Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Emersons Green U10s

After many weeks of not having a game. We have finally managed to organise one. It was great to see the girls up for their first 9 aside game with OFFSIDES! After waiting 40 minutes to get the gates open and a quick warm up from Isla. We lined up with Abbie in goal obviously. We had Leah, Susie and Eleanor in defence. We adopted a new role today for Rosie and that was the central defensive midfield (CDM) position. Zoe and Bonnie providing the width and Isla in the middle of the park. Finally leading the line, one of our star number 9’s Sophie.

The game started well with it being very even against Emerson’s. The girls were trying to get the match intensity back after not playing for several weeks. But they got it back and we were in gear. Abbie as always helping her team out the best way she can – literally saving everything that came her way. At one point tackling with her feet in her own box. Really improving her distribution with the long kicks to Sophie, who showed amazing pressing from the front. Really applying the pressure to the Emerson’s defenders. Leah, Susie and Eleanor provided a really solid foundation for the team, playing out with the ball and most importantly trying their best to stop all of the Emerson’s attackers. Rosie was receiving the ball off the defenders and trying to find the likes of Zoe, Isla and Bonnie, so they can create chances. Zoe showing real strength by staying on the ball and really getting her body in the way, and trying to move the team up the pitch. Darting runs by Bonnie on the other side, leaving Emerson players looking at the number on her shirt. Eleanor like Maldini at the back calm under pressure. Leah providing powerful clearances. Susie anchoring the defence, organising and when she is needed she puts a crunching tackle in. Sophie getting on the end of all the clearances and trying to create chances for all the other attackers, running into space and trying to cross the ball into the box. Isla receiving the ball and fired a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar leaving the Emerson’s goalie standing like a statue. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side. We saw the introduction of Lexie and Evie. Lexie trying out in defence, she did not look out of place, really fighting for the ball and getting stuck in. Evie was the next player to play in our CDM role and I have never seen skill like that in the middle of the park, leaving Emerson Green player stranded. Really getting into the grips with that role. A lovely give and go by Zoe and Evie, saw Zoe running down the wing. After Isla’s amazing effort, she then slotted Sophie in with a lovely weighted pass and Sophie doing exceptionally well to stay onside. No doubt Sophie was going to slot it in the back of the net, bagging us a goal. That was the end of the first half.

Second half, the girls came back on and were ready and pumped to try get something out of the game.  We were creating chances but it was not falling for the girls, which left them frustrated. We had more darting runs from Bonnie and amazing strength pushing people off the ball and winning possession back. We had some amazing tackles and some theatrical diving from the opposition. Isla providing lovely crosses for the team unfortunately no one getting on the end of them. We had Eleanor cameo on wing to provide lots of width, being really positive with her play and trying to push everyone up the pitch. Sophie showing another positive performance encouraging everyone and making darting runs in space and her hold up play, at one point she caught the ball and provided her own display of the hand of god (next time Sophie just near the goal and less obvious please!). Great coverage from all of our midfield and wingers. Loads of running and being strong on the ball. Creating chances and just enjoying playing most importantly. All the players that played in defence today really put a shift in trying to protect Abbie. But unfortunately we found out today Abbie’s hands are not indestructible and she has sustained a sprain to her wrist. Hopefully she has a speedy recovery and we will see another great display at the tournament. If not all the Liverpool supporters in the team will go in goal – (Jamil’s idea).

This season we have had amazing performances from the girls. So much improvement and for their first season playing competitive football and already making the step up to 9aside it can only get better with time. Thanks to all of our support home and away (insert hashtag BLUARMY). We will hopefully see everyone on Wednesday. Rest up for the tournament, we are looking to win every game!

Written by Jamil Khan (U10s coach).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Weston Mendip U10s

With a 10am kick off we had to arrive bright and early at Canford for a sunny (but chilly) match against Weston Mendip. Our morning didn’t start off great by us having to set up camp on the opposite end of the pitch compared to usual (I’m not usually superstitious…) but we went about it graciously and got on with our warm up.

