Hitchin Town Belles Under 12

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 24th February 2008

Harpenden U12 Jays  0 v 6  Hitchin Town Belles U12

00810 hits since February 29, 2008

Goal Scorers: Elodie (4), Sarah (2)

Match Report

Hitchin returned to winning ways on Sunday with a convincing 0-6 away victory at Harpenden. In a game played in very good spirit, Harpenden enjoyed a great deal more possession than in the reverse fixture but could not produce many good goal chances. Hitchin Belles started slowly but looked increasingly more dangerous as the game progressed.

Not for the first time this season player resources were limited with no substitutes available. Hitchin started in their normal 4-4-2 formation with Fleur making her debut in goal and with Emily, Leah, Helen and Alice in defence. The midfield quartet was Abigail, Destiny, Ilana and Alex with the dynamic duo of Elodie and Sarah in attack.

In excellent conditions Hitchin had the disadvantage of playing up a significant slope in the first half, but what a start to the game! Straight from the kick-off Hitchin went into attack catching the Harpenden defence sleeping, Sarah played the ball through to Elodie who slotted home. 0-1 up after less than 30 seconds and it looked like a rout could be on the cards. To their credit Harpenden responded well to their early setback, enjoying their best period of the game pressing from midfield into attack and forcing a series of corners. Hitchin was forced to go into defensive mode and trying to play on the break up the slope. Alex was very effective in midfield; on three occasions she played balls over the top for Sarah and Elodie to run on to. The game settled into a pattern with Harpenden having possibly greater possession but Hitchin carrying greater threat. Sarah and Elodie both had good chances they seemed to have left their shooting boots at home! Abigail too came close but could not get the end of a tantalising cross. Fleur in goal had little work but she had to vigilant to come off her line and claim the ball on 2 occasions. Leah and Destiny, coming back from midfield, both made good defensive tackles. Hitchin finally doubled their lead in the 28th minute, Elodie breaking from midfield going past her marker then pulled the ball across the goal for Sarah to finish.

At half time the score was 0-2 and there was the prospect of playing downhill in the second half. Fleur, having given a very tidy performance in goal, handed the gloves to Alex for the rest of the game. The second half started in the same manner, Hitchin forcing a corner after 33 minutes. Elodie fired the ball into the penalty area and Ilana had two chances to score her first goal (and claim her goal bonus!) but Harpenden managed to get bodies in the way to block. Straight from a Harpenden goal kick Sarah controlled the ball and volleyed but the shot was well saved. On 42 minutes Hitchin scored again. A Harpenden free kick was hit straight to Elodie who went round one player and fired into the right hand corner of the net from a few yards. From the resultant restart Harpenden should have scored, the Hitchin defence failed to get to grips with an attack and a glorious chance was wasted. More chances came at the other end with Alice, Fleur and Ilana again going close.

Elodie’s hat trick came on 54 minutes, a melee in the Harpenden area was not cleared, Elodie dispossessed one player and in spite of many defenders around her she shot home from 3 yards. Just one minute later Sarah was played through on goal from the half way line and she shot home from 18 yards. Hitchin looked like they could score from every attack but the Harpenden goalkeeper gave a very good performance to keep the score respectable. Elodie played through with just the goalkeeper to beat but shot wide, the goalkeeper came out of her goal well to make the chance more difficult. Elodie made it 4 goals for the match, and her 22nd of the season on 58 minutes, played through by Fleur she kept her cool and fired into the corner from distance. The Hitchin strikers certainly found their range in the second half. There was time for one more chance for Fleur but the game ended 0-6.

Player of the Match: Elodie

Manager's Award: Sarah