Everybody woke up on Sunday the 13th of February expecting the match to be called off due to the constant downpour, however, with the pitch still in a ‘playable’ state, the match went on. Despite the horrible weather, we still had a full squad and subs bench, with all the girls raring to go and excited to get extra muddy (sorry parents!). This was our second time playing Whitchurch U10s, so we were desperate to bag a win. The rain and cold caused us to start off hesitant. Our starting defenders (Rosie and Eleanor) were on their toes at the back, kicking away any passes that managed to get through midfield. Our midfield consisted of our captain Isla in the middle, supporting Zoe and Bonnie on the wings, who were quickly feeding the ball through to Poppy upfront, who kept having chances but none quite hitting the back of the net. With the weather being terrible we were rolling our subs on and off quickly to keep everybody warm. Our defenders were being switched around regularly, but all 5 of them (Rosie, Eleanor, Susie, Leah and Niamh) were having a beautiful game, using their strength to stop all Whitchurch attacks. With half-time nearing we were still looking for our first goal of the match. A lovely run from Bonnie up the wing saw Zoe receive the ball, Zoe then crossed it to Alice on the edge of the box, who hit it with all her power, but the Whitchurch defender managed to get her toes to it, stopping what was almost a beautiful goal. Our time soon came though with a wonderful shot from Isla. A long throw-in from Evie (who’s throws are amazing by the way!) saw Isla receive the ball in the box. Isla turned and blasted the ball into the back of the goal, nutmegging the goalkeeper. We entered half-time with our heads held high.
It was still raining so half-time was a quick team talk and drink before we were back on the pitch to stay warm. Poppy started out as our central-midfielder, showing strength and confidence in a new position. We carried on with our lovely runs up the wing, with beautiful crosses into the box being shown by Evie, Zoe and Bonnie. Our defenders were gaining confidence in going up the pitch to make tackles and win back the ball, knowing they were in safe hands with Abbie in goal (who hadn’t actually had to do much and was getting a bit chilly!). The game was well balanced, with both us and Whichurch putting up a hard fight and making scoring goals difficult. Sophie had a couple of chances, receiving the ball on the edge of the box, but their defence were quick to put in tackles, stopping us from putting pressure on their goalkeeper. Another strong run up the wing from Zoe saw her have a chance on goal, sending in a powerful shot but it went straight to the goalkeeper who hit it away. This deflection happened to land right at Isla’s feet who fired it straight into the back of the net with no hesitation. With not long left of the match we carried on till the very end, Niamh was putting in a strong performance in defence, confidently tackling and passing the ball onto midfield. The final whistle was soon blown and despite being drenched through, spirits were high.
A strong performance by all the girls from start to finish today, despite the weather everybody played at their very best. Our Star Players went to Isla (for scoring both goals and controlling the game well in centre-mid) and Bonnie (for her strong runs up the wing and for never stopping running). Hopefully next week we have the sun back!
Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).