Let’s all forget about the first 2 minutes of the match and go from there. We had Poppy (last week’s star player) starting off upfront for us, confidently dribbling the ball through their players and making her way up the pitch. She was backed up by Zoe, Isla and Bonnie in midfield, who worked well together to win back any loose balls and feed them to Poppy. Our starting defenders were Eleanor and Rosie, further backed up by BLU’s very own Ellie Roebuck (aka Abbie) in goal. Abbie was in action a lot in the first half, keeping her on her toes. Starting off her strong performance by showing us a blinder of a save when they were awarded a freekick right on the edge of the box. Not long after, Isla was awarded a corner-like freekick on the edge of their box, but we all know Isla wouldn’t miss an opportunity to try and score a wonder goal. She sent an on target, bend-it-like-Beckham-style freekick at the goal but the goalkeeper just managed to get her hands on it. So close! Susie and Rosie were on their toes in defence, when a quick counter-attack saw a 4v2 on the edge of our box, our defenders quickly stopped them in their tracks and got the ball back in BLU possession before passing it on to our tracking-back midfielders. Our subsititutions were regular and quick to ensure everybody got their well-earned breaks. Sophie had enough energy to power Bristol, and despite being upfront, was putting in a Sam Kerr-like shift by covering the whole pitch and winning the ball back in all areas. A scrappy bit of play in their box saw Poppy, Bonnie and Zoe attacking and nearly hitting the back of the net, but the goalkeeper saved it again. Half-time was almost upon us, Eleanor and Niamh were working well together in defence, covering each other and taking turns to go up the pitch. The whistle was blown.

A quick team talk and encouragment at half-time saw the girls ready for the second half. It didn’t take long for Isla to demonstrate her Lauren Hemp inspired runs, dribbling through the whole of the opposition team and almost bagging her first goal of the game but just sending wide, so close again! A quick switch around saw Rosie come on in midfield and Evie on in defence. Although these were not their usual positions, they settled in well and confidently took on the role. Rosie was backed by Susie in defence, who was tactically supplying her with the ball, Rosie then demonstrated confident and well-composed dribbling, taking it all the way into their box but unfortunately nothing came of the good setup. Evie seemingly turned into Lucy Bronze at right back, performing all of the skills and turns under the sun, deceiving their players and travelling up the pitch, before supplying it to Zoe and Bonnie in midfield. We were soon awarded a throw-in up by their goal. A beautiful long throw by Isla (similar to that of Liverpool’s Megan Campbell) into the box saw it bounce off of multiple people’s heads and end up in the back of the net!! (In all honesty we have absolutely no idea who it came off of last!). The difficult match was slowly coming to an end but there was still enough time left for Abbie to do a wonderful double save. A bottom corner shot saw her dive on the floor, unfortunately the rebound landed directly at their other attacker’s feet, but not to worry, Abbie was straight back on her feet and caught the shot in her safe hands. Niamh was also demonstrating her composure at the back, passing any balls that she won confidently to Evie (her fellow defender) or to Zoe infront of her in midfield. The final whistle was blown.

Well done to everybody in a very tough match, we made sure to fight till the very end. Our Star Player (only one this week) was awarded to Evie for her performance in defence, staying calm on the ball and demonstrating every skill possible to get past their attackers, as well as supporting her fellow defender.

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs St Nicholas Youth U10s

2 days in a row and I am just getting into the flow of writing these reports. Firstly, let me start off by saying what an amazing game and the confidence shown from all the girls. 12pm KO and we were ready after a successful tournament the day before. Furthermore, the girls were looking for revenge from when we last played them. We also played 8-aside which was suggested by the St Nicks coach. The starting line up we saw obviously Abbie Neuer in goal, with Rosie and Susie or the reincarnation of Rio Ferdinand and Vidic. In midfield we had Isla, Bonnie and Zoe and just in front we had Sophie taking on a centre attacking midfielder (CAM) role and finally our other star striker Poppy leading the pack today. On the bench we had Alice, Evie and Eleanor. They were ready to come on and make an impact. Unfortunately, we were also missing our other class defenders in Leah and Niamh. Hopefully we will see them back in action next week!

