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Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 15
Match Report 2009 - 2010

Sunday, 4th October 2009

Enfield Town 2 v 4 Hitchin Hearts Belles

00732 hits since October 9, 2009

Hitchin Hearts Belles made it 2 wins in succession by beating Enfield Town away from home. It was a very entertaining and open game with many chances to both sides but Hitchin took the points winning by 4 goals to 2.

For the first away game of the season it was good to see an excellent turnout, only Chloe was unavailable through illness. Hitchin lined up in a classic 4-4-2 formation with Elodie and Sophie up front. With a hard, bouncy and narrow pitch, a tightly packed midfield battle ensued. Enfield edged the early exchanges creating all the chances and Molly and her defence were put under quite some pressure in the first 15 minutes. Enfield created several clear cut opportunities with Molly twice saving well and on another occasion Carmen’s last ditch tackle prevented a shot from a dangerous position. At the other end, Elodie was creating some half chances.

As the first half progressed Hitchin Belles settled into the game more and were starting to threaten. The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes; Heather gathered the ball on the right, carried it forward and hit a strong, high shot over the goalkeeper from 20 yards. Heather’s first goal for Hitchin Belles was a beauty. The game was swinging from end to end and on 27 minutes Enfield should have equalised, the defence struggling to clear a bouncing ball but the resultant shot was weak and well saved by Molly. Straight to the other end and Heather had another great chance but the Enfield keeper bravely claimed the ball at her feet on the edge of the area. Disappointingly Enfield drew level on 29 minutes; for once the Hitchin defence allowed too much space allowing their striker to stroke the ball home from close range.

With the score at 1-1 it was important for Hitchin to respond and straight away they won a corner. Sarah delivered the ball expertly into the danger area but Enfield managed to bundle the ball away. On 32 minutes another good opportunity for The Belles, Heather supplying Sophie whose scuffed shot nearly beat the goalkeeper. Half time arrived with the score at 1-1.

There was a tactical reorganisation for the second half with Beth moving from defence into attack and Elodie moving in the opposite direction. The other change was to put Jess onto marking the Enfield playmaker who had been at the heart of most of their attacking play. This redeployment of Jess turned out to be an excellent decision and went some way to deciding the match!

In the first minute after the restart Hitchin took the lead again. Beth played a super though ball from the halfway line to find Sarah, she cut inside and shot home from 15 yards. On 43 minutes the good work was nearly undone; a moment of indecision between Jess and Molly saw Molly picking up the back pass resulting in a indirect free-kick form about 18 yards out. As usual in these cases Hitchin showed some uncertainty about the positioning of the defensive wall and Enfield nearly exploited the confusion, their shot rattling the crossbar.

Hitchin were creating more chances now, Sarah now becoming provider to Beth who went close to scoring from a wide position after 46 minutes and then again after 47 minutes. Hitchin’s third goal came after 48 minutes and it was a bad mistake by Enfield but Beth also showed her strength and determination in chasing down a “lost cause”. An Enfield defender under some pressure from Beth played a misdirected back-pass that wrong footed her goal-keeper; Beth chased it down and had the simplest of jobs of tapping in from about 1 yard out. 1-3 with 30 minutes left and it was obvious there were more goals left in the game.

Enfield responded well to going 2 goals down and they enjoyed a good passage of play. Crucially with Jess giving their number 5 close attention, their attacks were becoming less threatening. That said Enfield went close from a corner on 52 minutes, blazing over the bar from close range. On 56 minutes Molly pulled off another great save. Enfield got themselves back into the game on 58 minutes, scoring from with a simple header from close range. It was a weak goal, the Hitchin defenders had been handling the attacks with relative ease but marking let them down here.

With 20 minutes to go and the lead reduced to just 1 goal it looked like a close finish was in prospect but Hitchin closed out the game extremely well. On 61 minutes Maddie provided the ball to Sarah who advanced on goal from the left, from about 25 yards she struck a superb shot that went high over the Enfield goalkeeper and then dipped under the crossbar. A wonderful goal and a contender already for goal of the season! 2-4 and it looked like Hitchin could score more. On 66 minutes a long goal clearance from Molly bounced high and in a panic an Enfield player handled. From the resultant free-kick, Heather went close. On 67 minutes Sarah had an opportunity for her hat-trick but for once she lacked composure in front of goal. To their credit Enfield continued to press and create chances of their own, Molly forced to make good saves on 69 minutes and again on 73 minutes.

Hitchin Belles were looking dangerous with Alex firing wide on 74 minutes. Going into injury time Beth broke through the Enfield midfield but her shot was saved. With almost the last kick of the game, Elodie combined with Beth who again shot wide.

The game ended 2-4 to Hitchin. It is a long time since this team secured two successive wins and it bodes well for a more promising season. Credit goes to all fourteen players who all played a part in the victory. Special mention goes to the defensive unit, led by Carmen, which looks stronger each game. Molly had an exceptional game in goal and made numerous good saves. Heather had her best game so far for Hitchin and Sarah and Beth combined really well in the second half. Jess was named player of the match for the job she did on the Enfield play-maker.

Starting Lineup:

Hitchin goal-scorers: Heather, Beth, Sarah (2)

Player of the match: Jess

Sarah 3  
Beth 2  
Elodie 1  
Heather 1  
Maddie 1  

Report by: Dave Wrigley