LEICESTER DRAW AWAY FROM HOME
The travel packed morning saw the girls hit the turf half asleep. Ben Rhydding came out fighting and slotted two Penalty corner goals to the left corner with pin point accuracy and speed.
Going into half time Leicester were two goals down, some stern words from the coach and captain pushed the girls to start the second half with strength.
Holding possession well, sharpening up on basics saw mid fielder Lizzie Honarmand picking up a rebound off the keeper to knock a up right reverse past the keepers right foot. Leicester's energy levels were high when Ben Rhydding gave midfielder Rachel Mack too much time on the ball, she did what she does best and put a clean hard hit past the keeper.
With time running low attacker Anna Elson positioned herself in the press for an easy turn over, eliminating their defence she passed the ball through to New Zealand player Oriwa Hepi for a reverse shot to put Leicester up 3-2. Unfortunately a lapse saw Ben Rhydding equalise on a PC down the same side only minutes after.
The game finished 3-3 gifting Leicester another point away from home. Leicester sit second on the table, 3 points behind Loughborough Students going into the outdoor season break.
TWOS FIGHT BACK TO BEAT LICHFIELD
Leicester hosted Lichfield knowing that only a win would be good enough to stay in touching distance of the team teams above them going into the Christmas break.
Lichfield started the stronger of the two sides creating a number of opportunities and calling Jenna into action. It took a short corner for Lichfield to open the scoring with a somewhat lucky deflection on the right post beating first Jenna and then Jen.
The first half continued with more of the same with Leicester making silly mistake and struggling to get a foothold in the game.
Leicester’s best chance came from a short corner, Jen's initial shot was saved and the ball fell to Lauren who’s shot was deflected high in the air. The resulting corner provided the first bit of drama of the game with the ball striking the defender on the line but the umpires ruling the keeper was capable of making the save had she not been there.
The sides went into half time with Lichfield leading 1-0. The away side probably feeling unlucky not to be leading by more.
The second half started with much of the same and it was a slick left slip move that beat Jenna and doubled Lichfield’s lead. However, this spurred Leicester into life and for the last 25 minutes it was like watching a different side.
The home side got one back through Harriet when her first shot was blocked at a penalty corner she picked up the rebound and calmly finished. This was shortly followed by a fantastic finish from the left shoulder of the circle. Harriet picked the ball up and riffles a reverse stick shot across the face of goal into the bottom corner.
At 2-2 a flurry of cards for both sides, Including Megan taking a green on behalf of Gemma in a case of mistaken identity.
By this time it was all Leicester. Lichfield’s attacks had come down to rare entries into the Leicester half. Despite the pressure Leicester couldn’t create any clear cut opportunities.
With three minutes to go Leicester won a penalty corner and after a scramble in front of goal Sandy's shot was deflected into a defenders foot on the line. This time there was no doubt, penalty stroke! Sandy, back in her normal position at the opposite end of the pitch, stepped up and slotted past the goalkeeper.
Immediately from push back Alice picked up a green card for an enthusiastic tackle.
The remaining minutes followed the pattern of previous 20, Leicester dominant and on the front foot.
The game ended in bizarre fashion with a Leicester penalty corner and some discussion from the Lichfield bench as to whether they would defend it. The away side stepped in to defend and kept Leicester out. Leicester finished 3-2 winners and three points taking them to within one point of the visitors.
MORE STUDENTS, AN IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
Another early morning visit to Loughborough, another quick stop off at Costa (there are other coffee shops available) and preparation for another game against students.
The pre match vibe was positive with India and Jodie making their Third team debut and stand in coach Annie welcomed along.
This season we have struggled to score goals, it has limited us throughout the season and this week, frustratingly again. The first half was a little to-and-fro-y. Neither side dominating, we certainly had the better chances but were just unable to force the break through despite some excellent work from youngster Sophie.
The second half however was different gravy. We had all the play, created plenty of half chances and put the students under a lot of pressure in their circle. Chances came and went until debutant Jodie neatly deflected the ball which taking a tough from the keeper found the back of the net. We didn't settle on the one though, piling forward in numbers and creating more and more good chances. We couldn't however get that second goal.
Last touch of the game, students broke forward, a little hesitation at the back and a sneaky touch in front of keeper Cas found the near corner to pull the students level on the final whistle.
We deserved the win, playing some excellent passing hockey and creating many chances along the way. No cards given and clean tackling across the pitch means training must be paying off. Credit to the students who played well enough to earn a draw in the dying moments.
Thank you to all who participated: Cas, Jess, Casey, Ellie, Elsbeth, Katie, Anna, Jodie, Karen, Lauren, India, Roshni (player of the match), Sophie (who continues to impress each week) and Simran. Thanks also to Annie (and baby Sophia and husband Chris) for getting up early to manage the side.
