Leicester 1-1 Holcombe
Goal scored by Katie Long
Leicester 0-5 Lichfield
Leicester 5-0 Ashby 2s (Cup Competition)
Leicester put on a fairly conclusive performance against the Ashby 2nd team to progress to the second round of the cup competition. Ashby looked to attack a couple of times in the second half with some quick breakaways but Leicester dominated possession and kept the ball in the Ashby half to apply continuous pressure through the majority of the game.
LET'S WIN THE PLATE THEN!
Leicester 5ths knew they would be in for a tough Cup match with Loughborough Students 5ths as they had beaten our own 4ths 6-0 last time out. However, the first twenty minutes saw us frustrate the Students with some dogged play that kept the game goalless, The pressure eventually told as our defence was pulled around by great lead runs by the Students who at last got past Charlotte Parker, who'd been superb in goal. We regrouped and again made ourselves hard to get through but the Students added another before halt-time, a striker reaching a shoulder-height deflection off a defender to direct the ball into goal.
2-0 at half-time was good going and the 5ths were determined to continue in the 'tough to get past' vein. That plan was scuppered early on in the second half when the Students scored their third. We continued to battle hard and, despite ultimately conceding eight in total, most second half goals came from well worked penalty corners with four in the last ten minutes.
There were several bright spots: Emma York continues to grow in confidence, Alex Peet protected the ball well and Lauren Ellis ran tirelessly. Brightest spot was the debut of 13 year old Elena Bensi who was voted Player of the Match by the Students. It was great to see her continue the daughter/mother theme (following Anna Godwin/Marion Godwin and Emma York/Joy York) in playing alongside mum Judith.
The 5ths now play in the Plate against Ashby who lost to our 3rds.
Squad: Charlotte Parker, Alexia Scudamore, Hazel McSweeney, Aileen Bullivant, Gaynor Nash, Emma York, Judith Bensi, Elena Bensi, Sarah Levy (C), Clare Slater, Alex Peet, Jennifer Pollock, Lauren Ellis and Joy York
3-1 loss to Stourport, a drastic improvement on last years result against the same club!
3-0 loss to Repton HC. The girls battled hard with a small squad, Jenna Lloyd had a particularly good game in goal and made some oustandig saves to keep Leicester in contention.
Despite a heavy defeat at Pelicans HC, the squad worked hard and showed real promise throughout the game.
2nd Round, Championship, Final Score 2-2, Won 3-2 on penalty flicks
It was a bitterly cold and overcast Sunday when the U18 Girls travelled to old rivals Beeston for the 2nd Round of the U18 National Cup Competition (along with a large travelling cohort of supporters!).
The match started at a furious pace, and within the first couple of minutes Liv Back took an early shot at goal which was unfortunately thwarted. Beeston then took a fast break, and before the girls could blink found themselves 1-0 down. Credit to the girls who stayed steely calm and quickly regrouped. There followed a period of fast paced exciting hockey, with the Leicester Squad passing the ball around beautifully. 20 minutes in, Tara launched a fantastic ball along the right wing to Liv Back who took the ball to the edge of the Beeston D and drilled home an amazing goal from what seemed like an impossible angle. This was almost doubled when a quick attack from the Leicester girls only minutes later saw Liv send the ball centimetres past the Beeston post.
The girls’ confidence appeared to grow, and their 1-1 tackles became better and better. Both teams showed incredible grit and fitness, the pace and quality of the match never dropping for a minute. It took just a few seconds of disorganisation in the Leicester D for Beeston to seize the opportunity for a PC, which they converted minutes before Half Time, taking a 2-1 lead into the break.
The second half bore witness to some of the most exciting hockey ever produced by this talented squad – much to the delight of the travelling support. Despite one scary moment when the Beeston Centre Forward was gifted the ball (and was 1-1 with an incredibly cool and composed Gee), the girls were utterly focused, determined and calm. Captain Sophie Skelton was commanding in defence, and Gemma made some incredible tackles and blocks at the back. Vice-Captain Eleanor helped direct a solid midfield, with Hannah and Georgina both having outstanding games. Liv, Maeve, Bea, Bethan and Lydia rotated the front line regularly whilst maintaining non-stop pressure and pace. The Team slowly and determinedly pressed back, keeping the ball in the Beeston half for long periods. Neither team wanted to concede and both showed incredible work rate, but Leicester’s dogged determination was eventually rewarded with a PC which was converted with a strike from Tara Lloyd.
Coaches, crowd – and even Umpires – called for calm, as Beeston scrambled to regain control, putting Gee under pressure and treating the crowd to several sensational saves. Lucy never stopped running and working for the good of the team, Siobhan and Molly both made calm, sensible decisions on and off the ball to ensure the girls kept composure across the pitch, and Anna brought a fresh intensity and determination with her incredible work rate throughout the match. A Leicester PC in the dying seconds was missed by a hairs breadth as Tara attempted to double her tally. The match ended in deadlock at 2-2, with Penalty flicks to decide the winners.
There followed one of the most tense and exciting barrage of flicks. Both first penalty flicks were saved by the GK’s. Leicester’s second flick was also saved, but Beeston converted, putting them ahead. Both Liv and Anna converted their flicks, and another fine save by Gee left both teams on 2 flicks each with 1 to take. Tara stepped up for the final Leicester flick, and calmly found the back of the net. Gee stepped up for Beeston’s final flick – which she needed to save to prevent a second barrage of flicks. She made an amazing save, and the Squad began to celebrate – only to be informed by the Umpires that Gee had moved off her line too early, and the flick had to be retaken.
With nerves of steel. Gee stepped up for the 6th time, and as if it were entirely normal saved the penalty flick yet again. The Leicester girls had won 3-2 on penalty flicks, and Gee was undoubtedly our Man of the Match.
Huge credit to this incredible Squad of 20 girls - even the 4 who didn’t play yesterday were either at Beeston supporting the team or travelling with other Leicester Squads as Assistant Coaches. Whether playing 3 minutes or 70, to a man they understand that each and every one of them is as important as the next. Thanks as well to our incredible team of travelling supporters who cheered the girls on braving a bitterly cold evening. Our thanks also go to Beeston for a fantastic nail biting match and their wonderful post match hospitality. Losing on flicks is always difficult.
The girls now progress through to the final 16 of the Competition, but for the next few weeks turn their attention to the forthcoming Indoor Season.