Shefford Saints U11 Girls x x Lionesses U11 Clarets
28th January 2017
Shefford Sports Ground
League Game

Thankfully it was a milder, though windswept and muddy pitch, this morning and a noticeably smaller pitch too.

We started with our usual formation and Woburn were firing on all cylinders from the off; dominating play for much of the first half.

There was some intelligent up front play and passing between Kitty, Olivia and Izzy at the start but a great long, well-positioned pass from Scoobs dropped the ball at Kitty’s feet who secured it safely into the net, bringing in swiftly to 1-0, five minutes in.

Woburn continued to launch assault after assault on the Shefford goal which was admirably defended by their goalie (who for their team I felt was girl of the match). Kitty took some excellent corners which were sometimes too good for both them and us. Tayla lined up  to take a set play from a corner and although firing it bang on target, was denied a goal. The ball rarely ventured past Tayla, Mollie or Scoobs but on the one breakaway, 14 minutes in, Freya made at excellent high save. The wind was picking up and there was a noticeable chill in the air as echos of ‘let it go…’ seemed to emanate from both sides of the pitch.

Scoobs ran the ball back into our half on numerous occasions, showing no signs of tiredness after her late night/early morning and collected the ball whenever their goalie’s kick lacked a bit of ‘uumph’. Tayla of late seems to have developed an outside of foot pass which is proving very useful when needed. Mollie too continued to place a succession of long passes up the left flank.

At 11 minutes Kitty netted a second after a sliding assist from Izzy. Izzy continued to weave around and through the Shefford defence and although trying for a goal on a number of occasions, didn’t manage to find the net. Olivia employed some great back flicks which served to dummy her opponents and again fed some great passes to Kitty and Izzy.

Charlotte in the midst

Kitty in her stride

Charlotte, Katie and Ruby K all came on for the second part of each half.

3,2,1…launch

Ruby K delivered strong, well placed, throw-ins every time she was called upon (one so strong it flew right across the pitch). Charlotte battled from the off with some great interceptions and determined play which enabled her to place some good passes up to the forwards and saw her just firing wide of the goal in the closing stages of the first half.

Katie in action

New girl Katie showed little fear and great enthusiasm running hard at the other team in a bid to win the ball. Her determination resulted in a shot just wide of goal in the second half.

After the half-time break (during which Scoobs ate her body weight in oranges !!) we now had the turn into the sun but continued to dominate for the third quarter. We thought the drought was over for Izzy but as the ball rolled along the line and was then scooped up by the goalie, it was not to be.

Two more goals from Kitty took her to her hat trick and beyond, with a lovely shot into the top corner and Olivia and Izzy continued to try for that elusive goal.

Fancy footwork

Shefford had their purple patch in the last quarter when their number 9, who looked dangerous every time the ball was played to her, scored a terrific lob over Freya – no chance there I’m afraid Freya. (We have been encouraging the girls to press up a bit). Freya was under more pressure during this period but she successfully continued to keep the ball clear of goal.

The parents’ Girl of the Match today was Kitty for her quartet of great goals and terrific inter-passing with her team-mates.