Do not adjust your sets:
Reading Ladies 4′s 8 – Burnham Ladies 0.
With the match being a friendly and many away at half term we fielded rather a composite team, saved from being a distinctly veteran team only by the relative youth of Kelly, Laura and Lucy. Team instructions were to let the ball do the work, as pre match tales of various aliments meant running by some might be minimal! However, inspired by our dark blue shirts (Scotland won too) and the sunshine we soon found ourselves 4 nil up at half time. A rare break by our opponents saw a magnificent finger tip save from Jules. Lucy, making a début appearance in midfield, was our pivot and distributed the ball brilliantly, ably supported by Sandy and Janice at the back. As attacking midfielders Audrey and Laura kept the front 5 going forward relentlessly. Goals were scored by man of the match Liz (3), Tracy H and Trina (2 each) and TC (1). Only excellent play from their goal keeper denied Kelly a maiden goal but it will come, as her positional play and awareness have developed so much in only her second season of hockey. Well done and thank you to our supporting players.
March 1st 2014
If prizes were won for effort and perseverance, we would have many. Sadly the only way to win in hockey is by scoring more goals than the opposition and yet again we were unable to convert any of the many opportunities we had. Banbury had 2 particularly skilled players who really were the difference between our teams. Sandra, Emily and Charlotte ran like mad, Zoe did well in her first outfield game for 10 years, Jules shouted encouragement from the back and everyone kept working hard on our new formation. Shakila was our well deserved man of the match in her last game before moving away. We will miss her enormously, wish her well in next stage and welcome her back any time.
Setting off to play Oxford Hawks with just 11 players is never ideal. Learning that the M40 is closed just as you are about to is even less so. Many telephone calls later we were all off via various different routes. Janice had sensibly set off extra early to get there so it was something of a miracle to find that she both had her telephone with her, and that she knew how to answer it (hands free of course!). The downside was that she already knew that the M40 was closed as she was sitting in stationary traffic on it….
And indeed there she sat for most of the game. But keep coming she did, and never was there a more welcoming sight than her appearance just an the end of half time. Thank you so much Janice.
In between time the 10 players who had arrived took to a windswept but mercifully dry pitch. Within the first 5 minutes we were 2-0 down, with an excellent own goal by Tammy (I had encouraged all to score goals but this was not exactly what I had in mind). Excellent defence and some good saves from Ann-Marie meant we went into half time only 3-0 down. Karen did her best to make an entry into the ‘dive of the season’ competition, but I’m not sure it will really count as it looked more like she was trying to do the splits than anything else! Ann-Marie did provide a contender though, managing to fall over her own feet as we cooled down after the game. The final score was 6-0 to Oxford Hawks but everyone stuck to the task and battled through to the end in true 4′s spirit. Ant was exceptional and well deserved man of the match.