Ladies 2s 4 - 1 Southgate 1s (A) - friendly
By Beckie Middleton
The Ladies 2s enjoyed a good pre-season run out away at Southgate on Saturday, winning 4-1 and putting in a solid performance against the Conference East leaders who could well be in the same league as us next season.
With only 13 players available, the game was always going to be a good test of whether the fitness programme sent out by Joe (our manager / running pro) over the winter break had worked - and we coped pretty well overall so maybe the hours of plodding, sweating and swearing our way around Bushy Park over Christmas are paying off.
Birthday girl Char put in her standard bid for DOD pretty early on this week - while she’s a notable fidgeter in every team talk, turning on the hand dryer to drown out Will midway through his tactical masterclass was a new one even for her.
Enthusiasm was at a low ebb during the warm up with biblical rain coming down and some fairly unimpressed-looking drowned rats trying to work out what point to take off layers and how to hit shots without completely losing the feeling in our hands. Thankfully the monsoon stopped just in time for pushback and we started well with a number of shots and corners in the first quarter.
Youngsters Amelie and Monica both stepped up brilliantly. Ams made several great tackles high up the pitch and posed a consistent attacking threat with her dribbling skills, while Monica put in an assured performance at the back, staying calm and passing the ball around with maturity far beyond her years.
Our first goal was a fairly comedy one (although their keeper may disagree with this analysis). Noa’s initial drag flick was saved, and when she ripped the rebound back towards the bottom left corner it came back off the post, hit the goalie on the back of the head and pea-rolled into the goal.
Amelie scored a second, volleying home from the middle of the circle following a quick attack down the right hand side and Denno grabbed a third with a speedy reaction on the back post to deflect home a penalty corner.
Jenny was excellent in central midfield, making tackles throughout the game and turning Southgate in knots with the sort of pirouettes you might see on Strictly. Harri is also taking to half back like a fish to water, ripping up on the flanks with speed and skill.
The game opened up a bit in the second half and while we were disappointed to concede, Meggy smashed home a fourth to complete a 4-1 win and a good team performance.
Our discussions about the offside rule while watching the end of the Manchester derby in the clubhouse were interrupted by an excited Meggy who opened her bag of tricks before sprinkling sequins over Char, handing out party poppers and unveiling her contribution to the post-match cakes we all tucked into. I don’t know whether people like playing hockey games on their birthdays, but I reckon a cake buffet is always a good addition to match teas.
Unfortunately I failed to input my own address into my sat nav correctly and ended up doing a couple of loops of Watford to add 30 minutes to my journey home. A silly end to a fun day.