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.