Hitchin Town Belles Under 15

Match Report 2007-2008

4 wins on the trot puts unbeaten Hitchin top of the league

00972 hits since October 19, 2007

Sunday, 14th October 2007

Watford U15  1 v 2  Hitchin Town Belles U15

Players: Elise, Alex, Roisin, Louise (Captain), Sarah, Natalie, Lauren, Keeley, Monica, Sammy, Sian, Stephanie, Eva, Joanna.

Scorers Hitchin; Sian (2)

Half Time; 0-1

Match Report

A trip to old rivals Watford always means a closely fought contest and today’s was no exception. Paul took a full squad and had the luxury of 3 subs to vary his game plan and formation. The weather was perfect and in the warm afternoon sunshine Hitchin faced their toughest test so far.

A bright attacking start saw Watford back pedalling as the Hitchin attack of Louise, Sammy, Alex and Sian pressed forward creating 2 early corners. Sammy had an early shot just over the bar and the signs looked very promising for Hitchin. Louise looking very perky and full of running broke through the Watford defence and passed a lovely ball to Sian who makes no mistakes in front of goal and Hitchin had their dream start and silenced the home crowd. 0-1 to Hitchin and a just reward for their attacking intentions.

It was all then one-way traffic with Hitchin ploughing a furrow straight towards the Watford goal. Louise had a near miss as the Watford goalie made a brave save. However as the half went on Watford started to claw their way back and the Hitchin defence started to get a proper work out for the first time this season. Natalie made a great last gasp tackle to foil one Watford attack and Rosin working hard on the left made a series of tenacious tackles to win the ball back. Eva was bought into action to parry away a couple of fierce shots as the Watford forwards grew in confidence.

In a swift counterattack Sian was bundled off the ball in the penalty area but no penalty was awarded. Paul then bought on 3 substitutions who had a baptism of fire as Keeley, Jo and Elise faced the most threatening Watford attack of the game so far. Keeley worked well on the left and pushing forward had a good shot on goal.

Watford stepped the pressure up and Elise on the right had to contend with some serious attacks. Jo was very solid and made some very good tackles and then pushed the ball forward well.

The half ended with Hitchin on the back foot and the match nicely balanced.

The second half started quietly for Hitchin and their lack of communication on the pitch cost them as a number of passes went wide or missed their intended mark. However good footwork from Louise saw her earn a free kick to put pressure back on the Watford defence. Steph and Sarah had some good interplay probing the defence and looking for the openings. However Watford were asking the questions and Hitchin were not providing the answers. Watford forced a corner and in the ensuing goalmouth mêlée a Watford striker buried the ball in the net. 1-1 and the game was on the cusp with Watford back in it.

From the restart Louise made a series of great runs really ripping through the Watford defence and Stephanie was working very hard in midfield to support her. Natalie and Lauren worked hard in defence and it was good to see Natalie start to carry the ball out of defence and take part in the Hitchin attacks providing that extra option.

Monica made a series of vital clearances and was not afraid to get stuck in where the action was. Sarah made a series of teasing runs just outside the box and had a good shot on target saved well by the goalie.

Eva dived to make a good save at the feet of the attacking Watford player and from the resulting kick Sammy launched into another of her mazy runs skipping past defenders as if their feet were in concrete she passed very intelligently to Sian who again in front of goal buried it into the net to make it Hitchin 2.

The last 10 minutes of the match saw Hitchin hold on to record their first away win at Watford in living memory. A great result that takes them to a well deserved top of the table.

On pitch communication still needs improving but there was some really good football played against tough opponents.

Girl of the match

A tough one this week, Sian took her chances well to score twice despite being clearly knocked off the ball in the box on 2 other occasions.

Natalie was good in defence but added to her game by pressing forwards intelligently.

Steph worked very hard in midfield and Louise worked her socks off up front to create the openings.

Report by Mike Thompson