It was our first 9 v 9 game this weekend, against Stotfold.
The girls lined up with Kitty up front, Olivia, Izzy, Ruby K & Charlotte across the middle & Mollie, Tayla & Scoobs across the back, with Freya returning to claim her usual position in goal.
From the outset, Woburn demonstrated a return to the passing play which has served them well in the past and made a noticeable difference to the flow of the match.
The first goal went to Izzy following a well-directed pass from Tayla. Izzy skilfully negotiated the packed Stotfold defence and ended up netting it to the left of the goalie. Extra special to Izzy who has been waiting a while to get back onto the score sheet !
Charlotte, who was nursing a bump to the head from losing a battle with a tree earlier in the week, showed no signs of weakness and battled well against the Stotfold midfield, looking well-balanced and comfortable on the ball, being one of the few players to employ both feet.
Jaz came on for Charlotte in the second quarter and took position up front, with Kitty moving back into midfield. Jaz scored the 2nd Clarets’ goal with an assist from Olivia. She almost scored again with a slow-motion lob but the goalie just managed to get her hands to it. Another confident performance from Jaz who always places herself intelligently to receive the ball and gets a number of shots on goal.
Olivia settled well into her time on the wing today with some determined play and well-timed and thoughtfully placed passes to many of her team mates which ensured continued possession for Woburn. With almost a goal too in the second half, Olivia was awarded Girl of the Match by the parents.
Mollie was kept very busy by the Stotfold winger (with turquoise arms) who was quite a handful but she rose to the challenge and still managed to get in a cross which was nice to see as we have been working on that in training. Scoobs was very industrious again picking up numerous balls, tackling where necessary & running at the opposition, although the goal celebration following Jas’ goal stole the show.
It was good to see some confident play from Ruby K today who put in some effective passing in spite of taking quite a knock in the first half.
Freya established herself back in goal with a lovely diving save in the first half & showing little hesitation in throwing herself onto the ball to make it safe during the start of the second half when Stotfold had a patch of more possession. Some good long kicks out of hand also gave us some breathing space.
Tayla was tremendous in defence as usual and her careful placement of long passes up the pitch more often than not found one of our girls & many times led to an attack on the Stotfold goal. She could be relied on to clear the ball away when Stotfold made a couple of runs towards the latter stages and got another shot on goal, from a set piece.
Kitty had a good game, playing up front for the first quarters of each half and dropping back into midfield for the second, even helping out in defence when we were under pressure in the second half. Some great passing to her team mates again aided the continuation of possession and a crunching (clean) tackle in the second half stopped the Stotfold winger in her tracks, though she admirably dusted herself down and carried on. Kitty belted goal number three for Woburn into the back of the net (see Hilary’s photos) following a lovely long pass from Tayla.
Although I felt the Clarets were in control for much of the game and Stotfold were restricted to breakaway runs at goal, the visiting team remained stoic, worked hard and never lets their heads drop. Recently the Clarets had reverted to lone runs at goal with little effective inter-passing but the days when that type of play might have won a game, are few. Today’s emphasis on passing brought more players into the game and hence made the team far more effective, resulting in what was a well-deserved win. Well done Clarets.
Photo credits : Jen & Hilary – thanks