Here we go! Back into the thick of it with the league matches. The girls were back after a weeks rest due to the awful weather, but at least it wasn’t raining this week. It was baltic and not only was I complaining about it, but all the girls were too. I vaguely remember that when it was lovely and sunny most of them said they prefer playing in the cold… After the warm up, which consisted of a lot of running and rondos, the starting line up was revealed. In goal, as always, was our skipper, the one and only Abbie. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to get a goal and continue her goal scoring form, but I prefer her saving all the goals in my opinion! In defence we had Immy, Anna and Eleanor, the most reliable back 3, cannot go wrong with any of them. In midfield we had Bonnie, Poppy and Sophie. A very energetic midfield and a skilful one, both wide players have the ability to skip passed players and Poppy always has the vision to find that forward pass. Finally, leading the line we had Zoe and Mila. Like the Yorke and Cole or Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. They both have 7 goals combined when they have played together and they have only played 1 game together and this is their second! Finally, our impact players we had Lois, Rosie and Grace. All three raring to come on, we know what Rosie gives the team, willingness to play in which ever position me and Tom need her to play in, always running and amazing energy, a true team player. Lois is always composed when she gets the ball, its like she has all the time in the world, always looking forward, she’s dangerous when she is standing over a set piece and we know she has a good shot on her if she receives it on the edge of the box. Grace we know she has plenty of goals in her, she never stops getting involved, always wants the ball and is ruthless in front of goal! Unfortunately, we didn’t have Tianna due to injury hopefully she will be back next week and Evie due to her climbing competition!
The game did not start how me or the girls would expect. After a miscommunication and the cold weather playing a part, the team couldn’t get into the groove. But after finding themselves 2-0 down the girls did not give up and gradually gained more and more possession, with a few chances to run at their defence. Bonnie using the width to her advantage, running down the line and getting crosses into the box. After 15 minutes we had Lois, Grace and Rosie come on to the pitch. A break through came when Mila received a pass, taking it in her stride and shrugging off all the Downend defenders who couldn’t stop her. She took her shot, hitting the underside of the crossbar and going in, the Downend keeper was stunned. Great goal and she’s on fire! We were getting closer to half time and having couple more opportunities, Grace came with the second. Corner kick from Lois, again contributing defensively, as well as assists and goals. It was a good cross and landed in the path of Grace, who fired it in! Only a couple minutes before she had near enough the same chance but just missed the ball narrowly. Grace with the resilience, not letting her head drop and back to scoring ways! There was chances both ways and the team got back into their groove. Some amazing defending from Immy, Anna, Eleanor and Lois. Constantly winning the ball back and playing it safe, not being worried about passing it back to Abbie and then recycling possession. After that entertaining half we came in at 2-2 and the comeback was on.
We started the 2nd half strong. Giving away a few chances but we definitely looked the more dangerous team. I can’t remember a clear cut chance Downend had and that was thanks to our defence. We saw Bonnie getting dropped into defence and, after complaining all game her toes were cold, she was winning the ball back and overlapping. Anna and Eleanor with amazing clearances and playing out from the back. Also, Immy with her signature runs and putting the ball into the box, trying many through balls and creating chances. We had a few chances with Zoe and Grace both breaking on the Downend defence. Poppy in the heart of midfield putting an amazing shift in as usual, always staying composed and shielding the defence. We saw Lois in midfield for a short spell, this girl can play any position! she had a chance at goal where she popped up on the edge of the box and had a shot but unfortunately it was just wide, but she can really hit one! Unfortunately for Downend, Mila was running through their defence and found herself in the box ready to shoot where she was then dragged down by the Downend defender and a penalty was given. Grace stepped up cool and collected, with a good track history scoring our last penalty, but unfortunately she went for the top corner and the Downend keeper (who was tall) made a good save. There will be more penalties in the future, but most importantly Grace did not let her head drop and the team’s heads did not drop which is so important. The girls were determined for this win and knew a draw was not a good result. The chance came again when Mila was again through on goal and not being dragged down this time she calmly finished – what a nightmare she was for Downend! Wow what a game it was even though we went down 2 goals the girls showed their resilience and did not let the weather or the score bring them down, playing like it was nil-nil. It was a class act. We didn’t play the best football but we will blame the conditions and not being able to train and the match fitness. We came back with the 3 points which is the most important part.
This week’s Star Player from myself and Tom went to Immy! So consistent, always getting involved in every tackle, she can progress with the ball and when it needs to be cleared she can get that ball up the pitch! Secondly, our Parents Star Player was won by Mila! She was magnificent in her 2nd competitive game for BLU’s and she has fitted in so well, also she is 3rd in the Golden Boot Race and played 2 games so far! I don’t love stats but that is an amazing one. Always, so positive, works her socks off and she has no fear! We move to the next game against Bradley Stoke and we are still on the road. Let’s keep up the wins!
Golden Boot Race:
1st Zoe – 9 Goals
2nd Tianna – 8 Goals
3rd Mila & Lois – 7 Goals
4th Grace & Evie – 6 Goals