Hitchin Town Belles Under 12

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 18th November 2007

Hitchin Town Belles U12  3 v 0  St Albans U12

00863 hits since November 24, 2007

Hitchin goal-scorers: Fleur (1), Sarah (1) & Elodie (1)

Match Report

Hitchin made it 5 league wins in a row with a 3-0 victory over St Albans on Sunday. Thankfully the rain held off but the cold and very windy conditions did not help play. Coach Terry changed the formation going for 3-5-1, perhaps he has been studying Steve McLaren’s tactics…. lets hope not! Amy took on goalkeeping duties for the first half with Emily, Helen and Leah in defence. Alice, Abigail, Ilana, Alex and Sarah started in midfield with Elodie and Fleur upfront. Late arrival Letitia was relegated to the bench!

All the early possession and play went to Hitchin who laid siege to the St Albans goal. St Albans defended deeply often employing 8 players in defence. In spite of all the early pressure St Albans defended well and chances were few and far between. An excellent move saw Sarah, Alex and Elodie linking up well with good fluid passing. Alice played a couple of excellent through passes on the right wing that led to promising attacks. Hitchin forced a number of corners but could not convert the chances that were coming. St Albans rarely left their own, half but one breakaway was expertly cut out by Emily.

After 15 minutes the deadlock was broken. Fleur controlled the ball in the area coming back inside to force home from about 10 yards. St Albans continued to defend strongly and threatened on the break. More chances came to the home side with Sarah and Fleur again going close. Alex had an excellent chance from inside the area but could not get enough power on her shot. The pressure was bound to tell in the end and a pass from Letitia down the left found Sarah who fired home confidently from the edge of the area for her first goal for Hitchin, many more are sure to follow.

Despite going 2-0 down St Albans were coming more into the game. A tremendous lofted shot from a long way out on the left got carried on the wind and looked destined for the back of the net but Amy made an excellent save over her head. Play went down to the other end and Elodie completed a strong run with a goal from 18 yards for 3-0. More chances came, Elodie passed to Fleur in the area but she could not turn quickly enough and the defence smothered the shot.

3-0 at half time and it looked very comfortable for the Belles. A reorganisation of resources saw Sarah taking the goalkeeping jersey and Amy moving to midfield. The second half saw a poorer performance from Hitchin and St Albans coming more into the game. Amy made a good run up the line passing to Abigail who in turn found Fleur but she was adjudged to be offside. St Albans were pressing harder forcing a succession of corners but Hitchin defended resolutely. Ilana and Letitia gave the impression that Hitchin were playing for the final whistle by hoofing several corners straight back out! Then came a controversial incident. In another St Albans attack Emily clashed with an attacker and both players went to ground to the cries of “penalty” from the away team. It was hard to see exactly what happened but the referee was well placed and the decision was a free kick to the home team. Sarah kept goal well and rarely looked troubled. From one long goal kick she found Elodie who passed to Alex, her good shot was well saved by the St Alban goalkeeper.

St Albans deserved to score in the second half but the final whistle sounded with another clean sheet for Hitchin. Player of the match was awarded to Alice who gave an assured display and impressed with her passing and tackling.

Player of the match: Alice

Manager's award: Elodie