Category Archives: ladies 2s reports

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 23RD MARCH 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Chelmsford L 1-4

Earlier in the season we were denied a victory at home in the last seconds of the game as Chelmsford fought back from 2 down to secure a draw. With Chelmsford promoted last week and our safety secured, we headed down the M11 for our last game of the season.
With the squad depleted by mid-week injuries we took the field with a bare 11 against a home sided who had a full bench so this was going to be a tough assignment. We started the game really well moving the ball around from side to side but fell one down after six minutes when a snap shot on the angle found the net.
We kept playing some lovely pass and move hockey and Anouska Stott  was denied twice in quick succession by the home keeper and a couple of strikes from penalty corners were deflected narrowly wide of the home goal. The game became open with Chelmsford looking to pick us off on the break and they did create opportunities but Abi Lewis made some good blocks in goal. With Georgie Gardens prominent in midfield we were certainly creating problems for Chelmsford as they were struggling to cope with our formation.
Although one down at the break, we felt we were well in the game and were causing the home side plenty of issues. Chelmsford came out hard at the start of the 2nd half and took the game back to us and doubled their lead on 40 minutes.
We were still playing with plenty of spirit and skill and grabbed a well deserved goal on 46 minutes. Georgie Gardens broke up play on half way before driving past the Chelmsford defence to release Anouska Stott  who artfully deflected home from a narrow angle.
The Pies pushed on in search of a leveller and following a move down the right,Anouska picked a run from the gambling Laura Tibbenham who just failed to apply the decisive touch. Chelmsford regrouped and began to push us back as we started to understandably tire from the games efforts. In the last 12 minutes Chelmsford added a further couple of close range strikes to run out flattering 4-1 victors.
With the goal at the start of the season being to maintain our league status, this has been a good year for the Ladies. Here below are a few stats from the season just completed.

Playing record – Played 22, Won 6, Drew 6, Lost 8 , Scored 30, Conceded 42
Most Appearances – Laura Tibbenham 22, Kath Johnson 21, Anouska Scott 20
Most Goals – Laura Tibbenham 9, Anouska Stott  8, Tor Findlay 3
Most Clean Sheets : Jade Daly 3, Alice Wells 1, Lucy KIng 1
34 players were used through the season
We took at least one point off all teams in the league except League Champions BromBeck.
Being a male in an all female world this season, some things have made me chuckle:
1. Being asked, will I be going back on the field as I will have to put my hair up.
2. A word perfect rendition of I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates which was a hit in 1971. Impressive pop knowledge from one of the younger members of the squad.
3. The power pose squad  photo at Olympic Park.
4. Meeting Bruce and Shelia at Christmas.

It’s been a hard year with injuries ravaging the squad at times but the team has showed a great spirit and togetherness throughout. Hope all of the injuries heal soon although certain swellings may take a little longer. All the best to those off to Uni or embarking on new careers. Likewise we look forward to doing it all again in September.

Finally, thanks to everyone back at the Nest for their support and help and a big thanks to the following players who have represented the 2’s this year.
Alice W, Jade D, Shev S, Kath J, Amelia H.S, Katherine R, Jess H, Molly W, Phoebe E, Olivia L, Charley S, Anouska S, Laura T, Lucy W, Sophie C, Georgie C, Georgie G, Eva H, Sophie G.S, Amy C, Cat M, Bobbi W, Sara L, Emily R, Sophia B, Lucy F, Ellie B, Louisa G, Tor F, Aoife L-D, Lucy K, Kristine A, Daisy F and Abi L.

Andrew Bell

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 16TH MARCH 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Norwich City Ladies 1 W 2-1

After a tough start to the season, a turning point was the first game at Taverham where we enjoyed a fine 3 Nill win. This was the catalyst that saw an upturn in our fortunes as we have been in good form since, leading us to securie our position in the division.

Despite the big defeat last week at the champions ( Although we played well in our opinion ), the Ladies wanted to get back on the points trail. What better than a local derby against a City side who have been unlucky in recent weeks as they battle to survive the drop to Division 1.

As expected the game was a keenly contested battle with City playing a high press that at times had us struggling to move the ball around the park. When they got through, the defence was dogged with Lucy King dealing with any shots on goal. However it was certainly not one way traffic as we found a lot of joy in attacking areas. As mentioned before, this league is about taking your chances and Tor Findlay netted midway through the first half and then just before the break to get us a 2 goal interval league.

The second half through up similar patterns of play with City desperate to get back in the game. In truth their efforts gained reward as the game moved into the final quarter when they netted to halve the deficit. This set up a grandstand finish and despite a few alarms the ladies dug in and worked their socks off to record a solid 2-1 win.

This was a really good, hard earned win against determined opponents but the Ladies signed off their home campaign on a winning note
Magpies ended their home season with a record of Played 11, Won 3, Drew 6, Lost 2 picking up a vital 15 points in the process.
Last game of the season next week is an  away trip to already promoted Chelmsford

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 9TH MARCH 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Bromley & Beckenham L1-5

We knew from our game at home earlier in the season that Brom Beck are the class outfit in the division. They have stormed to promotion with 4 games to spare so we knew the task on our hands as we travelled to Langley School for this lunch time start.

The home side started fast and  netted within the first 3 minutes following a deft flick into the corner of the net. The home side were moving the ball swiftly around the park and were looking very threatening. However a theme through the season has been our battling qualities as we started to press well on the BB back line.. Aoife Lowe Davies fired away a super drag flick from a PC only to be denied by a flying save from the home keeper. We were really pressing hard at this stage and Georgie Gardens nearly scored another copybook reverse stick effort but was denied by a excellent save low down near the post.

The game was very end to end and BB were making some classy moves in and around our D but when they got a sight of goal they were denied by some good blocks by Abi Lewis who was making her EWL debut in goal. Still the game was very open with both sides pressing well and we were getting decent positions by hustling the opposition into errors.
Just before half time, Jess Howland fired the ball home direct from a penalty corner but it was chalked off as it was deemed to have been marginally too high. Small margins for sure as just on the whistle BB doubled their lead when they netted after a swift break.

Knowing that the next goal in the game would be pivotal we started the second half on the front foot and once again pressed the opposition well. Seven minutes into the second half, we bagged a lifeline back into the game. Sophia Bassett drove from the half way line right into the heart of the home sides defence skilfully evading defenders. She then showed desire to win a 50/50 at the top of the D before finding Laura Tibbenham who tucked the chance away.

