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Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 15
Match Report 2009 - 2010

Sunday, 15th November 2009

Hitchin Hearts Belles 0 v 5 Watford

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After the euphoria of last week’s first win against Luton, it was back down to earth with another heavy defeat to Watford. The match was switched to Hitchin’s ground due to a waterlogged pitch at Watford but home advantage did not count for much as Watford ran out winners by 0-5. Whilst the score line did flatter the visitors somewhat, Hitchin conceded 3 goals in a disastrous 5 minute spell in the first half; Watford did thoroughly deserve the victory against a lacklustre Belles performance.

With no substitutes to call on, team selection was very easy! Hitchin started in a 4-5-1 formation with Sophie in attack. The early stages of the game were even with a crowded midfield battle ensuing. Watford took the lead on 8 minutes, Hitchin failing to clear their penalty area and the ball was fired in off the post from about 12 yards. Hitchin rallied well to going a goal behind and started to create some attacking play. Dani and Heather combined well down the right on 16 minutes, Heather providing a super cross but Maddie just could not get on the end of it. A minute later Helen and Heather combined to create a half chance for Sophie but the Watford defence was able to clear.

To this point the game had been closely fought but the game was effectively taken out of Hitchin’s reach in a disappointing 5 minute spell. On 20 minutes Watford extended their lead with a simple move which opened the Hitchin defence allowing their striker to easily go round Molly. Only a minute later Watford nearly scored again but a tremendous covering tackle from Carmen prevented the shot. On 22 minutes it was 0-3 in a carbon copy of Watford’s second goal. Then on 25 minutes it became 0-4, the Hitchin defence not closing down the Watford attackers allowing a shot from 15 yards which was lashed in past a helpless Molly. So Hitchin had conceded 3 goals in 5 minutes and a rout was on the cards but the Belles lifted their game and at least stemmed the goal rush. The remainder of the half was played out with few alarms or highlights.

With the score at 0-4 at half-time, the challenge for Hitchin was to retain their discipline and to tighten up at the back. There was little or no chance of getting back into the game but it was important to step up and build some confidence for the next matches. The second half started with Watford again creating the most pressure. On 42 minutes there was another golden chance for the visitors, a well struck shot was well saved by Molly going down to her right. Hitchin was much improved in the second half. Maddie was again playing well in midfield looking to link with the strikers. Watford still carried the greater threat and several times Carmen had to use her strength and speed to cover back and clear. On 53 minutes Watford had yet another great chance to score but Molly made a great double save from close range.

Hitchin was probably now enjoying their best period of the game. On 54 minutes Carmen gathered the ball in defence and played a lovely progressive path to Sophie in attack, route one football at its best! On 56 minutes Alex won the ball in midfield and laid it on to Sarah who showed great vision to find Maddie in an attacking position only for the attack to break down. Watford extended their lead on 70 minutes; an excellent strike lifted high over Molly. Hitchin pushed hard to get a least one goal back, Sarah and Heather shooting from long range.

The game ended at 0-5 and Hitchin was left to regret the 5 minute period in the first half that decided the game. Generally the effort from the 11 Hitchin players could not be faulted; the performance in the second half was much stronger. They simply have to cut out the sloppy periods that happen too often!. Player of the match went to Carmen for another strong performance in the heart of the defence.

Starting Lineup:

Player of the match: Carmen

Sarah 4  
Beth 4  
Maddie 3  
Elodie 1  
Heather 1  
Sophie 1  

Report by: Dave Wrigley