VICTORY OVER FORMIDABLE FYLDE
Saturday 17th saw the last home match before Christmas. Fylde, one of our further away opponents, arrived brightly from their journey from the North West and took that into the game.
Their pressure was relentless and it took a long time into the 1st half and some good counter attacking from Leicester to take the first goal a Liz George deflection high into the Fylde net.
It ended at half time 1-0 and the second half was more of the same, Fylde were again constantly working and the Leicester defence held tight as they were put under the cosh for what seemed like an age. Eventually Leicester cranked up a gear into the second half scoring after another Liz George sliding slotted goal to take it to 2-0.
The game was end to end throughout and despite the score, Fylde proved to be great competitors and not an easy team to beat, even at home.
This win takes Leicester to 2nd in the table, chasing down leaders Loughborough who are only 1 point ahead after their draw with Sutton.
TWOS DENIED BY HARBOURNE
Leicester 2s started the game in their traditional way by gifting possession to the opposition within the opening seconds of the game. However, despite an early attack it was Leicester who dominated proceedings.
Leicester's best chance to open the scoring came after a powerful run by Kitty resulted in a penalty corner. Jen's first shot was deflected and Carys put the ball beyond the goalkeeper but a recovering defender managed to scramble the ball away on the line. Leicester continued to dominate with a large number of left side circle entries but failed to convert chances.
It was Harbourne who opened the scoring when an ambitious solo run from inside their own half ended with the ball trickling over the Leicester goal line.
The second half was more of the same with Leicester dominating territory but failing to convert this into clear goal scoring opportunities.
The game finished 1-0.
EVEN STEVENS FOR THE FOURS
On Saturday 17th November, it was an early start for the 4ths team. It was a chilly day, but we were ready as ever to play against Half Century. It was 35 minutes each way, and we had 4 rolling substitutes. Sarah Levy was our captain for the match
As the first whistle went we were raring to go and there was some superb work from Sophie Levy and Sarah Robinson, working as a team to win the ball. This resulted in an early short corner to us, which we didn’t use to our full advantage, Caitlin Pittham took a cracking strike, but it was off target. Despite this, our press was very good, and we did well to intercept the ball from sixteens and did well on the counter attack. At times, in the first half, we were guilty of losing possession too easily due to lack of ball pace, and our angles weren’t right, making it easy for Half Century to take possession from us. In defence, on the few short corners Half century gained we did well to work together and get the ball out of the D. At times we lacked composure and missed some great leading runs, by the forwards but the mid-fielders got back extremely fast when they turned over the ball, meaning they were outnumbered, and some great tackles were shown as practiced in training on Wednesday night.
During the second half, we knew we had to get a goal and up our game. There was some amazing hockey and we were transferring the ball from one side of the pitch to the other well, with accuracy and speed. This subsequently created many opportunities in the D, but we just weren’t getting our shots off as quick as we could, and before we knew it the opposition had taken the ball from us with ease. Our marking however was very good, giving the opposition limited options. You could see how much more we wanted it in the second half compared to the first, by attempting to do things such as up the ball speed and attempting to meet the ball and be the first to it. Throughout the whole of the match Cas Evans did an unbelievable job in goal once again, making some superb saves, clearing the ball out to players and recognising the space on the width. Opportunities in the D were well put together by the team collectively, but unfortunately, we couldn’t put the ball away, and neither could the opposition, resulting in a 0-0 draw.
I would like to thank the two umpires, and Gaynor Nash for coaching us and being very supportive and useful on the side-line to help us play to our full potential.
I KNOW IT’S A CLICHE
Talking about something as a game of two halves is a definite sporting cliche. The trouble with cliches is that they are born out of truth. The 5th team game against Lutterworth was a classic example of the cliche in action.
We began like rabbits in headlights, mesmerised as Lutterworth captain Catherine Brown ran the game. We waved her through, almost applauding as she ran from halfway into our D to slot two near identical goals past the exposed Aleena Moti. When we managed to compose ourselves we looked fairly dangerous but they were steady at the back and we struggled to pressurise their defence. We looked to be getting back into the game but then they were awarded a penalty corner. Several of us thought this a harsh award as their striker flicked the ball into the venerable Rosemary’s shoulder. Expecting a free to us we were surprised that it was deemed a shot on target rather than dangerous play. From the PC they were able to extend their lead.
