Ladies 5s 0 - 1 Spencer 3s (A)
By Marlijn de Jong
Fighting spirit: 100
We started our game against the top of the league with only 11 players. Captain Emily presented our starting (and only) lineup. She reminded us of the 3-0 win in the previous match against them and we were ready to play and win.
Though she was ill and should have been in bed, Lily C is too much of a hero to stay away. She played brilliantly and it was great to see the team pull together to support her. I’ve never seen us communicate so well on the pitch. Emily helped lead this effort and together with Jen, they managed to push the ball up the pitch and sprint back to help defend.
About two minutes in Emma pulled a hamstring, but she too soldiered on. Shortly after, Spencer got a short corner, and managed to score after it broke down. Plenty of time to fight back though, and fight we did. Lara, playing out of position at the back, making tackles at full sprint and deservedly wining POM. Chloe, Charlotte and Lilly H completed the back line and together held firm, making great tackles, transferring the ball, and pushing up the pitch.
At half time, Sian Craze gave some excellent advice: we will get tired so play together, transfer the ball (and I’m sure several other good tips I didn’t get as I was trying to help with the aforementioned hamstring injury).
With both Lily C and Emma playing at 50%, our midfield needed support. Rosina stepped up, sprinted all over the pitch, picked the ball up in defence and ran it al the way to the opposite D. Great effort even if the shot didn’t come off. Her midfield positioning did mean she was much closer to me, in goal, than usual. I suddenly found myself shouting her name to get her to mark the oppo. Sadly, my brain forgot that her name isn’t ‘Serena’ and thus here I am, writing this match report. Sorry Rosina….
The second half saw an onslaught of short corners (no thanks to the possibly slightly biased umpires), but through heroic efforts of Emily, Emma/Lara, Charlotte and Chloe we kept the ball out.
Charlotte’s game plan included several fantastic hits across the pitch to Ruth who ran her butt off, managing to run about five miles!
It was a tough game but I feel we did fantastically in the face of such adversity.