Buoyed by this, we did start to really push the home side back and from another good attack Anouska Stott struck narrowly wide with a snap shot that had the keeper beaten.
BromBeck were then stung back into life and broke up play on the halfway line before getting to the bye line to square back to the penalty spot where a neat finish was applied.

We were still battling hard and BB were quite happy to sit in and try pick the Pies off on the break. With time running out, a fast break plus a well worked PC saw the Champions run out winners by a slightly flattering 5 goals to one.

Firstly, full congratulations to Brom Beck on securing promotion and for winning the league securing National League status. We contributed fully to a very entertaining game where we battled hard and took the game to the opposition whenever we could.

This was only our 2nd defeat in 11 games and this run of excellent form has been down to hard work and endeavour from all who have played for the 2’s this year. With other results going our way over the weekend, we are clear of the relegation zone with our Premier Division status ensured. However we want to finish the season on a high and look forward to entertaining Norwich City down at the Nest in our last home game of the season.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 2ND MARCH 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v West Herts W 2-1

Earlier in the season, we lost a close game away after giving up a two goal lead to lose 3-2 against a West Herts side who started the day in the relegation places. With both sides looking for a win to enhance their chances of surviving in the division, this was going to be yet another close game in a very tight league.

The conditions were excellent for hockey as the Magpies attacked the Car Park end and were soon on top not letting the visitors settle. From an early penalty corner a neat deflection was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten. The press was working well and we continued to take the game to the opposition and in all honesty we were carving out plenty of chances but were being denied by an inform keeper coupled with at least 3 efforts that just drifted past the post.

Whilst being on top West Herts were offering the occasional threat on the break. Sadly midway through the half and against the run of play the visitors nosed themselves into a lead .A short corner was cleared off the line but the rebound was forced home to leave us with work to do.

This seem to jolt us back into life as we started to keep the pitch wide and zip the ball around the park. Once again we were looking dangerous and we gained our just rewards just before the break. Following a scramble in the D, the hard working Tor Findlay managed to steer the ball home to get us on terms at half time.

The visitors came out hard at the start of the second period as we were pushed back and we were struggling to find the fluency we had in the first half. The opposition were winning the 50/50 tackles and the Pies nearly went behind again but Jess Howland managed to clear the ball off the line in the nick of time.

After riding out this period of pressure, we started to get to grips with the game again and we started to pass the ball accurately picking off the opposition. We began to create good opportunities but were denied by some last ditch defending, good goal keeping and also guilty of passing up a couple of clear overload opportunities.

Although again on top, the Pies kept knocking on the door and a piece of individual magic got us ahead in the game with just over ten minutes to play. After neat interplay down the right Georgie Gardens drifted in field leaving defenders in her wake. The run cross field took her into space at the top of the D which was exploited as Georgie fired home with an unstoppable reverse stick effort.

We had opportunities to add to this again but were denied by the West Herts keeper whilst we had to be on our toes at the back as WH pushed for an equaliser in the last couple of minutes. However we saw the game out to record a priceless 2-1 win.

This was a spirited display by the 2’s yet again. This was due reward for an excellent prep session at training mid-week and whilst we did not play the perfect game, the Ladies always give 100 percent effort. Yet another close game in this league and we felt we were well worth the win which saw us advance to 23 points for the season.

Next week, we face the Champions elect Brom-Bec away in what is bound to be a very hard game but we go there in good spirits.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 16TH FEBRUARY 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Wapping D 3-3

Earlier in the season Wapping recorded a big win at the Nest after a dominant 2nd half performance and are in the promotion mix as well. The Pies travelled to the Lee Valley Stadium in good heart following some recent solid results. We were buoyed by the fact that we were playing on the main stadium pitch, so after an OK magazine team photo shoot as well as a good warm up,the game commenced under cloudy skies.

Wapping were dominant early on as we were pushed back well into our own half and to be fair we were finding it very hard to string any passing patterns together. However after 10 minutes from a swift break out we found a foot in the D for a penalty corner. Aoife Lowe Davies executed a sweet drag flick destined for the top corner of the net until the Wapping post defender made a head high deflection to save the day.

This gave us confidence as the game became more even but Wapping are a good side and were still making inroads into our D. On debut, Daisy Ford made a really fine save at the feet of a Wapping forward as we battled to keep on terms. Wapping took the lead mid way through the first half from a close range conversion from a penalty corner.

As the half drew to a close, both sides were creating chances in the D but neither could find the finishing touch as the game got stretched. So we arrived at the break one down but well in the game. Our team talk centred around keeping the energy levels high on the press as well as moving the ball around because we had seen how we could expose the home defence in the first half. However we needed to guard against a Wapping side who had tore us apart in the 2nd half previously. What actually transpired was a frantic second half that had everyone present on the edge of their seats.

We came out in dominant fashion, starting by pushing the home side back and creating a couple of penalty corners. With only 4 minutes played, we were back on level terms.Lovely passing down the left hand side found Laura Tibbenham who drove into the D. Her pass found Anouska Stott who drew the keeper before from an acute angle lifting the ball into the net. This pattern continued as we were almost unplayable as we were punching holes through the Wapping back line. From a PC, we got into the lead following a training ground move that saw Lucy Whiting deflect home with a deft touch that flew into the net.

Still we had the upper hand and Laura Tibbenham fired just wide and the home keeper made a couple of important blocks to keep the deficit to one. Wapping are a good side and were still a threat and found a way back into the game from a well worked PC. All of this had occurred in the first 10 mins of the half. Wapping felt they could go and win the game from here but likewise we were of the same positive mindset. From an infringement, Anouska quickly took a free hit just inside the Wapping half and spotted Laura Tibbenham who had gambled on making a cross field run into the D. Tibbs neatly evaded the keeper before walking the ball into an unguarded net to get us in front again with 15 mins played in the half.

Wapping then pushed us back and piled on the pressure. Daisy made a number of decent saves and the whole team worked really hard to limit the damage from wave after wave of home attacks. From a home PC ,they tried their earlier variation with the same effect to level the scores at 3 each with 12 minutes to go.

With emotions running high neither side wanted to take a backward step as the game turned into a well matched arm wrestle . In truth Wapping could have pinched a winner but likewise we penned them back as the game drew to a close with us taking a valuable hard earned point back to the Nest from the home of England hockey.

