Flying ShoesIzzy MacDonald-Parry
My black eye and I (courtesy of Jenny*) arrived at Long Road on Saturday morning, optimistic for the game ahead. Zara presented me with a very fetching pink poncho - very practical, I would absolutely recommend. We watched and cheered on the L3s; some members of the team got wet; I, in my poncho, did not. We headed into the changing rooms and discussed tactics, and that I had made no subs plan and told the girls to go wherever Paul put them. Jenny had issues with mobile signal in the changing rooms and the card reader. Issues carefully avoided (signal was found in the hallway), we headed out into the rain to warm up. We played Aoife’s favourite game of, ‘What are we going to do well today?’
We headed on to the pitch and quickly realised that Hertford were going to be a tough team. They had won their first three games and scored fifteen goals. When we picked up the pace we worked the ball up the pitch well and had some shots on goal. Hertford’s keeper’s reactions were quick and she kept us out. Our defenders worked tirelessly at the back, with Ellie and Nic tackling well and keeping our middle clear. Louise made some brilliant saves. Hertford’s first goal (which I remember nothing of (2nd editor also remembers nothing) (3rd editor - short corner, inital shot blocked, loose ball broke for them nicely and was hit very crisply) happened just before half time. At some point in the first half Louise made such an effort to save a goal that she not only kicked her kicker off but also her shoe.
Paul’s half time talk inspired confidence and we went out stronger in the second half. So strong, that Sam collided with a Hertford player in under thirty seconds and hurt her ankle. I think Sam was actually just tired, as once Jess and I had carried her off she was walking around and came back on ten minutes later… There were offers of ice packs but Jess insisted that Sam was just in the way on the pitch. We had much more of an opportunity to get back into the game in the second half. We made some threatening runs up the pitch and had shots on goal but were denied by Hertford. Hertford scored again in the second half with what has to be admitted to be a very good short corner routine, with an unstoppable deflection.
MoM votes were spread between Louise, Ellie, Jenny, Kendra, Nic, and Aoife. The overall winner was Louise for her great saves. LoM was a three way tie between Louise for the kicker and shoe incident, me, and Jenny. I got LoM for accusing Jan and John of stealing my pen (very sorry) which actually was just inside my clipboard. Jenny got it for not having a playing shirt on at the start of the game (she nobly sacrificed her shirt to the 3s last week and had not gotten it back at this point). Sam got some votes for her amateur dramatics.
Not our best performance this week, but a fun game against a tough opposition. Ultimately we were beaten by a better team.
*Jenny, in her play for L2s’ captain, savagely hit a ball at my face at training on Wednesday.