After a disappointing result against Slough last week Leicester were keen to put down a good performance to regain confidence and obtain vital points against a Canterbury side who are yet to win this season. Although Canterbury have had a poor start they still show glimpse of fast counterattacking hockey.
In the first few minutes there was end to end hockey with both keepers being involved and both teams rewarded with penalty corners which neither were able to capitalise on. After a physical start Leicester gained control of the game, scoring two excellent team goals through Lizzie Honarmand and Katie Long. With five minutes until halftime, Canterbury piled on the pressure testing the Leicester defence. With the last fixture against Canterbury fresh in the Leicester players minds they knew they couldn’t let Canterbury back into the game.
Leicester approached the second half looking to cement their lead with another goal. Both teams had chances however it took until final fifteen minutes for the Leicester to find the back of the net through Lizzie Honarmand capitalising on a loose ball after a penalty corner. Its wasn’t long until Katie Long also found her second goal of the game which can only be described as a “worldie”. Canterbury scored a late consolation goal with two minutes to go.
A great win and brilliant to be finding the back of the net once again.
Leicester 2-0 Northampton Saints
Leicester 5-0 Loughborough Students 5s
Goals for Anna Chapman (2), Annie Sibson, Lucy Ring and Hephzibah Smalley-Kaspruk
Player of the Match Casey Humphreys
Loughborough Students 4ths 7-1 Leicester 4ths
Goal Scorer Chiara Bensi, Player of the Match– Katie Evans Puttick
Captain Jenny Maddison’s team talk rallied the troops ready for the start of what we all knew was going to be a very difficult game.
We, unfortunately, were not mistaken. In the first minute the Students showed their skill and speed forcing a short corner. Good defensive work from Jane , Jenny Emma, Georgia and Anna G, combined with great saves from Kerry kept the ball out of the net.
On the 12th minute the deadlock was broken, a shot from the short corner was deflected by Georgia, followed by Kerry, then pinballed around the D before being eventually slotted in, 1-0 Loughborough Students. Loughborough’s goal and constant pressure increased Leicester’s determination. A great steal from Claire in midfield was followed by an impressive run through the middle of the pitch. Undeterred by the numerous stick tackles that came flying in as Loughborough struggled to keep up with her pace and skill Claire managed to get into the D to win a short corner which Chiria slotted in to the near post. 1-1!
The midfield battled hard with Katie, Anna, Emma, Margot and Elise frustrating the Students with their irritating fitness and speed giving them very little time on the ball. A goal disallowed and a double save by Kerry meant the game entered the 20thminute all square but with the Students continuing to pile on the pressure. A clearance out of defence was picked up by Chiara on the half way line, she used her speed well to out run the retreating students and only a terrific save by the goalkeeper prevented Leicester taking the lead.
The defence and midfield battled tirelessly trying to get the ball out to Abi, Chiaria and Caitlin at every opportunity however despite several last ditch tackles the students got their 2nd goal on the 30th minute. 2-1, Loughborough regained the lead.
The game continued with further pressure from the students resulting in a 3rd goal within minutes. The young Leicester side (including those who maybe a little older but young at heart) however continued to work hard together and a tackle from Georgia, out to Emma was followed by a superb pass to Abi who was only denied by the skill of the GK. A cruel, scrappy goal at the end of the half resulted in a 4-1 scoreline at half time.
The second half continued as the first half half ended. An early battle in the Leicester D meant the ball pinballed around and despite many attempts of clearing from our defenders the Students eventually slipped in their 5th, followed in quick succession by a shot from the edge to make it 6-1. Shocked but not disheartened Leicester attacked from the push back, a fine pass by Emma to Katie and out to Abi put pressure on the Loughborough defence. The Students rallied again but a steal from Anna K in midfield out to Caitlain resulted in a further chance on goal. Great defensive work by Margot, resulted in a great pass from Anna out to Claire and a further short corner gained. Great defending by the Students prevented what would have been a well deserved goal and then to add to the injustice they had the cheek to go down the other end and score an amazing shot from the edge leaving Kerry with no chance! 7-1.
As on Wednesday there were many positives to take from the game. The high scoreline was not as high as the 13-0 last season. The stunning attitude from every player on the pitch was demonstrated by how hard each player worked for each other, how players learnt from their mistakes and came back stronger and rather than allowing their heads to fall as the goals flew in, players became even more determined. Final plus point Coach Dave got his hat trick...3rd game without being told off by the Umpire.
Leicester 5ths beat Market Harborough 3rds 9-1 on Saturday but. having been 6-0 up at the break, there was a slight air of deflation at the end, to have only scored three in the second half.
The first goal came quite quickly with Jennifer Pollock arriving at the far post to neatly deflect the ball home from Clare Slater's cross. Further goals arrived from Lydia Cross who showed fantastic persistence in netting four times and Clare Slater with a very crisp finish.
Harborough upped their game in the second half and, to be honest, the zip went out of Leicester, knowing the game to be well won. Nonetheless, three more goals were added by the 5ths. Captain Sarah Levy chipped in with a good goal, Clare Slater scored a beauty, lifting the ball in from a narrow angle, and Lydia added a fifth and was rightly judged Player of the Match. With Leicester going off the boil, Harborough brought Charlotte Parker into action and then, with Leicester players stopping when the whistle blew on the other pitch, a Harborough forward drove a good goal past Charlotte to make it 9-1.
The side currently sits third in the League, one point off the top. Next week there is no League match but the side plays a Cup Preliminary round against Leicester University 2nds
On Sunday, Leicester hosted an under 10s tournament, while the under 12s travelled to Lutterworth for a tournament.
This meant every child under the age of 12 at The Academy was given the opportunity to get some gameplay experience in a number of shorter 7-a-side games.
The Leicester teams were hugely successful, with girls from across the age groups demostrating the skills they've learnt on a Sunday at training, and it was clear to see the wonderful impact The Academy is having on junior hockey at the club.