This was a really solid point and full credit to the whole squad of 14 who again went toe to toe with the opposition not giving an inch. They battled so hard helping each other out as this work ethic together with some exciting attacking hockey ensured we added a point to our tally. The squad also appreciated the strong support from the travelling Pies fans seated in the main stand.

No game next week, however we are next at home on Saturday March 2nd against West Herts in what will prove a difficult game after we narrowly lost to them 3-2 away. A vocal home support would really be appreciated by the squad as we move towards the crucial last few games of the season.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 9TH FEBRUARY 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v St Albans D 2-2

Back in October , we bagged a fine away win at St.Albans in a closely fought match. Having had some decent results in the last few weeks, we knew we would have to be at our best. The visitors had recently picked some excellent results away from home at Broxbourne and Canterbury so we knew this would be yet another close encounter.

The game started with a strong cross wind sweeping across the pitch ( I am told it was the backwash from Storm Erik ), with the Pies attacking the car park end. We had a dream start to the match on 3 minutes when Tor Findlay pressed a defender into making a mistake before slipping the ball to Laura Tibbenham just inside the D. Her first effort was kept out but she made no mistake second time around.

St.Albans pressed hard to get back into the game with their midfield dictating play although much of the possession was played in front of us as we kept our shape well without the ball. With both sides having plenty of options from the bench, each side made a number of changes to keep energy levels high as the wind was proving troublesome.

The visitors were starting to get sight of goal and keeper Jade Daly made 3 smart saves before the scores were levelled on 20 minutes. After defending a couple of previous penalty corners, St.Albans finally levelled when a shot from the top of the D found the home net. We responded to the setback getting a lot of joy down both wings with Lucy Field and Aoife Lowe Davies on the right whilst Cat Maciver and Georgie Gardens made some similar inroads down the left. With the forwards hitting the Hot Spots in the opposition D we looked dangerous with Sophia Bassett twice being denied with last ditch tackles.

With the game all square at the break, we discussed how we just had to keep battling against a very experienced side who had looked dangerous in our defensive D. Likewise we also felt that we could net a second as we had been encouraged by our attacking play in the first period.

With all to play for the second half began with the game being contested in the middle of the park as each team wanted to gain momentum. During this period, Olivia Locke and Jess Howland broke up play well in front of our defensive line before trying to release our forwards on the counter. The visitors still looked a threat in the D and from a PC that was only partly cleared, a close range effort was forced home to leave us behind for the first time in the match midway through the second half.

The Pies have shown during this season that they are full of dogged determination and yet again this spirit was going to be needed if we were to get back on terms. We started to  push the visitors back as we played some decent triangle hockey and started to create opportunities resulting in some penalty corners that were well defended. Georgie Gardens was inches wide with a snap shot and some dangerous crosses just evaded our forwards.

At the back, Kristine Ayling, Kath Johnson and Amelia Herschel Shorland were having to work hard to keep the back door shut. Amelia made a brilliant covering challenge to stop an Albans forward getting a shot away from close range. With ten minutes to play, a devastating break saw us draw level. Good work breaking up an Albans attack allowed Lucy Field to pick a pass to Aoife Lowe Davies on the right. Aoife made an incisive break into the right of the D before squaring a perfect cross to Anouska who applied a well struck finish via the left hand upright..

Both sides had chances to pinch a very late winner especially when we were denied by a magnificent flying save by the keepers stick as a goal looked certain..

The game finished all square at 2 each with a share of the spoils being a fair reflection of the afternoons proceedings and another point gained from a difficult hard fought encounter. Next week, we are off to Lea Valley for a tough looking game with Wapping who had beat us convincingly earlier in the season.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 26TH JANUARY 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v City of Peterborough W 1-0

After last weeks home victory, the Ladies made the trip to Cambridgeshire for a tough looking fixture against promotion chasing Peterborough. In the earlier fixture down at the Nest, we had been a little unlucky in not securing a victory. However we respected the fact that the home outfit are a very good side at Bretton Gate so this would be a tough outing for both teams.

The match started with both sides looking to gain control of the game as both teams went toe to toe from the outset. Peterborough had plenty of possession in the early stages of the game, in areas of the pitch that was not overly threatening for us as we were breaking play up before any dangerous attacks were launched. Likewise we were moving the ball down both flanks nicely and getting into some useful positions but Peterborough were also keeping us at arms length by defending well as a group.

As the half developed, both sides created penalty corners as the match started to get slightly stretched. Whilst we were threatening on the break, Peterborough’s pressure started to build towards the interval. From a good move into our D, a Boro forward crashed an instinctive mid air volley that would have been a goal of the season contender but for an equally magnificent reflex save from Jade Daly . Soon after Jade made a routine save from a penalty corner as we got to the break all square.

Half time came with instruction to keep up the work rate as well as keeping the ball moving down both wings where we had looked dangerous in the first half.

Peterborough came out really hard once again and penned us back into our own half and were buzzing around our D creating some nervy moments. We were now having to work really hard as Peterborough looked likely to get ahead but the Pies defended resolutely as a team in all areas.

With the home side pushing players forward, we saw the benefit of holding firm as we then began to launch some excellent counters as we began to punch holes through the home sides press. By cleverly running off the ball we created a couple of one on ones but unfortunately Noush was denied by 2 good saves from on loan Magpie Hollie Riches.

On yet another breakout, we edged ahead in the game with 12 minutes to go on the clock. Amelia made a lovely break and carried the ball past 3 defenders on half way before finding Laura Tibbenham who had stayed high. She broke into the D and sent a cross cum shot looking for Noush at the back post but a retreating Boro defender toe ended the ball past the wrong footed keeper. Needless to say Tibbs claimed the strike for her 6th of the season.

Peterborough laid siege looking for an equaliser and Jade once again was called into action. At the other end, we were denied by a sprawling save and Aoife Lowe Davies sent a drag flick penalty corner just wide. As the pressure mounted we were reduced to 10 players for the remainder of the game and again it looked like we may give up the lead in the last few seconds. Peterborough sent a close range effort inches wide and we also had to defend yet another couple of corners with time up on the clock. The ladies held firm and manage to get over the line for a gritty single goal victory.

In a game where a draw would have been a fair reflection of the match, we were delighted to take 3 points away from the Gate. Certainly we have not always had the best of luck in games this season so perhaps we were owed some today. Once again we have added 3 points to our seasons tally after a hard working display against a good side.