As expected from the first whistle the girls were pressuring St Nicks and pinning them back. Isla creating chances in abundance as usual. Amazing vision to set up Poppy and Sophie with many through balls to open the St Nicks defence. Rosie showing her strength and determination surrounded by 4 players at one point but still coming away with the ball. Susie once again sweeping and protecting our goal. Many clearances especially one that caught a St Nicks player in the face (definitely did not want to get in the way of that one). Then we saw amazing link up play like prime Cole and Yorke from Poppy and Sophie. With Poppy holding up the ball and playing a pass for Sophie to run on too. Unfortunately, the St Nicks goalie was ready and retrieved the ball. Straight after we saw a pass from Isla to Poppy who shot with the outside of her foot and it just went wide. Zoe then won the ball back from the goal kick and dribbled past the most of the St Nicks player – it was very Messi-esque. But unfortunately the goalie was in the way again. 15 minutes into the game we finally broke the dead lock. A wonderful pass from Poppy to find Isla who slotted it in the bottom corner. Honestly, Isla is on fire I wish I had her on my Fantasy Premier league. We then saw Evie again with her Rory Delap inspired throw. And her determination with tracking back and attacking the St Nicks goal. Many good runs made by Evie and her commitment and stepping into defence for the team. When St Nicks managed to trouble us we didn’t have to worry as Eleanor, Rosie and Susie were tackling and trying to stop everything they could for the team. Especially Eleanor showing her strength and aggression to win the ball back. If anything did manage to get past the defence we saw Abbie catch everything, come out of her box and clearing the ball up the pitch and even emphatic rolling – at least it wasn’t muddy today! We also saw Bonnie cover literally every blade of grass. This girl doesn’t stop, always running and contributing, amazing strength and lightning speed. Finally, we saw Alice coming on in the striker position controlling the ball and running at the St Nicks defenders and causing a havoc. Even getting some shots off and starting off some lovely link up play. This saw the end of the first half and the girls were not slowing down.

Start of the second half we saw Rosie go into the CAM role. Seeing Rosie advance in the final third and creating chances and also doing her defensive duties. Also, Rosie left frustrated still chasing her first goal of the season, great shots but the keeper was matching it. Zoe got 99 dribbling on her. Going past everyone, getting kicked and still not falling down. Great determination. We saw a lovely pass from Bonnie to Isla and it went just wide. Amazing play from our maestros in midfield the whole game. Poppy then showcased her amazing snapshots. Turning and shooting first time. Unlucky as it went just wide. Have to say this game the amount of pressing from all the girls was amazing. Especially, Sophie who was closing down the St Nicks players and nearly getting a lucky deflection which led to her shot on goal. Finally, we bagged our second of the game with a throw from Zoe into space for Isla who took a touch and winded back her wonder of a right foot and it could not have been saved. So many great performances if I keep writing it will end up being a Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Today’s star player was difficult as everyone gave their all and it was such a hard call but our first star player was Abbie for making incredible saves and providing an amazing distribution and outlet for the rest of the team. Our second star player was Poppy for her amazing link up play, creating chances for herself and her other attacking team mates and finally constantly being a threat, another true number 9 performance. Big shout out to the BLU army! The support was unbelievable and louder than Man City’s empty-had ever is. To end the match report I just wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mum’s. You really deserve it and hope this win made your day even more. See you all soon against Weston at home next week!

Written by Jamil (U10s coach).

U10s Portishead Tournament

Back again doing match reports! Mine are way better than Ellie’s so everyone’s in for a treat this evening.

Started off bright and early today. All meeting up at Portishead ready for our first ever tournament. This tournament the girls did so well and played in numerous positions and never stopped trying their best. We had today Abbie, Niamh, Susie, Eleanor, Isla, Zoe, Rosie, Sophie and finally making her first ever debut Lexie! Unfortunately we couldn’t take everyone as we could only take 9, but we have a game tomorrow afternoon!

