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Hitchin Town Belles Under 12


Match Report 2006-2007


Team Photo; Click to expand
Under 12 Team Photo Sunday 4th February 2007


Sunday, 4 February 2007

Hemel Hempstead Town U12 B  2 v 5  Hitchin Town Belles U12

Home Counties Girls Football League; U12 Division 2


Players: Bethan, Ruby, Christie, Helen, Maddy, Amy, Jasmine, Tamsin (captain), Chloe, Alex (guest player from U11's).


Another trip to Hemel Hempstead - last time we visited we were roundly beaten on a ground that was more puddle than pitch. The conditions are certainly better this time, but just as for our previous match here we are short of numbers - we have only managed to round up 9 players from the U12's squad! Alex from the Under 11's squad has stepped in to bring us up to 10 players, and we'll just have to hope that the Belles can make up for the shortfall in numbers with their skill, enthusiasm and boundless energy! The ground for this match is not as wet as last time, but it is very much harder - an overnight frost raised the question as to whether the match could be played at all. In the end the bright sunshine allows the game to start just 15 or so minutes late, giving time for the last section of the pitch to defrost enough to play on.


LooseBall; Click to expand Defending; Click to expand

Competing for a loose ball in midfield

Defending our goal


For the first half the Belles have Bethan in goal, Christie, Amy and Ruby defending, Chloe, Alex, Maddy and Helen occupying the middle part of the field and Tamsin pairing up with Jasmine in the attacking role. The match starts with some good pressure from the Belles, leading to a corner to Hitchin. This is where the numeric advantage that Hemel have makes itself felt - Hitchin just can't get the ball past what seems like a solid wall of defenders to really threaten the Hemel goal. The Belles keep up the pressure, and just past the ten-minute mark Jasmine is able to convert this into a goal, winning the ball on the edge of the 'D' and taking a good shot low into the inside of the side netting. Hemel are by no means out of the game, and just five minutes later they draw level when Hitchin fail to deal with a ball bobbling around in their six-yard box, which finally dribbles over the line with Bethan only able to drop on it and pull it back out of the goal. The referee determines that the ball completely crossed the line, and the score is level. The first half draws towards an end, and Hitchin still have the better of the play, but no reward for their efforts. With just a few minutes left Tamsin takes charge, running onto a ball towards the Hemel goal which the retreating defenders fail to deal with, Tamsin tackles and takes possession, then closes in and places her shot low into the goal. The first half finishes with the score two-one in Hitchin's favour, and the match is still well and truly in the balance.


GetAHeadOnIt; Click to expand BreakingOut; Click to expand

Get a head on it

Breaking out from defence


For the second half Bethan comes out of goal to join the outfield players in an attacking role, and Christie takes up the gloves in goal. Now Hitchin really seem to get into their stride, with Bethan proving what a strong presence she can be as an attacking player. Within five minutes she scores with a strong solo attack, running onto the ball and taking it directly towards the Hemel goal - the defenders appear to melt away, and Bethan finishes with the softest of passes into the very edge of the goal. Three-one up and Hitchin really have the advantage, but the next move comes from Hemel with a breakaway run from a lone attacker which sees Amy desperately covering back, but finally unable to get between the ball and her goal, and the shot gives Christie no chance. Now we're back to a lead of just one goal, and the match is far from over! As the match moves into its final quarter Bethan has ever more influence, running at the Hemel defence with the ball at every opportunity. Jasmine is working really hard winning the ball and taking it forward too, and Hitchin look much the more likely team to score. Sure enough Bethan takes the next goal with a strong attacking run that sees her take the ball to the Hemel goal from the left wing, running at and right across the front of the goal, around the goalie and ending up placing the ball into the right hand side of the goal. Another goal looks certain when she again takes on the whole of the Hemel team, evading 3 or 4 tackes, but this time the finishing touch eludes her, and she ends up falling over right in the middle of the goal. Two minutes later Bethan claims her hatrick with another goal scored after slicing through the Hemel defence with the ball at her feet - this is some second half performance! Just a few minutes left, but maybe time for another Hitchin goal - Helen makes a flying run down the right wing, beating her marker and turning in towards goal. A well struck shot runs across the front of the goal with no-one on hand to touch it in, and that is the end of the match.


A five-two victory away from home is a great result, especially with just 10 players. Hitchin are certainly having a good start to their league campaign for 2007, long may it continue!


Player of the Match; Click to expand

Player of the match: Jasmine - has settled in and is really proving her value to the team now.


Report by John Davey.