EVEN STEVENS VS UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
The game started well for Leicester, a goal coming from a penalty corner in the eigth minute, the initial shot from Maddie Newlyn was saved by the Birmingham goalkeeper and rebounded to Rachel Mack who mopped to put the home side ahead early and score her sixth goal of the season.
Both sides continued to use the long ball up the pitch to little avail and to Leicester's suprise Birmingham afforded them time and space on the ball but Leicester were unable to capitalise on their dominance and finish their attacking opportunities.
In the second half a Birmingham short corner on fourty four minutes from Amelia Andrew brought the sides level.
The play was all Leicester's way in the last fifteen minutes but the players will be disappointed not get the winner and come away with a 1-1 draw
With three more fixtures left of the season Leicester will ramp up the pressure as they currently sit only two points off a play off position.
Leicester's next game is away to East Grinstead 13:30 pushback, the following week will be Leicester's last home game against Bowdon Hightown 14:00 pushback, please come down to support and keep hopes of reaching the play-offs alive!
2-0 loss at home to Harbourne
The seconds will next play Lichfield away from home 11:30 pushback
The Thirds will be disappointed to come away from this weekend's game with a 5-0 loss to Loughborough Students 4ths who, along with Loughborough Town, continue to pull away at the top of the table.
The well drilled Loughborough side were dominant from the start of the game and Leicester looked out of sorts. Leicester created opportunities and put the Loughborough side on the backfoot at times but couldn't finish their opportunities including a number of short corner opportunities.
The start of the second half Leicester came out strongly following the team talk and worked well through the positions to stretch the pitch and distribute the ball to create several close chances for forwards Karen Barnes, Abi Hart and Annie Wiffen. Leicester however will see this game as one to forget and hope to get their game back on track next week.
Squad: Annie Wiffen, Ellie Lineham, Casey Humphreys, Ellie Copeland, Elsbeth Woodgate, Emma Mack, Karen Barnes, Megan Lowe, Sarah Turner, Tilly Johnson, Abi Hart, Eleanor Godwin, Hannah Cufflin, Ruby Barham, Bethan Fossey, Gemma Newton
The Thirds next fixture is against Ashby away pushback TBC
FOURTHS MATCH REPORT VS HALF CENTURY
Right, where do I start? I honestly am not sure. Unfortunately, its very difficult to focus on anything after conceding that goal in the last minute of todays game. Totally undeserved, totally shocking and absolutely gutting.
So the day had started a little iffy, Libby dropping out while trying to catch a cricket ball, the 3s had struggled in the morning and I burnt my bacon for breakfast. By 2.30 I was recovering from the shock and looking forward to hockey drama. We turned up at Half Century with a degree of confidence that we may get something from the game. Playing a team many places above us in the table but, with scorelines in recent weeks belying our performances and efforts, I had high hopes that this young side had a win in them.
Defensively I felt we had been well organised all game, a couple of silly mistakes are easily forgotten when Fran, Gemma, Emma and Ellie, rotating through a 3 man defence, remained organised and unflustered the whole game.
The added quality of Eleanor, Hannah and Elsbeth in midfield enabled the young superstars; Emily, Anna, Katie, Elise (who turned up late – playing catch for the school or something) and Etta to excel in attack. I have not seen this side attack with such purpose all season. For large parts of the game we were camped in the opposition quarter.
Kate, for the first time this season looked like a forward, I think at one point she had a violent nose bleed through shock. Jennifer and Caitlin added further confidence in the attacking third.
However, we cannot shoot for toffee. Something we will work on on Wednesday. Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake with the opposing goalkeepers pads is something we can certainly work on. Call me old fashioned, but I am suggesting we pass the ball into the goal with the intention of missing the pads. I may however have got that wrong and will check with other coaches in the club.
