FIRSTS GRIND OUT A WIN
Both team knew from the start that this clash was going to be a tough match. Leicester and Brooklands sit 2nd and 3rd in the league table respectively so it was important for both teams to come away with a win.
Brooklands had an aggressive start attacking Leicester’s D and forcing a couple of saves from Leicester keeper Caitlin Jeffries. Leicester started to break through with a few nice counter attacks but the match remained goalless until just before half time where a short corner saw Leicester’s Jodie Connelly fire a drag flick into the back of the net.
The second half started equal with nice attacking play from both teams, however the last 15 minutes of the game Brooklands really seemed to dominate with the majority of possession. Leicester had to defend hard and clung on through gritted teeth to secure the three points and a 1-0 victory.
A special mention must be made to Leicester captain Caitlin Jeffries whose goalkeeping talent kept Leicester in the match.
TWOS SHARE THE POINTS
Leicester 1 v North Notts 1
Leicester 2 enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but failed to capitalise on a number of excellent chances against North Notts.
Leicester misses several clear cut opportunities in the first half which should have seen them go into the break 3-0 up but they failed to convert and went into the break at 0-0. The end of the first half was marred by a tackle worthy of the Six Nations which left a Leicester player needing treatment.
The second half was much of the same, many chances came and went but it was the away side who broke the deadlock. With Leicester caught out of position one long hit down downfield took a deflection and it fell to the centre forward who took a touch and put it into the goal.
Leicester responded with more chances, and more misses before Sandy finished from close range to draw the teams level.
The game finished 1-1 and no one is entirely sure how.
THREES WIN AWAY AT MELTON
Leicester 3s travelled to Melton with a hope to keep their winning run going. A fine start by Melton and some unusually untidy play by Leicester gave Melton a few early chances and kept the defence busy. Fortunately the evil eye from Paul from his umpiring position and Carol's fine advice from the sideline ensured we quickly got back into our stride and several near misses concluded with Jodie finding the net with a fine strike just outside the D- surely that should count for 2 if you score outside of the D, but apparently not, the score remained 0-0.
Leicester continued to play 'real' hockey, building from the back, using the whole pitch and applying pressure on a very well organised Melton team. Unfortunately just before half time it was Melton who broke quickly with a hard hit up field, accurate pass across the D and a fortunate deflection put is passed the diving keeper Cas.
Leicester responded brilliantly after half time, continuing to play with patience and skill and a short corner resulted in another superb strike from Jodie Masser and the well deserved equalliser. Leicester's well organised defence played exceptionally well to ensure that Melton's chances were limited while good attacking play saw Leicester scored a further 2 goals. Emma Sleeman off another short corner nicking the ball in on the left post following her injection and India Norwood the final Leicester goal after some nice passing hockey, both showed skill and determination to ensure Leicester 3s finished the game victorious, 3-1.
The winning run continues. Well done to Jodie Masser for player of the match and a big thank you to coaches Paul and Carol however I think Sophia Sibson's presence on the sideline is definitely our good luck mascot...so if we could also have your mom back Sofia...
Squad: Cas Evans (GK), Anna Chapman, Anna Kendall, Casey Humphreys, Elise Atkinson, Ellie Lineham, Emma Sleeman, Eve Moss, India Norwood, Jess Duffy, Josie Massey, Katie Evans-Puttick, Lauren Clough
FOUTHS IN BOTTOM OF THE TABLE CLASH VS ASHBY 2S
The fourth team now sit one point ahead of bottom of the table Ashby as they fought to a 1:1 draw at home sharing the points.
Squad: Aleena Moti (GK), Alexia Scudamore, Anna Godwin, Caitlin Pittham, Chiara Bensi, Elena Bensi, Emily Kendall, Jane Worlding, Karen Dixon, Lauren Ellis, Liv Kirk, Lydia Cross, Marion Godwin, Sarah Robinson
5THS FIGHTBACK FALLS SHORT
February half term eh? That time when you realise that several of your players are swooshing down the piste or enjoying gluwein rather than making themselves available for a match at Ashby. We also lost Hazel late on to a nasty bug. Thus it was that 11 of us intrepid souls made our way to north west Leicestershire, some via circuitous routes (well, me anyway). New to the side were Poppy in goal and Liv at left defence, both of whom were great. We also managed to call in Abi and Tara from the 4ths and, again, both made really valuable contributions.
We started a little shakily and went a goal down after about fifteen minutes. I can’t even remember how it was scored but we probably made a couple of half tackles and didn’t mark all that well. That was certainly the case for their second. A nameless person (ok, me) went on a foray from the back and failed to recover when we lost the ball. We then lost it again and an Ashby player was on the back post for a nice little tap in.
We gathered for a positive team talk and were much better in the second half. Jennifer Pollock moved into centre midfield with Abi going out to the right and we began to press Ashby back. We were aided by Ashby injuries, one self inflicted and the second when their runner at a PC was a bit fast out and caught a Nash flick on the side of the noggin. We had some bad luck in their circle, one shot at a PC striking the post and our strikers just failing to get shots off at key times but Tara found space to latch onto a good long ball to calmly push past their keeper and narrow the score line.
We were pressing hard for a leveller at the final whistle and probably deserved that on the balance of play, final score 2-1.
Next weekend is the second when we will lose people with more disposable income than me as we take on high flying Loughborough Town 3rds.
Squad: Poppy Page, Liv Watson, Jane Cottrell, Gaynor Nash, Emma York, Abigail Archer, Alex Peet, Jennifer Pollock, Tara Bahra, Eleanor Partridge and Joy York.
No game for the Leicester City this week but they face a double header next weekend with League leaders Beeston 7s at home on Saturday and a rearranged home fixture against Barton 4s on Sunday
LEICESTER FIGHT HARD AGAINST HIGH FLYING NOTTINGHAM UNI
Leicester 1 v University of Nottingham 4
From being the dominant to facing the formidable University of Nottingham, a national league side in waiting.
It was the away side who started brightly and took the lead winning a penalty corner after only two minutes. A smart penalty spot deflection took it beyond Jenna in the Leicester goal. University of Nottingham continued to dominate possession but create very few clear-cut opportunities. After a barrage of corners University of Nottingham scored two more before the half time break.
The second half started with UoN on top but Leicester’s impressive defensive structure and work rate limited their chances. Jenna was rarely called upon in open play. The home side looked like they could cause some damage on the break and it wasn’t long before Leicester won a penalty corner of their own. A straight flick from the top took a deflection and went narrowly wide. A few minutes later Leicester won another corner and although it broke down Lydia finished calmly to pull a goal back. Leicester went on to miss two 1 on 1s against the keeper before University of Nottingham scored a fourth, another goal from a penalty corner.
University of Nottingham won a number of penalty corners in the second half but struggled to convert with Jenna, Megan, Carys, Jodie, Gemma and Ellie keeping them at bay.
An excellent performance by Leicester 2 against the strongest side in the league who are destined for promotion.