On to the important part game time. We first played Bradley Stoke. Starting off with Abbie in goal as usual (safest hands in the South West!). In front of her Niamh and Susie. In the middle of the park we had our captain Isla, Zoe and Rosie trying out for a left/right wing spot! Followed by today’s star striker Sophie. Great passing from the girls and really pinning back Bradley Stoke – who barely had a sniff at goal. Pass fizzed into Isla with an amazing touch. Isla turned then was through in on goal with an amazing dummy to send the Bradley Stoke goalie the wrong way so she can slot it in to an empty net. Straight after Rosie intercepted the ball and played a first time pass to Zoe who was in space and running on to the ball and nothing the goalie could do. Finally, it was Lexie’s turn to make her debut and she was really up for it. Working really hard and closing down and applying immense pressure on the Bradley Stoke defence. We saw Eleanor come on in the heart of midfield. Great interchanging play a pass from Lexie to Sophie and then to Eleanor who was running through in on goal with a powerful shot but the goalie was equal to it! (Was a really good chance). Lexie from the wide providing amazing crosses into the box like prime Beckham unfortunately no one in the box to snatch at the chance. Finally we saw another change seeing Susie moving into midfield. We had a cross and it gave Isla a chance to swing one in and it fell to Susie who tapped it in to seal the win. (Susie has won it!! Sorry another United pun from the 99 treble winning side). Susie’s first goal of the season and hopefully many more to come! Barely spoke about the defence as they literally stopped everything. Niamh showing a lovely defensive performance winning the ball, playing passes out from the back and dealing with the long ball as the ground was making the ball bounce a lot! Same with Eleanor and Susie who were not troubled at all for the whole game. 3-0 win to BLU! (First ever tournament win).

Onto the next game which was slightly more frustrating for the goals. Felt like we had all the better chances but they were not falling to us. Had many good shots from Rosie, Lexie and Sophie. Still cannot fault the defenders we were solid at the back with Susie and Niamh. Both which are miles better than Maguire. One of them should’ve got a call up from Southgate instead in my opinion! Goal soon came to us from an amazing goal kick from Abbie, matched by Sophie’s lovely touch to control the ball who saw Isla’s run in behind the defender. Lovely weighted pass and a pure strike from Isla to put it past the keeper! After that the girls tried their best to try and put the game to bed but it wasn’t happening. All the girls put 100% effort in and it was on too the next game. Which we had to wait 40 minutes for which no one was happy about!

Final game was against Portishead (Pink Kit). The girls were out for revenge and eagerness too play after a long wait. We started off more attacking this game as it was the last. We had obviously the best goalie Abbie and in front Susie was the lone defender. Eleanor playing in a central defensive role like a Roy Keane or a more modern player like Declan Rice. We saw Eleanor cover every blade of grass and really winning the ball back for the team. Niamh also came into the same role as the defensive midfield player. Nothing got past her either. At times it looked like we had Paul Ince and Fabino. The quality of the football was superb and the girls played in various positions they haven’t played before and were outstanding. Providing Susie with a lot of protection which she didn’t need. Tom’s new nickname for her the ‘Rock’ as no one and nothing got past her. Playing with loads of confidence especially in defence by herself. Then we had a midfield 3 of Isla, Zoe and Rosie with Lexie leading the pact to our second win of the day! Again this game saw the girls dominate and really pressuring and pinning back the opponents. Firstly, we saw the ball falling from the air Zoe managed to get great contact on the ball and slot it into the back of the net. Couple minutes after we saw Isla get in on the action. A true contributor and in comparison she’s a Bruno Fernandes and she’s in better form! Finally, it’s never right Sophie not getting in on the action. After getting winded she came off had some of Chloe’s amazing squash, composed herself and came back on like a champ. Portishead goalie was in possession which led to Sophie chasing the ball down, leading to a pass that deflected back off Sophie and into the back of the net. Just moments before she was winded. Great anticipation and pressing from Sophie a true number 9. By this point I lost my pen and couldn’t write anymore… but everyone played amazingly well and we are lucky to have a group of girls like this. Probably the best football I have watched in months as a United fan and every Sunday I can’t wait to watch the girls play.

Amazing work today from the girls that came. Hopefully soon we will be at a tournament where everyone can come and we can show that BLUs U10s are not the team that get beaten easily. Big shout out to Lexie playing her first game with us. Especially as I don’t get to see her at Wednesday training now I know why Ellie always raves about her! All the defensive actions and getting back and working hard for the team. Abbie also with 2 clean sheets and amazing distribution which saw us through on goal many times. The immense midfield. And the striking power we have is unbelievable. We will all see you tomorrow at 11:30am at Canford for a 12pm KO!

Written by Jamil Khan (U10s coach).