Next week, we have a very tough game at home to Sevenoaks whose performances are far better than their position reflects.The ladies would appreciate a good vocal following yet again from the Nest faithful as we look to keep the momentum going.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 19TH JANUARY 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Broxbourne Ladies W 1-0

The Magpies were back at the Nest where the visitors where promotion chasing Broxbourne. In the fixture earlier in the season, we were soundly beaten by a strong performance from the home side and they have carried that form throughout the season. With this in mind, we knew that we would be in for a hard game and were mindful that they also have some slick set piece routines in their locker so we would have to be on our guard.

After the early morning frost had cleared, the game began under clear blue skies with the low sun causing difficulty as Magpies attacked the Car Park End in the first half. The game started at a high tempo as both teams started on the front foot. Magpies had the better of the opening exchanges as the press was creating a number of turnovers in the Badger’s defensive areas. This led to some neat interplay between Tibbs, Anoushka and Tor, fed from midfield, with crosses flashing across the face of the goal as we strove for the early breakthrough. We then had a flurry of Penalty corners from which Ridders had a goalbound shot blocked followed by Tibbs sending a reverse stick effort just wide of the post.

Broxbourne as expected, were proving a tough nut to crack and they started to gain some control with midfield runners linking with forwards as they started to ask some serious questions in and around our D. The defensive quartet of Shev, Louisa, Kath and Kristine stood firm during this period and when they did get a site of goal, Lucy Hayman made some fine saves including a great double save as it looked like a rebound would be forced home. Towards the end of the half, we regained control and started to push the visitors back but as expected Broxbourne were resolute in defence as a hard fought half ended scoreless.

The half time talk centred on keeping the energy levels high as well as getting the short passing going to break through a tough Broxbourne press. The need to keep working the flanks as we had in the first half was probably going to be key if we were to get the breakthrough.

The second half began again at a high pace as both teams wanted to get the breakthrough. We were using the flanks well as Aoife, Amelia and Lucy were making driving runs down each wing  as we once again looked a threat but the visitors were resolute in defence. Ten minutes into the second half the Pies bagged the all important opening goal.
Good work down the right flank by Anoushka and Aoife exposed the Badgers defence as Jess Howland gambled with a run from deep as she picked the ball up, drifted by a couple of defenders before applying the finish that the move deserved.

This stung the promotion chasers back into action as they started to gain better possession of the ball but our work rate and desire to grind out a result was evident all over the park. The central midfield trio of Cat, Jess and Ridders tackled and broke up play as the visitors pushed for a share of the spoils. We were still looking a threat on the break with Tor linking play nicely as well as keeping their defence on their toes when we broke out on the counter. On one such break a driven ball from Ridders picked out a great diagonal run from Anouska who was inches away from getting a deflection into the net.

The home crowd played their part as they were right behind the girls in the last few minutes of the game as the Badgers pushed hard for an equaliser ,as we wanted to hang on to what we had fought so hard for. Good sides fight right to the end and this can be said about both teams. Broxbourne created Penalty Corners at the end of the half and sent the whole team up as they had one last PC chance with the full time whistle blown, (Memories of last minute heartache v Chelmsford still fresh in the mind).  The ball was slipped right but we doggedly closed down the options and the ball went behind and the win was secured,

This was a hard fought win against a tough skilfull side who would probably feel they deserved something from the game. However from a Pies point of view, this was a great team perfomance as we secured our first home win of the season and a valuable 3 points added to the tally, The work rate, desire and no little skill was there for all to see .
The work on the training field had the desired effect as we edged yet another really tight game.

The squad would like to send a big get well soon message to goalkeeper Alice Wells who dislocated her shoulder in training on Tuesday night and hope she is back playing soon.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 12TH JANUARY 2019

Ladies 2nd Team v Cambridge City 2 L 0-1

The outdoor season resumed with a trip to Wilberforce Road for a fixture against Cambridge. The fixture earlier in the season was a scoreless draw and as that score suggested it was a game between two evenly matched sides.With conditions ideal for hockey, another close battle was expected in front of a sizeable crowd that included plenty of encouragement from the Magpies supporters.

The first 15 minutes of the half was fairly scrappy in fairness as both sides were showing plenty of honest endeavour but neither were getting their passing games going. However the high press from the hard working Magpies was causing Cambridge plenty of issues as they struggled to transfer the ball out from the back into midfield. With this being the case we were picking the ball up in good attacking areas and started put some decent passes together and getting some joy down both flanks. Cambridge were also struggling to deal with aerial balls that were being launched into the D and from one of these Tibbs did force the ball home but it was correctly ruled out.
With Cambridge only offering a threat on the break, we were still the dominant force in the match as our attacks were now being rewarded with crosses flashing across goal as well as a number of penalty corners in quick succession. From one of these, the Cambridge keeper made a good double save and Ridders also found the net but again it was correctly chalked off. Cambridge did come back into the game towards the end of the half and forced a couple of penalty corners that were well dealt with by the defence and Alice Wells in goal.
Having got to half-time all square was the least we deserved to be fair as we had dominated for large periods of the first half but could not find that elusive opening goal in what was always going to be a tight game.
Cambridge began the start of the second half in a very business like manner as they squeezed us back into our own half as they were now winning the 50/50 balls and started to get some slick passing moves going. When we did manage to get the ball, their intensity was causing us to rush our work and we were struggling to get any passing going and any dribbles were coming up against a wall of red. Cambridge were then creating some opportunities in our D and we had a let off when a fierce shot hit both posts before going to safety. Midway through the half, the home side went ahead after some ping pong in our D, before a home forward got enough on the ball to send it over the line.
This setback jolted us and for a few minutes we looked as if we may concede again as the home side looked for a second. To the teams credit we came battling back into the game as Cambridge looked to hang on to what they had got. We got back to moving the ball in and around their area and were only thwarted by some last ditch defending and a couple of shots flew narrowly wide. However we were unable to pick the lock to create a clear opening in the last few minutes as Cambridge were hung on to their advantage to bag a hard fought narrow victory.
As mentioned in previous reports, this is a very even league but the trend seems to be that you need to get ahead in the tight games when you are on top. Credit to the home side who upped the ante at the start of second half and netted a scruffy goal when on top. Once again there were lots of good things to be seen in our performance and also some that we need to work on. We were certainly worth a point on the day against good opposition but you don’t always get what you deserve. 
Next week, we are back to the Nest where we are looking forward to pitting our wits against the joint league leaders Broxbourne at 1.30pm. The team would appreciate a good crowd to back the Ladies in what will be yet another hard encounter.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 8TH DECEMBER 2018

