LEICESTER DOMINANT IN DURHAM
Leicester knew Durham would be a tough match as they’ve proven themselves a strong side through the league in the past, especially with current GB star Tess Howard on their side for this game who was sure to pose a threat.
Sure enough in the 22nd minute, Tess Howard bags the first goal of the match by firing in a brilliant shot on the backhand to make it 1-0 Durham. Their lead didn’t last long though as only a minute later, Leicester’s top goal scorer Olive Richmond made a great run through Durham’s defence; moving the ball past three or four players and finally finding the back of the net!
In the minutes that followed, Leicester retained majority of the possession with some nice passages of play through the midfield. They soon had their efforts rewarded with another goal: Lizzie Honarmand and Olive Richmond worked together to get the ball into Durham’s D - an initial shot was saved by the Durham keeper but it landed nicely for Katie Mason to move onto and fire another home to make it 2-1 Leicester. The score stayed like this into half-time with both Durham and Leicester having their equal share of attacking prowess.
The second half saw more of the same – both teams with pretty much equal possession and playing the ball around nicely. Durham were awarded a few short corners but Leicester were just about able to keep them at bay. Caitlin Jeffries was forced to make three or four diving saves and Rachael Mack did some great defensive work making a couple of saves on the line.
Leicester won a penalty corner of their own after 10 minutes into the second half which was nicely converted with a drag flick by Jodie Conelly. Only 5 minutes after this, Stephanie Hale bagged her second of the season with some skillful play along the baseline to move the ball past two defenders and eventually took a tumble but still managed to squeeze the ball past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
The final goal of the game was a brilliant team effort across the pitch from Leicester. Played out from the back line into Katie Mason in midfield to play a long line ball to Olive Richmond on the baseline. Olive played the ball across the Durham D where it lifted up off a defender’s stick only to find Lizzie Honarmand on the back post who cleverly volleyed the ball into the back of the net.
The game ended 5-1 to Leicester which was a well-deserved win, but not wanting to take anything away from Durham who played really nice hockey throughout
ONE STEP CLOSER TO SAFETY
Leicester L2 hosted Harborne in a fixture that could decide the home sides future. Anything less than a draw would send the young 2nd team into the relegation play off.
Leicester started the stronger of the two sides dominating possession and territory with Leicester goalkeeper Jenna reduced to being a spectator. The first chance f the game came for the hme side when they forced a turnover high up the pitch, a quick break resulted in a 3 on 1 but the a misplaced pass meant the opportunity passed by without a goal.
Following their experience a few weeks ago against North Notts Leicester might have been thinking “oh no not again”.
However the circle entries and chances kept falling Leicester way. Although they didn’t manage many shots on target, they were starting to apply huge amounts of pressure and it was only a matter of time.
The opening goal of the game came from a penalty corner. Harriet’s shot of the top was saved by the goalkeeper but the following scramble for the ball feel to Carys who calmly slotted passed the stranded defence.
The second half followed the same pattern with the visitors sinking deeper and deeper. This allowed the Leicester back four of Carys, Gemma, Etta and Megan to combine with Harriet, Margot and Annie in midfield and dictate play.
The second Leicester goal came after a smart move around the back-release Etta on the right who played a delightful ball to Harriet who timed her run perfectly to play the ball across the face of the goal from the back post to Sandy to calmly finished into an open goal.
The visitors fought back even winning a penalty corner however Leicester held firm with Jenna making the odd routine save/clearance.
Leicester continued to challenge with Kitty, Maisie, Mina, Lydia and Lauren all threatening going forward.
A well-deserved three points.
The 2s go down to the wire playing their last league game away to Lichfield who currently share the bottom of the table position with Leicester on points with both desperate for the win to secure league safety.
No game this weekend but the 3s have their final league game this season against Loughborough Students 5th at home at 10:30
HOME AND DRY
A gritty win for the 4’s against Half Century this weekend.
Lots of effort and intentions to play passing hockey linking quickly from defence to midfield. Positive partnerships between Anna G and the midfielders being released to attack the D, resulted in the 1st goal for Anna C to take the lead.
A reaction from Half Century came and they scored 2 well worked goals in the game but a Jodie short corner power drive past the keeper and a tap in from Elena B ensured 3 points and a 3-2 win.
Sarah R and Sarah L were superb all game and kept people calm and focused on their jobs.
Next week the 4s play Melton away 10:30pb
FIFTHS GO DOWN FIGHTING
In the penultimate League game of the season the 5ths travelled to Lutterworth to face an unpredictable opposition. Lutterworth can trouble the best in the League or under perform so we were hoping for the latter. As it turned out, the game was very even but decided in Lutterworth’s favour by clinical finishing, a piece of luck and a fantastic fluke.
The game was goalless for the first ten minutes but Lutterworth went ahead, capitalising on an error then building swiftly to finish past a helpless Poppy Page in goal. We countered and won several short corners that we failed to convert, their keeper making a few good stops and coach Gaynor Nash hitting the post. Back came Lutterworth to notch a second well worked goal followed by a third that was a little fortunate. The ball popped up in the circle and was volleyed into Poppy’s chest. As the ball dropped it span behind her and was nudged in by a Lutterworth player.
3-0 down at half time we had nothing to lose but were disappointed that a fairly even share of possession still saw us three goals adrift. The deficit was reduced at a short corner when Jennifer Pollock’s hard shot was deflected into the net by a defender. We continued to press but in a Lutterworth attack their striker took a shot from the circle edge that rocketed into the top corner. From the surprise of the player it wasn’t what she intended but it was a great goal.
We continued to press but couldn’t find the net to reduce the loss. Ultimately, they were a little more determined and a fair bit more clinical. They chose Catherine Smith as Player of the Match, a good choice as this was her first match back after a nasty non-hockey injury.
Squad: Poppy Page, Emma York, Hazel McSweeney, Rosemary Jacques, Jane Cottrell, Anna Kellie, Alex Peet, Catherine Smith, Emily Smith, Gaynor Nash, Eleanor Partridge, Lydia Cross (C), Jennifer Pollock.
Next week we face League leaders Charnwood/Sileby and will be depleted by weddings and a D of E weekend.
No game this weekend for Leicester City as West Bridgford were unable to field a team and concede the three points. Leicester's final game of their first ever season is this weekend against Derby away, 2:30pb with their second place league position already secured.
The under 10s travelled to Market Harborough to take part in a mini league tournament.
The players faced sides from Market Harborough, Ashby and Loughborough Twown and did really well!
Thanks to coaches Emma and Heidi!
Squad: Rose (GK and captain), Annabel (GK and captain), Millie, Georgia, Eve, Ava, Hanna, Emma, Anna, Sophia, Alice, Jess & Megan