Captain gets the kit on
... but forgets the Wonder Woman knickers.
When you turn up pitch side and half your team are trying to help the keeper into her kit, with the other half of the team wondering where the kit that remains in the bag is meant to have gone, it's a pretty big clue to the opposition that they are playing a novice. Missing our regular keeper and with no other volunteers Captain Liv picked the short straw. She looked rather white, perhaps even green, when she arrived. Whether that was nerves or the effect of the night before I will leave to your imagination, but suffice to say she was not the only team member in a rather 'delicate' state!
With Liv kitted up and looking rather splendid in her lemon yellow top to face the 'oranges' of Pheonix and Raneleigh, team instructions were to protect our keeper and keep the ball as far away from her as possible.
Always willing to oblige, early pressure on their goal resulted in Emily converting an early chance. With our confidence up we were able to string any number of passes together but somehow contrived to keep missing the goal. If P&R did manage to get it past our 16 yard press, the defence, ably marshalled by Laura, Heidi and Janice were able to calmly play the ball out to our magnificent midfield of Amanda M-B, Ant, Nett and new girl Ellie.
Pressure on their excellent keeper was mounting. Short corner followed short corner and eventually the second goal came (Tracy H). And then suddenly the ball was down the other end of the pitch and despite Liv's best effort and close quarter melee, the ball somehow trickled over the line to leave the game finely balanced at 2-1 at half time.
And it stayed this way for a large chunk of the second half. Our large, and very welcome band of supporters were cheering us on and tearing their hair out in equal measure. P&R were enjoying more of the ball but our defence held firm, with Liv clearing the ball with a strong right foot on a number of occasions, and a collective team effort broke the will of the Oranges. The forwards could sense victory and moved up a gear. More near misses followed until finally the pressure of fine passing between Liz and Anne told and Liz was able to scoop the ball over their keeper to make it 3-1. Trina then managed to divert a cross into the goal to make the final score 4-1.
A great team effort with stand out performances from Laura, Ant, Amanda C, Emily and Ellie but man of the match was a much relieved Liv.