Cup success in first 11-a-side match
Dominant performance not reflected in the final score
I don't know what it is with us, late kick-offs and ropey pitches this October! Last week it was the lunchtime long grass of Long Bennington, this week we had another high noon appointment at Phoenix Inham in the wild west of Chilwell. When the ref comes over, says hello and comments what a shocker the pitch is, you know you're not being fussy. To be fair to Inham, we were playing on the local rec so the council are entirely at fault for what was a pitch with grass too long in places for good football and lines that existed purely because there was no grass where they had once been marked out - there was no whitewash to be seen. All along the coaches side had to be coned out so the players could see the edge of the pitch.
Anyway, to the matter in hand. Due to issues with with player numbers of some U14 teams, we are in a 9v9 division until Christmas, after which we move to 11-a-side. However, cup games are to be played as 11v11 regardless of how many players you can field. And so we find ourselves (after a first round bye) in the quarter final of the County Cup, and with a sterling effort from players and parents a squad of 13 present and ready to give it a go. We line up 4-4-2 (plus Pip in nets), old school, easy to understand. The players take 10 minutes to get to grips with the enormous playing area and "overly lush" surface, then the game settles down and Bingham start to dominate, largely thanks to another tireless effort from Lauren and Katy together in central midfield, and some hard running up front from Elisabeth and Anna G. Anna opened the scoring with a typical run into the box and firm finish. Unfortunately for us we didn't switch on from the restart and an equaliser came almost immediately. The Bingham girls did not let this affect them however, and really knuckled down to snuff out any further home attacks in the first half. Lauren restored the lead with a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area. Anna G then added another before the break, showing great anticipation to turn in one of our many corners from close range. Half-time was Phoenix Inham 1 - 3 Bingham Town.
The second half was almost entirely one way traffic, save for a breakaway goal by Inham with 10 minutes left. Up to that point Bingham had played mostly in the opposition half, creating numerous opportunities and shots, only to be foiled by slight inaccuracy or good last ditch defending. Even after the goal the Bingham girls did not panic, the defence were calm whenever the ball came their way and made their tackles when they had to. The rest of them saw to it that the game was played in the Inham half and time ran out for the home team. Our players got to grips with the conditions better, they played the better football, and best of all they worked harder than the opposition. Although they perhaps should have scored more goals, they can all be proud of their efforts - the coaches and parents certainly were. At full time it was Phoenix Inham 2 - 3 Bingham Town.
It was difficult to choose a Player of the Match, certainly the coaches thought Lauren had an outstanding match in central midfield, but the choice was left to the parents this week. The BTFC PotM (now with trophy sponsored by Vintage Magnolia!) was Bella for an excellent display at left back in what was only her 5th match. A great performance and well deserved.