Sunday, 18 February 2007
Hitchin Town Belles U14 9 v 0 Hemel Hempstead U14
Players: Elise, Alex, Roisin, Louise (Captain), Sarah, Natalie, Lauren, Kerry, Monica, Sammy, Sian, Stephanie, Eva, Joanna and Keeley.
Scorers Hitchin; Sammy (3) Keeley (2) Sarah (1) Louise (2) Stephanie (1)
Half Time; Hitchin 3 Hemel 0
Natalie was unfortunately injured and hospitalised before the match when she was involved in a spectacular cycle accident en-route to the match. A mad squirrel leaped on her from a nearby tree bit her on the nose and this caused Natalie to lose control and perform a perfect somersault over the bike before skidding along the road using her hands and face to stop herself. Fortunately though badly bruised and cut Natalie will play again! Of the squirrel there was no trace just its bite marks on Natalie’s nose and its paws prints on Natalie’s bike. Unfortunately after the previous heroics away to the Rockets who had their flight shortened by a battling Hitchin performance to earn a well earned draw, this set the tone for the day and on a dark overcast sombre February day where everybody seem to be a little quiet, a 9 man Hemel side were going to be the side to receive a punishing defeat. It was not an exciting spectacle to watch and either the cold or lack of sunshine meant both sides seemed a little inactive with Hitchin on occasions trying to be a little over elaborate and try to pass the ball into the goal. It is unusual for Sian not to be on the scorecard and it was not for lack of trying today but the fact that so many of the Hitchin team scored was good. All credit to Hemel who despite fielding a 9 men team they never let their heads down and their goalkeeper was excellent and certainly got a lot of opportunities to make some good saves. Eva on the other hand had hardly any to make but bought into play her new talent for taking the back pass and really hammering the ball up field. Hitchin have with this match pulled back on some of the leading teams in the league with the 3 points and a glut of goals and it has to be said continue with a great winning streak to stay unbeaten this year. To be above Watford in the league is a very good performance indeed. A really good team with plenty of attacking and defending options is starting to take shape at Hitchin.
A subdued start but a very clever cross from Sarah saw Keeley straight in to score within 2 minutes of the start. Hitchin 1-0. Louise and Steph both had good shots on target and the tone of the match was set with Hitchin spending all of their time in the Hemel half and looking to record a good score. Kerry made some good penetrating runs deep into the Hemel defence to open up opportunities for others. A quickly taken corner saw panic in the Hemel goal area and Sarah pounced to bury the ball home. Hitchin 2-0.Another rebound and straight to the deadly feet of Louise who bags the goal to make it Hitchin 3-0 up. A flurry of corners a Hitchin offside and a strangely quiet end to the first half.
A brighter start to the second half with Sammy dancing past the defenders to slot home early on to make it 4-0 to Hitchin. Stephanie hit some tremendous shots but every time she did a Hemel player bravely threw herself in its deadly trajectory. Roisin played well on the left and coupled with the new defensive formation of Elise and Monica; there was little danger to the Hitchin goal. Monica made some fine challenges along with Elise to distribute the ball well out of defence. The moment of the match came when Sian picking up the ball deep in her own half ran the length of the pitch and unselfishly passed a cracking cross to Keeley who duly obliged by stroking the ball home to make it Hitchin 5 Hemel 0. A great goal and all credit to Sian for a truly skilful piece of play. A good period of play saw a Hitchin goal disallowed for offside but Stephanie soon pounced to fire home to make the score 6 nil to Hitchin. Sammy again got in on the action who stepped round the goalie to calmly slot the ball home to make the score 7-0. More corners to Hitchin, more shots on goal, more saves by the Hemel keeper and following one of these corners Louise stepped up to smack the ball home to make it 8-0. More pressure from Hitchin which forces a number of corners and a goal disallowed from Keeley because of the offside rule. However it fell to Sammy who delivered the final blow with another good piece of attacking football to make it Hitchin 9 Hemel 0. Not a great game to watch but Hitchin clinically disposed of the opposition and secured all the objectives for the day 3 points and lots of goals. Next week Cambridge away in the first round of the cup competition and a very different match looms and an attack of the mad squirrels could seem mild in comparison.
Keeley who stepped up from the U13 to score 2 very good goals and provided another option on the left wing. This was a very assured performance from a player stepping up an age group.
Report by Mike Thompson