Ladies 2 v Canterbury 2 D 1-1

Following on from last weeks fine display against Chelmsford, we welcomed promotion chasing Canterbury to the Nest. The result earlier in the season was a narrow defeat for us ,so we were looking forward to trying to get a positive result against the side with the best defensive record in the division. The game began in blustery conditions with the low sun proving difficult as we defended the Club House End.
The intensity in our performance was there from the first whistle as we moved the ball around with good tempo and we were well on top from the start.. With Canterbury struggling to settle, we began to create some clear chances in front of goal. Firstly Laura Tibbenham fired just wide with the keeper beaten then after a good move we all thought Anouska Stott had opened the scoring only to be denied by an incredible clearance off the line by a Canterbury defender.
Still we pressed and carved out further opportunities as both Eva Harness and Tor Findlay were denied by fine saves from the away side’s keeper but still we could not break the deadlock.
Canterbury grew into the game and imposed their high intensity game on ourselves and were getting joy by hitting through our defensive press and releasing their high running forwards. With Magpies digging in, the mid-field of Jess Howland, Cat Maciver, Charley Seaman, Katherine Ridley and Lucy Field all contributed to keep any danger to a minimum and managing to launch some attacks of our own. Just before half-time Canterbury had a clear site of goal but Alice Wells pulled off a magnificent reflex save to keep things all square at the break.
In truth it would have been a fair reflection of the first half if we had taken a lead into the break.The team talk at half time was based on us keeping our intensity high but with a focus on passing the ball with a little more accuracy which would hopefully see us create some more chances. 
Canterbury came out very much on the front foot at the start of the second half and penned us back into our own half. The opposition had a flurry of 5 penalty corners which we bravely defended with again Alice Wells making some great stops in between the sticks. Likewise the defensive trio of Shev Steggles,Louisa Greenacre and Kath Johnson were showing dogged resistance and skillfully sticking to the task of keeping us on level terms.
Having weathered the storm. we gradually started to get ourselves back into the game as an attacking force as we started to find some joy down both flanks. On 51 minutes, we made the breakthrough following quick thinking from Jess Howland who quickly took a free hit and drove into the D where Anouska Stott rolled the keeper with her back to goal and applied a deft finish for her 5th league goal of the season.
This stung the visitors again into forcing us back as they tried to get back into the game as it entered the final quarter. Once again more penalty corners had to be defended but the pressure finally saw a deserved equaliser as the Kent side levelled from close range with ten minutes to go.
Both sides were pushing for the 3 points and we so nearly regained the lead after lovely build up play saw Anouska round the keeper but from an ever decreasing angle her diving reversed stick effort hit the outside of the post and away to safety.
At the end of a hard fought sporting battle both sides shared the spoils as we added another point to our seasons tally. This was again a very spirited display from the Pies who can go into the Christmas break in good spirits and looking forward to the season beginning again in mid January, After the game , the squad enjoyed a Christmas meal
@ The King’s Head in Brockdish where they met up with old pals from Australia, namely Bruce, Shelia, Nigel and Alf.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 1ST DECEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Chelmsford D 2-2

After last weeks fine derby day win, the Nest was the venue for our next league outing against table topping Chelmsford ( Featuring on loan Magpie Bryony Lund ). The weather had closed in prior to the start of the game and it began in heavy drizzle.
Magpies started the game in slick fashion, moving the ball around sweetly and making early inroads into the Chelmsford D. With only 6 minutes on the clock, we went one up. A quickly taken free hit by Cat Maciver caught the away defence on the hop as she drove into the D and after a melee in front of goal Laura Tibbenham scrambled the ball home. This gave the team the belief to impose themselves further as our impressive start to the game continued.
On 18 minutes a fast break out of defence down the right flank saw Anouska Stott make a great run into the D before crossing the ball for Laura Tibbenham to apply a calm composed finish as we bagged a second.
With the leaders on the ropes at this time and the Magpies being roared on by the hardy Nest faithful it was important to get to half time unscathed. Chelmsford showed their mettle as they pushed hard upto the break as the game became a battle of wills. A flurry of penalty corners right on half time were kept out by some super reflex saves from Alice Wells as the defence stood firm to go in two up at the break.
The half time talk was about keeping up our intensity and maintaining discipline as we knew the leaders would come out strong looking for a way back into the game. Right from the start of the half we were pushed back as Chelmsford we’re making hard running breaks into our defensive areas and creating a number of opportunities but we were standing tall and tackling everything that was being thrown at us.. Alice Wells once again made some smart saves when they gained a sight of goal.
With the intensity and desire of both teams to the fore, green and yellow cards were shown as the game entered its final quarter. Magpies had an escape when a shot glanced off the post but we then began to look a threat on the break as the away side committed bodies forward.
Chelmsford found their route back into the game after yet another penalty corner was worked towards the goal and the shot was stopped by a head of a Pies defender. The resulting Penalty Stroke was converted to leave us with a grandstand finish.
The game was now end to end and a swift break saw us isolate the goal keeper only for the shot on goal to scrape the post of the empty net.
Chelmsford kept driving for the equaliser and duly obliged with a under a minute left on the clock as they forced the ball home from close range to break Magpies hearts and pick up a hard earned draw.
Full credit to both teams after an epic match where fortunes swayed one way and then the other. The whole team showed great heart, determination and no little skill in all parts of the field and duly got a point but so nearly bagged all 3.
This was our best display of the season against a side who although still top, knew we had run them oh so close. Next week, yet another stern test as a strong Canterbury side visit the Nest in the last game before the Mid season break

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 24TH NOVEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Norwich City 1 W 3-0

