Hitchin Town Belles Under 13

Match Report 2007-2008

Sunday, 20th April 2008

Bedwell RangersU13  0 v 3  Hitchin Town Belles U13

Players: Christie, Kerry, Bethan, Maddy, Carmen, Bethany, Chloe, Helen, Jasmin (captain), Tamsin, Ruby, Sophie.

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00841 hits since April 28, 2008

The first match in the Knock-out Plate competition, and the Belles come up against Bedwell Rangers, one of the familiar opponents of past years. Happily a full team present today, with even the luxury of one substitute to allow a little rotation to help with tired legs!

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Kerry agrees to take up goalie duties for this match, and the team starts with Chloe, Carmen, Ruby and Maddy defending; Helen, Jasmine, Bethan and Bethany in the midle of the park, and Tamsin pairing up with Sophie to press our attack. The game immediately settles into a fairly comfortable rhythm for the Belles - they look stronger all over the pitch, and match up well in every battle. That is not to say it is an easy game - Bedwell also have some very some strong players who pose a threat every time they get the smallest bit of free space. Overall though it is Hitchin that looks the stronger team, and after 20 minutes or so their pressure pays off when Bethan manages to get the lightest of touches onto a ball that was bobbling around in the Bedwell penalty area, and guides it into the inside of the side netting. Christie has come on to join the defence by now, and the game continues to look pretty much under control for the Belles. Ten minutes later it is again Bethan who puts the Belles two goals in front, this time with a really well hit lob over the Bedwell goalie from close up within the penalty area. Less than a minute later it looked like Bethan was sure to collect her hat-trick, with the easiest of the chances falling to her, but this was the one she couldn't control, and the ball went wide.

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For the second half Helen switches side, now taking up a defensive position on the left, and Carmen is pushed further upfield to see if her pace can bring further pressure to bear on the opposition goal. The game continues in the very watchable and exciting manner of the first half - Bedwell may be two goals down, but they continue to play very good football and keep the pressure on Hitchin to do the same. As the game draws to its conclusion Carmen finally gets the reward for the attacking play she has been showing through the half - picking up the ball wide on the half-way line she sprints down the pitch, beats all challenges, puts in a splendid shot from 10 yards out and claims the third goal.

So, a very welcome victory, and a reminder that the Belles are a good team with excellent players, even though they have had a very hard time in the league this season against opposition who are used to playing at the just slightly higher level of the first division. All the girls played really well today, and though Kerry in goal may have been untested for the vast majority of the match, the few times she was called on to play a part she did so securely and confidently.

Player of the Match: Sophie

Report by John Davey