Sunday, 17 September 2006
Hitchin Town Belles U14 4 v 2 Watford Ladies U14
Home Counties Girls Football League; U14 Division 1
Players: Elise, Alex, Roisin, Louise, Sarah, Natalie, Lauren, Jemma, Monica, Sammy, Sian, Stephanie, Eva, Joanna.
Scorers Hitchin; Alex, Sammy (2), Sarah
Team Captain; Louise
After being beaten 9 nil away at Tottenham in the opening game of the season, Hitchin lifted their game and teamwork considerably to inflict a well-deserved defeat on a well-organised Watford team. Matches between these 2 sides have always been close but today Hitchin opened up a gap in terms of class and dominated the later stages of the game. Inspired use of the substitutes by Paul cleverly rotating Alex, Roisin and Monica worked extremely well. Talking between the Hitchin players was the best ever heard and with the formidable attacking Hitchin forwards linking up with a Hitchin mid field that had much more bite Hitchin looked a much sharper outfit overall. Elise joined the team as a new player and worked well in midfield.
The first half saw both teams spending a lot of time in midfield with chances far and few between. The Watford team hit some shots on target but Eva gathered them well and came out confidently to deal with any loose balls. Monica tackled well on the right and Sammy linked with Louise and Sian to open up gaps in the Watford defence. Louise took a good corner, which was met by a fierce header from Natalie that went just wide. Lauren worked hard at the back with Jo to minimise any threat from the Watford forwards. Sian bravely charged down a loose ball against the Watford Goalkeeper and despite being hit fully in the face by the ball remained full of running throughout the match.
Just before half time Hitchin struck through Alex who buried the ball at close range into the back of the net after a well-worked move.
The second half was a complete change with both sides attacking freely and playing some very fast flowing football. The scoring opportunities were there for the taking and Sammy grabbed them by dancing past 2 Watford defenders before scoring with a well placed shot giving the goal keeper no chance. Watford struck back quickly and after a good shot from Sarah at the Watford end they equalised to make it 2–2.
We had 3 goals within 10 minutes of the start of the 2nd half and there were more to come. Stephanie played well in midfield and despite not scoring held the ball well and distributed it cleverly taking pressure off the Hitchin defence.
Sarah who had already come close sprung through a gap in the Watford defence and drilled the ball home. 3 –2 to Hitchin. Confidence was high in the Hitchin team and chances were being created as the Watford defence was stretched to breaking point, Sammy and Louise were tormenting the Watford defenders and a good pass from Louise let Sammy in to emphatically score her second goal and effectively end any resistance from Watford. Indeed there was some frustration from the opposing defenders, which led to Watford conceding 3 free kicks in succession.
Overall a great performance by Hitchin especially the second half where for the first time they totally dominated against a physical Watford side and did not let a precious lead slip away.
Player of the match: Sammy.
Report by Mike Thompson