4s VS MELTON
Week by week this squad changes and new faces are added to the team. It was however a welcome back after a long injury to Jane who volunteered to go in goal.
The play started evenly as Melton looked to feed the ball to their dangerous players but a watchful Eve and Sarah kept any attacks at bay. We did play some great fantastic passing hockey through a strong midfield of Emily, Eleanor and the outstanding Anna C. A real achievement this week for Anna was to maintain her aggressive play with no cards from the umpires!
0-0 at halftime and lots to be pleased about and Leicester continued to dominate but could not find that elusive goal.
Two strikes from short corners gave Melton a lead that they defended to the final whistle.
Player of the match: Anna Chapman.
5THS HIT FOR SIX
Leicester 5ths came a cropper against League leaders Charnwood-Sileby (hereafter Charnby). After an even start, we went a goal down when Charnby reacted best to a great PC save by Aleena Moti. Five minutes further on they scored again almost identically, following up another save from Aleena. We came back into the game winning some PCs of our own with Player Coach Gaynor Nash putting one flick just over the bar. A few minutes later it was a disastrous pass from Nash that led to Charnby’s dangerous forward wriggling into the circle to score past the luckless Aleena.
At half time there were a couple of issues to resolve. We had a PC defence reorganisation, deciding to run a box to have more players there to pick up rebounds. We also had to work out how to defend against their dangerous forward whose preference is to play one handed and matches this with impressive speed. The advice to stop her early didn’t really work as she proved too elusive to foul!
The box defence did work though and we didn’t concede from shorts with Aleena making determined blocks. Charnby did, however, score three field goals, all resulting from good teamwork. We made fewer chances but battled hard and enjoyed the game. We could have done with a few more players with the energy of Libby Haward, chosen by Charnby as our Player of the Match.
That’s it in the League for this half of the season and we go into the break mid-table.
Squad: Aleena Moti, Alexia Scudamore, Rosemary Jacques, Sophie Vincent, Anna Kellie, Jennifer Pollock, Ails Bullivant, Lydia Cross (c), Gaynor Nash, Libby Haward, Eleanor Partridge and Joy York.
Another game conceded, unfortunately this week against Ashby so Leicester City are gifted 3-0 win. The side have their last game before the Christmas break next week against West Bridgford 10s 12:00 pushback away
This was the first tournament the U10s have played in as a team.
Unfortunately Coalville could not get a team out and Loughborough Town could only provided 4 girls (who joined the Ashby to make 2 teams). Leicester U10s had 9 players and no goalkeeper and captained by Sophia.
We played our first game against Ashby's 1s U10 team, with a kicking back, mainly played by Annabel. The girls played well, supporting each other and Millie & Lucia standing strong in defence stopped wave after wave of attacks from Ashby 1s, with a few counter attacks of our own with their keeper denying us. However the inevitable goal finally came for Ashby towards the end of the game, narrowly losing 0-1.
Our next game against Ashby 2s U10 team, was a different story. We borrowed the Ashby 1s keeper for this game (rather than standing in the cold waiting for the next game) but she did not see the ball and was made redundant. Leicester were dominant in this game showing composure on the ball, passing the ball backwards when nothing was on, going forward and then getting the ball out of congested spaces by either passing it wide or running wide into the spaces. Shots and goals came from pushes, hits, runs over the line, deflected/taped in far post, passed around the goalkeeper and even a cracking reverse hit by Georgia who had a great tournament and was therefore voted player of the match.
Squad: Annabel, Millie, Lucia, Megan, Ava, Jessica, Georgia, Sophia and Alice
On Sunday Leicester Ladies hosted our first U8s Hockey Tournament of the season. The tournament consisted of teams from Ashby and Loughborough Town. The results for Leicester are as follows
Leicester 3 - Loughborough 0
Leicester 1 - Ashby 1
Leicester 0 - Loughborough 1
Leicester 0 - Ashby 1
The girls played so well - they just got stuck in. There were tears as players got hit with stick and ball but in every case the girls brushed themselves off and got on with it. They really got in the zone, at one point nobody wanted to be a defender because they all wanted to score...Bees round honey springs to mind. In all the matches the play was in the oppositions half and the girls were very unlucky, as it could easily have been 4 wins out of 4. The final match against Ashby was fantastic, the girls played out of their skin..with the parents getting into the spirt of things, getting louder and louder as the match progressed, however in the end it was not to be, Ashby winning by a single goal. The girls showed tenacity, determination and courage and they will only get better..watch out the 1st team this lot want your places (maybe in 10 years time).
Very Well Done to Olivia M, Charlotte D, Emily D (the youngest - just 7), Arya R, Issy R, Ramona W, Clarissa P and Leeyate R
The next competition will be at Ashby on 20 Jan 19, see you at training on Sunday