EVEN STEVENS AT EG!
Leicester will be pleased to come away with a draw against East Grinstead after the best performance away to the West Sussex side in a number of seasons.
A few senior players missing Leicester were bolstered by three promising junior players all under eighteen who have appeared at times throughout the season; Hattie Barnes, Maeve Macdonald and Liv Back welcomed back after injury.
It was a warm and sunny afternoon and the players visibly suffered in the heat but that didn't stop either side applying pressure and scoring freely.
Leicester were 1-0 down after eleven minutes as the home side scored from ex-Leicester player Lucy Bairner. EG would not hold the lead for long as Maddie Newlyn scored on the 18th minute in a trademark short corner strike, her sixth goal of the season.
After the half time break East Grinsted pulled another goal clear through Josephine Blunt on th fourty five minute mark.
Liz George pulled the scores even for Leicester on fifty three minutes and despite great play from both sides neither could get a final goal to clinch the game. A fair result for the Leicester oufit who still chase a play off spot though the chances begin to slim with only two games left of the season.
SECOND TEAM RUN OUT WINNERS
Leicester Ladies travelled away to Lichfield with a small squad of twelve knowing a win would take them up to fifth in the table.
It didn’t look like it was going to be a good day for the Leicester Ladies with the coach getting his car stuck in the mud prior to push back. However, the ladies started brightly and with their new-found trust in one another they started to move the ball around with pace and purpose. With patience in hand Leicester Ladies broke down the Lichfield defence and were rewarded with a few short corners. Hannah Cufflin finally got the breakthrough with a poachers effort from a yard out to make it 1-0. Leicester continued in similar fashion for the rest of the half but were unable to extend their lead. 1-0 Half-Time.
Lichfield started the second half brightly and put the pressure back on Leicester. Within minutes Lichfield were level 1-1. Even with conceding so early on in the second half the ladies didn’t let their heads drop and immediately put the pressure back on Leicester. The pace of the front three made it difficult for Lichfield and the chances started to come for Leicester. Captain Jen Schanschieff restored the lead as she riffle the ball home from top D, 2-1 Leicester. Hannah Cufflin and Georgina Hampson both added to the score sheet to make it 4-1 to Leicester and it could have been more.
Leicester Ladies will be very satisfied with their performance and the result with player of the match being awarded to Sophie Skelton. The win takes Leicester up into a comfortable fifth position in the league table.
Next weekend the seconds play Sutton Coldfield at home 15:30 pushback.
THIRD TEAM GET THEIR MOJO BACK
Third team showed great skills and teamwork throughout the game vs Asby 2's. Despite the unexpected delayed start time the girls managed to keep their concentration.
Leicester 3's quickly took control of the game and dominated the oppositions half which lead to a penalty flick. Karen Barnes stepped up and calmly slipped the ball into the bottom right corner. The 1-0 lead pushed the girls further resulting in a brace of goals from great connective team play.
Due to a lapse in Leicester's concentration Ashby made a break with some good interceptions and drives leading to their only goal.
The girls fought back with a brilliant end score of 5-1.
Squad: Megan Lowe, Casey Humphries, Karen Barnes, Etta Magill, Ellie Copeland, Tilly Johnson, Rachel East, Sarah Turner, Ellie Lineham, Gemma Newton, Molly Edwards, Hephzibah Smalley-Kaspruk, Emma Mack, Ruby Barham
On Saturday the Third Team will face Loughborough Town at home 10:30 pushback
Match Report 11th March vs Loughborough
One more game done and yet another game against Loughborough.
Frustratingly, another game where we can report how well the side played, how great the effort was, how glimpses of the future were obvious to see but where ultimately, the side never really looked like winning.
It wasn't all one way traffic by any stretch of the imagination but only side was likely to win. Saying that 4-0 against a side sitting in the top 3 of the league, 4-0 against a side who most in the club, I suspect, expected to run in 8,9 or 10 goals, 4-0 to a side that earlier in the season may very well have done just that. But for 2 'iffy' goals the result would have been a lot closer as well and was thoroughly deserved.
Kate as ever ran gamely around up front, hassling, dealing with scraps in attack. A couple of shots and a short corner skant reward for the effort and tenacity displayed.
In midfield the aged; Frankie, Bronwyn, Anna C and Ros (all very old in the mid teens) and the 5 teeny weeny U14 girls; Anna K, Elise, Katie, Anna G (a natural captain to organise this sort of performance on her debut with the 4s) and Emma "I am wearing a tent and don't call me small" at times moved the ball around the pitch like pros. Unfortunately their little legs were unable to keep up with opposition averaging at least 7 years older. I will, next week, ask them all to wear red pixie hats for my amusement.
