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.