The halftime talk reflected upon improvement in the second half of the half. The team was encouraged to see the game as 0-0 still, so, in that context, we won the game 2-0 as in the second half we responded superbly to make a real game of it. We spurned a number of PC opportunities but got back into the game with an excellent deflection from Lauren Ellis from a further PC. We then got closer to Lutterworth with a well taken goal from Joy York and it was game on for the last fifteen minutes. Aleena was still called upon to make a few smart saves but with Abby Archer marauding down the right and Jennifer Pollock showing good touches in a midfield role we were the side most likely to score. Sadly, we ran out of time and the game ended 3-2 to Lutterworth with Abby selected as our Player of the Match.
Our final League match before Christmas is next Saturday, away to Charnwood Sileby.
Squad: Aleena Moti, Abby Archer, Hazel McSweeney, Rosemary Jacques, Jane Cottrell, Emma York, Ails Bullivant, Anna Kellie, Alex Peet, Jennifer Pollock, Lydia Cross, Joy York, Eleanor Partridge and Lauren Ellis.
BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT IN LOUGHBOROUGH
A change of start time saw Leicester City on the back foot going into their first game in two weeks with only 11 players and the opposition looking like they had 20!
Leicester showed great intent from the start with Boycie playing the ball straight into a Loughborough Town knee and Luke passing the ball straight off the pitch at a sideline ball! Town had a number of attacking opportunities but all were calmly dealt with by Jason in goal and the defensive unit of Paul, Ross, Boycie and Luke.
Leicester applied plenty of pressure and Loughborough saw a card given after 9 minutes for not retreating 5 from the ball carrier (David H). Two short corner opportunities were bravely saved by the Town kicking back, one from a David H drag flick and the other a straight strike from Paul. David M and debutant Robbie worked hard pulling the Town defence high and putting them under plenty of early pressure.
Loughborough's best attacking opportunities occured 22-25 minutes into the game after a loose ball out of defence was intercepted and Jason was forced to make repeated scrambled saves and acquitted himself well with stong clearances. A second chance shortly afterwards saw a committed attacking slide to back post but cut out again by Jason.
Leicester started the second half with great intent and a mazy run from Paul drew a swinging tackle and an early green card to Town. Shortly after Devan fired a great ball into the D and a sliding David M was unfortuntely cut by the Town kicking back. Robbie put the ball just wide of the goal after a defensive mishap in the D saw him sneak the ball on the back post.
45 minutes into the game and arguably against the run of play Town broke the deadlock with a strike from the right hand side snuck through Jason's legs to hit the backboard. Loughborough had another opportunity from the top of the D and thankfully for Leicester lobbed the ball high over the goal and backline. On 50 minutes as a loose pass from a 16 was intercepted and swept in from the top of the D to make it 2-0 to Town.
Leicester continued to battle and stayed int he game playing some great passing hockey out of defence and midfield but found themselves unable to get results in a very packed Loughborough D. Two more cards were shown in quick succession to Town players but Leicester still failed to capitalise on the player overlap instead Ross took his own trip to the naughty chair for not retreating 5 after an infringement.
The final play of the game came sooner than everyone expected and was another short corner. Leicester changed it up opting to play the ball around the area but Town packed the centre of the D, doing enough to deny Leicester a consolation goal.
Leicester will be disappointed to find themselves on the losing side having not capitalised on their numerous opportunities.
Next week the side will be looking to get back to winning ways at home vs Burton 5s 3:30 pushback
U16’s V STOURPORT
On a bright sunny November day, the U16’s travelled to Stourport for what they knew would be a tough match, with the opponents currently unbeaten in this T1 League.
Stourport showed their intentions early on, with quick fluid passing and a high press – doubled with a hugely competent Centre Forward. Within the first 2 minutes they had their first shot on goal, which was brilliantly saved by our incredibly young GK Hannah Carmichael. However, our defenders had been caught napping, and the ball quickly found the back of the net on the rebound.