At the back we had 5 heroic performances. Marion, Elsbeth (thanks for offering your support to the 4s), Sami, Emily and Francesca. Sticks, feet, arms, legs were thrown around. "Thou shalt not pass" - apart from the 4 goals! Kerry in goal was again excellent, a couple of critical saves and mopping up behind the defence throughout the game. A massive thank you to all of you.
Its a little repetitive but a really great effort. The improvement on last season and earlier on the season is enormous and I am immensely proud of your efforts, talent and skill
Now player of the match. I believe Marion was given the award by the opposition. I did however hear that Loughborough always give it to the tallest player on the opposition.
I could pick from any number of players who continue to impress me. Anna C was excellent going forward again, Anna G had a great first game for the side, the midfield pixies I may be slightly blinkered but I always love to watch playing, Ros continues to be very composed and I rarely see her resorting to ineffective 'hit and hope' hockey, Emily K and Francesca at the back were brilliant with a number of great tackles. However, for me the player who most exceeded my expectations was Emma. She turned up half asleep and I am pretty certain I heard her snoring during the pre-game team chat. However, she never stopped during the game and put her body on the line more than I have seen in previous games. Hockey is not all about effort and fitness and all of the squad have talent that will make them great assets to Leicester Hockey Club in the future, but putting yourself about physically throughout the game can certainly make it easier to compete. Emma did that in spades on Saturday and it was great to see her play with confidence and a real desire to impose herself on the opposition.
The Fourth team have an early start next week against Loughborough Students Fifths 9:00 pushback away.
FIFTHS FALTER IN BREAKFAST TIME GAME
Maybe we just hadn't had enough sleep or just one Weetabix but the 5ths lost their second match on the spin, going down 2-1 to Loughborough Town 2nds in a 9am game at Loughborough University. We started well enough and Stacey Poole, back home from Naval exercises (I'd do them if I could find my navel) made a difference, despite raising her eyebrows beyond her ponytail when told she would be in midfield. We had all the early play and took the lead when Clare Slater pivoted in the circle to fire past their keeper. We dominated periods of play and forwards were through on the keeper several times but she was in excellent form and we tended to run it into her logged pads when a dodge or lift would have done the trick.
1-0 at half-time and a positive attitude but Town hit back and despite a good save by Charlotte Parker she was powerless to prevent a Town forward following up with a goal from the rebound. Down, but not disheartened, we again took play forward and again were thwarted. Player Coach Gaynor Nash beat the keeper with a reverse stick dink but a defender cleared off the line and then the keeper made a diving left glove save from a Nash flick.
Town went down the other end and against the run of play notched a second but we continued to battle. More chances came and went and the Town defence grew in self-belief, beating our frustrated forwards to the ball. We carried on attacking and there were scrambles and near misses but Town held on and probably deserved the win in terms of possession but not in chances created, We missed the steadiness of Marion Godwin, the guile of Emma Sleeman and Anna Godwin, all strutting their stuff for the 4ths, and the energy of Judith Bensi and Sarah Levy, skiving with work commitments.
Jane Cottrell, as ever, showed great composure in defence and there were some nice touches from Alex Peet in midfield. Chiara Bensi was voted our Player of the Match by the opposition (give somebody else a chance, Chiara).
Next week is the match that I really thought would decide who would go up with Melton, Ashby 3rds. We lost 2-1 to them at Ashby in a game we led until the last five minutes and they will be tough opponents. It would be nice to send them up to the Premier League with a bit of a reminder of just how good we can be.
The match is at 1.30 at home and after watching you can catch the second half of the 1st team match!
UNDER 10S & UNDER 12S DOMINATE COUNTY TOURNAMENT
Our U10's and U12's competed this weekend in the In2 hockey tournament at Lutterworth. Both squads started their first matches strongly winning and were playing well as a team.
The second round of matches the girls again attacked their opponents in wave after wave of attacking hockey, both securing another win.
The U10's then faced a tough Ashby team for the honour of county champions and they secured this with a 3rd victory to remain undefeated across the day. The U12's to met in a final with Ashby and both teams had won all their matches so far. The girls started well and gained a 3-0 halftime lead that became 5-0 by the final whistle. They had retained their county title won last year and gained plenty of positive feedback from watching parents for their hockey played.
The future looks bright for the club as our junior setup continues to grow. Thanks to the parents today for their support and the girls for always smiling.