What would a Netherlands international forward/mid/defender do?Eimear Lee
The first Saturday match of the upcoming season got off to a great start when most of the team managed to get to the pitch by the meet time. So far, so good. Some well-intentioned but misdirected congratulations unfortunately resulted in an overwhelming lemon situation later in the day. We learned that several of us need to get some new astros sooner rather than later as poor Jenny’s feet were not up to finishing the rest of the match. Some chat about insoles and whether or not ASICS would do the job for the season probably need some input from the L1s Alice Wright.
Buoyed by inspirational words of advice such as “just think about what a Netherlands international centre-forward/mid-fielder/defender/sixer would do”, the L2s took to the pitch. Exactly where the term for the position of sixer originates is still unclear to most, but Jenny assured us it was a real thing and the system still left our very own IMP as a 10, so it seemed to work.
It took a little time for the L2s to settle into the rhythm of the game after a hard week of the first training session and a Thursday friendly for most. Nonetheless, once we started to do the basics right we remembered what the tempo of the match should be. Aoife was doing some stellar work at right back beating almost every defender and getting the ball well up the pitch, deserving winner of the MOM accolade. How does she run so fast? Passing to our own players rather than to Stortford yielded quite a lot of rewards. Sam, Jess and Rebecca were outletting really well and driving the ball forward fantastically. Our defensive short corners had more practice in this game than they had for most of last season, with superb efforts from all involved to keep the ball out. Louise had a couple of saves to make and did so very well despite being quite tired after the evening before.
Half time came around with the score 0-0 and a jelly baby break was very welcome for all. The message was to tighten things up, hold our positions and pass more accurately.
Boom, the goals came thick and fast directly after half time, with Stortford netting first. This was swiftly followed by a perfectly executed short corner routine from South, with Izzy smashing the backboard with her effort. Stortford levelled things up again and managed a further goal which was deflected in from a seemingly impossible head height to make it 3-1.
South responded very well to the pressure and relished the opportunity to push for the win. The defenders defended even more short corners, the mids midded, and the forwards forwarded. Grace forgot that we were playing hockey and attempted to catch the ball at some point. Use your stick next time Grace? South played to the very last moment and close to the end Rebecca managed to get another goal back for South with a fantastic waist height deflection from Dani K-S’s cross; 3-2.
The game ended in a South loss but a worthy performance for early in the season and a really nice game with a very friendly yet challenging opposition.