Rebels overwhelm the Wyches!
Wychy Wychy Wychwood 1s (0) v Reading Ladies 3as (3)
OK, so whoever thought that a 10.30am start time in deepest darkest Oxfurdshyer (meaning a rude 8.30am meet) would deter the Mighty Rebels was most definitely wrong! Not even the slashing rain en route made a difference. It was game day.
The posh driveway to our arena reminded us of our Royal Berkshire roots and dictated that there would definitely be no bad language from us today and oodles of good behaviour all round. Thankfully Mumma (this week powered by curry) Charlie scooped up Billy-no-mates Sue from the friendship stop at the beginning of the game, and now that we were all friends we were able to get going quite promptly in the drizzly weather.
We got off to a fast and dynamic start. Then – shock, horror – within 5 minutes of starting we scored a goal!!! A beautiful slap in by Molly on a short corner rebound. What were we thinking? Very much against the 3as accepted game plan. The pressure on the Wychy defence was constant, with wave after wave of Reading attacks into the opposition’s D and good, strong challenges. To their credit, on free hits outside the D the oppo crowded the area and the Reading attack was thwarted again and again, but Reading kept recycling. Finally, about half way through the half and with spectators’ umbrellas being fully tested, a sideline free hit deep in the attacking 23 was passed quickly and the ball drilled in from just outside the D where Blanche (‘give me the ball and I’ll score’) expertly deflected it into the Wychified goal. 2-0. Predictably Wychwood came back hard and strong, but the Reading defence held out very well, clearing the ball safely and intelligently. At the necessary Haribo pit-stop we agreed that we were actually playing quite well, that we were holding our shape quite nicely and driving the ball up the wings much more. This greatly pleased Captain Mannering.
Early into the second half and the debate from the youf on the bench was ‘is it 2-0 or 3-0’. Never mind, because Reading were on the attack once again, and we were actually beginning to move the ball around the back quite effectively and up to our midfield and forwards. Within ten minutes, Mumma C chased the ball down the sideline, drove it in a few paces and whacked it goalbound along the baseline, where it whistled past ‘give me the ball and I’ll score’ and Molly was there on the far post to put it away, via a defender’s foot.
It’s fair to say that Reading slightly dominated the second half. There was a dubious decision near the end of the game when a ball clearly hit a Wychy foot standing pretty much on the goal line and Blanche was presented with the ball and did score. Everyone assumed advantage was being played and when the elderly umpire’s whistle blew after the ball hit the backboard everyone (including the oppo who whizzed the ball back to beyond the halfway line in disgust) thought a goal had been scored. But no, apparently it was a penalty corner, despite the other umpire clearly signalling a stroke. We weren’t arguing. We were in the lead and on the up. We messed up the short corner. Meh. The whistle blew with the score at 3-0 to Reading.
It was a good performance from the team. Excellent play from Izzie, Amy and Maddie going forward. Apart from Hannah falling over all by herself in the first half and hurting her ankle (tsk), my personal favourite moment (and this happens quite often) was when shouting at our team defending a free hit to step right, the next line from my mouth was ‘no, that’s left!’. Maybe the youngsters will master that skill soon. Somewhere along the line, GK Charlie was wittering on about her noo-noo (I thought that was a weird blue hoover thing from the Teletubbies?? but I am old, and what do I know?). According to Mumma Charlie we apparently injured most of their players. I definitely didn’t see any of that, nor did I deliberately play a ball with the back of my stick. I also did not see any Jazz hands Rachel. You must work on this.
Finally, I came home earlier with pains up my right side. I was worried that this might be the onset of something serious, but then I remembered Hannah running into me full pelt in the warm up. Phew, easy DOD Hannah! MOM (elected by the captain) to Izzie, for always coming back to position after her brilliant runs. But well played EVERYONE - hope you have all dried out!
Thanks for umpiring Fran, we appreciated your eyes, your youth and your decidedly un-windmillish arms.