Sunday, 5 November 2006
Hitchin Town Belles U14 1 v 4 Princes Park U14
Home Counties Girls Football League; U14 Division 1
Players: Elise, Alex, Roisin, Louise, (Captain) Sarah, Natalie, Lauren, Kerry, Monica, Sammy, Sian, Stephanie, Eva, Joanna.
Scorers Hitchin; Sarah (1)
Half Time; Hitchin Belles 0 Princes Park 2
After a good draw at Luton in their last match Hitchin confidence was high for a good result today but it was not to be.
A tough match for Hitchin who seemed slightly out of sorts due to the half term break, which meant match skills were not as sharp as they could have been. Sammy was missed on the left wing but a re jigged formation in the first half took time to get motoring.
Unfortunately for Hitchin they were up against a formidable Princes Park team who have pulled off some great results against the top teams in the league and they possess a goal keeper whose goal kicks were spectacular in their length and accuracy, it was almost like having another striker on the pitch. The game was played at pace and the key differences between the sides was the quality of the passing from Princes Park and their ability to talk to each other and make the ball do the hard work. Saying that the chances were far and few between and some solid defending especially from Lauren stopped a lot of their attacks. Hitchin had a most of the possession and pinned Princes Park back but on the break out Princes Park took their chances well and converted all of them. Louise ploughed a lone furrow up front at times and Stephanie again gave some real bite to midfield with some blistering shots. Sarah ran extremely well but unfortunately the support was not always there to help her. Roisin was great in defence and in attack against a very physical Princes Park team as seen by the fouls conceded.
A good start from Hitchin who worked hard on the right wing to force 2 early corners, Stephanie also hit an early shot at goal. It was good to see Hitchin not conceding the early goal and despite a corner from Princes Park the defence held firm. The pressure then came from Hitchin forcing a corner through good work by Louise and continually hemming Princes Park into their own half. However 20 minutes into the first half a very quick break by Princes Park saw them beat Eva to make it 0-1.
Jo and Monica worked well in defence to break down any counter attacks. Natalie moved into midfield but Hitchin did look slightly unbalanced. Hitchin then counter attacked forcing another corner but Princes Park retrieved the ball passed up field where a striker hit a long range shot straight into the goal. 0-2. Hitchin heads did go down and to be fair on the balance of play at half time 2-0 down was not a fair reflection of the gap between the 2 sides but as they say football is a funny old game, not if you’re losing it’s not. It’s quite unfunny.
However at half time and after the largest and fastest consumption of Jaffa cakes I have ever seen in my life (it was frightening any hands or feet that got in the way of the eating of Jaffa cakes would have been eaten as well!) spirits were restored. As with all good coaches Paul changed the formation and reminded the team it was a game of 2 halves and there was still all to play for.
With blood sugar levels at record highs due to record breaking Jaffa cakes eating contest, Hitchin started brightly only to be punished early on by a quick goal from Princes Park. This seemed to stir Hitchin into action and a superb shot from Stephanie following a corner led to the goalkeeper fumbling the ball and Sarah taking full advantage after some nifty footwork to smack the ball home 1-3.
Sarah then followed it up with an outstanding run only to just miss after beating the defence. It was looking much better for Hitchin and the away supporters were going very quiet. A much more encouraging spell of football from Hitchin. Roisin was outstanding in defence by making some great tackles and then her very intelligent use of the ball to set up some real attacking chances linking well with Alex whose speed always threatens defences. Princes Park retaliated late on to bury the game with a quite outstanding goal following a great cross met full on with a volley into the net which there was little Hitchin could do to stop. Final score 1-4.
The overall result was slightly unfair in terms of the difference between the sides, but Princes Park were clinical in their finishing and attitude while Hitchin did not create enough chances. Hitchin need to improve their passing and start calling for the ball and they can then beat sides like Princes Park who will be serious contenders for the League championship after beating teams like Cambridge.
Next week Tottenham Hotspur B away and after a run of 3 very tough matches an opportunity to pick up some points and pull back on goal difference.
Player of the match: Again against physically intimidating sides Roisin punched well above her weight with some show stopping tackles and great distribution to get things moving on the right wing. Rosin has the very positive attitude in all these type of games that the bigger they are the harder they fall!
Report by Mike Thompson