Fry Club Junior Youth U10s vs Bristol Ladies Union U10s

Finally we had a sunny Sunday morning! Everybody arrived at the pitch nice and early, to warm up and get ready for the match. We started off strong, settling straight into the game and showing the other team what we were made of. We were attacking constantly, keeping the ball in their half, with shots coming from Poppy, Isla, Zoe and Evie but none quite managing to hit the back of the net yet. Zoe played a beautiful ball right across the goal mouth but nobody managed to get their foot on it and tap it in. But don’t worry, it didn’t take Poppy long to send a powerful shot into the back of the net. After receiving it on the edge of the box she fired it straight into the back of the net. The whole team was looking strong, Susie and Eleanor started in defence and were clearing it with power across the half-way line, but we had Abbie’s safe hands in goal if they did manage to sneak through. Evie and Zoe were quickly dribbling the ball up the wings, placing it in the box for Sophie (our striker who had just come on for Poppy) to run on to. Fry Club were fighting back, but we kept our heads up and stayed in the game. Isla had a strong chance, firing it towards the goal but the keeper managed to get her hands to it. New substitutions saw Niamh come on in defence and Alice try out a new position of midfield. Both players got stuck in, tackling any opponents that came near them with the ball. Our hard work soon payed off and our second goal came. Sophie tackled their defender next to the goal and slotted it in the bottom corner. A final first-half substitution saw Leah come on in defence, tactically passing the ball up the line to Alice if it got through our midfield. The half-time whistle was soon blown.

The girls were feeling confident following the first-half, so we entered the second-half ready to score more goals and win our individual battles. Not long after the second-half whistle was blown, Isla scored a well-deserved goal. Zoe tackled their defender and the ball landed at Isla’s feet, she then hit it with the outside of her foot and curled it round the goalkeeper. Fry Club responded well, putting pressure on our defence, but our midfielders (Zoe, Isla and Evie) tracked back, making sure Susie and Eleanor were not overloaded in defence. Substitutions saw Leah come on in defence and Sophie come on in midfield. The girls were working well together, supporting each other when trying to win back the ball and when in possession passing it around their players. Fry Club had a couple more chances, but our defenders (Leah and Susie) were ready for it, passing it back to our midfield when the ball was won. Poppy’s second goal soon came, Zoe sent a small pass to Poppy, who dribbled around their players and placed it in the bottom left corner. This was followed by an amazing piece of play by Poppy and Isla, who were passing it around their defenders, Poppy then had a shot on goal but their goalkeeper was strong and got her hands on it – denying Poppy her hat-trick. Final substitutions saw Niamh come on in defence and Alice on upfront. Niamh was looking comfortable at the back, pushing up the pitch to close the gap between defence and midfield, so if they started an attack, Niamh was there to close them down quickly and win the ball back. After a few more chances, the referee blew the final whistle.

Strong performance by all of the girls today, big shout-out to Rosie who still committed to turning up to the match and doing the warm up but then had to go home because she wasn’t feeling very well and also to Abbie for turning up and playing the full match despite not feeling very well either. Our Star Players went to Susie (for an incredible performance in defence, covering every inch of our half and powerfully clearing away the ball) and Zoe (for making strong runs up the wing and making lots of chances for her teammates).

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).

Longwell Green U10s vs Bristol Ladies Union U10s

Everybody turned up well-rested following an unusual Sunday morning lie-in, with today’s match kicking off at 12:30pm (much appreciated by all parents and coaches). We slowly eased ourselves into the match, starting off a little bit rocky. But our defence was looking strong, with Rosie and Eleanor clearing the ball away from the box with power and accuracy straight to our starting midfielders (Isla, Bonnie and Zoe). If their strikers did manage to get through then we were in safe hands with Abbie in goal, who was confidently throwing herself around the place and catching the ball. Isla was controlling the game well as central midfielder, taking on their players and passing the ball to our wingers (Bonnie and Zoe) who dribbled the ball all the way into the box. Sophie was reading the game well as our striker, getting into the best positions for through-balls from midfield, creating chances for the team but none quite hitting the back of the net. A quick switch around saw Leah (a regular defender) take on midfield, backed up by Evie in defence behind her. Both players were supporting each other well, with Leah tracking back and Evie covering Leah when she went further up the pitch. Further supported by Niamh in defence, covering the whole pitch and picking up players in spaces, when the ball came to those players Niamh was there with her strong clearances, getting it out of the danger zone. We entered half-time still in the game.

A big shoutout to our new watergirl Chloe, who supplied the girls with drinks throughout the whole match and orange slices at half time so the girls were re-energised and ready for the second half.

