen – saved. Next time the attacker makes no mistake to score 0-1. Quickly followed up with a neat one-two passing move to leave an open goal and….skies over the bar! Will it be Harvesters lucky day?
Sai having competed in the 800m race, carried on running throughout the match at the heart of midfield making tackles, Daisy playing centre defence covering well, Mabel solid punts up field clearing danger, Charlotte challenging – up for a physical encounter
Hornet’s well drilled, organised and alert, one-touch football ending in another goal 0-2
Meeka showing her close control skills links up with Millie for a half-chance, but Watford counter quickly at pace to score extending their lead 0-3.
Subs – Florence, Sophie, Maisy, Issy all on. Meeka breaks, with only Millie upfront, she gets crowded out and possession switches back to the Hornets who move the ball with simple passes into space and a chip cross that lobs over Gwen into the goal, 0-4
Glimpses of good play with Charlotte and Meeka creating an opportunity for Jess who strikes over the bar. From a goal kick straight to Meeka who quick thinking strikes a firm shot back at the goal which is well saved by the keeper who was alert to the danger - top teams seem to have good keepers – funny that !
Sophie makes a good block, but Hornet attacker re-gathers possession and weaves through the defence to score 0-5
Hornets set an excellent example of good calling throughout the match in stark contrast to our girls who seem almost apologetic to call for the ball, bit like they are in a library - maybe we should break convention and play our home matches in a library next season in silence?
Another new experience for the girls - Watford supporters clapping every substitution.
Half time – Watford run off to their coach for clipboard analysis of the first half and discuss performance improvements for the second half.
During the interval on the opposite touchline the home supporters marvel at Gwen’s dad’s bike that has his own name ‘Gary Fisher’ across it. How many people own a bike with their own name?
2nd Half - no stopping these Hornets 0-6 soft goal, and another screamer right into the goal stantion – ref wasn’t sure it had gone in, our girls should have played to the whistle, another from a corner shouldered into the net 0-8
Millie through on goal, despite the challenges manages to keep going and scores to get the girls on the score sheet and spoil the keepers clean sheet record 1-8
Meeka moves to centre forward - never stopped running at the opposition often crowded out by the organised strong defence but never gives up
A paraglider sighted in the distance, a nice distraction for the home supporters from the one-sided match being played out. Minds wonder to what would happen if they landed on the ground or into the goal and got tangled in the net – would the game be abandoned? Maybe if they hovered over the ground like the Drone at Gatwick that would do it!
Back to the action, Florence chance – saved. Offside! Excitement! Watford shooting over the bar multiple times seem to have lost their range, maybe they overdosed on isotonic drinks at half time!
Flurry of goals - No. 22 too strong powers through the defence, another counter attack finished with a power shot giving Gwen no chance and another goal no 21 scores – too committed for our girls, they want it more which may explain why they are top of the table. Meeka, Millie to Sai good effort at the end. Final score 1-11.
Hornets encouraged by their coach to do a lap of honour to thank their supporters – perhaps our girls should do that – learn from the academies. As the Hornets regroup for their cool down, debrief and social media training our girls put aside their defeat for end of league season photos with smiles on their faces.