With a last minute location change, we all arrived at St Bedes bright and early for a 10am kick off on Sunday the 6th March. Due to the size of the pitch we agreed with Downend to play 8v8 rather than our normal 7v7. Following our usual warm up (lead by Sophie this week) and shooting practise, we were ready to go.
With the girls not used to 3g astro it took a little while for us to settle into the game, letting Downend get on the front foot from the very start. We soon adapted and it only took Sophie 8 minutes to find the back of the net. Sophie was pressing high and tackled one of their defenders on the edge of the box, before firing it into the bottom left corner. With only 2 subs due to us playing 8-a-side, Eleanor stepped up to take on the role of right midfielder, confidently tackling and dribbling the ball up the pitch. Abbie was beautifully delivering the ball from goal to midfield, her strong kicks were getting all the way past the halfway line! Our attacking duo (Sophie and Alice) were organising themselves nicely, taking turns to drop back and help midfield and travel with the ball up the pitch. Soon came the second goal scored by Alice! Following a run of consistent corners, Isla crossed it into the box again and Alice was stood waiting at the back post unmarked, she tapped it into the bottom corner (with her knee!). Our defence was looking strong as we came towards the end of the first half, with Susie and Niamh confidently tackling and powerfully clearing the ball away from the goal. The half time whistle was blown.
We entered the second half ready for the battle in a very close game. The girls got stuck straight in, only taking Alice 3 minutes to score her second goal of the game! Sophie dribbled the ball up and had a shot which was deflected off the goalkeeper, but it found its way straight to Alice who tapped it safely into the net (again with the same knee!). Our captain Isla was organising the team well, telling everybody where to stand when we were attacking. Our designated throw-in taker (Evie) was sending the ball all the way down the line with each throw, putting our attackers in a strong position. If the ball ever got through our midfield then our defenders (Eleanor and Niamh) were ready to clear it away or tactically pass it on. When Bonnie received the ball she dribbled through the heart of their midfield, keeping the ball close and controlled before passing it onto our attackers. Our attacks were strong and often, but Downend were just as strong, with the defence stopping any ball that went near the goal. With only 5 minutes to go our star striker of the match (Alice) came off for Zoe, who took on our new position of attacking midfielder to create chances. Sophie received the ball from Zoe, she then passed it to Isla on the edge of the box who dribbled in and fired it into the centre of the goal with all her power, securing our next goal. The match was coming to an end but that didn’t stop Isla from bagging her final goal of the game, tackling their defender and shooting from far outside the box, sending it into the bottom left corner, a wonder goal!! Abbie was still on her toes at the other end of the pitch, with Downend coming close to getting a final goal, but she confidently threw herself around and stopped any chance they had. The final whistle was blown.
Special shout out to our coach Tom for taking on the role of the ref this week when there was nobody available.
A strong shift put in by all of the girls till the final whistle, they worked really hard and showed real determination to get back into the game after a couple of set backs. Our Star Players this week were Alice (for scoring 2 goals and always being in the best position) and Niamh (for her confident and strong tackles in defence, stopping their attackers).
Written by Ellie Haines and Jamil Khan (U10 coaches).