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Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 14
Match Report 2008 - 2009

Sunday, 19th October 2008

AFC Stevenage U14  3 v 0  Hitchin Hearts Belles

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Hitchin’s game away at league leaders AFC Stevenage resulted in a 3-0 defeat but Hitchin will take many positives from the game. Overall they gave a much more disciplined and determined performance compared with the previous weeks heavy defeat to Barnet Azzuri.

The Belles lined up with Kerry back in goal and with Carmen, Christie, Chloe and Ruby in defence. Midfield consisted of Elodie, Alex, Maddy and Abigail, Beth and Sophie in attack. The three substitutes at the start of the game were Holly, Helen and Emily. The game started at a high tempo with both midfields trying to gain the ascendancy, but with only 4 minutes gone Hitchin went behind. Hitchin had been creating some good attacking play but were caught on the break and with the defence outnumbered Stevenage scored easily. Hitchin had several good opportunities to draw level with chances falling to both Beth and Sophie. Overall Stevenage was creating the better chances and enjoying more of the play forcing a string of corners. The pressure eventually told with Stevenage doubling their lead on 18 minutes, one of their strikers gained possession on the edge of the area and hit a fantastic shot into the roof of the Hitchin goal giving Kerry no chance.

2-0 down against the league leaders with ¾ of the game to go looked ominous but Hitchin picked up their game and there was little to choose between the teams. The Belles started to create more attacking pressure with Elodie, Maddy and Beth again going close. The Hitchin defence was also looking strong with Ruby and Christie making important tackles. On 32 minutes Carmen was unlucky not to score, taking the ball from defence she beat 3 players to get a shot on goal which was well saved. Straight to the other end and a Stevenage corner was defended by Beth blazing the ball over her own bar!

Half-time and 2-0 down but still all to play for. A tactical switch saw Carmen and Beth swopping position. The second half was even and if anything Hitchin produced more chances than Stevenage but did not seem to get the run of the ball. After 40 minutes there was a golden opportunity for Stevenage with Alex conceding a free-kick about 25 yards from goal. It should be added that the referee gave the free-kick for a high foot…..Alex’s mum was most impressed! The free-kick was very well struck but Kerry produced a brilliant save to push the ball over the bar.

Hitchin continued to press; Helen providing a through ball to Carmen whose shot was just over, Elodie and Carmen combining to create another good chance and Abigail going close when clean through on goal. So the better chances were coming the way of Hitchin Belles but somewhat against the run of play Stevenage scored their third goal with 5 minutes left.

A 3-0 defeat against Stevenage is certainly no disgrace but Hitchin created enough chances to make this a real game. The overall performance of the team was so much better than the previous week with the team playing as a real unit, this should give them some good confidence for the succession of home games to come. Particular mention should go to Kerry in goal who again produced some superb saves.

Player of the match: Kerry

Report by: Dave Wrigley