After last week’s heavy home defeat, the Magpies made the short trip to Taverham for this eagerly anticipated local derby against a City side who had picked up a good win at Peterborough last time out. In decent conditions, the game started at a high tempo with Magpies settling quickly moving the ball around nicely. Norwich also made a comfortable start looking a threat on the break as both teams looked to strike early.
As mentioned earlier, we were passing the ball around nicely from front to back and our pace in forward areas was causing major problems to the City defence. We were then dominating the game with the front 3 of Laura Tibbenham, Anouska Stott and Georgie Cantrell linking really well and after a period of sustained pressure of 18 minutes we went 1 up. After good work the ball fell to Georgie Cantrell who unleashed a fierce drive from the top of the D that was skilfully diverted home by Anouska Stott.
With Jess Howland and Cat Maciver winning all the 50/50 battles in the middle of the park, this allowed our wide players to exploit both flanks . Georgie Gardens and Phoebe Eglington were making strong breaks down the left, whereas on the right, ex-City players Sophia Basset and Emily Rash were equally effective. We then took control of the game by the scruff of the neck as Anouska Stott bagged her second and Georgie Cantrell netted a deserved goal as we were good value for a 3 goal lead at the break.
The discussion at half-time was to keep up the work rate and passing  but be mindful that City would come out hard so we needed to be resolute and defend as a team. We knew gaps would appear in their defence as they threw more players forward in an attempt to get back into the derby.
City to their credit had read the script and pushed us back into our own half. They were making strong attacks down both flanks and started to create a number of opportunities in our defensive third. We were under a period of heavy pressure as City were running up the Penalty corner count but credit to Alice Wells in goal who made some very important saves to keep our lead intact. Likewise the defensive trio of Charley Seaman, Shev Steggles and Kath Johnson were solid and calm during this pressure, winning their tackles and clearing the ball away from danger.
As the second half ticked by, we started to pick off the home side with some incisive breaks and only some last ditch defending kept us out. We were unlucky not to add a fourth as an excellent save from Glover in the City goal deflected the ball onto the face of the post and away from danger. Towards the end of the game, we looked after the ball well and came away with a very well deserved 3-0 nill win.
After a tough few weeks this is a real boost for the squad to bag their 2nd away win of the season, as everyone contributed to a solid winning performance. This win is also a reward to the commitment of the 14 other Magpies who have represented the 2’s so far this  season. Likewise the squad appreciate the support and coaching that they have received from everyone back at the Nest this season. Lastly, the win is also a thank you to the loyal band of supporters who follow the team home and away every week.
Next week, we look forward to welcoming Chelmsford to the Nest as the league reaches its halfway point.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 17TH NOVEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Bromley & Beckenham 1  L 0-5

On a beautiful blue sky Norfolk day, Magpies welcomed Brom-Beck to the Nest in their latest EWL Premier League Game.  The game started at a high tempo with both teams trying to settle into their own respective styles of play.. The visitors struck early from close range and soon added a second to leave us 2 down with only 12 minutes on the clock. A change in our formation allowed us to get more of a foothold in the game as we started to catch the visitors on the break. A couple of promising breaks were only let down by us not picking the final pass to leave a clear run in on goal. Although the away team were looking a threat, we then began to ask some questions of the BB defence.. We were denied from a penalty corner by a brilliant low save by their keeper and likewise crosses were flashing across the D just waiting for a finishing touch. Sadly just before the break the away side bagged a third to leave the Pies with a mountain to climb at half time.
To be fair we made a spirited start to the second half as we pressed the away side and started to win the 50 / 50 battles as we enjoyed our best spell of the match. Once again we were denied by the keeper in a one on one battle as we tried to sneak the goal that would get us back in the game. BB weathered the storm and grabbed a couple more close range goals from well worked penalty corners. We lost Shev Steggles to a nasty head injury after she put her body on the line to deny a strike at goal.  To our credit we kept pushing forward right to the end and we did find the net but it was rightly chalked off as a PC had already been given.
On the face of it, a 5.0 Nill home defeat looks like a very bad day at the office but we can take a number of positives from the display.. As mentioned previously, this is a tough division and our opposition today were the best side we have seen down at the Nest this year. We will box this defeat and eagerly look forward to next weeks local derby away at Norwich.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 10TH NOVEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nds v West Herts 1 L 2-3

The ladies headed to Hertfordshire expecting a hard battle against a home side who knew a win would take them above us in the table. Likewise we wanted to put last week’s result behind us and get back to getting some points on the board in this hotly contested division.
As the game began, so did the rain. which began as drizzle but ended up at stages more like a monsoon. However the Pies were soon on the front foot, pushing the home side back as the defensive press was working well which was allowing us to move the ball around on a very slick surface. After a couple of penalty corners for the Pies early on, we then broke up a home attack with devastating effect. Good passing and excellent running off the ball allowed us to get into the D where Laura Tibbenham beat the keepers lunge to send the ball towards goal, allowing Olivia Locke to put us a goal up in 6 minutes (certainly a change in fortunes in this respect based on recent games).

The ladies were now on top in all areas of the pitch, breaking up attacks and launching fast breaks down both flanks as West Herts were struggling to get to grips with our high tempo game. After a couple of close shaves, we then bagged a 2nd goal on 20 minutes after a lovely run into the D by Amelia Herschel – Shorland, who found Anouska Stott to finish expertly. In truth, we could have been at least 3 up at this stage and it would have been a fair reflection of the game at that stage.
This did fire up the home side into a response and they had us on the back foot towards the end of the half. We were defending well across the pitch and when the home side got shots away, Jade Daly dealt with them well. It was a blow to our chances  when after a goal mouth scramble the home side bundled the ball home two minutes before the break.
West Herts were encouraged by their goal and pressed really hard early in the second half ,as we struggled to get our passing game going. We were trying to hit through the defence, as opposed to playing the lovely pass and move hockey that was displayed in the 1st half. In this respect we were creating problem’s for ourselves, as West Herts were now well on top forcing a number of penalty corners as we were on the back foot. Likewise the threat to card players became a reality as we had 2 players awarded green’s as the pressure mounted.
It was no surprise when the home side finally netted from close range to level the scores at 2 each. They then began to press hard for a winner as we were at full stretch at the back with Jade again making some good saves. During this time we also had some promising breaks but could not find the final pass as we flashed the ball across their goal without applying the final touch,
As the game was entering its final stages and a draw looking the likely result, the home side were awarded a penalty corner which they converted to get them into the lead for the first time in the match. In the remaining time left on the clock, we pushed forward looking for the equaliser but could not create that final clear chance on the home goal.
This narrow defeat was tough to take and we feel that after being 2 up we should have got something out of the game.The ladies had put in a 100%  effort in a game played in very poor conditions. and its was a shame that we could not take any points back home to the Nest, However we are looking forward to next week’s home game against a high flying Bromley & Beckenham side.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 3RD NOVEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Wapping 1 L 1-5

