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Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 14
Match Report 2008 - 2009

Sunday, 5th April 2009

Barnet Azzurri U14 4 v 1 Hitchin Hearts Belles U14

00832 hits since April 8, 2009

Hitchin Hearts Belles were unable to reach the heights of their previous encounter with Barnet, losing 4-1 in a rather lacklustre performance. Undoubtedly Barnet deserved the win putting in an impressive, determined performance whilst Hitchin, hit by illness and injury, could not match their opponents

With the continuing lack of goalkeeping options, Sarah was again called upon to go in goal for the first half with the promise that Elodie would take over in the second half. The defensive four consisted of Helen, Emily, Ilana and Leah with Maddy playing just in front of them. Midfield had Abigail, Molly, Sophie and Jess making her debut. Elodie took on the lone striker role with the expectation that she would be supported by the midfield players. Carmen started as substitute because she feeling unwell with tonsillitis; it was impressive that she made the effort to play in spite of illness.

Barnet dominated the first half and had most of the territorial advantage and chances. Within the first minute they hit the back of the net only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. They looked dangerous on the break piercing the Hitchin backline on a number of occasions. The corner count gives a good indication of the way the half progressed; Barnet winning six corners to Hitchinís one. Hitchin did occasionally threaten the Barnet goal but Elodie was largely isolated in attack. All four defenders were hard worked along with Maddy who again impressed in the centre.

By a combination of strong defending, good goalkeeping from Sarah and poor finishing by Barnet halftime arrived with the score at 0-0. The only reorganisation at halftime was the switch of goalkeeper with Elodie replacing Sarah. The second half started much the same as the first with Barnet on the attack and in the first minute after the restart only the post prevented them from taking the lead. Directly from this let-off came Hitchinís best play of the game; the ball was cleared to midfield where Abigail played a lovely through ball to Sarah who touched the ball round the goalkeeper and fired the ball into the empty Barnet net. Somewhat against the run of play Hitchin had taken a 0-1 lead. Moments later there was nearly a repeat, Sarah again latching onto a through ball but just lost control of it and shooting wide, it could so easily have been two nil.

This was to be the high point of the game for Hitchin as Barnet again took control. 3 minutes later they got the equaliser; the Hitchin defence unable to clear the ball and a Barnet striker scored easily past Elodie. Molly and Sophie then both had promising positions in attack but could not get their shots away. By now Maddy had been forced off the field with a foot injury and this disrupted Hitchin further as her role has been so important in the past 3 matches. On 46 minutes and 54 minutes the Hitchin defence was again breached and Barnet went ahead 3-1. Hitchin had just not been conceding these kind of goals in their most recent matches but in this encounter they lacked the zip and confidence needed. Yet another forcing run from Barnet on 62 minutes resulted in their fourth goal.

With 8 minutes the fear was that Barnet would run riot but commendably Hitchin stuck to the task and there were few further alarms. On 65 minutes Abigail made an excellent run beating 3 players but just ran out of space. Then in one of the moves of the game Molly, Sophie and Carmen combined in a slick passing move that unfortunately broke down on the edge of the penalty area.

The game ended 4-1. The player of the match was awarded to debutant Jess who gave a lively performance in midfield. Credit should also go to Maddy for an excellent first half performance and to Sarah for her first half goalkeeping and goal threatening start to the second half. It just was not Hitchinís day and they need to put this game behind them and concentrate finishing well in the 2 remaining encounters of the season against Watford and Stevenage.

Hitchin goal-scorers: Sarah

Player of the match: Jess

Report by: Dave Wrigley