Hitchin Town Belles Under 12

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 27th April 2008

Hitchin Town Belles U12  2 v 2  Garston Ladies U12

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Match Report

Hitchin Belles faced Garston for the fourth time this season in league and cup and, as with all the other encounters, it was a very close fought match that ended in 2-2 draw. For the second game running The Belles could call on thirteen players for the game, though the late arrival of both Leah and Amy meant they were consigned to substitute duties. Sarah again started in goal with Helen, Emily, Alysha and Lateasha in defence. The midfield quartet was Alex, Abigail, Ilana and Destiny with Fleur and Elodie playing upfront.

As expected from a match between the league’s third and fourth teams, the game was a tight affair with little to choose between them. Fleur and Elodie impressed in the early exchanges using the right wing and linking up well in attack. Hitchin provided most of the early pressure forcing 3 corners in the first 6 minutes but with no real chances resulting. On 10 minutes a superb ball into the box from Elodie on the right put Fleur through clear on goal but the chance to open the scoring was lost. Then on 12 minutes, somewhat against the run of play, a penalty was awarded to Garston after a Hitchin defender handled the ball. Although it was not a deliberate handball it was the right decision and, in spite of Sarah’s brave effort to save, Garston took the lead.

Within 2 minutes Hitchin levelled the score. Strong pressure in the Garston penalty area created a chance for Abigail and whilst she did not hit the ball cleanly the ball looped over the goalkeeper who could not keep the ball out of the net. Hitchin continued to press for a second goal but the Garston defence were playing well and looked pretty comfortable. On 25 minutes Elodie gathered the ball on the edge of the Garston area and tried her luck from 25 yards but her shot blasted over the bar. Hitchin was enjoying most of the territory but Garston looked dangerous on the break creating some pressure and chances of their own. Alysha, Helen and Emily were all playing solidly in defence which meant Sarah was largely redundant. As the first half came towards a close Hitchin had another great chance to take the lead. More penalty area action saw the ball coming to Helen free on the right and she connected well with the ball but her shot agonisingly hit the outside of the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

With the game in balance at halftime “Avram” took the decision to put Amy in goal in the second half with Sarah moving into midfield. The start of the second half followed the same pattern as the first with Hitchin pressing forward. On 34 minutes Hitchin took the lead with Fleur tapping into an open goal from a cross by Alex. This was Fleur’s eleventh goal of the season. Garston almost responded immediately with Amy forced to make a save. With play moving from end to end the next goal was going to be crucial and it went to Garston. On 41 minutes a simple through ball was not picked up the Hitchin defenders and the Garston attacker coolly beat Amy to make it 2-2.

Fifteen minutes left and the game could have gone either way. From yet another Hitchin corner, Sarah and Lateasha had a great chance but could not get the final shot away. As the rain started in earnest (and this reporter’s notes dried up…), the teams pressed for a winner but both defences stepped up to restrict the chances. With seconds to go Helen had another good chance, this time from an Elodie corner, but her shot from the right side of the 6 yard box was well saved.

The game ended 2-2 and this was a fair result. Hitchin has met Garston 4 times this season with a win for each side and 2 draws, each side scoring 7 goals. These are two very well matched teams!

Goal Scorers: Abigail, Fleur

Player of the Match: Abigail