Following last weeks solid win, the Ladies returned to the Nest for a morning start against a fast improving Wapping side who were level on points with us at the start of the day.
Sadly, we have seemed to have picked up a nasty habit recently of going a goal down in the first 5 minutes. Today was no exception as the visitors swept home from close range with just a minute on the clock to leave us a goal down.
In fairness, the ladies responded in a really positive manner with a good high press forcing turnovers in the Wapping defensive area, although the away side were dangerous on the break leaving 3 hard running forwards high up the pitch. However  we were exerting pressure on the home goal and we went close when Bobbi  took the ball into the D, rounded the keeper but put her shot narrowly wide. We now started to create a number of penalty corners and we deservedly equalised when a PC was slipped left to Ridders who crashed home a shot on 20 minutes. Up to half-time the game ebbed and flowed as both sides looked dangerous although just before half-time Magpies were down to 10 after a green card for not being 5.
With the scores level at the break, the need to keep up the intensity and belief was going to be the key against a very good side going into the second half.
Wapping started the second half on the front foot playing some slick passing hockey which left us struggling to get a foothold in the game. Ten minutes into the second half we lost Molly who turned her ankle over as the Wapping side were attacking. They exploited this space and crossed the ball into our D where it was scrambled over the line. In truth, we never really recovered from this and Wapping added 3 more goals in quick time as we lost our shape and pattern as the away side were running us ragged. We were not helped when we went down to 10 for a harshly awarded yellow card for a stick tackle.
Although we managed to stem the onslaught, the damage had already been done as the away side run out worthy winners after a dominant second half performance.
As mentioned previously, this league is a major learning curve for all and there will be no easy games. Our first half performance showed that we can match most sides in the league however if we fall below these standards then we will get picked off like we were in the second half by a very good side.
However we have a positive / talented group of players and move our thoughts to next week with an away trip to West Herts.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 27TH OCTOBER 2018

Ladies 2nd v St Albans 2 W 4-2

Conditions for the game were cold with a biting northerly wind but thankfully dry after the pre-match sprinkler soaking.
The Ladies got off to a bad start when a lofted ball into the D was swept home from close range to get the home side ahead after 4 minutes. St.Albans went hard looking for a second as we were looking to get a foothold in the game. We gradually started to look more threatening in the final 3rd but were finding it difficult to carve out any clear chances on the home goal.
However on 20 minutes the hard work paid off as a fine move down the left lead to Katherine Ridley unleashing a rocket of a reverse stick cross shot to get us back on level terms. We then started to push on playing some neat triangles which were making inroads into the home defensive areas.
With half time looming, we edged ahead following good work from Jess Howland who spotted a great run into the D from Lucy Whiting who converted with a deft deflection into the net leaving the keeper helpless. A great way to end the half as we went in ahead but the half time talk centered around keeping up the intensity and being mindful that the home side would start the half strong.
With Magpies now pressing all over the pitch, we managed to win the ball in midfield that allowed Laura Tibbenham to break down the left. Aided by unselfish running by the forwards she run half the length of the field, holding off the chasing defence before applying a calm finish into the corner of the net to put us 3.1 up.
St.Albans then upped the ante and piled on the pressure creating a number of opportunities from open play and penalty corners which caused some anxious moments in Pies defence. However Jade Daly made some excellent saves and the whole team were battling hard to hold on to our hard earned advantage.
With the home side throwing numbers forward our swift counter attacks were looking dangerous and in the 63rd minute we worked the ball out from the back where Anouska Stott found Laura again with a lovely cross field pass who ran in on goal to net once again with a neat finish.
St.Albans never gave up and netted with 2 minutes to go but it was too late to deny the Ladies a first League win of the season against seasoned Premier League opposition.
Every game in this league will be tough but the whole squad worked so hard for each other to get back into the game. By putting in the legwork all over the pitch, it allowed us to play some good free flowing hockey that saw us net 4 times away from home.
The team are looking forward to returning to the Nest next Saturday for an 11.30am start where they will face another hard game against a fast improving Wapping side.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 20TH OCTOIBER 2018

Ladies 2 v Sevenoaks 2 D 2-2

The Ladies were looking to build on last weeks excellent performance against Peterborough and made the long trip to Kent in good spirits.
As is the case with trips to this part of the world, traffic delays meant that pre-match prep had to be cut short which is never ideal.
The home side were looking for their first points of the season and saw this as an opportunity to start fast and that is exactly what happened.
Within 8 minutes, Magpies were 2 down and Sevenoaks were rampant. Our very sluggish start to the match assisted them as the goals we gave away were not works of art either.
It was looking like it was going to be a very long afternoon for the Pies as we were struggling to get a foothold in the game. If it was a boxing match, the referee would probably have stopped it to save us taking any more punishment.
After a period of midfield sparring, we began to piece some exciting counter attacks with Georgie C causing the Sevenoaks side lots of problems with her skill and speed down the right wing.
The team had now grown into the game and were now matching the home sides work rate and enthusiasm. As a result the ladies were now looking a real threat in and around the home goal. Our efforts were rewarded with a lovely team goal. Kath found Molly in midfield, she turned her defender and fed Georgie C who went on a mazy diagonal run across the D before beating the keeper with a reverse stick cross shot that Tibbs applied the finishing touch to. To go in at half time only a goal behind was certainly a big confidence boost for the team.
After a positive discussion at half time, it was essential that we kept the hard work going if we were to get something from the game.To use another cliche,the next goal would be crucial.
Once again Sevenoaks started quick but now we were matching their intensity and still looking a real danger on the break.. Sevenoaks had plenty of possession but the midfield / defence were working well but when they did get a sight of goal Jade made some good saves to keep us in the game.
With time beginning to run out, a fine direct run into the D from Bobbi W caused havoc resulting in a penalty corner. We then grabbed the equaliser when a reverse stick drive from Georgie C found the net to bring us back on terms with 12 mins to go. It so nearly got better for the Pies when the home keeper had to make a couple of decisive saves and after great work along the by-line the ball flew across  goal but Tibbs could not find that elusive final touch.
This stung the home side into a cavalry charge on the Pies goal and both sides lost a player to yellow card offences in a frenetic finish. Oaks had claims for a stroke infringement in the last few minutes and had one final penalty corner as time on the clock had run out. One last chance but the defensive unit survived and we had bagged a hard earned point.
In truth, this was not our best display of the season but immense credit to the squad ( 7 players Under 18 ) for digging in and finding a way for getting something out of the game. There are plenty of things to work on for sure but lots of positives as well that should not be overlooked. A very valuable point for the Ladies and we look forward to another away game at St Albans next Saturday.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 6TH OCTOBER 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Broxbourne 1 L 1-3

