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Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 14
Match Report 2008 - 2009

Sunday, 21st September 2008

Luton Town U14 †11 v 1† Hitchin Hearts Belles U14

00924 hits since September 24, 2008

The first away game of the season brought a heavy defeat for Hitchin who lost 11-1 to Luton town. The score-line certainly did not reflect the grit and determination shown by the Belles but Luton played excellently, particularly in attack. The main difference between the sides was Lutonís aggression and desire to be first to the ball; this was particularly evident at corners from which they scored 4 goals.

Hitchin lined up with Kerry in goal and Helen, Katie, Ruby and Christie in defence. The midfield quartet was Abigail, Maddy, Sophie and Bethan with Elodie and Carmen in attack. Ilana and Holly started the game as substitutes. The early exchanges of the match were relatively even with both midfields battling to create an opening. It was not long however before Luton started to press and create a great deal of attacking pressure resulting in chances aplenty. After only 16 minutes Luton had scored 4 times to move into a commanding 4-0 lead and Nigel was forced to make a tactical change bringing Carmen out of attack and into defence. This was a sound move as the defensive unit looked stronger with Carmen making a series of excellent clearing tackles. Kerry made several good saves to keep the score somewhat respectable. Hitchin attacks were very rare in this period but Elodie and Bethan did link up well on occasion.

Luton scored their 5th goal on 30 minutes, the Luton strikers again showing good aggression to attack an excellent corner to head the ball home. Hitchin held on to 5-0 deficit until half-time. Whilst the score was certainly very one way, the Belles had played with spirit and had not allowed their heads to drop. It was important to build on this for the second half.

The second period started and Hitchin enjoyed their best period of the game with Elodie and Bethan coming more into the game. Luton were still threatening to score with every attack but the defence was holding out, Ilana making one important clearances and Kerry impressing with more good saves. On 43 minutes Hitchin created their first real chance of the game. A Luton player handled the ball on the edge of the penalty area and from the resulting free-kick Elodie smashed the ball against the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.

Unfortunately the floodgates now opened and Hitchin conceded 4 more goals in the space of 7 minutes to bring the score to 9-0 with all of 18 minutes left in the game. Again Hitchin showed great commitment and upped their game. On 54 minutes Elodie pulled a goal back, leaping onto a poor goal-kick to easily score past the Luton goalkeeper. However the pressure was still mostly from Luton and Sophie, Katie and Helen all showed good battling spirit to smother attacks. The pressure did tell in the end and Luton scored twice more to make the final score 11-1.

Luton Town take a lot of credit for the performance. Their movement from midfield to attack and their strength at set pieces is something for Hitchin to try and emulate. Certainly the defence needs to work at being more aggressive and first to the ball from set pieces. The score-line was very harsh and did not reflect the effort made by all the players. Special mention should go to Kerry who again made some excellent stops, Elodie who continued her excellent goal scoring record and Carmen who was excellent in her defensive roll.

Hitchin goal-scorers: Elodie

Player of the Match: Carmen