We were relieved when the rain stopped a few minutes after we arrived at Flitwick this morning for our 10 o’clock kick off against the top of the league team.
Both teams observed a two minutes’ silence prior to the start of the game.
The match had us on tenterhooks from the off. Lionesses were conscious of wanting to put in a strong defensive performance and Flitwick were putting that to the test. It took our girls a little while to get into the game but play soon evened out.
Izzy was awarded a free kick early on which Kitty directed straight at the Flitwick goalie and which turned out to be just prior to the ref’s whistle. So, as we joked with the opposition manager that Kitty was just getting her range right, she took her second attempt and unfortunately did exactly the same thing again!
With Mollie sporting an injury, she was taken off early on and Kitty was moved back into defence; a role which she took in her stride, confidently clearing many Flitwick attacks and redirecting play back up the pitch.
Ruby K put in a fantastic performance today. Aside from her powerful throw-ins, not only did she play on both wings, shepherding the attackers out wide, she persisted with her tackles to good effect. Notably too, Ruby sprung onto any loose balls today which was great to see; keep it up Ruby!
Any chances we had for goal tended to come from breakaways but we didn’t quite have the pace up front to get on the end of them. Scoobs in particular made some successive runs up the wing which were effective but the forwards today didn’t quite manage to connect. Izzy continued to battle through midfield, winning and distributing the ball and Katie performed the role of breaking up the opposition’s mid field play well.
Flitwick came out the better after the half time break, taking the larger part of possession and putting Maggie and the Lionesses’ defence, under constant pressure. In the closing quarter I think Woburn would happily have settled for a nil draw but Flitwick had other ideas. A goal eventually came from a high lob, just over Maggie’s reach and just under the bar, to secure the first goal of the game for the home side. I don’t think anyone could have saved that Maggie! Maggie was under pressure today and rose to the challenge (3 saves…I think!). Not long after the second followed as the Lionesses just didn’t quite manage to clear the ball away from the danger zone and Flitwick took full advantage.
Kitty took a curving free kick at one point which only just went wide of the post and on another day might have found the net and in the closing minutes, Scoobs put in another lightening run down the wing delivering a cross which again unfortunately couldn’t be capitalised on but the girls kept fighting to the end.
It was a thrilling match to watch and the girls overall rose to the challenge, putting in perhaps their best performance of the season so far. The score line was unfortunate for the away side who had successfully fended off many Flitwick attacks for the majority of the game.
Contenders for today’s GOM were Kitty for adapting to her defensive role so effectively and Ruby K for putting in her best game of the season – keep it up Ruby. The coaches’ awarded the title of GOM today to Tayla, who barely put a foot wrong under a huge amount of pressure and managed to get a couple of long range shots in too. Well done.
One thing that the game today did highlight was a weakness in our distribution of the ball from goal. The same strategy was adopted by whoever took the ball, firing long range kicks which were gratefully received by the opposition, enabling them to launch an immediate attack back on our goal. It does work sometimes but we can’t afford to be predictable, especially against such strong opposition. That’s something us coaches need to work on !
Tony’s dodgy stats (please note, running totals remain unchanged from last week!)
|1st half||2nd half||1st half||2nd half|
|2||3||Shots off target||2||1|
|2||1||Shots on target||0||2|