The second half started and the girls were feeling positive. The game was tight but we were still creating chances. Rosie was on fire, covering the whole of the pitch, tackling their players and winning the ball back every time. Bonnie was strong on the wing, travelling with the ball up the line and crossing it into midfield, where Alice was stood ready to tap it in, we were so close but nobody was quite getting on the scoresheet. Evie was showing off her wonder-throws again, getting our other midfielders into good positions. Following many attempts, our time finally came. Isla won the ball at the half-way line then steamed forwards, running past their midfielders, before placing an amazing through-ball to Sophie who charged through their defence and placed it in the bottom left corner. Everybody was demonstrating confident football, passing the ball around the players without panicking in possession. Despite many more chances, the final whistle was blown.

The girls worked really hard today, covering every blade of grass. Our Star Players went to Rosie (for an outstanding defensive performance and pushing up and supporting our midfielders) and Bonnie (for not stopping running and her strong tackles).

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Downend Flyers Eagles U10s

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).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Whitchurch U10s

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).

Weston Mendip Girls U10s vs Bristol Ladies Union U10s

On Sunday the 23rd of January we all had to drag ourselves out of bed half an hour earlier than usual for a 10am kick off compared to 10:30am, and it was all the way over in weston! But we all managed it and were soon warming up ready for the game ahead.

The girls were ready to go and despite the pitch being massive compared to what we are used to, we were on our toes and raring to use all our energy. The whistle blew and we were off. Our defence was looking strong, Rosie and Eleanor were clearing the ball, stopping any danger getting close to Abbie in goal. It took a little bit of time for our midfield to adapt to the size of the pitch, it required a lot more running! But we soon got there, and Bonnie, Zoe and Isla were passing it around in midfield, with bursts of sprints up the wing every so often by Bonnie and Zoe, putting pressure on the other team. Alice was our starting striker, getting into good positions if the ball were to come to her. The size of the pitch did seem to be putting us through our paces, with a rocky start looking like we were going to enter half time goalless. But Sophie and Isla came to the rescue! Our newly substituted striker Sophie dribbled the ball into the box and then passed it onto Isla, who booted it straight past the keeper and into the back of the net. Followed by the whistle blowing for half time.

The goal had been perfectly timed, giving the whole team motivation for the second half. When the whistle went we got stuck straight in, using the size of the pitch to our advantage by dribbling up the wing and around their players in our attacks. Leah and Susie (later followed by Niamh) in defence, were getting more confident with their tackles as the game went on. But if the ball were to ever go through then Abbie had it covered, both making saves on the goalline but also running out to the edge of the box to tackle their attackers. Weston Mendip again started strong, but we didn’t let this get us down. 11 minutes into the second half we welcomed our next goal! Starting with Evie and Poppy creating pressure in the box on a corner, standing strong against their defenders. Isla took the corner beautifully, passing it straight to Zoe on the edge of the box, who fired it into the top right corner of the goal. A few substitutions saw Eleanor come on in defence and Bonnie come on in midfield. Not long after that came another goal! A lovely pass from Eleanor and a few tap arounds by our midfield saw Zoe gain possession in the middle of the pitch. Zoe then single-handedly took on the whole of the opposition and dribbled into the box and placed it in the back of the net. The team were looking strong and ready for a come back. Eleanor was clearing the ball with confidence and strength in defence, supporting her fellow defender Leah who was going up the pitch and tackling and stopping their attackers turning. Our good form lead to the next goal, Bonnie dribbled the ball all the way down the wing and passed it into Sophie in the box, who tapped it in the bottom left corner of the goal. We had a few more chances before the final whistle, with a close shot by Poppy, who was perfectly positioned in the box to receive a cross, but just tapping it wide of the post. Followed by a free kick won by Bonnie who got absolutely wiped out on the edge of the box, but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get the ball in the back of the net. We soon heard the final whistle.

Our Star Players this week went to Zoe for her amazing strength throughout the game and for bagging herself 2 goals (the race is getting close for golden boot!). As well as Eleanor for her incredible performance in defence, with powerful clearances and supporting other players around her. Well done to all the girls for staying motivated despite it being freezing cold and a huge pitch!

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).

