Another win on the road
By Russ Gibbs
Girls just shade it for narrow victory
Whenever we play Long Bennington I write the same thing about both teams being really closely matched and how there was not much in it. So it was again this time. Judging by our U13s who were on the 9-a-side pitch coming away with a 1-0 win as well, it seems it's a theme across the age groups.
With some players on both teams attending the same school there is always an extra edge to these games for the girls, and as coaches we look forward to them as a good measure of where we're at development-wise. Having made the short trip to just the other side of the A1 we found a pitch that could do with a serious trim. At least the weather was much improved from Saturday. Both teams were at full strength and well stocked with substitutes.
Long Bennington have some very quick players throughout the team and caused some problems for our girls in the opening stages although they didn't really trouble Pip with anything serious to save. We were a little on the back foot initially but played well on the counter attack, though their pace at the back meant the long through ball was not going to give us much joy so we needed to pass it forward accurately and quickly.
Our playmaker Izzy opened the scoring to continue her outstanding streak of scoring in every match so far this season. Having dribbled past the central defender to the right of the 'D' she made enough room to fire low and hard across the keeper to the bottom left corner. With most of LB's attacking success coming down their right wing we made a tactical switch and moved Lauren to left back. Of course, having seen some success with this it was inevitable that something would happen down the other side! Some good play by the (very quick) LB left winger saw her get past Lily and get her shot away before Evie could get over to cover. Pip made a good effort to save and got down well but not quite quickly enough as the power in the shot was too great. All square. As the half was drawing to a close, Lauren mis-kicked a clearance which luckily for us fell to Anna G. Anna hit a high looping shot that the keeper could not reach to give us the lead on the stroke of half time. H-T Long Bennington 1 - 2 Bingham Town.
The second half continued much in the same vein. Both defences did very well. Pip only had one real save to make and was neat and tidy with good handling skills for everything else that came her way. We created some great openings but the girls didn't have their shooting boots on after the break. Though it was the same for both teams we really struggled with the long grass. The ball was getting caught under the feet of runners, and defenders coming to clear the ball were finding it just died before reaching them as they were anticipating. This made for a bit of a scrappy encounter, but in between the defensive dominance there was some end-to-end stuff as all the girls on the pitch went for it. Bingham managed to see it out with some sensible game management towards the end.
Everyone battled hard once again and credit to them all for that. Special thanks to those who only got half a game but were very vocal while on the bench. With so many subs available it is difficult to keep the team balanced, but we prefer to bring the players for half a game than start giving people the week off. All the girls are an important part of the team.
Honourable mentions over and above the general 'well done everybody' go to; our top scorer Izzy who unbeknown to anyone was actually not very well at all and gave her folks a bit of a fright when she fainted on the way home. Thankfully the cause was identified by the docs and she's ok now, but keep those feet up for a few days Izzy! Also to Diesel who has really put some effort in over the last few weeks and that is starting to show on matchdays.
Bingham Town Player of the Match and recipient of our lovely trophy supplied by Vintage Magnolia is Anna B. Another strong defensive display with extra focus on positioning and timing when it's on to go roving forward, as per coaches instructions. Well done Anna.