Ladies 3A 4 - 2 Banbury 3
Rebels nutmeg Banbury
The mighty team of 12 marched out of the changing rooms with 35 minutes to spare. The already empty pitch was inviting and with the warm up complete within about 15 minutes the grown-ups were scratching their heads as to how to fill the remaining 20 minutes and prevent the inevitable teenage banter taking their minds off things. Spirits were high as we cleverly spotted that the oppo only had 8 players present. However, apparently we had to wait for another Banbury carload (to include a GK) to arrive, so we had to be kind and wait a further 10 minutes before pushback. Grrrr. Still, we had on pitch entertainment courtesy of Millie who, despite brand new trainers, was ingloriously upended by a hostile ball bag. Very wet posterior. At 4.12 and with the late carload casually ambling across the pitch (nb dressed in white socks…hmm had they come from playing in another match???), Reading decided to make the message clear. We completed the huddle and stood in position. But no, Banbury would just not start until all their late players had done up their shoe laces and blown their noses. Yawwwwn and more grrrrs!
The early exchanges were fairly even but, true to form, Reading managed to concede an early goal; a bit dubious as GK Charlie had come out to clear a ball in the D and on the follow through managed to also clear a Banbury forward. Whilst she was on the deck and GK Charlie was worrying about her, the Banbury skipper belted in a goal. Shocker! Said forward was then excruciatingly slowly escorted off the pitch by 4 other Banbury players and this caused yet more unnecessary delays, much to the huge annoyance of Mumma Charlie and Sue. No matter, Reading fairly soon won a short corner. This was slipped by Rachel at the top to Mumma Charlie who neatly BLASTED it in. 1-1 at half time.
Newly empowered by Haribo, from the re-start Reading started to pile on the pressure through good driving out of defence by Gaby, Jess and Hannah and good use of the speedy and skilled inners Amy, Izzie and Carine. Pretty soon after Blanche turned in a shot on goal and Reading went into the lead. Banbury had some good, quick breaks, but their busy players – tall, one trick pony ’Streaky’ and the feisty Skipper were reasonably well contained by Rachel and Lauren and GK Charlie made several excellent clearances. With 15 minutes left, Charlie – who minutes earlier had been rugby tackled on the edge of the D (ask her to show you her now pretty bum!) - was awarded a free hit outside the 25. She dribbled into the D, nutmegged a defender and managed to weave her shot though several other players and the GK’s legs to take Reading to 3-1. Shortly after, Banbury watched as Sue tapped the ball for 5 metres outside the D on a free hit. The ball was then crossed in and Blanche fiendishly tipped the ball which travelled in embarrassing slow-mo over the goal line to take the score to 4-1. Although the Banbury skipper managed to score a belter of a goal from a straight strike on a short corner, and they piled on the pressure, the Reading defence held out time and again. The final whistle brought the bad tempered game to an end with Reading the 4-2 victors. Great speedy running up the wing from Harriet and lovely strength and change of pace from Molly. Welcome to the mad house Katherine!
Thank you to our lovely umpires Fran and Anna who did well to stamp on the bad language and antsy antics. Onwards and upwards!