Bath City Dev U10s vs Bristol Ladies Union U10s (friendly)

Today marked the day of BLUs U10s first match of 2022 (albeit a friendly) and the girls started us it with an absolute banger. I won’t waffle on in the introduction because there is a lot to cover in this match report!

Having lost Abbie (our legendary goalkeeper) to covid, as well as Zoe and Susie to prior engagements, the girls started the match unsure about what they were about to face. Eleanor was the first to take on the role of goalkeeper, with the added promise to her dad that she would get her brand new goalie gloves as muddy as possible. With a rocky start to the match (we will blame it on the christmas break) we soon got into the flow of things. Our midfielders (Evie, Isla and Bonnie) kept good possession of the ball, dribbling round Bath’s players and finding good spaces to receive passes. This soon lead to our first goal of the match, also marking Bonnie’s first ever goal! Alice dribbled the ball up and passed it onto Bonnie, who took it all the way into the box and placed it in the back of the net. We carried on strong after our goal, with our amazing defenders (Leah and Rosie, as well as Niamh who came on shortly after) clearing the ball far from our goal, avoiding any unnecessary pressure from their attackers. A quick goalie change saw Evie go in goal for Eleanor and brought Eleanor on in defence. Not long after, we scored our next goal. A beautiful pass from Poppy slotted it straight through to Sophie who fired it past the goalkeeper. But this assist by Poppy was just the warm up, she went on to score not one, not two, but three goals within the next 5 minutes!!!! (That must be a hat trick record). The first came from a lovely pass by Isla, where Poppy turned and slotted it in the back of the net. The second came from a corner (again assisted by Isla), where Poppy was stood at the front post and elegantly tapped it in. And the third (you guessed it, another Isla assist!) was a wonderful through-ball from Isla, which Poppy took on and fired straight into the goal, with an insane amount of power! That saw us into half time.

After an exhilerating first half, the girls were all buzzing (might’ve been from the hot chocolates most of them were drinking too) and ready to start the second half. Poppy was next to take on goalkeeper, making sure that the ball didn’t touch the back of the net. Our defenders (Leah and Eleanor) cleared every ball that came near them, putting all their power it and not letting a single one past. Only 5 minutes into the second half saw Isla finally bag her goal of the game. A strong throw-in by Evie landed at Isla’s feet, she then took it on her left foot (!) and whacked it into the bottom corner. A substitution saw Sophie come on for Alice as stricker, and it didn’t take long for Sophie to put her name on the score sheet again. A powerful corner from Isla resulted in a scramble in the box, Sophie was well positioned on the edge of the scramble and as soon as the ball came out to her she slotted it in the back of the net. This was soon followed by another goal by Sophie! A cross from Isla landed directly at Sophie’s feet, which she took closer to the goal and popped it in. Our midfielders were looking good, confidently dribbling the ball around and winning their individual battles. One successful battle lead to Bonnie dribbling the ball up the wing, all the way from the halfway line, and into the box, where she finished the wonder-run by placing the ball in the bottom corner of the goal! (“Viva Ronaldo” – Jamil). Our final goalkeeper substitution saw Sophie go into goal for Poppy, and Poppy come on as striker. With not long left of the match, we wanted to make the last few minutes count. Other substitutions saw Rosie and Eleanor take on a midfielder position for the first time, and Evie drop back into defence with Niamh. Rosie made a beautiful run up the pitch, dribbling past all of their players and taking it into the box, where she shot and hit the post!! But soon after this Poppy banged another one in the net, with an impressive power-shot from outside the box (I wouldn’t have wanted to be the goalkeeper!). Poppy wasn’t quite finished yet. A lovely centre pass from Poppy to Isla saw Isla boot the ball up the pitch, which Poppy ran onto and fired into the back of the net! The final whistle was blown and handshakes were shared with the very strong Bath City Development team.

All of the girls had an absolutely amazing match, choosing the star players was so hard. A special mention to all of the girls who bagged themselves lots of goals (especially Poppy!), and stepped out of their comfort zone by trying new positions. However, it’s not all about the scoring but also stopping them from scoring, and this is why Leah was our first Star Player – for her powerful clearances and tackles in defence, applying all the skills she’s learnt from training into the match. Our second Star Player was Bonnie, for scoring her first ever goal (plus a second) and showing some amazing strength through dribbling and tackling.

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).