Hitchin Town Belles Under 13

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 4th November 2007

Enfield Town U13  11 v 0  Hitchin Town Belles U13

Players: Ellie, Christie, Kerry, Ruby, Maddy, Abby, Tamsin, Casey, Helen, Jasmine, Carmen.

00980 hits since November 10, 2007

The Belles made their way to Enfield knowing that this was going to be another really tough match - Enfield are top of the table and unbeaten so far in the season. There were only the bare minimum of 11 players available, with Helen making her comeback match after missing most of the season so far with a broken wrist. So, the girls were prepared for a hard match and no let-ups.

This prediction was rapidly vindicated - Enfield looked a very good team from the beginning, with a solid defence, competitive midfield and a couple of big, strong and fast attacking players. The Belles worked hard to withstand the pressure, but inevitably small mistakes were exploited and Enfield went 2 goals ahead inside the first 10 minutes.

After that Hitchin clawed back some control for a period of about 15 minutes, always defending, but managing to frustrate the Enfield game. Jasmine and Abby were both very strong, and made their presence felt all over the middle of the field. The back line of Christie, Kerry, Ruby and Maddie did a good job of standing up to the attack, with Ruby in particular challenged in every respect to try and keep up with the big and strong central attacker lined up against her.

As the game entered the last 10 minutes of the first half Enfield got their third goal - this one came from a weak clearance out of the Hitchin goal which caught quite a few of the Hitchin players with their backs to the ball. The Enfield attackers reacted quicker, intercepted the ball and put the ball straight back into the goal. Unhappily this was the start of a period of play that saw Enfield score 3 further goals before the whistle for half time. The second of these came from an Enfield cross from the left, there was a suspicion of a Hitchin handball in the area as the ball came across, but as the ball ended up in the net a second later the goal was allowed to stand. Even during this torrid period of play Hitchin showed spirit to keep their effort going, and Ellie in goal made a number of excellent and brave stops to keep the score to 6-0 at half time.

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An attacking throw-in

Stout defending

There were very few options for Nigel to change things around at half-time, the Belles had to satisfy themselves with a bit of a rest and a refreshing orange to fortify themselves for the second half. Unfortunately the half started in the worst possible way, with a goal for Enfield in the first minute following a corner that the Belles defence could not clear beyond the six-yard line, from where the Enfield player blasted the ball into the middle of the gaol.

After the poor start, Hitchin again picked themselves up, and once again there was a period of around 15 minutes where Hitchin resisted everything that Enfield could hit them with. Tamsin and Casey in midfield put some pressure on Enfield, and Carmen had a couple moments that can fairly be described as attacking opportunities. All in all it has to be said that Hitchin never really came close to scoring, but they battled on and worked to made it hard for Enfield.

The final quarter of the match saw Hitchin starting to suffer from some fatigue, and maybe some disappointment with the way the match had gone. The result was another four goals for Enfield in the last fifteen or so minutes. The last of these was shot from around the penalty spot which Ellie saw coming and thought best to get out of the way of. As it was, she only just managed to duck low enough for the ball to fizz into the net just above her head.

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Let's get it out of the box!

Yet more pressure on Hitchin goal

As expected, another really tough match, but the Belles should take comfort from the fact that they never gave up, and all of them worked hard to the end of the match. Not every match will be against teams as good as Enfield, and if the Belles work as hard in their coming matches, and with as much spirit as they did in this match, then they should expect to come away with some more positive results.

Player of the match; Click to expand

Player of the match: Jasmine

Report by John Davey