Back to Hitchin Belles
Back to Match Reports

Hitchin Hearts Belles Under 15
Match Report 2009 - 2010

Sunday, 7th March 2010

Garston Ladies 4 v 1 Hitchin Hearts Belles

00639 hits since March 15, 2010

Hitchin Belles returned to action with a difficult away fixture at Garston and their cause was damaged by 2 very late withdrawals from the team. This meant that Hitchin had to play the game with only 9 players but they put in a magnificent battling performance, eventually losing 4-1. Hitchin was outnumbered but certainly not outplayed.

With such limited resources the Belles lined up in a 4-3-1 formation. It was great to welcome back Kerry after a year out and she took up position in defence. Another big positive was the return of Elodie after a long injury lay-off and she was asked to take on the difficult task of lone striker against Garston. The numerical disadvantage was tempered to a degree by the fact that the Garston pitch is small.

The opening stages of the game were tight with Hitchin coping well with the lack of numbers. In fact Hitchin edged the early exchanges and should have been ahead after 5 minutes; Sarah with a great chance through on goal fired her shot straight at the goalkeeper. Somewhat against the run of play, the home team scored with their first real chance of the game; on 12 minutes a corner to Garston was played long and with the defence static a striker passed the ball into an open net.

Hitchin responded well to going a goal behind forcing a series of corners. On 16 minutes Elodie had to leave the field struggling with her long-term injury and Hitchin was down to 8 players for the next 10 minutes. This hardly seemed to matter as all the Hitchin players were fighting hard; they basically seemed to want it more than Garston! Hitchin continued to edge the play but showed some lack of composure in front of goal, Heather and Sarah again going close. They were to rue these missed opportunities as Garston stretched their lead to 2-0 on 29 minutes, Molly left exposed by a break through the defence to easily score. Whilst Garston had by now a 2 goal lead it is fair to say that Hitchin was producing much more goal scoring opportunities and the score-line did not reflect the balance of play.

Almost immediately Hitchin could have equalised. Heather and Sarah combined well to supply Elodie whose shot was saved. On 32 minutes Elodie again chased down a long through ball from Carmen, showed great skill by holding on to the ball and creating an opportunity to shoot but the goalkeeper had it covered. As the first half came to a close Garston was creating more pressure forcing a number of corners but the Hitchin defence looked solid except on 38 minutes when Molly was beaten but an excellent goal line clearance from Dani saved a goal.

Half-time arrived with the score at 2-0 to Garston but it had been a remarkable effort by Hitchin. The amount of work that the 9 players had put in during the first half was evident and the concern was that as the game went on this would become a factor. With this in mind Carmen switched positions with Sarah early in the second half.

Hitchin started the second half just as positively as the first and again was creating the best of the play. On 42 minutes Sarah supplied a beautifully weighted ball over the Garston defence for Carmen whose shot went wide. On 45 minutes a great chance fell to Garston but they were denied by an instinctive close range save from Molly. Elodie then went close again at the other end, heading wide from a corner. Garston was pressing harder winning more corners but Kerry, Sarah, Helen and Dani, with some covering help from Carmen, were coping well.

Then on 54 minutes Hitchin got a goal back! It was not pretty but Elodie showed great bravery in chasing down the ball and under a heavy challenge managed to bundle the ball into the net. Hitchin really deserved this goal and they almost claimed another one 4 minutes later, Carmen latching onto a good pass by Heather but firing wide.

Garston extended their lead on 59 minutes and could have gone further ahead but for a great covering tackle by Dani minutes later. They did make it 4-1 on 68 minutes with a fine strike. Hitchin would not give up. From a long goal kick, Elodie controlled the ball well but her shot was wide. On 73 minutes Carmen had a wonderful chance but hit her effort straight at the Garston goalkeeper; this was the kind of chance she would normally score 9 times out of 10...

The game ended at 4-1 to Garston but the 9 Hitchin players take enormous credit. Molly and the defence were magnificent throughout. Everybody worked so hard from start to finish, exemplified by Sarah who covered so much ground in defence and attack. Special mention goes to the 2 returning players, Elodie and Kerry, no easy return for either of them. Kerry was awarded player of the match for her strong performance at the centre of defence.

It is a shame that Hitchin could not field a full team for this was a game they surely could have won.

Starting Lineup:

Hitchin goal-scorers: Elodie

Player of the match: Kerry

Sarah 4  
Beth 4  
Maddie 3  
Elodie 2  
Carmen 1  
Heather 1  
Sophie 1  

Report by: Dave Wrigley