After travelling half way to Ipswich last week only to be turned around again, the ladies had a lovely late morning pushback in Gorleston, against a tough Yarmouth 1st team. Yarmouth were our first match of the season back in September, and Magpies just missed out with a 2-1 loss, so we were determined to go out and show Yarmouth how far we’d come and what we were really made of!
Once Leggy had got her… as usual… ‘enthralling’ team talk out the way – with help as always from Mrs Field – we headed out onto the pitch. The warm up looked promising, with the help of the Meynell-Anderson (who we’re very thankful for stepping up to play for us on the Thursday evening) making themselves known to the rest of the team.
First pushback was ours, and with the emphasis of “easy passes” being shouted from Lucy Field, who put on her marigolds this week as a ‘Cleaning Lady’ in the screen, and Leggy, who was flashbacking to her Colts B days, in Centre Back.
Everyone was defending out of their skin in the first half, with Sophie Child and Amelia HS either side of Leggy, supplying some solid tackles, keeping the attackers out of our D a little longer. A few defensive short corners were had within the first 20 minutes or so, both of which filling Leggy with oodles of confidence as both came flying straight for her head.
Even with the third short corner finding its way to the back of the net, after some cracking saves from Jade Daley (all refreshed from managing to actually get a decent kip the night before!), Magpies continued to make good space on the ball. Kate Russell and Lucy were both transferring the balls wide for Georgie Cantrell (on the right) and Rhe (on the left) to try make their runs to try and give Amy, Imi and Soph some chances on goal.
Unfortunately the Yarmouth backline were too solid for our attack to score before the half time whistle blew.
From the first second half whistle, Magpies definitely upped the intensity. We were, just about, getting used to the slower Yarmouth pitch, and the game was flowing much more smoothly. We all found ourselves with a little more time on the ball, and just knew which of our own players were around us in support. Lovely play was had from our 16-yard hits, and with balls being played out wide to our wings, Rhe and Georgie both used their speed to quickly get the ball into our attacking quarter.
Slick skills, as usual, from Katie K in the centre of the ‘block of 3’, Amy and Sophie MA, gave us some well-deserved attacking short corner opportunities. It seemed as though the tables had turned, we were the ones taking the play to them, we were the ones now creating the chances!
With neither Char or Leggy striking short corners, Georgie Cantrell stepped up to put a clean strike away. It seemed as though luck was not on our side in these short corners, however the whole team now had fire in our bellies and were eager to level the score line. And sure enough, another fab run down the right wing, and some sneaky skills manoeuvring around their strong defence, finishing with a clean reverse stick slap slipping between the keepers legs, Georgie levelled the score line – right… GAME ON!
With about 10 minutes to go, the Ladies knew that they needed to keep their heads. Opportunities continued to arise, and with Yarmouth starting to make some mistakes under pressure from our solid defence, we fought on until the very final whistle.
Magpies really came back fighting this week after a rather sleepy first half, and really played some fantastic hockey, resulting in a compliment from our opposition saying we were the toughest opposition that they have played against! Truly brilliant today Ladies!
We had a joint ‘wo-Man of the Match’ today: Georgie Cantrell for her (Quote) “fabby-dabby ball skills and great goal” and Leggy for her rare defence appearance.
Next week the Ladies 3rds have their re-arranged fixture against Ipswich 2nds with a 12pm pushback at Tuddenham Road. Let’s be sure to bring our A-game Ladies and end the first half of the season on a high!!