Our goal was scored half way through the first half. Thoroughly deserved. Another great tackle in defence, a quick break, and Hannah was off. 4 on 2, no way we would stuff it up. Thankfully we didn’t. As Hannah stumbled and accidently prodded the ball, it dribbled past the goalkeeper to the young smiler Anna K. She squealed in panic, closed her eyes, time slowed for all of us on the sideline, will someone please smack it in the goal. Anna, poked at the ball, and guided it beautifully onto the backboard. Before and after this moment of joy (for all at the ground), we had chances cleared off the line and squeaking past both posts. Thoroughly deserved the goal.
Sharing sweets at half time (I am expecting this sort of provision every week from now on ladies), we discussed the need to move the ball quicker, avoid taking contact in attack and backing ourselves a little more. The second half, the ball barely left the Half Century half. Chances came and went, short corners didn’t quite work but it was one way traffic for all but the last 5 minutes of the game. And then, the last minute. Inexplicably and nothing like the previous 68 mins or so, players stepped off, failed to engage and gave 1 opportunity to Half Century to equalise. Cas had watched much of the game, because we had played so well, but the shot was good and it sneaked in the far post. Trem has told me the groans from parents and coaches alike could be heard at the first team game back at LGS.
It may take me a little while to get over this. Despite that, thank you to those who played.
Now player of the match. Anna for scoring? Anyone in the defence, midfield or attack? I have no idea who was given the title by the opposition and I normally ignore that, as you know anyway.
So I am going to give it Katie. The level of hockey she is beginning to play is excellent. Since starting to play for the 4s she has continually demonstrated her rising talent. She may roll her eyes at me whenever I say anything (actually most of the team do that to be honest) but I am delighted to see her progress from ‘scared rabbit in the headlights’ last year to a player who is always first to take the game to the opposition
Well played everyone. I hope this sort of performance gives you the confidence to see just how capable you all are to drag this 4th team through the rest of the season and up the table next season
The Fourth team next play against Loughborough Students 3s at home 10:30 pushback
5THS PROMOTION HOPES HIT
Our 5ths went into their game against Market Harborough 2nds with slim hopes of promotion to the Premier League. Their opponents lay one place beneath the 5ths in 4th place in Division One but had shown signs of great improvement. Leicester began the game quite brightly and had a good grip on midfield. Anna Godwin, moving well onto a through ball, advanced into the Harborough circle where she was crudely upended by their goalkeeper. Eventually both umpires agreed on a penalty stroke and player coach Gaynor Nash stepped up to beat the keeper. Soon afterwards, Leicester could have doubled their lead but Nash's flick from a penalty corner hit the angle of post and bar.
That let off seemed to spur Harborough on and they dominated the rest of the half, deservedly equalising when a forward, left unmarked in the circle, fired home confidently. Half-time was quite welcome and we went into the second half believing we could take charge of the game again.
Unfortunately, that wasn't what happened and our passing became ragged. Harborough gradually took control and from a well-worked penalty corner they were able to deflect in a second goal. The 5ths went on the attack but it was just one of those days when nothing seemed to click. Good work down the right by Anna Godwin led to openings but the forwards just couldn't take the chances. Inevitably, gaps appeared as the 5ths chased the game and Harborough won another penalty corner. From a scramble in front of keeper Cas Evans a Harborough forward was able to prod the ball home. Leicester didn't give up and created late chances but failed to add a goal.
Harborough just about deserved their 3-1 win and the 5ths can now focus on a good finish to the season in the last few games. Harborough adjudged Emma Sleeman to be the 5ths' Player of the Match and credit should also go to Anna Godwin who picked herself up after being upended and created lots of opportunities for team-mates.
Squad: Cas Evans, Rosemary Jacques, Marion Godwin, Jane Worlding, Jane Cottrell, Alexia Scudamore, Gaynor Nash, Hazel McSweeney, Judith Bensi, Sarah Levy, Clare Slater, Lydia Cross, Anna Godwin, Lucy Pears (C)
The 5ths face Loughborough Town 2nds away next Saturday (9am start!)