The youthful 2nds made the long trip to newly promoted Broxbourne, looking to build on a couple of good team performances.
We were greeted with a wet windy afternoon but welcomed re-inforcements from the 3rds with Harness,Collison and Wells making their 2nd team debuts.
After a short warm up, the game started with Magpies trying to draw the sting but it was the home side who started quickly and were soon to take the lead after a well rehearsed PC found the net.
The game was quite open and Magpies were looking a threat on the break but likewise the committed home side were looking a serious threat in our defensive D.
The home side doubled their lead after a PC was cleared off the line but straight to a home forward who fired home.
Magpies then had periods of good play down the flanks which had the home side on the back foot and a number of driven crosses fizzed across the home goal without us getting the decisive final touch. Likewise at the other end Wells made some fine saves to keep us in the game
Although 2 nill down at half time, the Pies had grown into the game but knew the home side were a well organised outfit so we would need to start the 2nd half well.
A blow for Magpies came when Broxbourne netted a 3rd PC, early in the second half and and for a while it looked like the home side may run away with it.
To the team’s great credit, we had our best spell of the match with great work down the flanks again producing dangerous moments in the home defence and from one such break down the left by Harness, the ball was squared across to Legg to tap into the unguarded net with around 15 mins to go. Magpies then pushed hard for a further way back into the game and towards the end carved out a flurry of Penalty Corners but the home side kept us out to run out 3.1 winners.
In truth the strong committed skilfull home side deserved their win but the Pies never gave up with the young side battling to the end,
Next week, a home game versus COP where we welcome back a couple of on loan Magpies to the Nest.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 29TH SEPTEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nds v Cambridge City 2 D 0-0

Following on from last week’s narrow defeat at Canterbury, the ladies were keen to build on that fine display at home against Cambridge City who also suffered an opening day defeat.On a perfect day for hockey down at the Nest, both teams came out and “Got in each others faces ” so to speak, trying to establish an early lead in the game.
The Magpies high press was working well causing City to turn the ball over in their defensive area on a number of occasions. One of these turnovers resulted in a Penalty Corner for Magpies on 15 minutes which Tibbenham forced a fine save from the visitors keeper. The only thing lacking during this period was the killer pass in the final 3rd to allow us to carve out some opportunities on goal.Cambridge were playing their part in an open game, constructing some good moves and looked lively in our defensive 3rd and it needed a fine save from Daly to keep out an angled drive just before the break.
Magpies were awarded another Penalty Corner as the half-time whistle blew but sadly never got a shot on goal so the half finished scoreless.
Cambridge made a tactical change at half-time resulting in a really high press that allowed them to dominate possession and get a grip on the game.They were looking dominant but the Ladies dug in all over the park to try an contain wave after wave of City attacks. In truth,other than a couple of Penalty Corners for City, the defensive trio of Steggles, Herscel-Shorland and Johnson allowed them very few clear sights of goal. Likewise the tireless midfield work of Howland, Maciver, Seaman and Locke was equally impressive.
During this period, we looked a threat on the break with M.O.M Ridley continuing to make impressive breaks down the right. The trio of Warnes, Child and Eglington also gave us good energetic options down the flanks. The front 3 of Tibbenham, Stott and Wiseman were causing the visitors problems as a result and only a couple of last ditch tackles stopped us getting in on goal.
Inspired by this defensive effort, we then took the game back to City in the last 15 minutes and started to push hard for the winner.The ball flashed across the City area on a few occasions as we piled on the pressure. A flurry of late Penalty corners offered opportunities to score but we were thwarted by a couple of decent saves or a good piece of Cambridge defending.
A very good display by Magpies once again and its fair to say a draw was a fair result for both sides in a keenly contested game 

Next week we travel to Broxbourne for a 3.30pm start

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 22ND SEPTEMBER 2018

Ladies 2nd v Canterbury Ladies 2 L 0-1

The Ladies 2nds began their East Prem campaign away to last years runners up, anticipating a hard battle against a proven outfit.
With rain falling, the game began at a relentless pace with both sides on the front foot trying to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
The early chances fell to Magpies with a penalty corner from Tibbs well saved on 10 minutes. Anouska then forced the keeper into another save from a well hit cross shot.
Still Magpies poured forward and Anouska was denied by an overhead stick clearance off the line by a covering Canterbury defender. At this stage a goal was the least we deserved.
This drew a response from Canterbury who after a couple of penalty corners, made an incisive break into the D which resulted in a Penalty Stroke after a goal bound shot struck a Pies foot .
The stroke was duly converted leaving us a goal down but still full of hope.
Canterbury then became the dominant force but Charley and Olivia won tackle after tackle in the midfield backed up with excellent support down the flanks by Pheobe, Molly and Sophie C. During this spell Sophie G.S also entered the fray to make her 2nd team debut and she too was fully committed to the cause by chasing, tackling and closing down etc . The defensive trio of Kath Shev and Amelia held firm at the back and although Canterbury had a flurry of penalty corners, in truth we managed to get to half time only a goal behind. When in truth parity was the least the ladies deserved after a battling skillful performance.
More of the same was needed in the 2nd half as Magpies felt confident they could get back into the game. The second half began with both teams trying to get on top as the game got stretched at times. A fierce battle ensued but with that we were the victims of a couple of green cards that depleted our numbers down to 9 at one stage.
However once again,we were still creating chances and after a great press, Bobbi got herself through one on one with the keeper. In trying to go round the committed keeper, she was sent flying in the D. A 50/50 call for the umpires to make but sadly we did not get the stroke that on another day may have been given.
Great combinations between Noush and Molly play carved the home side open again with Tibbs firstly rounding the keeper but angling her shot wide and then having a goal rightly ruled out after a driven cross hit her on the foot before crossing the line.
Canterbury were stung into life forcing us back again and Jade made a lovely save high to her left to save a goal bound rocket hitting the top corner. As the pressure mounted we unluckily lost Sophie G.S to a yellow card for not retreating ( Not her fault but a crafty move from an experienced Canterbury head at the time ) and then Kath also saw yellow for a stick tackle which again saw us down to nine for the last few minutes of the game. Unfortunately the game ended with Canterbury winning subjecting the 2nds to only their 2nd defeat in 30 league games which in itself is a magnificent achievement.
The Ladies deserved a point for such a committed skillful performance against a very good side on their home patch.. A long way to travel for a defeat but we proved that we can mix it with the best in the league. Time to regroup before a home game down at the Nest v Cambridge City next Saturday.