The girls fought straight back, and looked dangerous on the attack. A shot at goal was – unfortunately – fired straight at the Stourport keeper, who as a result kept it out of the net. Some lovely hockey followed, with Captain Etta organising her defence, but as with the previous game the girls continued to concede silly PC’s at a quick rate. 3 PC’s followed in quick succession, with Margot once again as brave as a lion running out, and Hannah growing in confidence by the minute. By the 10th minute, we were already up to our 6th conceded PC. Unfortunately, our staunch defender Margot was undergoing ‘running repairs’ from a previous PC (and has been INSTRUCTED that gloves are now a NECESSITY) and Stourport got their second goal.
Despite the constant barrage and high Stourport press, the Leicester Squad remained staunch. They continued to show glimpses of quality passing play, but the opposition gave little opportunity for them to build up real fluency. Maisie, India and Chiara all had a superb game, pressing hard and passing fluently when given the chance, with Rose and Millie constantly trying to offer leads when available.
At HT, the score was 0-4 to Stourport. However, we had by now conceded 12 PC’s. We had also seen Leicester have 5 entries into the opponent’s D, and 4 serious chances on goal (none of which were converted unfortunately).
The second half was a huge improvement. The Squad held their shape and linked together some great passing play (a particularly brilliant passage of play between Margot, India and Maisie being just one example). They looked far more dangerous, and Stourport looked more on the back foot. Katie and Maisie were tigers on the wings, throwing in endless crunching tackles. Margot (with continuing running repairs) seemed to be everywhere on the pitch at once, and Etta controlled a staunch defence, with Alexia and Josie both shining. However, it was also much of a similar story with the girls continuing to concede the PC’s, (and Stourport also had some great chances from open play). 12 year old Hannah made some magnificent saves, which belied her age! Emma Caitlin, Anna and Elise were real workhorses, and another youngster in the team – Jasmine – was fearless in midfield.
Nonetheless, despite looking dangerous on the attack our lack of discipline in the D was our downfall. By the end of the game, we had conceded an unprecedented 20 PC’s. We had penetrated the Stourport D 9 times, and had seen 7 realistic scoring opportunities (none of which were converted). The final score line was Leicester 0-7 Stourport, but when taking the above statistics into account, it goes to show two thing;
1: This team are outstanding at defending PC’s
2: If more goal chances are converted, they will be a very dangerous opponent
A huge thank you to the team - who never once let their heads go down and were an absolute credit to the Club - and to the HUGE number of travelling supporters for travelling such a long way. Thanks also to Steph for Coaching and David Hill for umpiring, and of course to Stourport for their wonderful hospitality – good luck in the competition going forward.
PLAYER’S PLAYER: Etta Magill
COACH’S MOM: Margot Buchanan (with Hannah Carmichael a close 2nd)
IDIOT OF THE DAY: Margot – for not wearing gloves, what are you buying this week...?
Lost 16-0 against an extremely strong Beeston side.
Our very inexperienced U14 side kept their heads up throughout the game and never stopped battling and in the second half were unlucky to not score. There were particularly gutsy performances from Sophie, Tara, Bella, Catherine and Libby
U12 NAIL SUCCESS AGAINST BELPER
Our U12s took on Belper, nicknamed the Nailers, and hammered out a couple of victories across four matches. At the visitors’ request we played a Y6 side and a Y7 side, each was well matched with their opponents. The first round of matches saw the Y7 side get a 0-0 draw and the Y6 side lose narrowly 1-0. In the Y7 game Amelia in goal made some top class saves.
The next round of matches saw Belper change their teams slightly, allegedly to strengthen their older side with three of the best Y6 players. Our younger side took advantage of this in the second game and romped to a 3-0 win. Our Y7 girls took the game to Belper and despite a heavy fall by our playmaker Alice we were 0-0 at halftime.
In the second half a recovered Alice went on a forceful run down the right and finished in style with a shot across their keeper. We held on for a really good 1-0 win against a decent Belper side.
Very well done to young coach Abby Archer and her Y6 girls. Special mention for Mishka who stepped up to play with the Y7 side as we had more Y6 than Y7.
Y6 - Emily, Georgia, Tilly, Issy, Darcey, Shonali, Karan, Anna Maria, Imara, Olivia
Y7 - Amelia, Gracie, Grace, Alice, Katie, Clemmie, Claudia, Jemima, Mishka