South Battled Hard- 11/10!Bella Muras
South arrived at their home pitch on a dark winter afternoon in 4 degrees, enthusiastic for a great match against the mid-table Saffron Walden, as well as the warm-up. The Long Road pitch was buzzing and full of life after a day of matches, including the 4's vs 5's match just before, making South even more keen to impress the crowds.
The whistle blows for the start of the match, and Saffron Walden are off with push back. Passing the ball neatly to a fro and a releasing to a highly skilled Saffron Walden forward who kept the ball glued to the end of her stick, working it around South's defensive line. The threat is neutralised with a few minutes of heavy man-marking and South have a taste of how the match could continue. Onwards and upwards! South have possession in S.Walden's defensive 25, passing between each other until an interception is made by S.Walden, the counter-attack is live, S.Walden's striker strides towards South's defensive D and after getting around South's solid defense, takes a strike and scores. South are fighting hard and resist further S.Walden goals in the first half, the ball frequently going into S.Walden's defensive 25 and circulating the posts, but no South goals just yet. The half time whistle goes.
Let's try this again South! Armed with half-time fuel, it's South's pushback and we progress towards S.Walden's D. Passing between our mids and forwards, maintaining possession with quick releases, perseverance, and not being afraid to pass back and switch it. The battle continues with several flying high balls and a few frustrated stick tackles from each side. Alas the fight pays off as South have sorted a short corner for themselves, let's go South! A confident injection, a confident pick up and a strike is taken, yet S.Walden's keeper lunges into it with her left kicker. A scrabble in S.Walden's D over the rebound and South pick up another short corner from a foot. Let's try this again shall we? Again, a clinical injection, a confident pick up and a strike by South's right-back Kirsty, it's a goal! Celebration from the pitch and the sideline crowds! Equalised to 1 all.
S.Walden's push back is primed with South Captain Rhi's encouragement to "get another", South are hungry for a win. A few minutes of play in each team's halves and 25's when possession is jumping between the two teams. After a scrabble in S.Walden's D, South's striker Jas perseveres and gets the ball in the back of the net. 2-1 to South! The battle continues on both sides, with heavy man-marking by South's defenders to resist another goal from S.Walden, the ball works its way up the pitch to South's forwards, and as luck would have it another South goal scored by Jas; 3-1!
With 2 minutes left on the clock, S.Walden manage one more goal from a long corner as the ball flies across the D and into the corner of the goal, millimeters away from the keeper's kicker. With only a few seconds to go, South take their pushback and with a stike from Rhi to the opposition backline the final whistle went, closing the match at 3-2 to South!
Fantastic defensive play. Strong clearances out of the D and 'no-one shall pass' tackles