Sutton Coldfield 1 Reading Ladies 3By Reading Hockey Club • Feb 19th, 2012 • Category: L1, Match Reports
Due to last weekend’s fixture being snowed off this week saw Reading ladies 1’s return to the Investec National League against Sutton Coldfield. The hailstorm and freezing rain was a shock to the system for the players coming out of hibernation from another successful indoor campaign. It was also a lovely ‘welcome home’ present for the GB players returning from sizzling Argentina, who have gone from moaning about the heat to moaning about the cold in the space of a week!
Having found an orange hockey ball from somewhere the game began and quickly fell into a scrappy set of interchanges, each team looking to capitalise on errors rather than creating too much opportunity for themselves. It was Sutton who were to make the most of one such incident in the first half when a disputed tackle was made on the Reading centre half and the ball was quickly fed into the legend that is Jane Sixsmith. Sixsmith made no mistake and slotted past an oncoming Beth Storry, and after 15 minutes the league leaders found themselves 1-0 down.
Reading did not panic and stuck to the game plan laid out by coach Letchford and with good transfer and stretch on the game, some good opportunities were finally created. One such chance fell to Jess Brooker as a sharp attack down Reading’s right hand side led to the ball popping up right in front of the Sutton goal mouth. Goal poacher extraordinaire Brooker was in the right place at the right time and smashed the ball into the net. This was very quickly followed up by a wonderful solo dribble from Becky Halle as she v-dragged the ball round most of the Sutton defence before squeezing the ball past the Sutton goalie a couple of metres from the goal line. A big sigh of relief going into half-time one goal to the good having been down for a large part of the first half.
The second half carried on in a similar vain, Reading creating some good opportunities and winning a number of short corners. Unfortunately Kate Walsh appeared to have come up against a brick wall in the Sutton goal as goalkeeper and post player denied Walsh as she attempted to drag flick in every corner! Not to worry our open play chances on this occasion were to be enough to clinch the three points. Laura Bartlett putting the final nail in the coffin in the 67th minute, when she connected with a mazy dribble from Sam Quek at right half. Quek cut infield from the right and dribbled menacingly towards the Sutton defensive circle where she laid the ball off to Bartlett who slotted past the keeper.
Not a brilliant start in terms of performance but under the circumstances a very hard earned three points. Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly and an important three points leave Reading still 7 points clear of chasers Leicester.