Hitchin Town Belles Under 12

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 25th November 2007

Hitchin Town Belles U12  3 v 0  Enfield Town U12 B

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Match Report

Hitchin Town Belles gave one of their best performances of the season in beating Enfield Town 3-0, extending their unbeaten league run to 6 games. Hitchin played the first half with a strong wind at their backs. With no substitutes available Alexandra started in goal with Emily, Leah, Helen and Alice in defence. Midfield was made up of Elodie, Abigail, Alysha and Amy with Sarah and Fleur playing upfront.

The early exchanges were even with all the play in centre field and no clear chances. The teams certainly looked well matched and a close game was anticipated but after 5 minutes Hitchin made the breakthrough. Elodie played the ball through to Fleur on the right hand side of the Enfield area and she cut inside firing powerfully into the left corner of the goal. The Belles started to enjoy excellent possession and pressure and after 8 minutes good inter play between Sarah, Helen and Abigail resulted in a corner. Amy went close with a floated cross-shot. Elodie and Sarah combined well to force another corner though the chance from this was wasted. On 10 minutes Elodie had a shot from 10 yards but the Enfield keeper saved well. Enfield was defending well but pressure from Hitchin was creating more opportunities to score. This did however leave the home side exposed at the back and on 15 minutes a break from Enfield had to be cut out desperately by Leah. Shortly afterwards Enfield had a good chance to equalise but the shot was easily cut out by Alex. After 18 minutes yet another breakaway from Enfield saw 3 attackers opposed by one defender, thankfully it was Emily who saved at the expense of a corner. The play moved from end to end with both sides playing attractive football. Alysha, playing with a great deal of determination in midfield, passed through to Elodie who in turn found Abigail whose shot was smothered by the goalie.

Play continued at a high tempo and high standard from both sides. A superb volley from Sarah was well saved by the Enfield goalkeeper resulting in another corner. Then Helen, Sarah and Elodie had a slick-passing move but Elodie was adjudged to be offside. More chances came for Sarah and Fleur but the second goal did not come. Enfield continued to look dangerous shooting wide from inside the Hitchin area. After 27 minutes came a moment of magic from Elodie, played through by Sarah she cracked a looping shot from 20 yards out that smashed against the crossbar.

1-0 at half time and the game was in the balance. Amy took the goalkeeping jersey for the second half with Alex moving into midfield. Enfield had the advantage of the strong wind in the second half. It was important for Hitchin to restart strongly but Enfield now enjoyed their best period of the game. 4 minutes into the second half, pressure from Enfield resulted in a glorious chance that was blasted wide; it really should have been 1-1. Somewhat against the run of play Alex on the halfway line played a wonderful through ball to Elodie who fired agonisingly wide. Enfield continued to press and forced a succession of corners that needed some committed defending.

The pressure was relieved in style on 42 minutes. Abigail supplied Sarah on the edge of the area and she took the ball to her right and hit into the top corner of the net from 12 yards. This was certainly the turning point of the game and Hitchin pressed hard for more goals with Enfield becoming increasingly robust in their tackling. Elodie running down the left was viciously taken out by an Enfield player for what was certainly the worst foul of the season. On 47 minutes Elodie made it 3-0 with a candidate for the Hitchin goal of the season. Alex was fouled on the edge of the area and Elodie thumped the resulting free kick into the top of the goal. More chances came for the home side with Abigail and Alex both going close.

The last 20 minutes of the match belonged totally to Hitchin. The final whistle sounded with the score at 3-0. This was their third successive clean sheet; credit goes to the goalkeeping trio of Alex, Amy and Sarah. Player of the match was awarded to Elodie for another strong attacking performance and strong leadership.

Goals: Fleur (1), Sarah (1) & Elodie (1)

Player of the match: Elodie

Manager's Award: Sarah and Fleur